You know how people say love is blind? Well, that sort of happened to me.
You see, Rugs by Roo was founded on the premise that we would search worldwide to bring home brands that we admire and love. That said, we do have shipping costs and duties to consider because well, a rug is no small cookie and shipping costs can really sky rocket if we're not smart. There are certain countries that, in my mind, we would never consider because of the distance or the remoteness of the country. Australia was one of these countries.
But one day, and I'm sure many of you know the feeling, I'm browsing through Pinterest and I see something that screams "I MUST HAVE YOU". I scroll down and see that this MUST-HAVE rug was made by an Australian based rug company. A few sad face, internal narratives and pouty moments later, I let my instincts take over and I was emailing Amy, the founder of Oh Happy Home! (yes, the exclamation mark is part of the name although I would voluntarily insert ! after their name any day!!)
Amy did not say 'yes' right away. As all professional business owners should, she told me about the logistics of shipping them over here, how only certain designs were available for me to sell and how she was worried the price tag might be too high after we factor in everything. Venture to guess what my professional response to that was? "I love your brand and your designs so much. I'll take anything and everything if you are willing!!!"
And that did it! We are happy to announce that my MUST-HAVE rug (Pink Sahara, in case you were wondering) is now sitting on our website along with its other beautiful siblings.
Now that you know the back story of how I stumbled upon OHH! (short for Oh Happy Home!), let's talk about what makes them extra special.
OHH! was founded on one simple goal - to make products that are beautiful, magical and made to last.
Over time, however, Amy's goal evolved to something even bigger than just that. She wanted her company to make an impact to the rug making industry. With every stitch, she wanted her company to make the world a happier place.
Let's count her achievements, shall we?
Every rug by OHH! is ethically and fairly sourced using weavers who are certified by Goodweave, an organization dedicated to ending child labour, forced labour and bonded labour in the global supply chain. You will see a Goodweave badge on the back of every OHH! rug.
OHH! strives to educate consumers and retailers to make wise purposeful decisions, to buy goods that are made to last and create lasting change in countries less fortunate. Today's world is spoiled with many materialistic goods, some of which are poorly made and ends up in landfill very quickly. By offering a quality product themselves, OHH! hopes consumers will make better lifestyle choices to reduce wastage.
Amy makes a commitment to support disadvantaged people groups in Nepal, India and Indonesia. Her company donates to not-for-profit organizations like Youth-Link Nepal and Compassion Australia through her projects.
When I see companies like Oh Happy Home!, not only does it inspire me personally to do better but it also motivates me to instil the same values in Rugs by Roo.
The rug industry is complex. With most of the industry being in countries that are less fortunate than ours, unethical, unsustainable and sometimes even illegal practices exist. This is where we come in. Consumers rely on companies like us to do our homework so that we collectively do not end up supporting unethical, unsustainable and illegal practises.
We are selective with the brands we carry. We ask questions. We probe. And sometimes, we do have to take a pass on certain brands because the answers are unclear. And other times, we defy all logic to GET the brands that are really doing it right.
So what's left for you to do? Make wise, purposeful purchasing decisions not just surrounding the purchase of a rug but with all of your lifestyle choices. We strongly believe that it will benefit not only your health and well-being but the future of your children and those who share this beautiful world with us.
Founder of Rugs by Roo | Lives with her husband, two kids and dog in Toronto, ON Canada