When Swedish graphic designer, Ola Johansson, was trying to choose a perfect rug for his new vacation home he was stymied. “I just couldn’t find the right one so I just decided to make it,” he says laughing at the enormity of the task he took on. And while he was at it, he thought, as long as I am making one for myself, why not do a line of rugs? “I didn’t know ANYTHING about rugs,” he says, but he seized the project with gusto. He read everything he could get his hands on and spoke to everyone he knew who might have information. And luckily, he says, he heard about GoodWeave®. “I knew it would be perfect for me and my brand which always is about doing things the best way for the environment and for people.”
In between running Destrito, his award-winning strategic design and communications company, Ola commissioned test samples, examined materials, studied dyes, spoke with factories and finally chose a GoodWeave certified workshop in Nepal to make the rugs. At last he was ready to launch ÄNG Studios. ÄNG was the perfect name,” he explains. “It means a field full of flowers, soft and inviting to walk on.” He hoped his line of custom Chinese cashmere silk rugs, Northern Impressions, would evoke that same feeling in his clients.
Ola, who grew up in the northernmost part of Sweden, wanted the hand knotted rugs to be of the highest quality and reflect the endless light and endless darkness of the land where he was raised. The cashmere silk rugs, he hopes, do just that. They come in nine colors of the Nordic sky. The dark blues and purples, for example are the winter night skies. The yellows and frosted pinks are like the light of the long summer days. “For me, the night sky reminiscent of my childhood is the petrol blue,” Ola says nostalgically.” Nordic light is so special.” ÄNG Studios also has a line of Himalayan nettle outdoor rugs. The nettle rugs are utilitarian, strong and crafted from the same material as Nepalese fishing nets, a reminder of the villagers about whom he is so concerned.
“It’s very important to me that the rugs are of the highest quality,” he says, but equally as important, he says, “is that my company has a big heart.” For Ola Johansson that has meant going to Greece through his organization to help refugees as they land on the shores of Lesbos, greeting newcomers when they arrive in empty-handed in Stockholm through his organization help to help and most recently, his membership in GoodWeave. “For me it is perfect and I can see what a difference it makes when my customers find out that GoodWeave also supports education in weaving communities.”
Learn more at http://angstudios.se