colmer famWhat markets do you attend?

I usually go to the High Point Markets and get most of my rugs at Furnitureland South. I have gone to New York City in the past, shopped the D&D building, but not in a while. I do have other area rugs accounts as well, such as Feizy, Nourison, Loloi, and Surya.

Do you have a favorite fiber or style of rug?

Wool, of course, is my favorite fiber, but as for style, that depends a lot on the job. Personally I like transitional rugs, but in many cases I find I must go in another direction to meet the needs of the customer. My favorite rug right now is actually silk and made by Feizy. It has just a bit of shimmer and is perfect in a bedroom where spills aren’t a major issue. One thing I try hard not to do is superimpose my wishes onto a client. So on the job, my favorite style has to be their favorite style. In my own home, I like unusual rugs with a lot of texture.


colmerofficeDo you buy many custom rugs?

Yes, I do, quite a few. I often buy custom to get the exact size I need, but lately I have been getting some wonderful shag custom rugs. I get these from Stanton or Delos. I can choose the percentage of a particular color for the rug, so it goes beautifully in the room. Other places I shop for custom rugs are Delos and Masland. The time needed is usually eight to ten weeks.

My favorite custom shag rugs come from Delos, and for custom sizes I prefer Stanton. Stanton is especially helpful when a client has a very large dining table and I need a rug that works underneath the table and chairs, without swallowing up the room. Their sizing is great in these situations.

Has easy access to the market via the internet affected your business?

Access to the internet has given clients the ability to edit their own choices early in the process. I remember the days of clipping magazine and checking out sample books. The internet has definitely helped clients define their choices more efficiently. At the same time, the internet provides seemingly endless choices, which tends to cause decision overload. For some clients, this creates a great deal of stress. My first job is to curate selections for them so that the process is fun and engaging, but not overwhelming.

Has Houzz affected your business?

Sure. Houzz has made the world a smaller, friendlier place. Last year my clients found me from Argentina, Zambia, and Thailand. I love that we can easily share idea books and see design trends from all over the country.

Do you discuss quality versus price with your customer?

Always. Here again the choice depends on the job at hand. If my client has 4 kids, I would not suggest a silk rug. It wouldn’t be practical. Wool is much easier to keep clean and durable. We talk about fading, dyes, longevity, what is heirloom quality versus machine made. And in today’s world, we talk about ethical ways to buy a rug without child labor. Rugs and lighting are my favorite components, so I spend a great deal of time in these areas. In fact I always start with the rug. I always have my clients choose the rug first and we build from there.

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