Annie Hayes Rugs
Tell us about your business.Sitting on the floor with a new piece of linen and drawing my heart out with a Sharpie, dyeing wool in big pots out on my porch while I anticipate the surprise that dyeing fabric brings, cutting strips, finding odd color combinations by accident, putting strips in and taking them out if I want, finishing the rug with bias strips of odd fabrics, blanket stitching a handmade eraser-stamp label on the back – all of these are why I love to make hooked rugs. Rug hooking is simple. It’s in the hours of making that the subtle lessons are learned. Wools are used either “as-is” or over-dyed. Strips are cut. The linen stretched over a frame or held in a wooden hoop. The wool strip is held underneath the linen and pulled up through with the hook. How high to pull it up and how close the loops and the rows need to be are the things that come with practice. When it’s finished, a bias or binding tape is sewn on. The rug is then blocked. Sew on your label and you're done!
What makes your business stand out?I know that in this world there are many things I cannot do. But I am very sure that I can draw (thank you University of Iowa), and that I have an unanalyzed but highly functioning color sense. My business is unique because I have avoided pigeonholes like only working with primitive images.
What's the best business advice you've received?I’ve lived near a small Catskill town for over twenty years. For many years, a couple owned and operated a wonderful gift store on Main Street. It was everybody’s favorite place to buy a special gift. One day one of the owners, David, and I were talking about being in business as we walked down Main Street. This successful gift shop owner said to me, “Just don’t give up. Don’t do this for a year and then, if it’s not as successful as you hope it to be, you drop it. You have to give it time.”
Mark Your Calendar
NominationsJune 3–Aug. 29, 2014
Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.Nominate yourself
JudgingJune 23–Sept. 8, 2014
Judges will select finalists throughout this period.Meet the judges
Online VotingSept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014
Vote for your favorite American makers.See the finalists
Winners AnnouncedOct. 17, 2014
2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.See past Award Winners
American Made EventNov. 7–8, 2014
Join us for our annual event in New York City.Buy tickets now