I am doing a literal happy dance right now. Why you might ask? Because today’s story features four of our HAVEN List members working together! This is HAVEN’s mission brought to life – to build a community of creators who work together, inspire each other, and grow their businesses.
Nicole, of Bente Vintage, shares her experience collaborating with four incredible designers (and phenomenal photographer, Charlotte Lea) to craft bespoke rug collections. Beginning with [FIXE] Design House and a cosmic pivot, we’re now graced with several epic Bente Vintage collabs. What started organically, between friends with a shared love for design, is now part of Bente’s DNA. Read on to learn all about their incredible journey and where they’re going next!
From Nicole of Bente Vintage… Erika of [FIXE] Design House and I became fast friends and I immediately trusted her design sensibilities. I had a lot of rug suppliers reaching out with new rug designs and I thought, “We should design a few rugs together”. I knew if Erika was involved, they would immediately be cool. But then we both saw the lead time for designs and were immediately impatient. At the time I was also searching for the perfect rug for her newly renovated kitchen, and I thought, “Why can’t the collection be vintage?” We pivoted and Bente x FIXE was born.
Erika guided the feel of the collection – Textural, Earthy, Vintage. We used these words as a filter in sourcing for the collection and didn’t care where the rugs were from, but how they made us feel and if they would work in the same home. I pulled rugs from everywhere (Moroccan Beni Ourains, some Turkish Anatolians, some Persians) and as I sourced rugs, we built the collection. The rugs came in, half went to Erika. She had two projects to shoot, so we used the opportunity to also shoot our rugs in these spaces. It was kismet. We named the rugs after our friends and launched in November 2020. We had one special rug, the Charlotte, still a favorite, named after our favorite photographer, and this rug actually made it into British Vogue (Feb 2021, Dua Lipa) which was crazy.
Natalie Myers, a designer I’ve admired for years, reached out because of Bente x FIXE and asked about the process and wanted to make her own collection with us which was wild. Bente was seven months old. Natalie’s collection was centered around her Scandifornian aesthetic. After a few discussions, we honed in on Exclusive, Nomadic, Compelling, and all the rugs of the collection fit this bill. We followed the same methodology as with FIXE, I sourced rugs and Natalie chose which would be in the collection. Natalie leaned into tribal rugs, we grabbed some great Tulus, Yamalehs which I am all about and we also added funky patched pillows. She was very clear about the sizes she wanted, certain sizes work for certain rooms. It was a masterclass. Half the rugs and a few pillows went to Natalie, she shot them in her Venice project and in her own home. The Natalie Myers x Bente collection went live in March 2021.
Anne Sage saw the Natalie Myers x Bente launch and reached out. Are you seeing a pattern here? I have followed her forever and always wanted to be friends. I have her book. It was surreal. We talked and clicked immediately and decided on soft rugs that would be family friendly. Anne was a mom of an adorable toddler, we wanted rugs people would want to sit on and kids could play on. Our collection would be Playful, Unique, Inviting and we also added huge pom blankets (we designed two colorways). We leaned into soft, shaggy Moroccans and offered something Bente hadn’t done before – made-to-order rugs! We partnered with rug makers in Morocco to create a few designs for us and kept the other half of the collection vintage. Anne was moving into her Grandparent’s home in Reno and was renovating and we shot the collection in this space, which felt extra special, as her Grandma had operated a rug shop back in the day. We launched the Anne Sage x Bente collection in November.
December, a year (and a month) after our first launch, we went live with Bente x FIXE 2.0 which we were both really proud of, I felt like it leveled up what we had done (a few levels even) and it was just as fun to work on it, maybe even easier since we already had the recipe down. We shot the rugs in a newly completed project and again in Erika’s home and found another Charlotte look alike.
We’ve just started the collaboration process with Salthouse Collective after talking about it for what seems like years, which will embody Leigh’s laid back, funky California luxury vibe. We have the mood board, it’s amazing, we are just starting to pull rugs. Be excited! Our collaborations have set us apart from other shops and we reached audiences we wouldn’t have normally with these collaborations, partnering with these well-known designers.
Like what you see? Take a peek at the talent behind the story… Vintage and Custom Rug Sourcing: Bente Vintage · Interior Design for Feature Image: [FIXE] Design House · Photography for Feature Image: Charlotte Lea Photography