New York, NY, Creative Director/Design Visionary
Stephanie Odegard has made it a mission to bring collections of uniquely designed furnishings and hand-knotted carpets to the United States and Europe while raising the standards of living for thousands of people in struggling countries in the process. She founded her company in 1987, setting the bar high where aesthetics are concerned by combining time-revered artisanal techniques with contemporary European aesthetics and the highest standards of quality. Traveling abroad for 12 years—initially serving in The Peace Corps, and then working for The World Bank, the United Nations and the governments of Nepal, Jamaica and the South Pacific Islands as a marketing consultant—she found her passion and turned it into a business model. The goal: help cottage and small-scale manufacturers in these countries use their ancient textile art forms and traditional crafts to become commercially viable industries, then offer their products for sale in the western marketplace.
As she worked with these artisans to produce works of beauty for the home, hallmarks of her aesthetic point of view emerged. Odegard developed a reputation for a sophisticated and subtle use of color in carpets made of hand-carded, hand-spun, hand-knotted Himalayan wool, and an unparalleled integrity in the raw materials used. The sources from which she draws inspiration quickly established her as an iconic designer—her eye capturing the finest characteristics in everything from the Venetian fabrics of Mariano Fortuny and traditional Tibetan motifs, such as tiger pelts and Buddhist symbols, to antique textiles and ornate ironwork filigree and other architectural elements.
Odegard is a founding board member of and one of the largest industry contributors to GoodWeave, a carpet industry foundation that maintains the only recognized certification program to insure that carpets are made free of child labor, its funds used for education and the welfare of the children it serves. All Stephanie Odegard Collection carpets produced in Nepal bear the GoodWeave label. After achieving such success with Tibetan carpets, Odegard began designing and importing an array of other home products meeting the same high standards.
She has gained hearty accolades during the past several decades from a variety of sources, including publications—she has won the Hamptons Cottages & Gardens Innovative Designer Award, the New York House Magazine’s Innovative Green Design Award, and the Elle Decor International Design Award for Floor Covering—and trade organizations—she has been tapped for an ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) Individual Product Prize, and the Editors Award for Best of Show Carpet and Flooring at the 18th annual International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF). Odegard was also chosen as a 2004 “Giant of Design” by House Beautiful magazine, and listed in House & Garden’s “Best of the Best” Survey in 2004 and 2005. Her felt rugs were included in the Cooper Hewitt Museum’s 2009 exhibit “Fashioning Felt,” and her GoodWeave-certified Navaratna rug was exhibited in the Cooper Hewitt’s 2010 Triennial “Why Design Now?”
Some recent commissions include the Greenwich Hotel in New York City, several Ritz-Carlton hotels, The J.P. Getty Museum in Los Angeles, and The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. Having Odegard agree to be a Global Lighting tastemaker is such a thrill; she chose the Aspiro 8000 as her pick from our offerings.