I have had the pleasure of meeting Sigal Sasson through email after I contacted her about her beautiful rugs several months ago (they also have a pillow collection, but I will focus on the rugs in this post). Their story is unique and their passion for exquisite rugs have been an incredible inspiration to me. Rug Art is the creative work of Vidal and Sigal Sasson. Sigal is a venetian plaster artist, trained in scientific and botanical illustration. Each piece is handmade and can be customized to each client’s specifications. In addition, they are supporters of Goodweave, an organization working to end child labor in the carpet industry. I am both inspired by their beautiful artistry and their humanitarian efforts, a truly powerful combination. Sigal graciously took the time out of her busy schedule to answer a some questions for me. It is my sincere hope to meet with Sigal and Vidal someday!
1. Five words that best describe you?
Courageous, intuitive, enthusiastic, hardworking and very funny.
2. How did you get your career start?
I grew up in a large and very creative family. My dad, who was a shoe designer, would draw his designs with a very sharp utility knife straight onto the leather. I was mesmerized by the whole process of creating a product entirely by hand. My parents always provided me with tools and paper to draw and paint, so I grew up appreciating and loving artistic expression.
A few years after coming to the United States, it was only natural for me to enroll myself into the Scientific Illustration and Botanical Art program in New York City. I was assigned to create a scientific drawing in graphite of a group of leaves found around my house. I came up with abstract drawing that captured my husband’s attention (strangely, it had nothing to do with my assignment and I’d probably get an F if I had shown it to my instructor!). We both loved it so much that we decided, as a test line; to create my first two hand knotted rugs based on my pencil sketches.
3. What is the best lesson you have learned during the time spent pursuing your career?
I want to give a full credit to my husband/business partner who taught to believe in myself each and every day. To look at obstacles as opportunities and to be your very best and set high goals no matter what. I try to live these words every day. I am self-motivated and sometimes push myself to great heights knowing that my husband will always be there to catch me if I fall.
4. Best decision you have made?
Marrying my high school sweetheart.
5. Best advice you have been given?
When we opened our retail store on Bleecker street in NYC (right after we arrived in the United States), we met a nice neighbor who’d visit us quite often. She once told me something her dad used to tell her that’s true: she said, “Sigal, take care of your business and your business will take care of you.” I’ll never forget it.
6. What inspires you?
Everything and everywhere, especially my personal experiences from my travels. I’m drawn to details, mind-blowing architecture and cultures. My first travel experience was at the age of 12 when my father took me to Paris for my Bat-Mitzvah. It was inspiring and a learning experience, love at first sight. I had promised myself right then and there that when I grew up I would see the world.
7. Who is your design/style icon?
The fashion designer, Carolina Herrera. She is brave and very elegant. This petite size designer creates exceptionally bold and sophisticated patterned gowns that are irresistibly seductive. I particularly love her flower prints; they look like giant botanical illustrations. So glamorous. I wish to own one of her gowns some day.
8. If you were on a deserted island, what three items and/or people would you take with you? (food, water and electricity are provided)…
My drawing tools, daughters and husband. That’s all I need to survive.
9. Favorite food?
10. What is your next career goal?
Every year I am constantly evolving from my experience out of my addiction to learn. I want to continue by being exposed and connect with amazing and inspiring individuals, while continuing to build our brand in different design venues. When work is presented in the right way and to the right eyes, there is no other way to go but up!