Drew Carlson may be the new owner of the Rug Source, a nearly three-decades-old showroom in Denver, Colo., but he is in no way new to the industry or to the field of interior design. His mother’s work as an interior designer fascinated him, and he says he remembers watching her and being “amazed at how she almost magically put colors together.” It was, however, not only his mother’s aesthetic that influenced him but her (and his father’s) values that still drive Carlson today. “I won the parent lottery,” he says laughing. “My parents simply taught us to do the right thing.” And clearly for Carlson, the ‘right thing’ was to be involved with RugMark even before taking over the helm at the Rug Source. “I was selling Odegard rugs and long admired Stephanie Odegard’s commitment to the weavers. That influenced me,” he says.
Carlson laughingly refers to himself as a rug merchant from the old days because he loves traveling the Rocky Mountain area visiting customers with his samples and small rugs. “We foster our customer relationships. That’s what is important to us,” he says. Customers for his hand-knotted wool, and wool and silk high-end decorative rugs are, for the most part, interior designers and architects who share his passion for rugs. Part of Carlson’s passion comes from the knowledge that rugs add “a piece of beauty” to the lives of their owners that will stay with them for many years.
Rug Source’s hand-knotted carpets come from India, Nepal, Afghanistan, Armenia and Pakistan, but also of interest to Carlson lately are flatweaves made in Mexico. He feels connected to all the weavers whose work allow Carlson to make a living and hence, he feels some responsibility for their well-being.
Fine sentiments are all good and well, he notes, but it is action that is important. RugMark, he says helps him take action. “Before RugMark, we relied on someone’s word. Now we can verify,” Carlson says emphatically. “Trust, but verify.” Carlson believes that RugMark is the standard and that being socially responsible is good for business, but he says, “Not being involved in child labor is good for sleeping soundly too!”
To read more about Rug Source, visit www.rugsourcedenver.com.
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