Custom Carpets & Rugs - Village Carpets in Winnetka



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40 Item(s)

Village Carpets & Rugs Retirement Party

Friday, April 1, 2016 12:03:12 AM America/Chicago

Village Carpets & Rugs Retirement Party

Friends, fellow business leaders, and customers gathered at the Green Bay Road showroom of Village Carpets & Rugs to bid a happy retirement to Rip and Sue Suster in mid-March. The married duo are passing over the reins of the Winnetka-based shop, which specializes in carpet and area rug design and installation. After 36 years, the Susters will hand over the daily management of the store to experienced manager Victor Esamilla. Friends of the Susters raised a glass to toast the couple, who have also been married for over 50 years.

Carla Levi, Katie Cory, Darlene Shuff Photography by Larry Miller

Carla Levi, Katie Cory, Darlene Shuff Photography by Larry Miller


Liz Kuwkle

Liz Kuwkle


Joan Conlisk, Jim Elvart, Sarah Blue

Joan Conlisk, Jim Elvart, Sarah Blue


Barb Wasniowski, Deanna Cash, Sue Suster, Margaret Milczarek

Barb Wasniowski, Deanna Cash, Sue Suster, Margaret Milczarek


Victor Escamilla, Sue & Rip Suster

Victor Escamilla, Sue & Rip Suster


Georgeann Shenton, Kate Bowyer, Justine Fowler, Jeanne Welch

Georgeann Shenton, Kate Bowyer, Justine Fowler, Jeanne Welch


Kellie Cunningham, Liz Hayward, Wendy Sawtell

Kellie Cunningham, Liz Hayward, Wendy Sawtell


Terry Dason, Jill Dillingham

Terry Dason, Jill Dillingham

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Posted By Village Carpets

The North Shore Weekend

Monday, March 28, 2016 5:51:02 PM America/Chicago

The North Shore Weekend



When Rip Suster makes a commitment, he's not messing around.

He's been married to his high school sweetheart, Sue, for more than 50 years. They have traveled the world and raised a family together.

They also built a business together. Thirty-six years after he left a downtown accounting job for a temporary position at Sue's new store, Rip and Sue are retiring from the daily management ofWinnetka's Village Carpets and Rugs.

"It's just time," Sue said. "We are healthy, everything is good around us, and we are proud of our years together. But I like to eat Homer's ice cream uninterrupted by a call to come back to the store. I like to sleep late."

Rip & Sue Suster of Village Carpets - Winnetka, IL

With a new manager learning from their experience, business will continue uninterrupted at Village Carpets and Rugs.

"It's so important for a community to have anchor stores like this one," explained Terry Dason, executive director at the Winnetka-Northfield Chamber of Commerce. "They are destinations that people outside ofWinnetka are aware of. When people come to these destinations there is a good possibility that they'll stop for lunch and check out a new place that they drove past and noticed. In that way, our anchors help to create interest for new stores that are just starting out in Winnetka."

Rip and Sue Suster remember fondly when they were the new business leaders in town. Sue has established herself and her team of 10 female subcontractors in the custom rug market, and they joined the team at Village Carpets in the late 1970s. She bought out the owner in 1981, and called on her husband to help her run the store.

"We always planned that it was a short term thing that we would work together," Rip explained. But they started shopping the international markets, bringing styles to Chicago that were previously only available in New York, and they expanded Sue's custom work to incorporate new technology. They were, so to speak, hooked.

But that's not to say the business wasn't without its quirks. To start with, their showroom was housed in an old grocery store; this was evident by the window ledges built to hold produce. "When Sue took over the store, the address was on Linden Avenue, which didn't make any sense to anyone. It was only about two blocks that were called Linden Avenue before it switched to Green Bay Road, and it confused people who were trying to find us," Rip said. "I took a clipboard door to door and got all the other owners to sign a petition, and we got the Village to change the name of our street." Slowly but surely, they made the space their own. They hired local employees, and set aside a part of the showroom for business use.

"I was determined to design rugs for individuals," Sue said. "It was important for me to sit with clients, look them in the eye and listen. Too often people are overwhelmed with options in design and color, but people want to be reflected in the design they select for a particular space."

Over the years, these clients have run the gamut. There was a dentist who requested a laughing, healthy tooth for his pediatric office; a gentleman who designed a delicate floral rug for the bedroom to please his wife as her chronic illness confined her to the bed; and a local family whose design incorporated landmarks from their worldwide travels alongside the dirty paw prints of a beloved family pet.

