Los Angeles design company notNeutral is the product arm of architecture and design firm Rios, Clementi, Hale Studios. According to notNeutral’s CEO, Julie Smith-Clementi, creating rugs was a natural addition to their home decor and kids’ divisions. Since most modern design rugs are focused on an adult market, notNeutral took on the joyful challenge of creating “hip, affordable kids’ rugs that are neither cutesy nor character-driven,” says Julie. The company had worked with children’s products for years, and concern for the child’s well-being was a given. She says, “We wouldn’t have even started making rugs without GoodWeave.”
Recipient of an American Institute of Graphics Arts Award, notNeutral sells its rugs to stores all over the world. Since the designs are modern and abstract, there is crossover to the adult market, but the focus is on children. Adapting designs for the rug medium from notNeutral’s other children’s products and creating new ones has been an interesting process. The company, which has worked extensively with child development experts while creating other products, doesn’t look at trends for ideas. Says Julie, “We just know from our other products what works for children.” Inspiration for designs has come from places as diverse as the bold paintings on the outsides of Mexican grocery stores to graphics on the walls of childcare centers. A constant factor in creating rugs for kids, however, is the need for durability. That means rugs of all-wool loop construction.
The first thing Julie tells her potential clients about the rugs is that they are child-labor-free. Responsible corporate citizenship is hardly new for notNeutral. “It’s something we talk about every day in relation to all our products,” says Julie. “Doing the right thing is just what we do,” she explains. “With GoodWeave’s oversight,” she continues, “we feel we can stand behind our products.”
For more about notNeutral rugs, go to www.notneutral.com.