“Do what you know you are good at…” I thought about branching out and opening a store, a coffee shop, you name it. I enjoy the thrill of entrepreneurship. I was told by a friend/hospitality guru not to go to from what I know I am good at, that all these other ideas would take my eyes off the prizee
As a part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Samantha Gallacher.
Samantha Gallacher has always had a keen eye for aesthetics and is a graduate of The New York School of Interior Design. Her career began with some of New York’s top designers. Glenn Gissler, Bob Kaner, and Kureck and Jones to name a few.
Samantha’s desire to create new and bold ideas led her to product and textile design. Iconic work for companies like West Elm, Max home, and Raj Overseas followed. Her work has been featured in The New York Times style section, The Wall Street Journal Home Section, Metropolitan Home, and Design Sponge.
Besides designing rugs for her own collection, Art + Loom, she’s co-owner of interior design firm IG Workshop.
Samantha uses her vast knowledge of color and textiles to create Art+Loom bespoke rugs, a unique complement to any project. From interior design to home textiles and fashion Samantha is one of Miami’s most versatile designers with a portfolio that covers commercial and residential spaces. She also holds a degree in Marketing from Lehigh University and lives in Miami Beach with her husband and two sons.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Ihave always been a bit obsessed with interior design and creating pieces for the home. As a child I would paint furniture, candlesticks anything I could. After studying and working in the world of interior design I realized how fulfilling it was to create products for other people’s homes. I went to work as a textile designer for West Elm, a William Sonoma company. There I found my love of rugs, they were a canvas on the floor with very few limitations.
Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?
Traditionally rugs were ornate and filled with many characters and colors, what I have tried to do is look at abstract fine art and interpret that in woven form for the floor. Whether it is taking a painting and converting it a series of wool colors, or creating a shape that you would never expect to see as a woven, rugs have no limitations. Each one can be a unique proposition. The craftsmanship that goes into each piece means that your rug is completely one of a kind.
We all need a little help along the journey — who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?
When I was trying to transition from interiors only to product design I met the lead rug designer at West Elm, Shelley Goldberg. She knew I had no experience with this medium but we hit it off and she liked my interior aesthetic. So she agreed to train me in her spare time on rug techniques, adobe illustrator, the process of making a custom rug etc. She helped me fall in love with the craft. After she left the company to go work for an Indian manufacturer, we stayed very close. Once I was on my own she set up the introductions for me to make one off pieces of art for the floor. We still collaborate and work together today.
Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.
Advice from my dad- no matter what art field I wanted to go into he insisted I get a degree in business. I am so thankful that he gave me no choice. That business background makes up 50% of the brain and my company’s success.
“Do what you know you are good at…” I thought about branching out and opening a store, a coffee shop, you name it. I enjoy the thrill of entrepreneurship. I was told by a friend/hospitality guru not to go to from what I know I am good at, that all these other ideas would take my eyes off the prize.
How are you going to shake things up next?
With regards to my rug company the key for me is Collaboration. I have sought out my favorite designers and artists and have begun to turn their work into some of the most unique rugs on the market.
Additionally my interior design firm which I share with Renata Vasconez is working on some incredible residential and commercial projects. We are really trying to think outside the box with materials, shapes, and what is expected in a home.
Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?
Absolutely, it has to be “how I built this” with Guy Raz, it is so inspirational. With every episode, I listen to I feel I try and push the envelope on what is possible. It is so encouraging hearing success stories in every field.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would love to further female entrepreneurship in some way. I hate that in this day and age women still believe that certain areas of the workplace are a Man’s world, I would love to create some sort of buddy system to help each other out.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Nothing is impossible”
I would have never expected to be my own boss, managing two different passions, but the quote holds true, if you keep going and just do it anything is possible.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!