Today we’d like to introduce you to Kelly Housholder.
Kelly, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I fell in love with vintage and antique rugs nearly ten years ago when I worked with a rug historian. Through her, I developed a profound appreciation for the stories, histories, artisans, and processes that have gone into making handwoven rugs. When I moved to Lafayette a couple of years ago, I realized there weren’t many shops carrying the kinds of rugs I was most fascinated with – at price points average people could afford! I set out to create a boutique rug shop specializing in sourcing rare and beautiful vintage rugs from many different weaving cultures –mainly Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and Morocco.
Has it been a smooth road?
It has been pretty smooth! My background is in web design and marketing so when I got the idea to start this business, I knew exactly what to do to make it successful. I had spent the first part of my career helping other companies build themselves up from scratch, and now I am doing it for myself! I also spent the first part of my career learning from other company’s mistakes AND helping other companies fix their mistakes. That put me in a great position for a well thought out business plan, although no journey is without any bumps in the road! I’d say the biggest struggle has been navigating taxes and business logistics such as return policies, payment processors and licenses. That stuff is never fun!
We’d love to hear more about your company.
My company is a little different than a traditional vintage rug shop in that my business is 50% retail and 50% sourcing for clients and interior designers. My previous experience with rug shops had shown me that no matter how much inventory you carry, you still might not have the right size or colorway that a client or designer is searching high and low for. I sought to develop sourcing relationships with over 40 sources in various weaving countries so that I could have thousands upon thousands of rugs at my fingertips at any time. When someone tells me what kind of rug they’re looking for, I know which source(s) to turn to. I work with sources who have giant warehouses overseas, sources with barely 50 rugs, and sources that travel village to village sending me pictures of rugs to choose from!
I work with a lot of interior designers as a personal vintage rug shopper for their projects. I take their project specs and return with a curated list of rugs that suit their project. My favorite part of the process is the hunt – it is so rewarding to find the perfect piece!
My in-house collection is full of beautiful pieces that are available online. This collection is comprised of rugs I find during sourcing that I simply cannot pass up!
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Yes! I found the community to be very eager to support a new business. I was very purposeful about networking and collaborating with influential companies and brands within the community. I built relationships and put myself out there as much as possible. Spanx founder Sara Blakely is a huge inspiration to me and she’s always telling people not to be afraid to embarrass yourself and not to be afraid of hearing ‘no’ – just go for it! To anyone starting out in the Denver or surrounding areas, I’d recommend taking her advice. I was sweating many times when I dialed a new large client or designer, but I just held my breath and did it!
- The rugs in my in-house collection start at $125 and go up to $4000+ and shipping is complimentary.
- Website: saperecollection.com
- Phone: 205-910-6648
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @saperecollection
The homes featured here are styled and renovated by Avenue32Design in Denver. All rugs by me – Sapere Collection. The shop photo is in Club Duquette in Birmingham, AL.