Our ‘Meet the Designer’ feature this month is on Senior Designer Ron Powell.
Bachelors Accounting: Elizabethtown College
Masters Textile Design: Philadelphia College of Textiles and Sciences (now called Philadelphia University)
Professional Work Background:
Burlington Industries, New York City
Rainbow Rugs, Sanford Maine
Royalty Carpet Mills, Irvine California
Mannington Commercial, Calhoun Georgia
Tuftex of California, and Designweave, Santa Fe Springs, California
Designweave / Patcraft, Cartersville, Georgia
Tenure with Patcraft: 14 years this September
Why did you go into flooring design?
No one ever really plans to be a carpet designer. I attended Philadelphia College of Textiles and Sciences for Print Design as a Masters Student. As a masters student, I had to choose between Print, Knit or Woven structures. While we had basic classes in all three, I quickly realized I would be interviewing for jobs with students who had a more balanced education of all three equally. Therefore I took a little additional time to learn Jacquard weaving. I became a lab tech to continue my knowledge of woven structures where I enhanced my education through teaching other students how to create woven products. Thank goodness I did, as that knowledge is what ultimately landed me the job at Burlington Industries in NYC.
My first job at Burlington was double cloth woven area rugs for J.C. Penny’s, Walmart and Sears even though I was working for the drapery division. From there Burlington House Area Rugs saw my work and decided to hire me out of their Philadelphia office. I created bath rugs for BHAR then moved onto Rainbow Rugs In Sanford Maine. By then I was fully committed to flooring. A move a cross the country to Southern California rounded out my residential and commercial design skills at Royalty Carpet Mills. With additional moves and experience, I came full circle in the flooring industry.
What is your favorite aspect of designing flooring?
The challenge of creating new and exciting products unlike anything in the industry.
What has been your experience with the evolving technology in manufacturing and design over the years?
Trends and Technology are evolving at an epic pace exponentially yearly. Having a background in Accounting and Design, I am always looking at the recipe. What ingredients are available, and how can I create the best looking performance products from those ingredients. Diving deep into the capabilities new tufting machinery offers while applying current and future aesthetics and colorations is the basis for my transformative thinking.
How do you differentiate your designs from others in the industry?
Everyone has a certain style and creativeness. I let my vision shine through. It has been challenging at times to come up with the next best product. But somehow it always works out beautifully!
What hobbies do you enjoy and/or what do you do for fun?
Walking, Travel, Horticulture, Abstract Painting, Nature.
Any tips for young people looking to enter into a design profession?
Do what you are most passionate about. That will bring you the most joy.
What three words would you use to describe yourself:
Creative, Passionate, and Dedicated.