It was love at first site when we first laid eyes on Mini Knots, and now after chatting with Founder, designer and talented Ulgen Semerci, we love the label even more.
From Istanbul to Montreal, New York to London, Ulgen’s inspiration and flare to create beautiful rugs for children (and now adults too) is non-stop and super exciting. These rugs make the best Christmas present for your little ones to treasure now until forever…
TELL US ABOUT MINI KNOTS AND HOW IT ALL CAME ABOUT…
MiniKnots is a contemporary interpretation on an old Iranian rug weaving tradition. Iranian gabbeh rugs are rough and naïve by nature and they display simple animal symbols and motives that have an improvised quality to them. I find this method very attractive as it mirrors my approach to art and design. I came across these types of rugs in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, in my father’s shop. He is a rug dealer there so I’ve grown up around rugs and I found these especially inspiring. That’s is how all started!
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU, AND HOW DO YOU GET INTO CREATIVE MODE?
On a typical day I will be in my studio near London Fields, starting the day with admin and computer stuff; emails, designs, checking on production with my weavers and research until early afternoon. Then when I’m all warmed up the fun begins and I start drawing and putting together ideas for future projects. Drawing is an excellent way of thinking and this is where I get playful and push things through to the next stage.
HOW DO YOU TAKE YOUR COFFEE?
I usually have my oat latte in the late afternoon for a pick me up. But breakfast nowadays is followed by Turkish coffee and I’ve found a wonderful brand from Istanbul that is available in London. Can I name drop – ‘Selamlique’. My fave is blend is infused with cardamom and I drink it ‘orta’ meaning ‘medium sweet.’ It may be outrageous to some traditionalists but I actually substitute the sugar with a touch of agave syrup. Why not?!
WHAT MADE YOU CREATE RUGS SPECIFICALLY FOR CHILDREN?
In large part – my sister! She would love the credit and deserves it too. After the birth of my nephew, she and I became more and more involved in kids’ décor, redesigning his bedroom, and generally looking at aesthetics from the perspective of kid’s world. She suggested I look at my rugs in the same way! It worked out pretty good because I love designing products that are fun, playful and free. I also love a type of object that will become a cherished part of daily life and hopefully passed through generations too.
WE LOVE THE CREATIVITY AND STORY-TELLING POTENTIAL YOUR RUGS HAVE, WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
It could be anything! Something I saw, heard, read. A simple colour, shape or two shapes opposing each other. As soon as you put two things together it tells a story after all. You would be surprised; so many people around me come up with interesting suggestions too. As if everybody has been waiting for a kids’ rug design opportunity! I also love some of the improvised work of the weavers too; they just come up with the most ambiguous shapes and forms. It’s all up to interpretation which is the best part.
HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR CHILDHOOD HAS INFLUENCED MINI KNOTS?
When I was a kid my parents had this lovely print depicting a field of flowers and a couple holding each other under the night sky. It was a simple drawing with a limited palette. Since I’ve been designing rugs for kids that print comes to my mind often. Objects we grow up with, especially images stay with us. They play a role shaping our psyche. So I like the idea of a rug belonging to a kid. It is something to be owned for good.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR MINI KNOTS?
So much I hope. I’m really excited to start on some new designs for spring and summer and there’s been conversations to collaborate with other designers which could be wonderful. I’m also working on some commissioned pieces which is a challenging and interesting process. MiniKnots is a new brand and I’m also new to London myself, so there’s been a lot of learning and discovering along the way. But it’s been a very dynamic start, setting up the business, participating in some fantastic pop-ups, garnering some lovely feedback and getting the website off the ground. I really can’t wait for what’s next!
GO TO: miniknots.com AND use our exclusive discount for 20% off any Mini Knots rug. Simply add ‘CAPERBERRY‘ at the checkout.
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