The Rug Company

Exited in 2015

The Rug Company designs and produces handmade luxury contemporary rugs which are sold throughout the world, from New York to Hong Kong.

With over 300 rug designs to select from, its exclusive designs are developed both in house, led by Suzanne Sharp, or through collaboration with over 30 designers from the worlds of fashion (Paul Smith, Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood), interior design (Emily Todhunter, Kelly Wearstler, Tom Dixon) and textiles (Nina Campbell).

The business also offers a bespoke service that allows customers to adapt, re-colour or re-size existing rugs or create entirely new designs.

The business was founded by husband and wife team Chris and Suzanne Sharp, who recognised a gap in the market for quality, handmade contemporary rugs. Their first store opened in Holland Park, London in 1997 since when the business has expanded to over 27 showrooms worldwide.

Having successfully grown the business to 8 stores, Chris and Suzanne Sharp felt it was time to bring in a partner to help them achieve their ambitious growth plans.

Advice was required to help expand internationally and to build a professional management team to support that expansion. Piper were actively involved in helping to develop and recruit the team, introducing a Chairman, Finance Director and Marketing Director into the business, as well as helping to structure an appropriate sales team.

Piper’s investment in 2008 (taking a minority stake) and its close involvement enabled the business to open new owned stores in New York, Dallas, Chicago, Miami, two in London and most recently a store in Munich. In addition to owned stores the business has expanded with it’s franchise partners in Dubai, Mexico, Canada, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Taiwan and the Lebanon.

They really understand branded businesses and the vital importance of focus, even when things are slightly less rosy. If I were to start another business I would have Piper on board.

Chris Sharp, Founder & MD, The Rug Company

The journey

1997 Chris and Suzanne open the first store in London
2008 Piper invests for a significant minority stake. A new Finance Director is introduced
2009 A Chairman is introduced and a new store is opened in Miami
2010 A direct, outward bound sales model is developed. Alexander McQueen agrees to design a range of rugs
2011 Two more stores are opened in the USA and new franchises are opened in the Middle East and Canada
2012 A Marketing Director is recruited. New company owned stores open in New York and two in London. A transactional website is launched. The Rug Company are selected to design a rug for the Queen's Jubilee boat.
2013 Expansion continues with the opening of St Petersburg and Taiwan.
2015 Piper exits global luxury brand, The Rug Company

Piper exits The Rug Company

[9 Nov 2015] - Piper, has sold its stake in The Rug Company to Palamon Capital Partners. The Rug Company is the preeminent global luxury rug brand. Under Piper’s…

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