Phyllis Ripple is the founder and CEO of ecoFiber Custom Rugs, based in Boulder, Colorado. ecoFiber Custom Rugs manufactures handmade rugs in Nepal for the architectural and interior design communities in the United States and abroad.
Ripple blended her passion for design and textiles, her university education in Art History, and her social and environmental concerns to create a business model at ecoFiber Custom Rugs that would accomplish three goals. The first goal was to grow a company based on simple sustainable principles. Second, Ripple put her money behind preventing the exploitation of children. Third, she fashioned a way to create useful, high-quality rugs, for discriminating clients. And she gets to travel to her favorite part of the world!
A longtime expatriate, Ripple has lived and raised children in Pakistan, Indonesia, Egypt and the United Kingdom. Many of these stops along Ripple’s journey were within great weaving regions of the world. This truly allowed her to study first hand how carpets woven with natural fibers and dyes create a timeless beauty. "We were all immersed in the fabulous rug culture of Karachi - it was easy to learn from these men. The viewings would last for hours and hours, oftentimes our entire front yard was covered with kilims, runners, prayer rugs, enormous Tabriz, Bokkhara, Shiraz rugs in the most lustrous colors. A sight I will never forget".
Ripple has also traveled through every continent, bringing a global awareness of the social and environmental obstacles facing the majority of families in developing economies.
Ripple continues to traverse the world seeking inspiration and learning from her partners in the creative process - dyers and weavers. However, never in her business or travels does Ripple’s focus on sustainability ever waiver: natural fibers, dyes and the craftsmanship of the Tibetan weavers result in rugs which are not only an ethical choice, but one that is truly a work of community art.