Diane Paparo Studio Ltd.

Licensed Brand
Products: Rugs

Long before “Buy Local” was the bumper sticker phrase of the new century, the founder of Diane Paparo Associates Ltd. (dpa) was supporting local suppliers. Diane sourced furniture from the workshops of craftspeople in Brooklyn and New Jersey, locations close to her Manhattan offices. She even began her foray into the custom rug industry by making rugs in New Jersey. However, for Diane, buying local and American wasn’t about nationalism. It was about supporting communities and “doing what benefits everyone,” she says. When she decided she wanted to create handmade rugs and take her production to Nepal, she explains, “I knew I could rely on GoodWeave┬« to confirm that my rugs would be made without child labor and in a way that benefited the weavers’ community.”

Diane, who comes from a small, hardscrabble community in rural Pennsylvania, attributes her values to her waitress mom, truck driver dad and an inspiring up-by-her-bootstraps backstory. She tells of lying about her age when she was 11 to get her first job cleaning houses, helping her brother with his paper route, and working her way through college. Through it all, she showed a love of design and a fascination with color, light and perspective. That she is still fascinated with those elements is apparent in Caelum. The subtly shaded, hand knotted wool and silk piece changes color as the eye moves from one end to the other. “Lotus Silk,” a wool and silk carpet, experiments with the juxtaposition of organic and geometric images as well as the interplay of cutpile and loop. “The design seems as if it is floating,” Diane says with obvious delight.

Given her extensive and impressive client list, she isn’t the only one who is delighted. Diane says her rugs, inspired by the mixing of natural images with almost mathematical shapes and forms, appeal to a Pacific Rim sensibility. However, she has a thoroughly urban point of view, acknowledging that her compulsive sketching even takes place on her New York subway commute. The enormous joy she gets from the artistic work itself, she says, is matched only by the satisfaction she receives from being able to help small communities in Nepal sustain themselves. “It’s a giveback,” Diane concludes. “It’s as simple as that.”

To learn more, visit www.dpstudiousa.com.