May 15

Announcing our first LA showroom, at Harbinger.


A new story unfolds: Harbinger and Merida

We are beyond excited to be opening our first Los Angeles boutique showroom at Harbinger later this year. The details behind the partnership are in the official press release below:

BOSTON, MA. May 1, 2015

Merida, a leading textile producer with design and manufacturing facilities in Fall River, Massachusetts, announces its first boutique showroom at Harbinger, an exclusive designer retail space in Los Angeles owned and curated by designer Joe Lucas. When Merida opens its doors in the Harbinger space in September 2015, it will join an impressive list of exclusive brands serving the interior design trade that includes luxury leather makers Moore & Giles, among other leading companies.

Harbinger will be expanding its current footprint to take on an additional 1000 square feet of studio space, to be called “Harbinger by Hand.” With Merida as its newest partner, the space will feature select bespoke and handmade lines, including Harbinger’s reproduction furniture collection.

Catherine Connolly, CEO and Owner of Merida, says the timing couldn’t be better to launch the company’s first boutique store. “We have many exciting new products to showcase, including Crosspoint—our latest collection of flatwoven rugs made in Fall River—and our new family of UltraFiber sisal rugs, Avant and Urbana.”  But Ms. Connolly is equally excited about joining the Harbinger family, under the innovative stewardship of design trailblazer Joe Lucas, co-founder of Lucas Studio, Inc. “I have so much admiration for Joe as a design leader,” says Ms. Connolly. “He has an amazing talent for curating collections, and he is also an impressive business leader. And his generosity of spirit is rare in any industry. It’s a thrill and an honor for all of us at Merida to partner with him.”

Located in the heart of LA’s La Cienega Design Quarter, Harbinger strives to be a different kind of source for the design trade, explains founder Joe Lucas, and Merida makes a great addition to the mix of carefully chosen collections that sets Harbinger apart. “I have been a longtime fan of Merida,” says Lucas. “The company singlehandedly introduced the design world to the beauty of sisal rugs. And under the inspirational leadership of Catherine Connolly, Merida has reimagined its brand and collections with innovative designs and culture-conscious manufacturing. I have so much respect for Merida’s leadership in the revitalization of manufacturing in the New England mill town of Fall River. They are not only bringing integrity and quality to the rug and textile business, they are reviving American artistry in a community with roots in craftsmanship going back to the 1800s. Under the guidance of their talented new Creative Director, Roxanne Hanna, Merida has added exciting new collections like Crosspoint and Tailormade, and there is so much more to come.”

Roxanne Hanna has been a long-time admirer of what Lucas and his team have created at Harbinger, and what they have brought to the LA design community.  “I am truly excited to work with Joe and his team,” say Ms. Hanna. “I can’t think of a better partner in Los Angeles, or better company to surround ourselves with than the talented makers he has chosen to showcase at Harbinger.”

Apr 15

Introducing 8 new Tailormade colorways

Our collection of sartorially inspired flatweave wool rugs is once again turning heads. Introducing 8 rich new colorways, designed to mix and match. Made to measure in Fall River, USA.

Foster in Green Olive, with suede trim.

Jacquard-woven from rich British wools, Tailormade elevates timeless bespoke patterns to create a collection of elegant flatweave rugs—now in 8 versatile new colorways that reflect our carefully curated palette.

Slater in Colonial blue, with suede trim.

Because every rug is woven to order, you can use your Personal Showroom to customize yarn colors and finishes across styles, in just 8 weeks.

Explore the collection

Mar 15

CLOTH & KIND creates a serene speakeasy with a new Shriva jute rug

With a little inspired collaboration the “bonus room” in the 2014 Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Home for the Holidays Showhouse became a can’t-miss, soulful retreat. The lovely and talented duo of CLOTH & KIND, Krista Nye Schwartz and Tami Ramsay transformed the bonus room and vestibule into a stunning speakeasy using our new Shriva jute rug. We caught up with Kirsta and Tami to find out more about their partnership and the philosophy behind their Showhouse room.

What energizes you?

Creating homes for our clients which embody our personal design belief that each space should be brimming with history and heart, with story and substance.

Where did you grow up and how do you think that has influenced your style?

Krista // I grew up in Chicago, but spent a most transformative year of my life living in India with my family as a young child. It’s clear to me that a seed was planted deep inside of me that year and it’s been glorious to watch its deep-rooted influence on my sense of interior style blossom and evolve over the years. I tend to have a bend towards a global aesthetic, but made more sophisticated and current with modern and luxurious touches.

