Architectural Delight Lecture: Catherine Connolly | The Moral Importance of Craft

Catherine Forster Connolly is the owner and CEO of Merida | Natural Rugs. Their mission is to be a counter-cultural company that reimagines textiles as art. They are committed to rediscover and reinvent the equation of how products are made, celebrate the nobility of craftsmanship, the beauty of natural materials, and the sustaining joy that connects the maker and the receiver. Their ethos is bound by the following commitments:

1. Make beautiful products that are built on layers of art, culture, technique and design.

2. Use natural materials that celebrate the earth’s natural beauty and are rapidly replenishable, safe for the environment, and healthy for the home.

3. Elevate the practice of craftsmanship by providing opportunities for craftspeople to master technique, gain confidence to innovate, and develop viable careers.

4. Cultivate a virtuous circle with products that bring as much joy to the maker as to the receiver.

Catherine has been the CEO of Merida for 15 years and purchased the company seven years ago.  During her tenure, Catherine has led the transformation of the company from an importer of high-end sisal to a design-driven textile company designing and manufacturing rugs in Fall River, MA.  The mission of the company is to re-imagine textile manufacturing in the US based on original design, craftsmanship and natural materials which are better for the environment (the remaining 90% of rugs today are made from synthetic yarns which are plastic). Merida is achieving this strategy by selling directly to interior designers and architects through their showrooms in LA, NYC and Boston.  Prior to Merida, Catherine ran a market research company, Pyramid Research, in the high-tech space for 6 years and worked as head of Research and as an analyst for six years prior to taking over the company’s leadership.  Catherine got her MA in International Relations and Economics from Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in 1995 and graduated with an AB in Comparative Area Studies from Duke University in 1991.  Catherine lives in Newton, MA with her husband and her three children.

  • Thursday, December 15, 2022
  • 12:00 PM  1:30 PM

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