Courtesy of M.S. Vicas Interiors
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This Company Is Improving the Lives of Women, One Rug at a Time

Nov. 4, 2022
Interior designers partner with woman-owned, custom rug company that places people and sustainability before profits.

With so many décor choices in the market, what often sets brands apart are companies that offer more than the standard services and products. A client-favorite and recent first-place winner in the rug/tile/textile category for the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Arizona North’s 2022 Design in Excellence Awards, Julie Dasher Rugs stands out amongst the crowd.

Crafted from premium-quality sustainable wool and other renewable materials from around the world, Julie Dasher Rugs are custom-designed with exceptional talent and high-touch service by Dasher and her team. The one-of-a-kind rugs are then woven with care by the skilled hands of women in South Asia.

Founder and Lead Designer of the company of her namesake, Dasher, said, “We carefully select the best wool and other sustainable fibers from around the world. The natural properties in our wool rugs help improve indoor air quality and our dyes are 100% eco-friendly Swiss Ceiba.”

Improving Lives and Elevating the Industry

Julie Dasher Rugs doesn’t stop at sustainability. A mission at the heart of the business is to improve labor practices of the traditional, centuries-old international rug-making industry. Dasher and her team actively forge direct relationships with women weavers around the world to help better their lives and the lives of their children.

“I was in complete dismay when I first started my business in 2008. I learned that despite the artistry and skill level of women weavers, they struggle to earn a livable wage,” Dasher said. She went on to say, “It would take 1,500 hours of labor to craft one rug consisting of more than one million knots. Our goal is to hire women weavers and purchase their rugs directly from them, eliminating unnecessary brokers and their exorbitant mark-ups in the supply chain. This places more money in the hands of the women actually doing the work.”

In Afghanistan, 100% of the weavers connected with Julie Dasher Rugs are women, and wages have increased 10-25% as a result of these direct relationships. In Nepal, women weavers now comprise 60% of the company’s growing workforce. Furthermore, a percentage of profits are donated by Julie Dasher Rugs to benefit Goodweave International, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending illegal child labor in the rug-making industry.

This unique relationship with women weavers paired with less than typical overhead costs also creates an attractive mark-up opportunity for interior designers that other companies aren’t able to provide.

“There’s more to Julie Dasher Rugs than just beautiful, custom-made rugs. I love that it’s a woman-owned company providing personal, high-touch service that supports important social and environmental causes,” says Martha Vicas, founder and principal of M.S. Vicas Interiors. When interior designers purchase a rug from Julie Dasher Rugs, not only are they bringing a world-class sustainable work of art into their client’s home or office, they are also contributing to the betterment of the lives of women weavers around the world.

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