Not many of us know what path life will take us down when we are younger. For myself, a business that my father had started was my introduction to the real world; or at least that’s what people told me. I knew nothing about textiles (BA in History from Washington University in St Louis), but was pretty sure I didn’t want to take another exam for a few years. Give it a shot, I thought. Dad needs help and you can actually move out with the money you earn.

So off to Carnegie I went. The year was 1981, coincidentally the year that Xorel was launched by the company. I realized quickly that I loved the creative process, the vast imaginations of our clients and the competitiveness of trying to create something new and different from a competitor. My father had very little ego, and actually welcomed my young and often naïve point of view. He let me make decisions and – more importantly - make mistakes.

I loved the process of seeing a product developed from its infancy through to its launch and the oft reward of seeing clients accept it and eventually order it. I was hooked on the idea of growing a more home grown creative team at Carnegie.

I was also learning fast about the impact of materials that we created and sold on the planet. The more I studied it, the clearer it became that we needed to vet our suppliers and our overall efforts more intensely. We began to do real research initiatives and I found my second love in the design business after the creative process ; sustainability.

“Doing well by doing good" – hey, it worked! Help grow a business that does business with creative people, by working with creative people and help grow our sustainability agenda by researching and selling products that I know in my heart are the best available for the planet.

In the end, we design beautiful products that reach the highest levels of sustainability. The new plant based Xorel is simply a huge accomplishment that brings a smile to all of us at Carnegie; one that speaks to the nature of what we all try to do each and every day. Just like I felt in 1981.