Back in the spring of 2020 as I set out on my creative journey as an interior designer and decorator, I found such an amazing community of female entrepreneurs and other independent creatives through Instagram and my day-to-day life. That spring, I decided to highlight my current friends and new Instagram friends that were running their own businesses in a weekly feature simply called “Feature Friday.”
Fast-forward more than two years later and I’m bringing a permanent “Feature Friday” to the blog.
This series will highlight the amazing women in my community of creatives, whether we serve the same type of client, offer the same service but in a variety of aesthetics, or simply inspiring to me as a solopreneur for a variety of reasons. I stand behind these ladies’ work, know their hearts, and would recommend them in an instant to anyone I know!
This week’s Creative Feature is Angie Burge, self described “unapologetic rug lover and connoisseur.” With a mission to bring quality craftmanship directly from generationally trained artisans to your door with unconventional designs and a multitude of rug types with prices within reach, English Village Lane was just founded this year and has already caught the eye of thousands of interior designers
and individual clients.
I reached out to Angie back in August, prior to her website being launched and connected with her as a vendor for our amazing clients. I knew straight away that Angie had an eye for interiors, had a pulse on trends in interior design (yet remains timeless) and I needed her rugs in my list of trade vendors!
A bit of chatting back and forth led me to discover that yet another fearless female entrepreneur was walking away from the comfort and security of a corporate job to own her calling – and that’s when I knew she was “my people.” Without further adieu, let’s dive into the loom with Angie!
Bee: “Without inspiration, where would we even be? Tell me, what inspires you to create these rugs?”
Angie: “I draw inspiration a lot of places, but I would say I get my best ideas when I am jamming out to music! That is USUALLY when I am in my car alone or when I get the luxury of going on a walk with my Airpods in. I get an idea for a rug name or I’ll get a nostalgic feeling and then I’ll work backwards from there. When I’m designing rugs for the website, I want them to be something that strikes a feeling and then it is like I can almost visualize it! I also just love to think about places I’ve been that evoke emotion in me. I actually just listened to a song right before I wrote this that made me think of a childhood memory and I’m going to have to design a rug that is kind of wild with some greens in it that’s devoted to an iconic room in a museum. I would’ve never remembered had I not just heard that again right now! I do my best thinking over music! And if it comes through my head, I write it into my notes in my iPhone. I have a running list of marketing ideas, rug names and even color stories to draw inspo from and if I don’t write it down, the best ideas just fly away!”
Bee: “Wow, talk about when inspiration just hits! I love designing to music as well, there’s something triggering (in the best ways) of getting so into a genre or song that you’re inspired. I really love that and can’t wait to see what iconic room it brought to mind!” So now that you’ve been inspired, what does the creative process look like for a textile designer working with generational artisans across the world?”
Angie: “Well, when working with clients on customs, for example, it really helps if we start with anything that we can draw inspiration from. For example, if a client is wanting a rug for their living room and they have pillows and art but they don’t know how to pull the room together, that is just a dream to me! What I do is send them my rug patterns in advance of our zoom meeting and have them narrow it down to at least 1 or 2 and then we just start selecting color poms that would go with the fabrics and playing around with it until it has a good flow to it! If we are building from the ground up, that can be a bit more difficult (and a wee bit more pressure) but just as fun and we get to have a bit more sway with what colors we choose! I have designed a rug for a nursery actually and then provided about 10 recommend paint suggestions for the dresser and room that would be complimentary / that would match the rug. I can’t wait to see that one actually. It’s going to be so good! We struggled to find the exact color palette until inspiration struck from a magazine article she saw on some pretty towels! Then the design clicked and we were all systems go!
Bee: “So custom really means custom with your rugs, that’s fabulous! I often work with artists on client commissioned pieces and being able to pull a color palette from fabric or other art is such a beautiful way to create a sense of uniqueness in one’s home. I love that your clients get to pick such details. Speaking of details, can you elaborate on what’s involved in the actual production of the rug? What can your clients expect in terms of working with artisans?”
Angie: “Production takes about 90-120 days if the rug isn’t in stock. If you ever wanted to see what happens in that 90-120 days, head to my Instagram where I have a passion project called “For the Love of the Loom”. I show the work that goes into the rugs from start to finish. They’re truly a work of art. I work on the colors and design of the rug but send it off to India to be hand knotted. There are over 288,000 hand knots in an 8×10, so the process really can’t be rushed and is 100% worth the wait.”