Along the way Rip and Sue similarly mastered the delicate art of working as a couple. Rip credits their division of responsibility: Sue managed area rugs while worked in carpeting. Their staffs were similarly separate. Sue said their Winnetka home was a business-free zone, with no talk or clients or products allowed past the threshold. "When you have a marriage between two people, you have to accept the ways they do things and act with people. Let go of judging and remember that you love them the way they are," she said.

Cover of The North Shore Weekend - Sue & Rip Suster

The North Shore Weekend - Village Carpets

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Posted By Village Carpets

A mom and pop store goes uptown

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 5:25:15 PM America/Chicago

A mom-and-pop store goes uptown

You've all heard of the neighborhood mom-and-pop store. Here's what happens when a slightly more sophisticated couple scale their floor coverings store to the high-end trade.

Just like a marriage, Village Carpet of Winnetka, IL, and now of Lake Forest, too, is really two independent operations under one roof. And like the best marriages, the two entities are kept "separate but equal."

The male half of the Village team, Rip Suster, rugs an extensive broadloom and stock area rug business on Chicago's exclusive North Side, while his wife, Sue Susler, deals in custom area rugs.

The couple works well together, despite differences in both temperament and orientation, says Sue She's organized, he's not: " But we realize we have to have controls, and to monitor all aspects of the job." And he's a night person, she 's not: "So we

meet for lunch to talk things over He can do what I can't with people and figures We complement each other. We argue well.

"And I can count on him to keep the two businesses separate."

How did this collaboration begin? About 15 years ago, Rip, a CPA, went into a carpel store to borrow an installation tool for a little do-it -yourselfing, The retailer mentioned a then-innovative pet idea. fusing small pieces of broadloom to create custom rugs Rip, thinking Sue might be interested , mentioned it to her back home. She wasn't then, QUI a year later, she returned to the same store-just lo have some carpet cleaned-and walked out with a job

Happy with rug design, she talked Rip into going into the retail end of broadloom three years ago when he was looking to put his experience as controller for a slack exchange company to work in some small business. "When friends ask what I do," says Rip, "I say I'm in carpet futures."

And he went at the turnaround like a busi- nessman, computerizing the store's accounting and inventory and instituting planning and systems implementation.

"It was Sue who brought us into high-end," he says, "along with our neighborhood, our customers. I caution anyone gelling into high-end to be prepared to suffer setbacks. I'm still learning it – there are so many ways to make errors."

The clientele is demanding, widths can be confusing, new trends have to be carefully explained. "High-end today is very low pile or looped, and our customers have been used to plushier carpets , so they're frequently surprised when seams appear," says Rip.

"We cover ourselves heavily up front," both verbally and in correspondence that outlines potential problems, "Doctors never tell the side effects, but then, they 're not in the carpel business.

Village Carpets - Mom and Pop Sotre Goes uptown

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Posted By Village Carpets

Atlanta Mart Honors Nation's Top Retailers

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 5:16:50 PM America/Chicago

Atlanta Mart Honors Nation's Top Retailers

ATLANTA --Awards for creative tnerchandising
and new approaches to selling 1narked the
Fifth Annual Retailer of the Year Award at the
Atlanta Sutnmer Market.
The Federated Stores buying group was cited for
outstanding 1nerchandising and Steve Leone, tnerchandise
1nanager accepted on behalf of the department
store's extre1nely successful buying team at
Macy's West, Rich's, Burdine's, Goldstnith's, Stern's
and Bon Marche.
In the new creative selling category, the winner
was Village Carpet in Northfield, IL which was cited
for its unique website, creative advertising and fanciful
prmnotional activities. Accepting the award were
Sue and Rip Suster, the husband and wife owners.
McDhurries of Cleveland, OH was elected outstanding
Oriental Rug Specialist for the year. Thom
Muir and Dee Chiavetta, partners in the store, accepted
the award.
Hagopian World of Rugs, Oak Park, MI, and World
of Rugs, headquartered in Phoenix, AZ, were dual
winners in the floor covering specialty store category.
Hagopian World of Rugs was established in 1939 and

is known for its four beautifully tnerchandised and
accessorized stores. World of Rugs in Phoenix, owned
by supe-1nerchant Ernie Harazitn, is known for its
brilliant advertising and cutting-edge product presen.
Jordan's Furniture, Avon, MA., described as the
"Disneyland of the hmne furnishings business, " won
in the furniture store category. Rug specialists
Heather Monahan Cole and husband Drew accepted
on behalf of the store. Wayne Benton is the buyer.
Nahigian Bros., which operates the lease departInent
for Marshall Field in Chicago, won in the departtnent
store and tnass tnerchant category. Carnig
Menasian and Annen Menasian accepted the award.
In a new award category, the Merchandise Mart
honored tenants for showromn presentation. The
winners were Feizy Rug, Capel Rug, Trade-In and
Scotia Designs. All of the visual display winners featured
showromns that were cross-1nerchandised with
several hmne furnishings categories, including
throws, pillows, tabletop items, decorative furniture
and full-fledged case goods and upholstered pieces

