On today’s episode of the Craft Industry Alliance podcast we’re talking about​ building a business in rug hooking with my guest Rose Pearlman.

Rose is an artist and teacher who focuses on textile design. Her workshops center on ways of making beautiful home objects with simple, inexpensive materials. As the daughter of two artists, her parents taught her to value a life filled with creating, tinkering, and playing. She lives in New York City with her family.

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We begin the conversation by talking about Rose’s childhood growing up in Vermont, the child of artists. Rose was raised on the campus of the Vermont Studio Center where her father worked. She went on to NYU to study photography, then became a yoga teacher for a while before beginning to teach art classes in the New York City public schools through Symphony Space.

While teaching students she became interested in the idea of making crafts from simple, everyday materials and ended up self-publishing a book of tutorials called Tied With String. She also invented a product called Loome and started a business, along with a partner. They later parted ways.

When she became a mother Rose returned to a craft her own mother had pursued when she was a child: rug hooking. Like abstract painting, but with yarn, rug hooking was something she could pick up and put down in small moments between taking care of her young son. She also had good timing – Arounna Khounnoraj of Bookhou had recently brought rug hooking (also called punch needle) to the forefront on her popular Instagram feed. (Listen to our interview with Arounna on Episode #79.)

Rose explains the basics of rug hooking including the materials she recommends (backing fabric, yarn from Seal Harbor Rug Co., the Oxford Punch Needle #10, and no slip hoops). 

Soon her abstract rug hooking work began to gain attention. She was asked to teach a class on Bluprint last summer and she’ll be teaching at The Makerie in Boulder, CO this coming May. (Listen to our interview with Ali DeJohn, founder of The Makerie, on Episode #64.)

Rose’s new book, Modern Rug Hooking: 22 Punch Needle Projects For Crafting a Beautiful Home, was published by Roost Books in December. We talk about what she learned from the process of writing this book and how it different from self-publishing. 

Most of Rose’s opportuntiies have come to her through her beautiful Instagram feed. I ask Rose to share some insights into her Instagram strategy and Squaready, the app she uses to preview how her feed will look. 

And, of course, I ask Rose to recommend things she’s enjoying right now. Rose recommends:

Keep up with Rose on her website and on her Instagram feed. 

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