|From the Sand o& Snow Collection, niyabas.com photography|
I haven't posted in a while and for my grand return, I had an interesting, possibly even controversial, post ready to pen. But then in the middle of thinking it through, I ran out the studio to attend a beautiful event co-hosted by five amazing modern rug designers. All women. Judy Ross
, Amy Helfand
, Malene B
, Tracey Sawyer
, and Tania Johnson
. The exhibition entitled Mother Earth, aptly named for the nature inspired rugs as well as the obvious, was held in the newly opened, sparingly furnished modern showroom, Casa on Tuesday evening. The backdrop as well as the intriguing tree sculptures that dotted the showroom were perfectly in sync with the rugs on display. Accordingly, original post has been shelved for sometime in the future.
|Baobab by Malene B Custom Handmade Carpets was on display|
Apart from the drool-worthy rugs showcased, what really impressed me was the strength and power of the feminine ______...not sure what to call it yet. Everything about the event was flawless: the designs were striking, the quality impeccable, the presentations via the iphone microphone were sleek as were the designers themselves, the light heartedness, the importance. To me, this event was important. I almost didn't make it as I was a bit torn between supporting my friend Malene or going to yet another "how to get published" event. She won out and frankly, so did I. Let me explain a bit more about myself...
|Etu Liliacea by Tracey Sawyer, The Nought Collective was on display|
Of the three kids in my family, I am the only girl. Of the 19 or so kids in the neighbourhood, I was one of four girls, and really the only one if you count those who hung with the boys. Choosing a career in finance, specifically equity research, my odds just got progressively worse. When I crossed over into design, things began to look up. We completely outnumbered the men in the classroom. Ridiculously so. As I began to explore behind the scenes beyond the classroom, I saw women were everywhere, in the showrooms, at events, even in the media. It was as if they were making up for my childhood.
|love this amazing forest abstraction by Amy Helfand on display|
Yet, funnily enough, the males still seemed to dominate the top. Maybe it was the architecture influence? Or socialization? Or maybe it's genetics? Haven't quite found a rational explanation for it.
|Tania Johnson Design, featured rug on display|
Fast forward to the present. Female designers are indeed everywhere and the numbers are amazing. Maybe not as much in the limelight as those classroom numbers would suggest but we are definitely there and growing. Maybe we weren't as aggressive about being in the limelight in the past, or maybe we weren't given the opportunity, or maybe because we do outnumber the men, the men seem to stand out more when it comes to the limelight. Whatever the reason, don't fool yourself...us women are doing it big.
|Judy Ross Textiles, featured rug on display|
And that night's event underscored that much. The room was filled with amazing female designers, some I had known a while, some I'd met in recent months, and some I just met that evening. All in different stages of the cycle, some behind the scenes, others in the forefront. The conversations were genuine and supportive and even inspiring. As Judy Ross pointed out in her short presentation, it's great when your competition can come together to create an event like this:
Colourful. Artistic. Expressive. Beautiful. The strength and power of us females.
|The designers: (L-R) Amy Helfand, Tracey Sawyer, Malene Barnett, Judy Ross, and Tania Johnson. Photo courtesy of Malene B.|
|My iphone pic of the amazing female designers with Casa showroom team. See wonderful tree sculptures in back.|
|Former classmate Lily Yung, Anishka (Ishka Designs), the amazing rug designer Malene B, and Sarah Han. Photo courtesy of Malene B.|