Atlanta Mart Honors Nation's Top Retailers

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Posted By Village Carpets

Chicago Article

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 5:08:52 PM America/Chicago


THE GOODS/Jamie Gilson


"A fellow on the Options Exchange
wanted a carpet that
looked like a trading pit, so we
designed one," Sue Suster
says. She gestures around her
enormous Winnetka workroom,
where anything seems
possible. Several room-size
rugs are in process on the
floor-one with insets to match
an heirloom quilt, one with patterns
from dining-room wall-


paper, another bounded with
vivid geometries. Suster began
by herself nine years ago and
now employs a large staff, who
design, cut, trim, and finish
carpets in "any size, fiber,
shape, motif, color, or texture."
They did the tulip carpet
for a designer-showcase
house. Sue Suster Designs at
Village Carpets, 924 Linden
Avenue, Winnetka.


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Posted By Village Carpets

Currents Article

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 4:56:34 PM America/Chicago


Overhead lights too
dim? Simply turn on
your living room carpet

It looks like an ordinary carpet, but it
doesn't feel like one, and it certainly
doesn't behave like one. Ordinary carpets
just lie there, the doormats of decorating,
subject to scuff and dirt.

But these carpets-well, these carpets
light up. Flip a switch and tiny laser optic
fibers woven into the carpet sparkle and
twinkle. The clear fibers are invisible until
the box they feed into and serves as their
light source is turned on. Then they glow
steadily or twinkle in a predetermined pat-
tern. They can even change colors, casting
an ever-changing glow on the floor.

Sue Suster, co-owner of the Village Car·
pet shops in the affluent Chicago suburbs
of Winnetka and Lake Forest, Ill., has been
designing and marketing custom carpets
for 14 years. Companies and home decora-
tors can order any pattern they want
sculpted and inlaid into the rug, from a logo
to a floral design.

Nine months ago, Suster picked up
the bright idea of integrating
laser optic fibers into the
weave of a custom rug.

Because they're hand in-
serted, the fibers can be
placed in any arrangement,
cluster or section of a rug. One
rather sedate version, for exam-
pie, features clear, steadily
burning lights in the navy border of
a cream colored rug. Another ver-
sian demonstrates everything Sus-
ter's shop can do by incorporating
steady, twinkling and color-chang-
ing fibers in an abstract rug that
integrates several colors and textures of

Half of her business is corporate, and
she foresees uses for her product in trade
shows, hotels, restaurants, executive
suites and meeting rooms. Prices begin at
$2,000 and vary according to the cost of
the carpet, intricacy of design and number
of fiber insertions. Consumers should keep
that in mind if they're eager to invest in
their own personal footlights.
Joanne Cleave


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Posted By Village Carpets

Designer's Sourcebook Article

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 4:36:43 PM America/Chicago

Sue Suster Custom Carpets

Floor Art

Wow! What a spectacular presentation Sue Suster Custom Carpers of

Chicago is making a big splash in the flooring industry these days And how could she not? These fabulous rugs (does that word really do them justice?) are just the beginning of her extensive collection of hand-made "floor art"

After twenty-three years in the industry, Suster's reputation for fine flooring solutions precedes her. A composite of products, designs, and qualities from sources throughout the world, her company's line is unlimited. Specializing in the design of area and wall-to-wall floor coverings and carpel graphics, Sue Suster Custom Carpels has won numerous industry awards for their exclusive installations.

Featured on this two-page spread is a selection of area rugs that were specifically designed for those with on appreciation for the Southwest. Suster reamed up with noted New York designer Liora Manne, to colloborotely design a stunning array of patterns, colors and motifs that ore indicative of the West

Although Sue Suster Custom Carpets ore available exclusively through the

Trade, don't fret. We guarantee that any one of the dozens of designers found on pages 202 & 227 would be more than happy to assist local representatives, Lori Graham and Tracy Meyer can be reached at 847-446-3800


Designer's Sourcebook Article

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Posted By Village Carpets

Floor Covering Weekly

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 4:21:56 PM America/Chicago

Exclusive designs drive IDG offerings


ATLANTA- In the world of high-end
carpet fashion, exclusive designs
give dealers a leading-edge
advantage over the competition.
For members of the International
Designs Guild (IDG), exclusive designs
are one of the primary benefits
of affiliation.

