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One Man’s Design Journey

In 20 years Yosi Tal went from working a small factory in Sydney to running the foremost rug and carpet company in Australia.

One Man’s Design Journey


March 19th, 2009

Yosi Tal began his custom rug and carpet manufacturing company with his father 22 years ago. With little experience in manufacturing and design, the pair began making hand-tufted designer rugs in their 3000 square foot Marrickville factory.

“We didn’t have a background in manufacturing and we went into it, I suppose, quite naively, but we were passionate and we believed in ourselves,” Yosi says.

Today his company, Designer Rugs, has grown in both size and reputation, becoming the foremost manufacturer and supplier of custom-made rugs and carpets in Australia.

“I actually wanted to be a farmer at 18, I did two years of agriculture at Sydney uni. Then I realised that you actually had to inherit it or marry into it, and I wasn’t going to do either.”

So Yosi did a business degree at UTS and travelled the world before co-founding Designer Rugs at 27. His appreciation and understanding of design grew with the company – working with some of Australia’s best-known artists and designers.

“I suppose working with inspirational people – which architects and designers are – rubbed off on us as well.”

“In a lot of ways we were groundbreakers in the beginning, there wasn’t really a rug industry in Australia when we started,” Yosi says.

The big break for the company came when they were commissioned to create a rug for St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne for the Pope’s 1986 visit. “On the back of that we started getting a lot of enquiries and people started giving us work,” he says.

Yosi has since made rugs and carpets for world-renowned architects and interior designers including United States architect Eric Kuhne and Australian Harry Seidler.

His company recently held their Seidler Textured Rugs competition for rugs used in architectural projects, honouring the late architect. As well, Designer Rugs in 2008 had raised over $100,000 for a variety of charities with the Fashion Designs Rugs and The Rug Project with artists.

Yosi, who is on the Foundation of the Powerhouse Museum, is committed to supporting young designers through competitions such as Floored 2008 for TAFE students. Other events include competitions for the College of Fine Arts and the International School of Colour and Design.

“We are exporting our rugs all over the world which means Australian Design is being appreciated and accepted and for me that is very satisfying because when we started Designer Rugs in 1986 we had many detractors who said we would never succeed.”


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