Spotlight On: ZoŽ Luyendijk Studio
Fort Langley, British Columbia
As a carpet designer, Zoë Luyendijk follows her heart. Inspired by the beauty of nature, the timelessness of myth and the works of other artists, Zoë generates unique designs. As a businesswoman, she again follows her heart. No child labor is used to make her carpets. Hand-knotted in Nepal from silk, wool and hemp, all her carpets are GoodWeave® certified, and hence made with fair labor practices.
Zoë's home and studio are an hour’s drive north of Vancouver. She lives in a cottage in the woods, up a narrow lane, beside a lake, off the radar and far from the epicenters of design. She shares her home with her son Arie and her partner Murray Malott, who gets a lion's share of the credit for navigating their carpet enterprise from dream to reality.
There are no carpets on the floor of Zoë's home, and she has no intention of living with one of her own. “I couldn’t have one of my carpets on the floor. I'd want to change something about it all the time," she says. "I would actually like to buy an antique, and then every time I walk over it, I won’t be critical, wondering how I can improve on it or whether I can do this or that instead."
Zoë started her career as an interior designer but eventually moved to carpet design. "I love the freedom of it, doing whatever I want, exploring whatever direction I find interesting," she says.
At just the right moment, Murray (a master boat builder and sailor) entered her life, and in 2001 they set off to find a mill that could hand-produce what Zoë designed. They ventured to Nepal, where they found just what they were looking for: a mill offering superior quality work (color fidelity and detail) and quality of life for its weavers. Zoë knew it was the right place as soon as she arrived to the sounds of music and happy, chattering women.
Zoë and Murray now work closely with the mill to ensure consistent quality and the accurate translation of Zoë's challenging designs. As an interior designer, Zoë tries to imagine the carpets she designs in the context of real spaces for real people with individual character. It helps her decide what will work and what won't. "Whether designs are created with quiet and serene spaces in mind, or for strong, bold and eccentric spaces, I think the people interested in having one of my carpets would be individual spirits with a strong sense of themselves and confidence in their own taste."
As to what's next from Zoë, she is likely to surprise herself and us with something entirely unexpected. Zoë’s free spirit is her true gift.
To learn more about Zoë Luyendijk Studio visit www.zoeluyendijk.com.
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