Designer Crush: Art + LoomAuthor:Michelle Konstantinovsky
Long before she launched bespoke rug brand, Art + Loom, Samantha Gallacher amassed an impressive resumé in the design world, working with everyone from Glenn Gissler to Bob Kaner, and more. The Miami-based designer then honed her passion for textiles, creating pieces for companies like West Elm and Max Home before branching out on her own with IG Workshop and now Art + Loom. Learn more in our Q+A below.
1. How did you get your start in design?
I have been designing my rooms, Barbie’s rooms, college dorm rooms since I can remember. I used to paint and refinish vintage pieces I would find at flee markets, throw ceramics on the wheel…any sort of home or product design I could come up with. After a five year stint in marketing and finance I decided to go back to school for Interior Design at NY school of Interior Design, it was there that I realized I was exactly where I wanted to be.
2. How did working with some of New York’s top designers shape your aesthetic and approach to the business?
It helped me learn that inspiration comes from everywhere, not just what you see already made in stores but if you can think of a texture or shape there is someone out there that will make it for you into a piece of furniture, a rug, a wall treatment etc. It was also an eye opener that a large percentage of the job is not just creative but managing budgets, people, and expectations.
3. What’s the origin story of Art+Loom and what do you hope to achieve with the brand?
After a few years working with designers in new York I applied to be a textile designer with West Elm, there I learned from some really creative people how to use the concept of a rug as a canvas for art for the floor, I was hooked and obsessed with how much a rug could completely change a space. Then after meeting my now husband I moved to Miami, I did not find any rug companies to work for so I went back to interiors but decided I would find a way to make my own rugs for the project. They didn’t need to be the most expensive, just interesting. I reached out to my favorite factory that I had met through my team with West Elm, together we decided to try the one off custom program where each rug would knotted to perfection for an individual client. I started getting requests from some of my other designer friends to make their rugs for them, and after that is just snowballed and grew organically.
4. What’s the hardest part of being your own boss? What’s the best part?
The hardest part of being my own boss, which I am sure everyone everywhere has said, is work life balance. I have two young children and husband who sometimes take a backseat to my rug business in times of craziness. I can’t seem to just shut off my computer or stop working. Luckily for me they are extremely supportive and all chip in to help. The best part of being my own boss would be that how well I do and how creative my line is completely dependent on me. I remember I used to present a new season of rugs to my bosses and they would have to cut down my designs to only a few, I would be devastated that these other creations would never be made, I don’t have that disappointment now, I just make them.
5. Who are some of your professional role models and why?
I have a long list and I think everyone on the list has created a brand and style that is completely there own, so much so that when you see a piece you know without question who made it.
Beth Laura Wood- cc tapis Paolo Lenti — every single product she has ever made is unique, I recently went to a hotel she designed in Lake Como, I was speechless. Christian Liagre, Kelly Wearstler, Diane Von Furstenberg for her imagination with prints, Kelly Behun.
6. Describe your perfect Sunday from a.m. to p.m.
Wake before my family, have a coffee with a magazine, brunch with friends and family, and then hang by the pool listening to good music — oh and my children are calm and well behaved for that “perfect” day.
7. Favorite pizza topping?
Any kind of additional cheese.
8. Go-to karaoke song?
“Amie” by Pure Prairie League.
9. Most quotable movie?
I am going to go old school to when I used to rewatch movies and say Clueless.
10. First concert?
New Kids on the Block, followed closely by Steve Miller Band (clearly a crisis of music style).
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