A Guelph-based husband and wife team is dominating the online home decor industry with their booming business, Rug & Weave.
Sarah McBean and Svein Piene landed in the vintage and handmade goods industry while redecorating their Guelph home a few years ago.
“One of the things we wanted was a rug for the bathroom, I couldn’t find anything, and everything we liked was in the US and that was really expensive,” said McBean.
McBean discovered a local woman selling rugs made in Pakistan.
“The rug is called a Kilim, it’s a beautiful, brightly-coloured, flat woven rug. We asked the woman what she thought of us helping her sell them,” said McBean.
That was the start of a passion project for the couple, who purchased a portion of the seller’s inventory and set up shop through the popular global online marketplace Etsy in 2015.
Both McBean and Piene have backgrounds in marketing and business and were working full-time in athletics, but they found success selling the rugs online, until they hit a road bump.
“We got kicked off Etsy because we were in the wrong category of sales and we felt defeated, but we ended up starting our own independent website,” said McBean.
The couple rebranded their website and renamed their business, launching Rug & Weave in January 2016. The first month they didn’t make any sales and began seeking ways to reach their clients.
“It was a slow progression through those winter months but around spring we started adding home decor options; the more we offered, in a wider assortment of styles, the more we grew, and had repeating customers,” said McBean
Rug & Weave offers an eclectic collection of well-travelled vintage and antique home goods, but the shop is most known for its vintage and antique Moroccan, Persian, and Turkish rugs.
“All of our rugs are handmade using vegetable dyes and they take on a really neat patina and wear,” said McBean.
Rug & Weave also has a small showroom on York Road, where customers come from as far as Toronto and Barrie to visit and view items in person. The shop also has a large warehouse, and an on-site seamstress who creates handmade pillows using one-of-a-kind sourced materials.
“Everything is one of a kind, you’ll never see that pattern again, and they are like works of art. About half of our inventory is new and half is vintage,” McBean added.
McBean and Piene’s earlier travels sparked their interest in textiles and materials found abroad. They’ve continued travelling to places like Thailand and Morocco to source materials for the shop.
“Our goal is to find a product that is different and tells a story, whether it’s woven by women living in villages, and our purchase helps to support them,” said McBean.
McBean said that she has social media to thank for the interest and success of Rug & Weave. The shop joined Instagram shortly after opening, and now boasts nearly 60,000 followers. Their social media contains carefully curated and stunning photos featuring beautiful homes that are staged specifically for the shop’s Instagram, using products for sale online.
McBean said that they’re always looking to expand their business and grow, and hopes that in the future they can offer a furniture line.
“That’s a whole new ball game, I don’t know how I would do that, but I would love to leap into that in the next three to five years,” said McBean.
Rug & Weave is located at 460 York Road