What Lies Beneath

BY Polly Sweet / Jan 31 2017 / 18:41 PM

The brainchild of a former advertising guru, From Jaipur With Love is changing the way that we look at flooring with its vibrant designs and bespoke rug service

What Lies Beneath

As a former Board Director for advertising giant DDB, it is perhaps not surprising that Elizabeth Morrison’s home is a haven of taste. She possesses a sharp eye and that uniquely British ability to throw everything together and make it look stylish, which clearly stood her in good stead during the 16 years that she spent creating award-winning campaigns for clients such as Pepsi, Nestle and Johnson & Johnson. What is more surprising perhaps, is that, in 2014, the globe-trotting executive walked away from it all to set up From Jaipur with Love, a company specialising in dhurries, those thick cotton, richly patterned rugs that are synonymous with India. The brand is now a go-to for the voguish homemaker looking for something a little more original than yet another beige carpet and is rapidly making its presence felt in the UAE and beyond.

“I began to realise there was more to life than a full on career,” Elizabeth explains of her decision to leave the corporate world behind. “But it took me years to have the confidence to resign. I finally did it though. I walked away from my career.” Citing it as one of the most liberating decisions that she has ever made, Elizabeth threw herself into being a mother for a while. But she was damned if she was just going to fill her new-found time with coffee mornings. On a trip to India with her husband Elliot six months after handing in her notice, she came up with the idea of customising and exporting dhurries worldwide and From Jaipur With Love was born.

Today, Elizabeth employs a team of 14 artisans based in Rajasthan, whose skill has been passed down from one generation to the next. From cotton dyeing to spooling to weaving they work on each and every element of production, making every single dhurrie entirely unique. Very few of these workers are left now as so many of them have been lured by the bright lights and false promises of nearby cities, but Elizabeth’s team is a loyal coterie of women and men who are proud of what they do and who, in return, Elizabeth feels honoured to be able to support. India holds a special place for Elizabeth and her family, so much so that she named one of her daughters after the country. “India is my everything,” she explains. “It’s magical and romantic, rich in history and staggeringly inspiring. It’s where my now husband proposed to me just before sunrise at the Taj Mahal, it’s where his grandparents met – India holds a very special place in my heart.”

As well as creating a small collection of ‘off-the-peg’ rugs in the most popular colours and styles, From Jaipur With Love offers a bespoke service, which is completely free of charge and which usually takes 45 days from order to delivery. With over 40 patterns and 90 different colours to choose from, with the additional option of adding pompoms, tassles, gold or silver thread, there is huge scope to get creative. There are distinct preferences for colourways and prints depending on individual markets – her European clients tend to go for burgundy, oxblood and forest green in smaller dimensions, while in the Middle East it’s a merry melange of brights or pastels in oversized proportions. One of her most notable commissions was by an Emirati lady whose chosen design required a whole new loom. “She wanted her dhurrie to be 25ft of solid red with a small white motif,” Elizabeth recalls, but the team was happy to oblige.

Most recently, From Jaipur With Love began working with a group of internationally acclaimed interior designers, who rely on Elizabeth and her team to bring their designs to life. It is one of the most exciting recent developments for the business and a quick flick through From Jaipur With Love’s Instagram feed shows its rugs in homes from London to Sydney. This little rug company is destined for big things.