Even within the first few minutes of a conversation with Jana Bergmann about her company Lilla Studios you hear a combination of graciousness and gratitude in her voice and words. Whether she is talking about her business partner (and close friend), Carolina Harkort or explaining their decision to join GoodWeave, it is clear this is not just a commercial enterprise. “We felt if we were going to do something to support our families than we should also support a greater cause,” she says. “We joined GoodWeave because of our own children.”
Those children (each has two toddlers) feature heavily in the story of Lilla Studios founding and the designs of its 100% hand woven cotton rugs. The women met in Hamburg when each was pregnant, hatched a plan to sell rugs and “hatched” two babies within days of each other. Their second children followed suit and are also close in age. With four children under four it seemed natural that the Lilla Studios partners would design rugs with kids and their parents in mind, says Jana. “Through our lives with kids and our own need to have stylish but practical children’s rooms the idea for these washable rugs was born,”
Jana and Carolina found that most children’s rugs were predictably clichéd. The duo wanted child friendly patterns that allowed for play, fantasy and imagination but also rugs that would fit into the lives of parents who were design conscious. Lilla Studios’ brightly colored, easily cleaned, soft in texture and design-subtle rugs hit the target. That target, Jana laughs, was determined by a focus group made up of their own children who were enlisted to play on each new rug.
One of the colorful rugs features a pattern that suggests a rising sun in a palette of soft yellows and berry tones. The shapes also lend themselves, Jana explains, to inventive games devised by the children. For example, another piece in the collection has a triangle motif in muted reds, orange and earth tones. The triangles also can easily become small fantasy houses for children’s tiny toy animals and figurines (something Carolina’s older preschooler, Johan, discovered during the initial testing, explains Jana), After the testing Carolina wasn’t able to get Johan to bed, Jana says. He wanted to sleep on the soft, cozy pile. “Not an ideal solution for a whole night but perhaps a nap,” A third rug with black raised dots on an off white background, is naturally a hit with children and as anyone following fashion trends knows, beloved by the design forward public.
Carolina and Jana, whose backgrounds are in design and the fashion industry, say they now feel they are doing something they love but also something that really matters.
“As mothers ourselves we just feel we have a greater responsibility for the world.”
Learn more at lillastudios.com