Madeline Weinrib was focused on her painting career during the 1980’s and 90’s, and then in 1997 she created a line of contemporary area rugs for ABC Carpets as a means of expressing her painterly sensibilities into a woven medium.
The rugs were a big success both commercially and with the design industry media; she seemed to have hit a sweet spot in the marketplace with her bold patterns and bright colors.
Now, more almost two decades later, and with a staff of over 30 people and a much more complex operation, Madeline began seeking support on running the business from someone inside the industry, someone who could understand and appreciate the creative process.
She found that person….
Weinrib introduced the latest addition to her team, her new COO Rhonda Eleish, at a recent party at the Madeline Weinrib design studio and showroom on lower Fifth Avenue which I had the pleasure of attending.
The event however was more of a ‘reunion’, as Rhonda is no stranger to the design community, having been a well-known and accomplished designer, author, antique dealer, lecturer, and retailer over a 20+ year career.
Madeline found Rhonda’s broad range of business and design experience a good fit with her own creative process, and the ever expanding vision of her namesake company.
The quantity of products offered by the Madeline Weinrib Collections has continued to expand, requiring a larger staff to handle international fabrication in a variety of locations; importing from these multiple locations; and the distribution of the products to a broad range of outlets. And this doesn’t even mention design, sales, promotion, public relations, and the wild card of ‘personalities’ – Madeline wanted back-up!
In Rhonda Eleish, Madeline found a calm yet experienced demeanor capable of navigating the landscape of individuals involved in the operation like an accomplished diplomat.
Visiting Madeline’s studio was a rich experience: colors, patterns, carpets, textiles, exotic artifacts, books and photographs are everywhere; the setting tells the story of her cultural and aesthetic sensibilities.
In a recent conversation, Madeline told me that her biggest source of inspiration for her signature bold-scaled graphic and colorful designs is her travels, especially to Turkey, India and Morocco.
A very hands-on designer, she works closely with the weavers and dyers, traveling to weaving workshops located in many locations in the world, including India and Nepal to translate her interpretations of the rich Eastern history into products that suit contemporary aesthetic tastes.
But Madeline is an artist at heart, and was seeking someone who understands the creative process but can bring business rigor and a commitment to maintaining the integrity and quality of her products – freeing up Madeline to focus on her creativity.
I think that Madeline has found the right person in the latest addition to the MW team with Rhonda Eleish!