"Exclusive products are very
important," said Rip Suster, owner
of Village Carpets in Chicago.
"It was one of my major reasons
for joining."

According to Chris Ramey, director
of merchandising, exclusive
designs drive the extensive
product offering as IDG supplies
broadloom and area rugs as well
as other specialty products to its
members. "Supplying exclusive
products is a huge focus for us,"
he said, "but only stores whose
mission is to pursue this market
can fully appreciate that."

He explained that many IDG
members are located in decorating
centers, where the competition
comes from companies like
Stark or Patterson, F1ynn and
Martin. Having exclusive prod-
ucts is necessary to compete in
this market, where sameness
doesn't cut it. 'We have to be
unique," Ramey said. "Our
mantra is differentiation."

Out of approximately 5,000
SKUs the group offers, more than
750 are completely proprietary,
he said. That number grows
every month as IDG seeks products
from about 20 key sources
worldwide. Recently, Ramey and
four of his members met in Chicago
with Leora Manne and Graham
Smith of Pande Cameron to
work on new exclusive rug and
woven wilton designs that will debut
in October.

Broadloom and area rugs are
the primary focus, but IDG offers
other products as well. This fall
the group will debut a wood product
with stone or ceramic insets
that will retail for around $18 per
square foot. The benefits of belonging
bring such exclusive
products to members at more affordable
prices, allowing them to
offer unique designs to clients
and preserve their margins at the
same time.

Ramey, a former floor covering
retailer, said the designs side business
is less sales oriented. There
is substantially more repeat business;
the demographics are different
as well with a focus on the
upper-crust customer. Price
points are higher and the focus is
on true quality, not perceived
quality. Product-wise, it's largely
wool driven, and custom capability
plays a big role. "Instead of
making the customer want what
we have, we make what the customer
wants," he said.

Membership on the rise
IDG members, whose ranks
number 30 and are growing,
serve the decorative design trade
and are predominantly design driven.
According to Ramey, members'
average retail selling price is
three times higher than that of a
typical specialty store. The average
showroom does about $2.5
million in annual sales. Thirty percent
of the business is rugs,
predominantly handmade.

'The population is more of a
mindset and a culture," he said.
"Even in smaller markets, that
market can be developed. However,
he adds that IDG isn't for
everyone, and the group is sensitive
to recruiting new members

who have the right culture. Poten-

tial members must be recommended
and are screened by an
IDG employee before being
asked to join. ''You must demonstrate
a decorative market and environment,"
he said. 'We are not
going to water down our mission.
Our well-defined market position
demands high standards."

In return, IDG offers marketing
services to its members via
advertising in specialty publications
like the American Society of
Interior Designers (ASID) magazine.
Ramey said the group also
··has a series of collateral ads, care
and Cleaning guides and point-of purchase

IDG continues to court new
members to the fold. Ramey is
looking for floor covering showrooms
who pursue or want to pursue
the decorative market Cost to
join the program is $5,000 with a
monthly $399 fee for 36 months.

For the fees, members receive
1,000 SKUs of samples.

Exclusive products might be
the primary reason Suster joined
IDG, but he's discovered many
other benefits. The camaraderie
among members was a surprise
benefit. "I can't imagine going to
market not knowing I'm going to
meet people in the group who
share the same interests," he
said. 'We learn so much from
each other." A third reason would
be special pricing, which Suster
said offers "definite advantages."
Finally, he believes if he ever
wants to sell his business, he will
be able to command "significantly"
more money because of his

IDG is a division of Carpet One.
Call (770) 984-9791.


Photo Caption: Four members of IDG met recently In Chicago to work on new exclusive designs for two series of area rugs as well as a series of wilton broadloom products: (from left) Rip Suster, Village Carpets, Chicago; Sue Suster, Sue Suster Designs, Chicago; Patrick Aaron, Floordesign, San Francisco; and Greg McQueen, McQueen Carpet, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

Floor Covering Weekly

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Posted By Village Carpets

The Tribune Article

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 4:12:42 PM America/Chicago

Floor Show

Area rugs can enhance decor and help define space, lifestyle



It all began with an area rug.

Bob and Barbara Wilson started out with a rug and built the rest of their living room around it; the idea being to create a sense of warmth and harmony in their Cave Creek home.

"I've always been a fan of area rugs, but this time I needed something to make a statement and draw everything together," Barbara Wilson said.

