We chatted with Ruthie Lazerson, owner and creator of textile, rug, and wall art design studio ruthie L. designs. To celebrate the launch of her debut collection, Ruthie recently unveiled The Secrets of Nature Rug Collection, along with five wall art collections. The rug collection is inspired by the raw and natural patterns that you can find in the Australian environment. We were so pleased to hear that Ruthie has teamed up with GOODWEAVE (a non-profit dedicated to combatting child labour in the carpet industry), and each rug comes with certification to ensure the buyer knows that the rug was created free of child labour. Profits from each rug and wall art sale goes to a support fund created by Ruthie to help with education in weaving communities. You can find her designs at www.ruthieldesigns.com.au.
How did you get into the industry?
I kind of reinvented myself after a health scare in 2013. I went back to study surface and textile design when I realised I really wanted to be making and creating art. A rug designing brief during my course was probably the catalyst for me, and one thing led to another and I’ve found my path designing and producing beautiful and bespoke rugs!
“Believing in oneself and taking huge risks is a constant challenge and I regularly have to remind myself that I can do it.”
What were you doing before this?
I’m an art historian by profession, so I was working primarily in the business and research side of art in art galleries and auction houses. I’m also a mum, so was lucky enough to spend my children’s formative years working flexibly so I could be with them as much as possible. They are a bit older now, so I have more time (and energy) to pursue my own interests.
What challenges did you face?
I’ve faced more challenges than I would ever have expected and continue to face them on a daily basis! I think my biggest challenge is time, and I’m sure many a working mum would agree with me! As a creative person, the general administration side of running a business is a huge challenge — and utterly boring — for me! Then there is the little parrot on my shoulder that sometimes rears its ugly head and tells me that I can’t do this! Believing in oneself and taking huge risks is a constant challenge and I regularly have to remind myself that I can do it. Some days it doesn’t always work! Another big challenge for me is the regular trips I have to make to India and Nepal. I’m very afraid of flying, so that has been a difficult one for me. Being a woman alone in India and visiting some of the places I’ve had to visit while working have also been immensely challenging for me.
“I really love what I do”
What has been the highest point for you so far?
I think the highest point for me has always been when I get to see my finished rugs. Seeing the first rug, Depths of the Ocean completed after all the risks I took to have it made was just completely overwhelming and very emotional for me. Making a rug is a long process. From its initial design right through to its completion can take about six months. It’s really the most amazing thing to see something that you’ve created on paper being hand woven by such skilled hands and brought to life as a beautiful piece of art.
How do you get your creativity flowing?
I love to paint and make art, so getting the creative juices flowing is not too difficult for me! I have a peaceful light and bright studio to work in and if I grab a cup of tea, put some old-school music on and reach for a paintbrush, I’m in my very happy place!
How do you stay motivated?
I really love what I do, and I work with such wonderful and creative people — from my manufacturers to my clients and their clients — so it’s generally very easy to stay motivated!
Where does your inspiration come from?
Mostly I’m inspired by the world around me, particularly nature. Nature itself is a treasure trove of exquisite patterns, shapes, colours and textures, and there is endless inspiration everywhere. My camera goes everywhere with me and I’m often found clicking away at interesting patterns of mould on walls, tree bark, or the colours of the clouds at sunset!