Since childhood, artist and designer Liza Phillips has always been fascinated with patterns and games. Born into a long line of artists, Phillips’ early memories involve “finding the game” that could be played on the Persian rugs in her Washington, D.C., home. Whether it was a version of hopscotch or a visualization of running through cornfield labyrinths, Liza tapped into her innate gift for arranging and styling the elements around her. This fascination with form and detail, and an affinity for architecture, led to the creation of Liza Phillips Design in 2004.
In search of a rug for their home in Narrowsburg, Phillips and her husband stumbled into a Tibetan store in the West Village. “I wanted something nice underfoot with light colors, but otherwise had no real ideas,” she remembers. But after developing a relationship with the store’s weavers, who encouraged her to design her own 10×14-foot living room rug, Phillips’ traveled to Nepal and India to learn more about indigenous weaving traditions. Soon afterwards, she founded her own rug-design business.
Liza Phillips Design creates cutting-edge rugs that are handmade with love in Nepal. The collection includes colorful yet minimalist area rugs and one-of-a-kind modular stair tread rugs known as Alto Steps. “As far as I know, we were the first to create these handmade stair treads, designed to be laid out in sequential patterns,” says Phillips. “It’s certainly our niche product.” Customers can choose from a spectacular array of Alto Steps, hand-knotted area rugs and classic runners designed by Phillips and created by a talented team of Tibetan artisans in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal.
“As far as I know, we were the first to create these handmade stair treads, designed to be laid out in sequential patterns. It’s certainly our niche product.”
In addition to dedicating herself to the design, Phillips is also involved in making sure the production is based on fair practices and respect for the environment. Every rug is hand-spun and dyed with traditional vegetable dyes; completely VOC-free; and washed and dried in the sun. The water used for dyeing is processed by a state-of-the-art recycling system. And a portion of the company’s profits goes to GoodWeave, an organization that fights child labor in the rug industry and rescues hundreds of children from exploitation.
The business was created specifically to allow Phillips and her husband to become full-time residents of Narrowsburg, so sales are mostly internet-based to clients throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. This year, Phillips hopes to expand both her local sales and her involvement in the community. “We don’t rely on local business, but we have started to host events and be more engaged with the area. It is wonderful to see local towns blossom with new businesses and communities.”
Liza Phillips Design
358 Gables Road
Narrowsburg, NY 12764