Bee: “I can’t even imagine the hours of love and craft that go into 288,000 knots! I recently started needlepoint and that sometimes feels like forever to finish an 8×8 canvas! I absolutely recommend y’all watch some of the videos from “For the Love of the Loom”, it truly is incredible and really makes a connection within your soul that a real set of hands is creating this work of art for you to keep in your family for generations to come!” You mentioned that you interned with an interior designer in college, what would you say is your own personal interior style? And what do you feel every room needs?”
Angie: “My own style is louder than my husband would like it to be! If it were up to me there would be wallpaper on every nook and crevice of our home! Our master and both my daughters’ bedrooms have wallpaper and English Village Lane rugs with fun drapery. The challenge is we live in a house that is a historic landmark and 100 years old, It has plaster for walls, so hanging wallpaper everywhere is a bit more challenging than for most homes! It also doesn’t help that I have access to a myriad of rug options and every time I put a rug down if someone wants it, I am willing to sell it, so my style just keeps on evolving as the rugs rotate! I guess my style is constantly reinvented as I get to redecorate every time something I like arrives! Where I used to pour my creative energies into my home, I now pour them into my clients’ homes and it’s the whole cobbler’s children have no shoes bit! Did I answer your question? Obviously, a rug. You need a good rug!”
Bee: “Oh girl, can I ever relate!!! Opening up our online shop “Curated by Brittany” meant I now can antique, thrift and estate sale for items I love either to keep or list for sale. It drives my husband crazy and he loves to ask “Is that purchase for the store or our home?” If it doesn’t sell right away, I might just enjoy decorating with it until it does! Our husbands are saints!
Now tell me, what inspired you to create rugs in the first place?“
Angie: “Oh boy, every single time I create a rug I giggle at it when I see it come in for the first time. When I cut it open for the first time, I secretly hate myself because I know how heavy they are and I have to move it myself, but I just have to see it! The moment I laid down my first Oushak rug and saw how it brought my whole space together I knew I had to have them everywhere! I knew there was a gap in the market because there are different rugs for different spaces and I just couldn’t find everything I liked in one spot! So, I’m just constantly sourcing and experimenting with different kinds and types of rugs for durability, quality and style to have a really varied offering that I can personally stand behind when I offer them.”
Bee: “The mark of a true entrepreneur, see the void and create a solution. I couldn’t love that more! I also saw on your website recently that you’re constantly adding types of rugs including flat weave, jute, indoor / outdoor options. I’m going to have to ask you the tough question now – which rug is your favorite?”
Angie: “This is a really hard one. It’s like asking who your favorite child is because I love each of them for all different reasons and every time a new one arrives I have a new favorite. If I have to choose, I’ll choose the one with the most meaning to me. My Old Leeds Road Rug was a reproduction of my husband’s grandmother’s rug that was passed on to his aunt after she passed. We spent every holiday at her home and she had the most loud and fabulous style and several of the rugs in my line are an ode to Kitten Burge. She lived on Old Leeds Road and then her daughter moved to another home on the same street. We are able to take vintage rugs and reproduce them, when the permissions are in the right place! Every one in the family is now wanting one of the Old Leeds Road Rug in their homes as a way to connect us all to our beloved matriarch and the traditions we continue in her honor!”
Bee: “It doesn’t get much more meaningful than that! How neat that a rug can connect your family in new yet old ways. This resonates so much with me as someone who grew up among antiques and family heirlooms, they just add that layer of familiarity and belonging to your home in a special sort of way that doesn’t even need explained. One last thing, where can all of the other rug lovers find you or work with you these days?“
Angie: “Currently an e-commerce brand operating out of a warehouse and home office, but actively searching for a store front for client and designer meetings! You can find some of my rugs on the floor of Fox and Brindle and Hibiscus House! We actually created a signature Orange and Pink rug called Tutti Frutti to match their Floridian flair lacquered furniture showroom that we can not keep in stock, but they also have a few other pieces of the line available ready to ship! And then as always, I’m available both locally and virtually to build a custom design. On Instagram @EnglishVillageLane and online too!
Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today, we’ve got more Creative Features coming through the holidays, as well as new artist featured in our series “The Art Shop”. Also, launching December 1 is our online shop “Curated by Brittany” – a mix of new, vintage and antique home décor, furnishings & lifestyle pieces to add that little ‘lagniappe’ to your home. (Lagniappe is loosely translated French for a little something extra)
Brittany “Bee” Zimmerman