Where are you from and what sort of child were you?

Creative Matters was born in Toronto in 1988 and quickly developed itself as an innovative and artistic force within the rug design industry. Back before we went digital, original patterns were created through hand drawing and hand painting, working closely with initial clients to produce designs influenced by the fabrics, finishes and architectural details for the spaces. Creative Matters grew quickly in the first ten years of its life, taking on high profile projects for the Canadian government and picking up our retail client – Gucci.


Tell us about your first memories of being creative. What were your early influences and/or exposure to art and culture?

Our team comes to work with all kinds of early creative influences, from textile crafts of hand weaving, knitting, batik, spinning, and natural dyes, to the more formal arts of painting and photography.


Describe your work in 3 sentences or less.

At Creative Matters we design custom made carpets, rugs and wallpapers for residential, hospitality and commercial projects. We are committed to the creation of exceptional, original, high quality and ethically produced floor and wallcoverings.


What brought you to this kind of work? Was there a pivotal moment in your past where you discovered it? Or was it a progression over a period of time?

Creative Matters has always loved textiles, and from an early age was interested in how we could push the boundaries of what was possible in contemporary rug and carpet design and production. This brought a natural curiosity to our explorations for partners to work with, in both client and manufacturer relationships.

The love of textiles has us sourcing different techniques where we stretch and question what is considered the norm for design in floor and wallcoverings. Our work has become more and more varied as the design team grows, develops and extends its design talents.


Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us?

We are a female owned and managed team of 17 designers, projects managers and admin support staff.


Tell us about your first real break.

Working with the Canadian Government to design carpets for the embassies worldwide was a big break for us. One of our favourite projects was to collaborate with Canadian artists to interpret and develop their artworks into 29 rugs for Canada House in London England.


What has been the biggest challenge of your artistic career that you’ve encountered so far?

The first idea we get is the “box” so thinking outside of the box can be the biggest challenge.

Often times it is thinking outside of the box that is the biggest challenge.. We are constantly presented with challenges that require a different way of thinking or a new way to complete a project when the “standard” process won’t work.

One example that comes to mind is when we were ordering a 72’ long runner from our mill in Nepal, which we realized would be far too large for them to wash and dry in their regular facility. The solution? Hire a full size soccer stadium for the washing and drying.


What does your average day look like and when are you most productive?

An average day at Creative Matters is actually anything but average… We have such a wide range of projects we work on (residential, retail, hospitality, commercial) and so many different supply partners in different countries, it means every day presents new challenges and new opportunities to present innovative solutions for our clients.


What or who inspires you to be your most creative self? And how do you overcome a creative block?

Once every few months the whole team participates in what we call “art day” sessions – a time when we disconnect from the digital world and engage our creative sides with some kind of art activity. We gain inspiration from each other and from the process during these workshops, and it gives everyone a chance to recharge and reinvigorate the creative juices!

It involves getting away from the computer and picking up paint brushes, cameras and even a blow pipe at a local glass blowing studio. The added benefit is that it means we have thousands of unique artworks in our library we can call upon to develop into rug or wallcovering designs as needed.


What is your favourite place in the world? Is there anywhere you would still like to visit?

We love to visit our mill partners, and members of the team try to do trips annually to oversee production of complicated projects and also to grow the relationships with the people who bring our designs to life. In 2019 and 2020 we have visited, or will visit, Nepal, China, India, Turkey, Thailand and the USA.


How would your friends describe you?

Creative, artisanal, purveyors of responsible luxury, ethical, innovative, curious, experienced, professional and dedicated.


If you could give advise to your 20-year-old self, what would it be?

Keep exploring and creating every day, it feeds the soul.


Tell us about your latest work, and anything that’s on the horizon for you?

We have just launched our newest line of handknotted wool and silk rugs from Nepal, called the Halcyon collection. And we have also expanded our physical footprint to take over the top floor of our studio and open a showroom area. The space is open to the trade Monday – Friday to drop in and review our range of products for custom projects, or take a look at the handknotted rugs we have in stock which are ready to move into their new homes!

Creative Matters

ADDRESS Interview with Creative Matters.