We are lucky to work with so many cool people. Portland, in particular, has an incredible number of local designers, products, shops and vendors, so many in fact that we decided to create a new feature on our blog all about it! We're calling it, 'WD Spotlight', and the first shop featured is one of our favorite go-to's, SMG Collective. Sasha Goldstein, owner of SMG Collective, is an all-around lovely person and has worked with us on several projects. Read on for our interview with Sasha!
What made you decide to start SMG?
SMG Collective was inspired from 16 years working in the design industry, managing showrooms, being in national sales and designing rug collections. It was time to broaden what I could offer my community and build something of my own. At SMG, our core values are at the heart of our business. We work with good people and only source from responsibly made, quality companies with low environmental impact.
How did you get started in the industry?
In 2002, while supporting myself through college studying design and working many jobs, I began working a part time job at a handwoven rug manufacturer based in Portland. In a short period of time, I was quickly advanced into a full time role, which then led to opening their first flagship showroom in the Chicago Merchandise Mart and continued to advance from there.
What are people’s biggest misconceptions regarding rugs?
Quality area rugs are an investment. At SMG, we strive to provide the best quality rugs at the most affordable prices. That being said, it's very difficult to find area rugs that will last many years and be cleanable for very little money. Expensive is not necessarily "better" however if you want a product to last for many years to come, it's worth an investment in something of timeless quality.
What are your favorite rugs that you carry?
That's a very difficult question that honestly I've never been able to answer.... One rug however I've been coveting recently is Paulig's design, Salsa Loop. It's composed of a chunky felted wool texture, very modern, timeless and handwoven from Morocco. Walking on it is like an acupressure treatment. It's lovely.
That's one of our favorite rugs too! What about favorite products besides rugs that you carry?
The local women-owned ceramics lines I work with have a special place in my heart. Theresa Arrison's fruit bowls and sponge holders, Cobb Hoelzer's match strikers, and planters from our friends at Kreep ceramics. We strive to support as many local artists as possible at SMG Collective.
How has your business changed since you opened?
Initially SMG was focused on only custom area rugs. After our first year in business, we've branched into furniture, lighting, wallpaper and interior accessories. Our core business will always be custom area rugs, however we are pleased to be able to offer our clients products to fully complete an interior environment.
Where/how can people find you?
We're located at 110 NW 9th Avenue, Portland OR 97209. You can follow us on Instagram @smg_collective. Most of our products are also featured on our website www.smgcollective.com. We're currently open by appointment only, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 312.504.7661 if we can be of assistance.