They were without the rug for what seemed like forever when it was being custom made, but once it was added to the decor, the room was truly complete.

The Wilsons are not alone in their decision to use an area rug to decorate their home. Area rugs seem to be catching on for a variety of reasons.

"Rugs establish who we are in many ways. They define space and designate certain areas. In their own way, they can dictate a lifestyle," said Sue Suster, owner of Sue Suster Custom Carpets of Chicago, with locations in Scottsdale and Phoenix.

A decorative rug is not just a rug. It establishes an environment where people can be themselves," she added.

Many of Suster's rugs, along with those of Sue Bickerdyke of Sue Bickerdyke Interiors and Anne Schewe of AMS Imports, were displayed at a recent floor show in Sue Bickerdyke's design studio in Carefree.

It was there .that ·many unique rugs were displayed along with explanations of how they were made and how they can enhance home decor.


Best beginning

One thing that most of the experts agree on is that it's best to begin with an area rug and design everything else in the room around it.

"There are two ways to do this. You can either start with an area rug and build the other fabrics from that, or you can start with the fabrics and try to find a  rug, but that can be difficult," Bickerdyke said.

Bickerdyke's specialty is to provide unusual home accessories and to customize for her clients. Her design studio upstairs allows her to sit down with her

clients to plan exactly what they want in their homes.

Rugs can do many things for a room, such as anchor a grouping of furniture or a conversation area, Bickerdyke said.

Other things a rug can do are create a first impression in an entryway, add plushness to a bedroom, update an existing furnituresetting or make an outdated area look new again.

"Rugs just create a more cozy, softer, wanner feeling. They give an opportunity for softness," Bickerdyke said.


Rug Reflections

Suster's custom carpet stores feature LaMontage rugs, which are defined by having original art designs showcasing ancient mosaics or Southwestern themes. Her clients also can create their own designs.

Suster said rugs can add to the idea of retreating to the home in stressful times.

As the world is becoming more high-tech and stressful, one looks to the home as a retreat, so the home should reflect the individual and his or her lifestyle,"

Suster said. "Therefore, when people surround themselves in an art form that reflects who they are, it can only enhance their leisure time."

Still, Suster admitted that rugs are not for everyone and should not be a purchase people rush into making.

"I think that if you do want a rug, you should watch for sales while you plan your entire space. Don't rush into purchasing anything until you've lived in our

space and you know what will want," she said.

Rugged job (Photo #1): Anne Schewe left, of AMS Imports helps Sue Bickerdyke of Sue Bickerdyke Interiors display some of the imported rugs that are available at Bickerdyke's design studio in Carefree.

Comes down to rugs (Photo #2): Sue Suster, owner of Sue Suster Custom Carpets of Chicago, shows off some of the rugs she sells. Suster says: A decorative rug is not just a rug. It establishes an environment where people can be themselves.


The Tribune Article

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North Shore Article

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 2:11:54 PM America/Chicago


Carpets and area rugs shift the design focus down-to a vibrant underworld of textures and styles

By Kathy Kastilahn

Consider the floor. It's not just the bottom of a room. It's a big part of the whole. "I like to think of a room as a painting," says Lynn Keck Masters, who heads her own Deerfield design business, Lynnteriors. "I don't take it apart."


And in a room, an area rug on the floor is a significant design element, Masters says, one which can add interest to the whole picture, whether it is the focal point or it subtly enhances other patterns and textures.


Masters' voice is one in a chorus of praise sounded for area rugs by North Shore interior designers, artisans, carpet retailers and homeowners who appreciate art-on-the-floor for its decorative impact. Of course, the idea of a rug as something that adds more than just physical warmth to a room isn't new.


In colonial times, the same hands that pieced and stitched the quilts so prized today also braided rugs from old clothing. Women who wove homespun cloth used scraps to make rag rugs on their looms. From necessity, they created rugs of vibrancy and vitality.


Similarly, Oriental rugs have claimed a placeof honor in homes since wealthy settlers brought them here with other, valued possessions. Perhaps the original decorative floor covering, they've lost none of their aesthetic or economic value through the centuries.


Rugs remain popular today. Some still are made by individual craftsmen, but many of these artists' styles and techniques have been adapted by major carpeting manufacturers. In an interesting exchange of creativity, rug designers have created unique rugs by cutting out sections of broadloom carpeting manufactured at major mills and insetting rug pieces of different colors or textures to form a design.


Given this wide range of design possibilities, how do you decide on the use of an area rug for a room? The designers who do that daily in their work offer no slick solutions. Selection can be almost intuitive.


