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Welcome to My Design Alley. A design blog celebrating design in many forms - from interior spaces to new products, stores and interviews with designers both local and from around the world.

A Moment With | Jodie Fried

A Moment With | Jodie Fried

Jodie Fried is one inspiring lady. As Co-Owner of Armadillo & Co, Jodie is extremely passionate about ethical design - the focus at Armadillo & Co is focused on honesty foremost, followed by craftsmanship, function and of course beautiful form. Now based in Los Angeles, Australian-born Jodie works closely with Artisans in India, who are almost like an extended family, to lovingly produce the wonderful Fair Trade practiced rugs in the Armadillo & Co collection. I caught up with Jodie to discuss her journey to where she is today and her unwavering passion for design.

Hi Jodie, tell me a about your journey to where you are today as co-founder of Armadillo & Co? I am the Creative Director and Co-Founder of Armadillo & Co and I live in Venice, Los Angeles with my husband and my three young children. I met Sally Pottharst (Co-founder of Armadillo & Co) in 2009 and we were inspired to create elegant, classic and high quality rugs that we could not find for our own homes. 

 ”It was pretty simple - what we couldn’t find, we decided to make. We wanted to combine aesthetics with ethics and have a clear focus on social responsibility.”
  Armadillo & Co's  Bespoke Collection in Tuck. Photo - Armelle Habib.

Armadillo & Co's Bespoke Collection in Tuck. Photo - Armelle Habib.

Have you always worked in the design industry? I grew up in Australia and had a background as a Theatre Designer and Photographer before I embarked on starting my first homewares business after living and working in India for 3 years. I was creative from a very young age and have known nothing else - I drove my parents mad while I was growing up with all the paint and handmade creations in our house!

  Armadillo & Co  ‘s  new rug designs from its luxurious Heirloom Collection. Photo - Felix Forest.

Armadillo & Co‘s new rug designs from its luxurious Heirloom Collection. Photo - Felix Forest.

Your focus at Armadillo & Co is on Fair Trade - why is this important to you? Our primary focus at Armadillo & Co has always been first and foremost on social responsibility. Without this foundation of production in this way we would not have a product which is infused with rich history and craft. 

“We are authentic, ethical, sustainable, resourceful and progressive in our approach.”  

Every piece embraces Fair Trade practices, is crafted from sustainable natural fibres including pure wool, cotton and hemp. All purchases benefit the local schools in our weavers’ villages. We promote ethical consumerism and work towards crafting beautiful products with the help of our incredible artisans. There is no child labour used in any of our rug making and we collaborate with various organisations against illegal child labour to ensure Fair Trade practices are met.

 The Earth Collection in Husk Weave from  Armadillo & Co . Photo - Armelle Habib.

The Earth Collection in Husk Weave from Armadillo & Co. Photo - Armelle Habib.

What are you most passionate about? I am most passionate about authentic, good quality, sustainable and responsible design. 

“Philanthropy is a big part of what makes me tick.”

Our business would not operate without the social responsibility side of things. I am very passionate about our business being built so tenderly by so many hands and proud that we are so deeply involved in another culture, craft, the artisans and their lives.

What do you love most about what you do? I love being surrounded by like-minded and talented individuals who are such a big part of fulfilling our vision. They all 100% believe in what we do and it's so inspiring to have their energy around making Armadillo & Co what it is today.

 The Earth Collection in Sierra Weave from  Armadillo & Co . Photo - Armelle Habib.

The Earth Collection in Sierra Weave from Armadillo & Co. Photo - Armelle Habib.

How does Armadillo & Co give back? We provide 100% funding to support the operations and salaries of a local school in our weaver’s village. We are members of, donate and are actively involved in Care & Fair, an organization that fights against child labor in India, Nepal and Pakistan. We also support The Anganwadi Project which builds and operates preschools in urban slums for underprivileged children. 

“By connecting our customers with armadillo & co, they become a part of this journey - their purchases and fundraising donations directly support the causes that inspire us to do what we do.”
  Armadillo & Co‘s  new Heirloom Collection rug, pictured in the Kingfisher colour option. Photo - Felix Forest.

Armadillo & Co‘s new Heirloom Collection rug, pictured in the Kingfisher colour option. Photo - Felix Forest.

Where do you go for inspiration, is there ever any shortage? I believe inspiration is everywhere. I get a lot of inspiration from travel, shapes, colours and textures in everyday places and objects. My inspiration changes regularly. I am currently very inspired by artists - everything from photography, painting and sculpture. There is a lot of installation work in the craft field happening at the moment, which is very beautiful.

“Over the years, I have definitely been inspired by the Australian landscape and its earthy colours, tones and textures.”
 The Earth Collection in Drift Weave from  Armadillo & Co . Photo - Armelle Habib.

The Earth Collection in Drift Weave from Armadillo & Co. Photo - Armelle Habib.

You now live in Los Angeles - what do you love most about living there? I have lived in LA with my family for almost 10 years now. We love, love, love this city. We live in Venice Beach, so it’s close to the ocean which is great for taking the kids to the beach after school, dropping in for a surf, and riding our bikes along the boardwalk. 

“Los Angeles is a very diverse cultural city - full of inspiring creatives, from all walks of life.”

The weather is pretty much always great, not to mention all the great Mexican food!

  Armadillo & Co  ‘s  new rug designs from its luxurious Heirloom Collection. Photo - Felix Forest.

Armadillo & Co‘s new rug designs from its luxurious Heirloom Collection. Photo - Felix Forest.

What are you loving at the moment? Wallflower, a great Indonesian restaurant in Rose Street, Venice - the food is incredible, as are their cocktails. The Arts District in Downtown LA - there is a great new boom of galleries, warhouses and cafes - a real creative subculture to this city. The start of summer and getting back into the ocean for a surf. The book, Wonder Plants – Your Jungle Interior, which is feeding my current indoor plant obsession!

 The  Heirloom Collection comes in six colours variants : Duchess, Pearl, Midnight, Kingfisher, Oyster, and Byzantine.  Photo - Felix Forest.

The  Heirloom Collection comes in six colours variants: Duchess, Pearl, Midnight, Kingfisher, Oyster, and Byzantine. Photo - Felix Forest.

 Jodie Fried in her Los Angeles studio.

Jodie Fried in her Los Angeles studio.

What’s in store for Armadillo & Co in 2017? Lots of exciting times ahead, as we expand and open our first flagship store in Los Angeles and European distribution later this year. We have lots of new product in development especially in hand knotted rugs.

“We are really diving into the world of gorgeous, dirty colours and divine, luxurious textures.” 

Stay tuned!

Thank you Jodie! | Armadillo&Co @armadilloandco

+ Main portrait image of Jodie Fried by Chris Warnes.

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