Tami //  I grew up in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in a sprawling beach house nestled in the sand dunes. This early experience with the natural world has greatly influenced my design aesthetic. I am forever inspired by the layers of textures, hues, and relics of the world around me.

Who or what is inspiring you right now?

We’re totally obsessed at the moment with reinterpreting and modernizing traditional styles of window treatments (think Victorian) by using neoteric textiles & trimmings, Southern California fashion & jewelry designer Kendall Conrad, Melissa Sutton of Plum Collective & brutalist chandeliers.

Where is your favorite place to travel for leisure?

Anywhere that is steeped in history and chock-full with treasure troves of interesting architecture & textiles. Preferably somewhere international… and warm!

What is your favorite quote?

Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony. – Mahatma Gandhi

Where did you start when designing this room?

Given the tucked away location of the vestibule and bonus room, we were inspired to turn the adjoining spaces into an alluring destination in the home – a seductive and modern day speakeasy. A cheeky nod to the blind tiger, as speakeasies were often referred to during the prohibition era, we swathed the walls of the vestibule in ZAK+FOX’s luxurious Khaden tiger print fabric. Dark and sultry trim, ceilings and walls in Sydney Harbour Paint’s Jaguar sets the mood and creates the ideal backdrop upon which a myriad of geometric shapes are echoed throughout the bonus room in watery shades of cream, blue & indigo, plum, blush pink and neutral.

How would you characterize the room?

The ultimate destination. A space that beckons with promises of lounging and frivolity.

How does Shriva work with your aesthetic?

The interlocking jute braids of Merida’s new Shriva rug created the perfect textured, yet neutral foundation for our modern day speakeasy. We layered vintage rugs and several comfortable seating arrangements atop this gorgeous natural fiber floor covering, and Shriva simultaneously added visual interest and complimented the array of textiles and hues we used in the space.

Oh, and we just have to add that one of the primary reasons we adore Merida’s rugs are that their weaving partners are certified by GoodWeave and provide much needed employment to nearly 4000 Indian women. Now THAT works well with any aesthetic.

Warmest wishes of sincere thanks to Merida for partnering with us and embracing our vision for the 2014 Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Home for the Holidays showhouse.

Krista & Tami

Order Shriva samples >

See more on CLOTH & KIND’s journal >

photos: Sarah Dorio

Mar 15

GoodWeave: the social impact of choosing quality

How should you evaluate a quality product? We typically look at things like craftsmanship, design and materials used, which are all important values. But when you consider how a product is made there’s a lot more than meets the eye, like the hidden costs at the expense of the environment — and to the people who make the products.

There is growing collective awareness about the social impact of our buying choices: Who provides the labor? Is the product generating fair employment, healthy working conditions, and viable opportunities?

Bora Bora jute seaming in Fall River, MA.

For Merida, the quality equation includes the people who bring our rugs to life — from the field to the workroom to the floor.  As a manufacturer we have a responsibility to the hearts and minds of those who, directly or indirectly, have a hand in producing our products.  We work closely with our global partners to ensure fair labor practices that not only provide jobs but also promote people’s health and growth.

To this end, Merida partners with GoodWeave, an organization that works with rug producers to certify that no child labor is used. We are proud to be GoodWeave’s first jute weaving partner, extending the organization’s scope and reach in Southwest Asia, where we source our jute fibers. All of our jute products are GoodWeave certified, and a portion of the price supports the education of children in rug-making villages in India, Nepal and Afghanistan.

photo © U. Roberto Romano, courtesy of GoodWeave

GoodWeave’s founder, Kailash Satyarthi, won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize alongside Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for female education. As GoodWeave states, both “have staked their lives on the belief that children – regardless of gender, geography, faith, caste or societal circumstance – belong in classrooms.” Kailash began fighting against child slavery in the 1980’s and founded GoodWeave to continue this mission, to spread awareness around the issue, and to keep customers informed.

In addition to combatting the exploitation of children, GoodWeave also provides rehabilitation, care and educational programs for children they rescue. To date the organization has provided education to more than 11,000 at-risk children in the rug industry.

photo © U. Roberto Romano, courtesy of GoodWeave

photo © U. Roberto Romano, courtesy of GoodWeave

Learn more about how choosing a rug certified by GoodWeave can truly make a difference. It’s just one example of the far-reaching impact of socially and environmentally smart choices—and the importance of factoring people into the quality equation.

Read more about Merida’s partnership with GoodWeave.

View our GoodWeave certified jute rugs.

Bora Bora jute as used by Katie Leede / photo: Phillip Ennis