"I've been designing interiors for 24 years," says Masters. "And just last year I realized that my mind's eye works like a slide projector. I flash images of rooms in different ways on my screen, and I compare them." Eight out of 10 times, she sees an area rug as the best choice.


Village Carpets North Shore Article

Village Carpets North Shore Article

Village Carpets North Shore Article

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Posted By Village Carpets

Options Article

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 2:05:14 PM America/Chicago

Twinkle, twinkle little carpet: Designers dabble in fiber optics

By Joanne Cleaver

"You can use (fiber optic carpeting) for mood-inspiring purposes (in a restaurant or home) or it can refract light from a sculpture in a gallery. It's mind-boggling how simple light and technology combine. It's the unexpected."

-Sue Suster

custom-carpet designer


Options Article

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Posted By Village Carpets

Rip and Sue Suster

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 1:57:32 PM America/Chicago

Rip and Sue Suster have differing temperaments and abilities, but these serve to complement each other in the running of their two separate businesses.

Sue and saleswoman Barbara Betke examine a newly arrived contemporary rug modelled after an Oriental classic, the one specialty Village does not carry.

Such care pays off for Village "We've had no problems in the last six months. We've eliminated surprises-that's the key."

When Rip acquired Village three years ago, it was worth $700,000; now the Winnetka store alone does $2.5 million. "I just raised prices to moderate our growth," says Rip, "but if anything, it has accentuated it."

Opening his new Lake Forest store, a going concern that will be merged with the Winnetka operation, made him realize how far he's come since he entered retailing, he says." It will take Lake Forest six months and 100% turnaround for us to instill our methods." says Rip.

"The employees there, for instance, find double-checking measurements wasteful. But you can't be laid back and measure on the back of an envelope and have a satisfied customer. It takes discipline to handle this business, "They were also not mentally prepared to sell up," he declares. "You have to start with the attitude that our showroom items are normal. The people here in Winnetka almost all date from my tenure, and they don't know anything else."

Most, Sue adds, have training in design. Rip and Sue work in tandem; she uses carpet from his broadloom mills-some 6000 samples to create her custom rugs. "It's his showroom here that allows me the choices for the Artisan Collection," says Sue.

Sue's design work has two different forms: the Artisan Collection uses cut pieces of broadloom sewn or taped by backroom workers; the Signature Collection is tufted at a mill which has its own dye and sheer house.

Village has exclusive representation rights for the mill in the Midwest. The Signature line includes needlepoint and semi-needlepoint finishes, loops, cuts, high and lows, and combinations of all of these.

"Rip has always been there for me, supporting me in my goals," says Sue. It was he who convinced her to go with the Signature Collection. "I was hesitant. I felt there wouldn't be a market for it," she says. "But we've found the more high-end you carry, the more business you have."

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Roy Award Creative Selling

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 1:49:23 PM America/Chicago


Sue and Rip Suster, Village Carpets,

Winnetka, IL and Chicago


Q: What are your top three tips for adding instant zip to the selling strategies of retailers and importers?

A: First, we suggest that stores use a combination of rack systems and rug piles. Very few stores combine the two. Stacking heavy pile rugs like Orientals and Tibetans, and hanging needlepoints, dhurries, kilims and other flat weaves works well for us. And some customers don't like the stack routine. They don't want to inconvenience a salesperson. What if there isn't a salesperson available?

With racks, they're able to look at rugs on their own terms. We maximize our racks by folding our hanging rugs to fit four on an arm.

The second tip is to use very few words in advertising. We believe in selling product in an uncluttered environment, so we leave a lot of white space around the rugs and let the pictures do the talking. This minimal philosophy is reflected in our displays, too. We don't have any window signs, no waterfall display racks. We take an art gallery approach to our display. Good product doesn't need other attention-grabbing devices.

The last tip is to hire women sales professionals. It's curious to me that typical rug salesfloors are dominated by male salespeople. A lot of stores believe the stereotype that only men should sell rugs. Men are good sellers, but so are women. Women have a unique eye for color and style, and they're great closers. And it's a great advantage to have a woman talking to another woman about her home. We've always thought that.


Roy Award Creative Selling

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Posted By Village Carpets

Rugs can vary, quality shouldn't!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 1:42:18 PM America/Chicago

Rugs can vary, quality shouldn't!

Q: I finally have the wood floors I've always wanted. Now I need some great rugs. What are my options?

A: Because of the growing popularity of wood and stone floors, there's a wealth of choices in the rug market, say our experts, Sue Suster and Jan Lindell of Village Carpets and Carpels by Design In Winnetka and Chicago, Oscar Tatosian of Oscar Isbcrian Rugs In Evanston, and Jamshid (Jim) Soomekh of Caspian Oriental Rugs In Chicago.

