There was a time when picking out rugs for your home was one of the biggest decisions you would ever have to make in your life. They had to be the perfect color: dark enough to hide future stains and universal enough that you wouldn’t get tired of looking at them for years. And, if you have pets or kids, they also needed to be cheap enough so you could afford to buy a new one every few years (or worse, every after a major accident).
This was the case—until Ruggable was born. In fact, this was how Ruggable came into existence.
The First Washable Rug
Jeneva Bell, who conceptualized Ruggable in 2009, first thought of the idea of a machine-washable rug after her dog accidentally ruined hers. “Many years ago, my dog ruined my new, expensive rug,” she recalls. “Because the odor from the accident sunk deeply into the thick, structured core, I set out to create a rug you could wash as easily as bedding or blankets.”
And that’s what she did. With the help of industry experts and an amazing team, she was able to secure a patent for a 2-piece rug system, with a Rug Cover that you can detach from the Rug Pad and put in your washing machine. Eight years later, Ruggable.com was born.
The rest, as they say, is history. What started out as a simple solution to a pet accident is now a highly sought-after necessity. Aside from being machine-washable, the product has also evolved to include other benefits: Ruggable’s Rug Covers now come with a waterproof barrier to prevent liquid from seeping into the pad and floor. Plus, it now comes in a variety of sizes and designs to accommodate every space requirement and style preference.
But just like every success story, Ruggable’s journey wasn’t a bed of roses. To tell us more about this, we sat down and talked to Jeneva. Here, she shares what that journey was like, what’s in store for our Ruggable shoppers, and the rugs she chose for her new Andalusian farmhouse-style home.
It’s been a decade since you launched the first washable rug, how has that been for you and company?
“It feels like an era that almost exactly coincided with my 30s. I gave this idea all of my focus and dedication and struggled for the first 8 years to make it a success.
Everything has improved over the years: the product quality, the designs, the team, etc. We make a constant effort to continue to do everything better and better.”
What has been your greatest challenge so far in running Ruggable? And what did you do to overcome it?
“The greatest challenge was having so many different challenges at the same time. I didn’t have enough funding, a team, the right suppliers, the right business model, but I had a product that I knew people wanted.”
How has the market and the rug industry changed over the years? Do people still think, use and buy their rugs the same way?
“The market hasn’t changed drastically, but people are moving away from high-priced rugs they can have ‘forever’ to designs and colors that are more current. And with Ruggable rugs, people have the opportunity to invest in stylish, affordable rugs they can also easily maintain.”
Social media has definitely changed the way we design our spaces. How has this helped (or hurt) Ruggable?
“Social media has been extremely helpful because it gets us in front of customers who are looking for new ideas and inspiration. Plus, we love seeing how people are styling Ruggable rugs in their own homes! We are so thankful that people are, as they say, letting us into their living rooms.”
As someone with a keen eye for style and beauty, what do you think is the next big thing in interior design?
“Interior design is very personal, but I’m seeing more people lean towards soothing environments, which means being surrounded by less ‘stuff’ and more creature comforts—from textiles, stone, wood and meaningful objects that can stand alone, like a sculpture, a piece of artwork or a unique rug.”
We heard you’re redesigning your house. Can you give us a teaser of what this home will look like? What’s your design inspiration?
“My inspiration is Andalusian farmhouse. I want to combine stone and vintage details to create nostalgia of the past, with modern conveniences like a large laundry room with two sets of washer and dryer. I should add that the property has horses and we will be tracking in a lot of dirt!”
How important is picking the right rug for your new home’s theme? And what factors are you considering when choosing the right rug?
“It’s essential! The size and scale of the design are key and that changes from room to room. I’m looking forward to the launch of our new sizes (potentially soon), which will work well in the kitchen and mudroom.”
Have you picked which Ruggable rug you’re using for your new home?
Want more professional home decor tips from Jeneva? You’re in luck: Jeneva will be sharing more of her design journey with our followers, so make sure you follow along on our Instagram and blog!