Lifestyle is Meaning

How you and your customers live (Lifestyle) gives meaning to their lives. What is more obvious than that? Some customers in the distribution chain need help in making the jump from product to Lifestyle.

Nobody said it would be easy to change from a product orientation to a lifestyle orientation. The change is happening at the consumer level. Talking to and listening to consumers is part of the process.

Listening to start-ups target consumers at XRC Labs, one wonders if they’ve ever heard the words “channels of distribution.”


Going Forward

Rug News andDesign (and it is still “Rug News”) has had to adapt to a more expansive relationship with readers. Readers may be consumers. Pande Cameron (fondly remembered) advertised on the back cover of the New Yorker in the post-war years. The rug my new mother-in-law wanted was made by Pande-Cameron, not by my firm.

As a company, we have had to think our way through providing content and advertising for every level of participation of every channel of distribution, globally. At every step we are dealing with fuzzy relationships. Based on our experience, an interoperable computer driven world is some time away, if ever. Humans will remain human. Anyway, that is our operating premise. Publishing, like life, is not a clockwork.

That said, the biggest change we face is dealing with the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Right now, we are managing 4,000 pictures, anticipating more than 1,000 additional this year.

If you want to talk to humans, go to a trade show. If you want to see at least one thing from a firm at a trade show, read “” online. If you want to share with your colleagues in the industry, contact “”.

Social Inequality

The New York Times has started a series of articles on social inequality. We will provide links to those and other articles on the subject in the “WE CARE” section of “”.

Many in the rug industry feel strongly that the way to deal with this issue is to (to coin a phrase) “sweep it under the rug.”

As an industry, we have dealt with child labor—not perfectly, but child labor is no longer an overwhelming problem in rug producing areas.

In the US we still have to face the issues of equal pay for equal work, and the reality that collectively our children will not likely do better than the post-war generation.

Outside the US, as the NY Times article makes clear, we have to provide a path for women to achieve economic freedom, and that may mean only at a subsistence level equivalent to $3 per day in India. We haven’t even begun to address the question of what happens to society when women in general make more than men, and what is the impact on the children of economically independent women.

Technology will partly solve those problems, and “” will follow developments in design and technology as people adapt to changes driven by technology as mastered by a younger generation, no matter how young a person reading this column may be.


The goal of Rug News andDesign is to seamlessly integrate content, text, images and advertising, in-print or online, driving and driven by social media, globally. We have a long way to go and we need your support, whether it is sharing content, or providing advertising/financial support to get there. We are making progress.


[A version of this article appeared in print in Leslie Stroh’s Observations column in the February 2016 Rug News andDesign Magazine.]