Do you want formal or casual? Traditional or contemporary? There are great options in all categories. For a more formal look, Oscar Tatosian of Oscar Isberian Rugs suggests finely woven rugs from Pakistan, with intricate floral designs.

If you're more casual, "You can't beat the new Tibetan rugs," says Tatosian. Hand woven in Nepal, thick-piled, brightly colored and warmly textured, the Tibetan rugs come in both contemporary and classic designs.

For the most sophisticated tastes, Tatosian recommends tone-on-tone Romanian rugs.

'They go with anything," he says. 'They're very high-style, very beautiful." They're also available in custom sizes, unusual for hand-woven rugs.

To Jamshid (Jim) Soomekh of Caspian Oriental Rugs, it's a shame to put anything but a hand-woven Oriental on a

wood floor.

"Hand-woven rugs have lasting value," Soomekh says. "You get many years of enjoyment from them, and even a

medium-quality, hand-woven rug will retain some value for trade-in."

A good antique Persian rug is an investment, Soomekh emphasizes, one that will hold its value.

If your budget won't handle genuine antiques, but you like the look, Soomekh suggests a new hand-woven Oriental that's been washed to look like an antique.

For a contemporary look, Soomekh recommends the Tibetan rugs and the popular William Morris designs. For a traditional home, try a handmade needlepoint rug.

Custom, made-to-order. Rugs are another possibility. Sue Suster and Jan Lindell of Village Carpets and Carpets by Design suggest custom silk-and-wool Tibetan rugs. "You can even vary the percentage of silk in the weave, up to a hundred percent," Suster notes.

For exceptional appeal and durability, Suster recommends Ia Montage. "It's the ancient art of felting, updated," she explains, adding, "They're incredibly functional, and also truly artistic."

Budget won't stretch for custom? Try semi-custom, "We custom-finish a piece of carpet," Lindell explains. "We trim it in fabric, tapestry or even leather."

All of these experts believe quality comes first. That means "quality materials, intricate workmanship and a nice balance of color and design," Tatosian says.

Soomckh agrees, and adds: "You have to feel a rug to get to know it."

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Posted By Village Carpets

Sue Suster Custom Carpets Awards

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 1:31:35 PM America/Chicago

Sue Suster has won numerous rug industry awards, and has had her exclusive installations featured in world-class publications. With three showrooms in the Chicago area, including one in the prestigious Merchandise Mart, Ms. Suster and her artists have worked with clients from around the world,  ringing personal attention, innovation and a distinctive style to the art of rug design.


Sue Suster Custom Carpets Awards

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The Native American Collection

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 1:17:00 PM America/Chicago

"I have always been enthusiastic about creating a personalized custom carpet to compliment the tastes, desires and individual needs of my clients. Rugs and carpets are primary elements of every interior and are the perfect medium to express these Native American designs."

Sue Suster has won numerous industry awards and her exclusive installations have been featured in world-class publication. She also serves as a custom carpet advisor to an international carpet and rug consortium. With three showrooms in the Chicago area. Including one in the prestigious Merchandise Mart. Ms. Suster and her artists have worked with clients from around the world. Bringing personal attention, innovation and a distinctive style to the art of rug design.

The Native American Collection

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The Value of a Personal Touch

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 1:03:23 PM America/Chicago

Creating a home enviromnent is best guided by goal set before you begin the selection process. The main goal (and one that can be so easy to lose sight of) is to create a home that is as livable as it it is beautiful. That means it's comfortable, a delight to be in. A refuge, offering you the choice of private moments or a gathering of friends and family.

Prior to going into a store start looking around for things that makes you feel comfortable and strike you as beautiful. Look through books or magazines and just let yourself react to colors, or rooms. Then you can wallk into a store and tell a salesperson that you like dark or light tones, that your needs are for something practical or glamorous. You'll have an
awareness of what's available and what you feel comfortable with. Always keep livability in mind. Don't be caught in an impulse buy.

