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Feizy Rugs surviving, thriving after 40 years

LAS VEGAS - According to the Small Business Administration, upwards of 56% of businesses fail at the five-year mark. In stark contrast, Dallas-based Feizy Rugs is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.
To commemorate the anniversary, Furniture/Today Editor-in-Chief Ray Allegrezza talked with Leah Feizy about the company's successful tenure in the home furnishings sector. She is Feizy's executive vice president and is the daughter of company founder John Feizy, who remains its president and CEO.

John Feizy and Lean FeizyJohn Feizy started Feizy Rugs 40 years ago and remains its president and CEO. His daughter Leah Feizy is the company’s executive vice president.
Furniture/Today: Why and how did Feizy launch 40 years ago?

Leah Feizy: Feizy Rugs started in 1973 as a small retail store in a suburb of Dallas and was born out of John Feizy's desire to make fine, hand-knotted pieces more accessible to all. A loyal clientele of designers led him to lease a space in the Dallas World Trade Center about a year later to cater more specifically to the needs of the trade.

F/T: What was the market like when the company was launched?

LF: There were very few rug shops and there were no programmed hand-made goods at that time. By that, I mean that the rug that the customer saw in the shop was the rug that was available. The customer could not ask for that rug in a custom color or custom size. We worked mainly with designers and consumers that had educated themselves about these fine works of art.
Back then, there was no Internet so it was more difficult to discover how truly special and unique the rugs we carried were. Our dad, John, took great joy in really educating the consumers about these marvelous pieces of art and in hand-selecting them on buying trips.

F/T: How has the market changed in the 40 years Feizy Rugs has been in business? Also, tell me about the most significant changes - and how you managed them.

LF: Perhaps the most significant change has been the ability to customize designs. It certainly allowed us to expand very rapidly and was a great advantage.
Lately, the increased demand for more fashion and value-oriented rugs has also changed the face of the market. It's becoming more difficult to source fine hand-knotted pieces. We are lucky to have a wide range of constructions and qualities in our running line and the ability to offer a variety of products because we have such a strong network overseas in areas including Turkey, Pakistan, India and China

F/T: What are some of the innovations and or milestones your company has achieved since it launched?

LF: Our programmed lines really took off with the Eden Collection of petit point hooked rugs in the late 1980s. With the huge success of that collection, many more soon followed.
The opening of our 12-loom factory in Turkey in 2000 allowed us to explore the possibilities of different power loomed textures and fiber combinations. One of the biggest successes we have had (and continue to enjoy) is with the Saphir Collections. We pioneered this construction and despite the fact that there are many imitations, there are very few companies that have been as successful as Feizy has with this type of rug.
Our growth and expansion nationally and internationally, the fact that we are the first area rug manufacturer to have been inducted into the ARTS Awards Hall of Fame, and the use of Feizy Rugs in the Architectural Digest Academy Awards Greenroom over the last two years have been exciting as well. And reaching 40 years is a definite milestone!


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