Tina Mirza, liv interior founder and designer, has always had a passion for knitting and sewing so it’s not surprising that after an early career in graphic design, she turned her hand to the business of carpet design. Starting her own rug company thirteen years ago, however, was more than just business. It was sheer pleasure, she says. “A hand-woven rug has a big impact. It can change the character of a whole interior.” And, she adds, having the GoodWeave® certification can help change the lives of the people who weave the rugs.
Born and raised in Denmark, Tina has long made Hamburg her home. Her first venture with her business partner and husband was importing and selling Danish-designed home goods to a German public enamored of Scandinavian craftsmanship. Over, the company’s more than decade in the industry, the business has expanded both its markets and its products. Liv interior’s hand-woven, colorful cotton carpets, a long time staple of the business, are now popular throughout Europe and recently are making an appearance in North America. The company also produces rugs in wool, jute and PET (fibers from recycled plastic bottles). The recycled plastic, Tina notes, has the texture of soft wool and appeals to an audience of buyers who like the not only indoor/outdoor versatility of the rugs, but also want eco-friendly products. Tina attributes another factor to the increasing popularity and reach of all the rugs as well. “They are handmade but still quite affordable, so young families can have something that isn’t mass-produced but still won’t break the bank.”
The rugs, which come in five sizes from small bathroom rugs to larger pieces of 2×3 meters, have patterns that play on geometrical forms and are sometimes inspired by traditional ethnic designs mediated by a modern Scandinavian aesthetic. “Apache”, one of, liv interior’s newer rugs, is spin on traditional North American indigenous people’s tribal designs. “Panama”, another more recent carpet (in cotton only) is mixture of woven patterns of indigenous South American artisans. Laughing, Tina explains that the seeds of all the designs reside early on in her little notebook of “scribbles” that she carries with her. For example, she says, she saw some beautiful tiles in Spain. She made a few drawings in her notebook and months later, she says, the “scribbles” became “Sintra”, a PET carpet in blue, maroon and rose.
For Tina Mirza beauty is not beautiful if it is not accompanied by justice and her commitment to justice is longstanding. She is a longtime supporter of a charitable organization for Pakistani children and is happy to be able to help children in India too. She is particularly sensitive to their needs after traveling to India with her husband and her own children and witnessing child labor conditions first hand. She is also increasingly concerned about the pollution caused by the rug industry and hopes that issue might soon be addressed as well. In the meantime, she says, she is pleased and deeply satisfied that her company’s collaboration with GoodWeave is helping improve the lives of the weavers’ families.
To learn more, visit www.liv-interior.com.