Develop a good relationship with a salesperson you like and with whom you share a good rapport. People don't think of calling ahead and making an appointment to see a salesperson in a retail store, but it's a good idea. You want to find a person who’ll give you time, pay attention to details, and show interest in working with you long-term. Your salesperson should be enthusiastic about helping you devise an overall plan, particularly if it's going to be phased in over time. Don't rush. We all can do better if we take some time. Take advantage of store sales and know the best time to make a purchase. Your floor covering is an investment that reflects your personality and lifestyle . .. enjoy. Sue Suster Village Carpets

The Value of a Personal Touch

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Posted By Village Carpets

Time to Share

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 12:56:10 PM America/Chicago

"Time to Share" is an original Limited Edition Lamontage art piece, designed
and created specifically for our Playing for T.I.M.E. benefit. "Time to Share"
is a floor or wall art piece which represents a collaboration of Sue Suster
Custom Carpets of Chicago; Liora Manne of Lamontage in New York City; and
artist Lisa Walker ASID of Phoenix. This exclusive art piece, donated by Sue
Suster, will be featured in the auction. "Through this art piece we experience
the essence of woman united as one entity with "Time To Share."-Sue Suster

Limited edition of "Time to Share" art pieces will be available for
purchase. Contact Lori Graham 602/488-8011. Proceeds will benefit
Playing for T.I.M.E.

Time to Share

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Posted By Village Carpets

Village Workroom

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 12:53:01 PM America/Chicago

In the Village workroom,
craftswoman Marilyn
Johnston is backed by rugs
Sue Sustcr has designed.
Customers often come in to
watch their rugs in the
process of being made.

Barbara Betke helps a
customer attracted into the
warm Village showroom by
the bright area rugs and
pillows displayed in the

Village Workroom

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Posted By Village Carpets

The Red Carpet

Friday, December 12, 2014 1:47:54 PM America/Chicago

Traditional-Antique Red Runner by Anadol Rugs

Thousands of years ago, cultures in various parts of the world included intricately patterned and hand-woven rugs as a part of royal and upscale life. The rug was meant to cusion and warm up the feet, and protect them from hard floor, sharp pieces, cold stone and dust. Primarily in the eastern part of the world, rugs were mostly hand-woven with great care and made of wool, silk, jute and linen.

The rug was soon associated with the luxury of the royalty. The kings' palaces had rugs and long runners everywhere -- in entrances, rooms, corridors, ballrooms, halls, assemblies and private chambers. Perhaps this is how the term "Red Carpet" became popular and was quickly associated with honor, respect and hospitality.

American homes typically have rugs and carpets. The cold climate makes people appreciate the importance of rugs in their lives. Today we have a carpeted America. The stone and wooden floors in homes and buildings are almost always covered. Necessity and comfort blend with cultural trends to create a rug revolution. Many home-owners have replaced wall-to-wall beige carpeting with designer area rugs in various styles. Rug styles and designs range from traditional to contemporary and modern, antique styles and silks, and to many people's surprise, there are rugs that speak to you, that speak your language, that when placed in your home will speak for you. What's more, the rug that decorates your room creates an atmosphere around it.

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Posted By Village Carpets

Color Trends in Area Rugs: Grays, Silvers and Taupes

Friday, December 12, 2014 1:39:15 PM America/Chicago

It is well known that fashion recycles itself like the seasons. New designs, patterns, styles and colors are seen in the market every year and in every season. What changes quickly for attire, also applies to area rugs, albeit at a slower pace. As we move into the New Year, the past few months have been speaking gray, silver and taupe in the rug industry. A large portion of the trendiest pieces that rug vendors are carrying today come in grays, silvers and taupes, sending an almost monochromatic message but with that sparkle.

The Silver Grey Rug Is In.

Interior designers Sherwin-Williams points in this direction as well.


A well-known vendor that has proven this trend is Nourison Rugs, featured on Village Carpets.


Vallencierre Silver Grey Rug


Contour Silver Grey Rug

While the bright and colourful can fit some places, these soft tones are quickly finding a place in many hearts and homes. Many top-quality area rugs come with a shimmer that creates an uplifting atmosphere. At the same time, the colors are not loud at all. They do not shout, they whisper.

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Posted By Village Carpets

The Silk Route: An Infographic on the Production of Sari Silk Rugs

Monday, October 20, 2014 12:28:07 PM America/Chicago


Silk Rugs represent a new forward-thinking approach to design. Handwoven by indigenous weavers in India using the finest recycled sari silk, each unique design takes six to nine months to produce. Each one-of-a-kind carpet is individually handcrafted by artisans in India using handspun recycled sari silk, then overdyed with translucent layers of color, brilliant traces of pattern emerge through the iridescent silk surface to compose mesmerizing compositions.

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Posted By Village Carpets

Rug Care: An Owner's Guide to Caring for Your Decorative Rugs

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 3:09:40 PM America/Chicago

Rug Care: An Owner's Guide

There are common issues inherent to the ongoing care of decorative rugs.The issues below do not constitute a defective product, nor a reasons for the product to be returned.

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