Australian boutique cowhide rug brand, Art Hide, is celebrating its 10th anniversary, which includes a new birthday collection coming out in the next few months.
Founded by sisters Kura Perkins and Bree Hay-Hendry, the brand has made the equivalent of 25,000 square metres of rugs over 10 years, with a large percentage of these being custom rugs.
Inspired by a visit to Argentina, it has been quite the journey for the sisters, says Perkins.
“We started with a simple collection using natural cowhides, inspired by a rug I’d found in Argentina, and had some lucky early wins with customised pieces for Australian clients in the restaurant industry,” she says.
“Since then it has really been a journey of evolving who we are in the market and the customers that we serve best. I honestly believe that ‘product to market fit’ is something that is not a fixed dynamic―it evolves and changes especially in the volatile global retail market of the last seven years in particular. These days, we know what works best for our brand, which is a broad mixture of B2B and B2C sales channels.”
In the beginning they spent a lot of time designing smaller products like bags and accessories. In time, they have come to realise that rugs are their main stock in trade.
“Now we are much more focused on creating and offering beautiful fully customisable floor rugs, that are wrapped up in helpful services like free 3D renders and sample swatches. Given our time again, we would have gotten to this core offering earlier.”
Art Hide’s 10 year journey has seen some amazing highlights including landing some big name clients in the US and creating their biggest ever rug―an 8x4 metre whopper!
However, like many small businesses it hasn’t been without its challenges.
“Bree and I lived and worked on opposite sides of Australia up until this year. It has only been a few months of us both living in Perth, but we have already noticed the difference in ease, efficiency and general alignment.
“Finding out how to do things in the world of products was such a blindsided journey that I have now started a coaching and education business called EssayLamba (essaylamba.com) to help other businesses learn how to navigate and sustainably grow a product brand.
“Also, retail has been through an incredibly difficult time and bricks and mortar is gradually moving to be a thing of the past sadly. You only have to look at the large scale, frequent major collapses and close downs of big name brands to see the writing on the wall. Retail will obviously survive but the landscape has changed.”
So what can we expect from Art Hide in the next 10 years? “First up will be our beautiful 10th birthday collection, likely releasing in September or October. A bigger focus on digital touchpoints, a more personalised social media presence and of course many more gorgeous rugs,” enthuses Perkins.
“I really love making beautiful, high quality heirloom products that people love. It is incredibly satisfying. In addition, working on unique custom projects is always a joy―we usually get to see one part of our client’s vision and it is really exciting to see that come together into a breathtaking interior.”