Colors: Orange Color

­­The women in top executive posts within the area rug industry make up a small but mighty group. A historically male-dominated field across domestic manufacturing to importing firms alike, our industry has been slow to promote female leadership into the C-suite.

Sadly, we’re not alone.

Female participation in the workforce hit its lowest rate this year since 1988 due in part to the pandemic. In the U.S., COVID-19’s impacts translated to five million-plus women pushed from their jobs.

With our hearts full of nostalgia we look to the past for guidance as we examine five areas of the industry which have undergone tremendous change over these past twenty-five years of RUG INSIDER Magazine. As for the next? Opportunity awaits.

It is somewhat serendipitous that this year marks both twenty-five years of RUG INSIDER and also the same quarter-century of my involvement in the hand-knotted rug and carpet trade. As a fresh, wide-eyed, rather green and unsophisticated rug salesman who knew not of the idiosyncratic nature of hand-knotted rugs nor their charms, entering the trade at the same time as this publication meant only one thing.

Area rug suppliers forge ahead to the summer markets with new efficiencies + products, despite supply chain woes. After more than a year absence, trade shows and markets are re-emerging on the home furnishings industry’s scene starting this summer. And that spells optimism for the balance of 2021’s business outlook… For the most part.

Spread out across the season’s three months, first came High Point and Dallas Total Home & Gift markets in June, followed by this month’s Atlanta Market, July 13-19 and finally Las Vegas Market, August 22-26. This ambitious schedule signals the industry’s determination to return to some semblance of normalcy as the pandemic continues its exit—at least in the U.S.

Area rug companies struggle to produce + deliver product amid pandemic’s impacts

Manufacturers and suppliers of area rugs find themselves in a dilemma with no definitive solution in sight.

Consumer demand for area rugs is at an all-time high, prompted by the pandemic’s push to home-bound people and equip them with government-issued stimulus checks they’ve largely opted to spend on their home decor.

It’s hard to understand what being in business for ninety-five years actually means. Think of all of the major events that happened over that span of time—two world wars, a great depression (and great recession), 9/11, COVID-19, etc. For Couristan—celebrating 95 years of business this year—the anniversary is a testament to their resilience and innovation.

The family-owned company was founded in 1926 by brothers Basil J. Couri and George J. Couri—aptly referred to as the Couri Brothers—in New York City when they began importing fine handmade area rugs from Persia.

International Market Centers puts COVID-19 safety protocols in place that leave manufacturers optimistic about the future of markets.

It’s hard to believe it’s been over a year since COVID-19 shut down the United States. Remember how businesses everywhere started panicking about how it would play out?

Many in the industry expected sales to be down 30-40 percent in 2020, but that was not the case. Retailers and manufacturers across the country benefited from the number of people forced to stay home and furnish their homes.