MIAMI — RUGit Gallery’s Paula Estrada brought a taste of Argentina to Florida late last fall when she opened her store’s first U.S. location in Miami, showcasing products that combine signature design aesthetics with a cleanability factor inspired by her own busy household.
Featuring indoor and outdoor rug collections inspired by renowned Argentine architects and interior designers including Ximena Fontan Balestra, Isabelle Firmin Didot, and Mery Gimenez, the RUGit line includes several collections that merge form and function.
According to company officials, Estrada created RUGit based on her own personal experience as the mother of four children, noting that she “saw an opportunity in the market when she realized rugs and modern houses weren’t compatible with a life of enjoyment.”
From Argentina to the U.S.
“RUGit revolutionized the Argentine market and has consolidated itself as a leading brand,” Estrada said. “We believed it was the right time to broaden our horizons, and Miami felt like the right place to grow our business internationally. We are taking our first steps in Madrid, so Miami and Madrid will be headquarters for the markets in Europe and in the United States.”
Estrada said she founded RUGit to “take away people’s fear of placing a rug in the dining room because it might be stained with wine,” and to instead encourage people to use rugs in any place in their homes, “enjoying them and having a sense of belonging in each space.”
A woman-owned business with a majority of women employees, RUGit opened in Argentina 10 years ago with the goal of “combining both the aesthetic and the practical.”
“We form an interdisciplinary team that has grown through the years, together with the evolution of the business,” Estrada said. “Since its creation, RUGit has had a majority of women employees. Our commitment with equal opportunities throughout the years has resulted in a team formed by different capabilities and age ranges that profit every day from each other’s experience and capacity.
“We believe it is important that our team have work-life balance, and our team stands out for their passion to do, their warmth in customer service and professional ethics, and their human qualities.”
A rug for every room
The three main RUGit collections include Jute, Tencel and Washable, and Estrada explains that the designs feature neutral colors, “no more than two in each piece,” to create a collection that lets consumers “unify and integrate their spaces.” The palette features beige, taupe, gray, cream, brown, black, and white in fade-resistant recyclable materials.
“Our rugs are made of polypropylene,” Estrada said. “Polypropylene is a type of plastic that can be molded by heating along, that is, it is a thermoplastic. It has similar characteristics to polyethylene, but with a higher softening point.”
And as the Miami location kicks off its first full year in business, Estrada believes that RUGit’s sustainability, cleanability and trend stories will merge into a strong triple-header for retail success.
“People are enjoying their houses more, and they have even enlarged their families with pets,” she said. “For these reasons and others, they need a house that is aesthetic, but at the same time functional and cleanable. We’re bringing the functionality we have on the outside for terraces to the interior, but with a sophisticated aesthetic.
“There is also a new trend of care, of not buying and throwing away items,” she said. “For these reasons, it is important to buy good quality and durable rugs.”
Creating the customer experience in every store
Estrada added that she wants an exemplary experience to be the hallmark of every customer’s visit, whether in Buenos Aires, Madrid or Miami.
“We are a team that provides a dedicated service from start to finish, and we understand the sale as a process that begins before it is completed and that doesn’t end with the delivery but is extended much further along a path that is always personalized,” she explains. “That’s why our work philosophy begins with a solid commitment to bringing the shopping experience to its best version. Our difference is our service.”