Ruggable is the world’s first machine-washable rug brand, and after enjoying success in the USA, the business has now expanded into the UK. Simon Wittenberg caught up with their founder and president to find out more.
Luxurious Magazine: Ruggable was established by yourself in 2010. What was the reason for founding the business, and what was the opportunity that you saw in the marketplace?
Jeneva Bell: Years ago, I invested in a large area rug, and within days, my puppy Bambi had marked her territory! After sharing my frustration with family and friends, I realised we all had the same issue of keeping our rugs fresh and clean – some had even resorted to bare floors. With a Ruggable Rug, you don’t have to compromise on the comfort and style a rug brings to a space.
LM: What are your career highlights to date?
Jeneva: I worked for a hip hair and skincare company in my early 20s and learned product development from one of the best in the beauty industry, Sandra Saputo – now CEO of True Botanicals. Using that experience, I launched a boutique fragrance line called Flowerbelle. It had a cult following but was not profitable or building momentum, and I had to close it down.
I spent a few years regrouping and trying to figure out something better. I knew if I wanted to succeed as an entrepreneur, I needed to have a really compelling product or concept to have a chance at success.
LM: Why was the decision taken to expand into the UK market?
Jeneva: Since I studied abroad in the UK, it’s always had a special place in my heart. When the opportunity came up, we took it! We think that there’s great appreciation for design here, but also a love of utility that resonates with Ruggable.
LM: Who is your target clientele?
Jeneva: To me, it’s the people who love designing their homes but want them to be still usable. Our rugs give people the freedom of great design without the limitations that mixing a traditional rug and an active lifestyle might bring – for me, that was my puppy, but it could also be entertaining, young families or just loving, clean spaces.
LM: You have licensed partnerships with well-known designers such as Jonathan Adler and collections with Disney and Star Wars. Are there any others on the horizon customers can look forward to?
Jeneva: Yes! We have several exciting partnerships planned for 2022, including collections designed in collaboration with a world-renowned artist, a well-known fashion designer, and a global entertainment brand. Our first new collaboration will arrive in January 2022.
LM: What are your main luxuries in life?
Jeneva: Having time to spend with loved ones and my animals (three dogs, two cats and five horses!) and splurging on vacations with family and friends!
LM: How does the two-piece rug system work?
Jeneva: Ruggable’s Rug System comes in two pieces. The lightweight, removable Rug Cover can be placed inside the washing machine, while the clingy, non-slip Rug Pad keeps the Cover securely in place. All that needs to be done is for the Cover to be peeled off and thrown in the wash.
LM: What textures and styles are available, and do the rugs come in a range of sizes?
Jeneva: With four textures and over 850 styles available, there really is something for everyone! Every design even comes in eleven different shapes and is ideal if you’re looking for a circular accent rug or a runner for your hall.
LM: Are there any particular rug designs that are amongst your favourites?
Jeneva: Kamran Coral is everything I want in a rug – antique style, soothing dirt-concealing textures, and colours, with the non-slip, lightweight and washable rug technology.
LM: Thank you for your time Jeneva, and it has been a pleasure talking to you.
Ruggable – Where and How?
For more information on Ruggable and its current range and to place an order, visit www.ruggable.co.uk.
Read more interviews by Simon Wittenberg here.