A Perspective By Richard (Den) Cralle, Son of Green Front Owner Dickie Cralle
Last month I traveled to Hannover, Germany for the Domotex international rug and flooring expo. Although primarily a learning experience, it was also a chance to buy rugs without my father’s supervision. It proved to be a tremendous opportunity to engage in a new setting, as well as see the trends that were popular among this ever-increasing “fashion” industry.
Domotex 2014: The World’s Flagship Fair for Carpets and Floor Coverings
This place was huge—over 11 buildings full of hand-knotted and machine-made rugs, along with hardwood and composite flooring. Completely overwhelmed, a novice like me needed at least four days to digest the true scope of all the goods.
After soaking everything in, my agent and I meandered in and out of the wide array of booths and displays. Some dealers had elaborate setups showcasing their new products and design trends, which stood in stark contrast to the shabby tents of smaller manufacturers.
During my last trip to India, we were constantly traveling from city to city, giving me little time to absorb the constant flow of new information and making it very difficult to remember who sold what products. This trip was a very different story. Having one location allowed me to easily memorize the specific rugs and styles, along with the name of each company. And four days of steady contact with the dealers and manufacturers helped me process and categorize all the information— while also building personal relationships along the way.
To my surprise, machine-made rugs were extremely popular at the expo. The largest buildings were filled to the brim. While I thought this was just a niche market, it appeared to be much more mainstream.
There were Persian and Turkish dealers selling their “stock” rugs—trying to get rid of their old inventory. For obvious political reasons, the Americans couldn’t get a hold of the Persian rugs. Nonetheless, there were dealers from all across the world converging on this one colorful and massive rug bazaar.
What I bought:
High-end pure silk pieces (India)
Transitional wool and silk (India)
It was very apparent that the Green Front name had a lot of clout with the international marketplace. Everyone I ran into had great respect for my father and Green Front.
There’s no doubt that Green Front is going to stay at the cutting edge of this evolving rug industry. Containers arrive every couple of weeks and going abroad helps Green Front stay ahead of the game with the best pieces at the best prices. I will keep you updated on future trips and new products.