Coastal living interviews // Armadillo & Co

Tell us how Armadillo & Co started & how you came up with the company name.

Jodie and I founded Armadillo & Co in 2009, when we realised there was a gap in the Australian market for simple, well-made floor coverings. Quite simply, what we couldn’t find for our own homes, we decided to make. We haven’t looked back since!

Our product has a tactile and visual appeal, thanks to the sumptuous softness underfoot derived from using natural materials, and the subtle patterns and rich textures from handmade knots and weaves. We wanted a name that would evoke the sensory experience of owning one of our rugs.

Why rugs? What do you love about them?

To me, a rug serves as the key foundation piece for every interior – I know I am biased but I feel they are essential. I love how versatile they are – there is literally a rug for everyone out there thanks to the myriad materials, construction methods, colours, patterns and designs available!

Your company has a strong set of values, one being environmentally responsibility, why is this so important?

Our ethos is that “our rugs lie lightly on this earth”. As much as we want to create beautiful products, we also want to give back to the community – and that involves minimising our impact on the environment. We strive for all areas of our business, processes and products to meet the highest standards of sustainability, which is why all our rugs are made from natural or recycled materials.

Where does your design inspiration come from?

Our design inspiration is drawn from so many places – primarily the natural world and built environments. Typically we respond to textures and how patterns are created within those textures, and then integrate them into a variety of woven and knotted applications to see how the patterns and textures work best. 

What was the most exciting part about designing your new collection?

We were overwhelmed with how many rugs we wanted to include in the new collection! Our new collections bring in a totally new material for us – hand knotted jute – which is just gorgeous and becomes softer and more supple with use. The unique variations in shading of the natural fibre presented us with a level of dexterity we hadn’t used before.

What is your favourite style from the new collection & why?

I love the Malawi. It’s so effortlessly simple yet so appealing.

How does a rug transform a space?

An area rug is one of those details that can make your home feel “finished.” It helps to warm up or soften hard surfaces like tiles and wooden floorboards, which can come off looking and feeling cold underfoot, and it’s the easiest way to create and define separate living zones. In addition to adding interest, texture and tone, the right rug will unify the room’s overall design.

Describe Coastal Living in 3 words.

Timeless, effortless, relaxed. 

What do you enjoy most about partnering with Coastal Living?

I think we both have a uniquely Australian outlook on design. Armadillo & Co’s rugs reflect a timeless elegance but they are also unquestionably designed for everyday use. We want our customers to appreciate the handmade, heirloom appeal of our rugs – but we also want them to be fully enjoyed within the home. Coastal Living, with their curation of products for the home, shares that appreciation for aesthetic and functional balance.

What do you remember most about your first meeting with Coastal Living?

I first met them at our trade fair stand almost ten years ago! They had a lovely, positive energy and loved our product from the word ‘go’ – I knew immediately we would have a beautiful relationship. This was topped off by the fact that our very first order ever came from Coastal Living – and so they will always hold a very special place in our hearts!

Armadillo & Co have launched their first international retail outlet in LA, tell us about this experience? How does your space in LA differ to Australia retail outlets?

We opened our flagship international store earlier this year in Los Angeles, which was a huge milestone. It’s been both rewarding and challenging for the same reason – this is the first time we’ve been able to showcase our unique brand experience and interact with customers on a more personal level.

The space is our showroom, so it has a different feel to a traditional retail outlet. It combines the clean lines of a gallery with the community feel of a workshop – think soaring ceilings, exposed brick walls and a sleek custom-made hanging rack along the wall to showcase our full collections.

What’s coming up for Armadillo & Co?

We are in the midst of launching our 2018 collections which is exciting.

Now for some quick-fire Q&A

  • Summer or Winter? Summer
  • Surfing or snowboarding? Snowboarding (I didn’t start surfing early enough!
  • Online shopping or bricks & mortar store? Bricks & mortar
  • Succulents or cacti? Cacti (way more attitude)
  • Sing out loud or just nod along? Sing out loud

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