ABC Carpet & Home New York
ABC Carpet and Home have been selling Oyuna’s home collections since 2013. Their name belies a rich history, eclectic curation and boundary-pushing approach to sustainability. All in all, it’s little wonder that the Manhattan-based home furnishing retailer has become one of our favourite stockists to work with.
Like Katz Deli for pastrami on rye, or PSOne for contemporary art, ABC is a New York institution. Its flagship store in downtown Manhattan attracts design, craft and interiors lovers hunting for unique objects, be it a minimalist sofa or a one-off vintage pen. Others search for something less tangible—inspiration, escapism or theatre— all of which can be found in abundance among the sprawling six floors of carefully considered, eclectic merchandise. In a beautiful contrast to its lavish offerings, the ABC building has a rough-around-the-edges feel to it, with warehouse features including distressed wood floors and incredibly high ceilings.
These juxtapositions are what make ABC such an exciting place. There’s a sense of freedom and intuition in the curation of products and the space that houses them.
Today, ABC is synonymous with luxury and immaculate taste. The beginning however, has been much more humble and can be traced back to 1897, when Sam Weinrib, an Austrian immigrant, sold used carpets from a pushcart on New York City's Lower East Side. His son Max later grew the business into a discount floor covering store at Third Avenue and 29th Street. Max’s son, Jerome, brought ABC to its permanent home in the then slightly neglected Flatiron District in 1961.
But it’s Paulette Cole, Jerome’s daughter and current CEO and creative director, who can be credited for birthing the distinctive curation for which ABC has become globally renowned. “We just started to buy things,” Paulette said in an interview with Inc.com “It wasn't about a plan. Eclectic was the whole thing.” In the mid 80’s, she started bringing back from her travels antiques, textiles and artifacts. “Seeing how you could mix any colors that appeared in nature together in the home, seeing how you could mix things from Uganda, France and Tibet in one room—that freed people who visited us to be creative, to make their homes a collection over time and stop worrying about ‘decorating.’”
The last decade saw another major shift in the business: Paulette’s vision to make the store 100% socially responsible. The folks at ABC are championing what they refer to as ‘slow design.’ As Paulette says in another interview with whitewall magazine: “We need to find ways to be inspired by nature, to tap in and pay attention to the deeper intelligence, the science and genius of bio-mimicry, the solutions offered to us by the natural order.” It’s an approach that resonates with us at Oyuna; it embodies our values and the inseparable connection we have to Mongolian cashmere. Together with their suppliers and customers (whom ABC calls participants) ABC is creating a cultural shift, and we’re proud to be part of it.