During this period of spending more time at home, we have been looking to our favorite people for inspiration. Jodie Fried is the co-founder of Armadillo & Co, whose sustainable, hand-crafted rugs can be found through out many of our projects.
We asked if she would take us through a day in her life at home, sharing how she fills the hours. We hope that these little moments and vignettes bring you as much joy as they have brought us, and that, in reading this, you catch a moment of inspiration.
All photographs taken by Jodie.
For us as a family, this time has been like no other. Naturally, our reality as adults has been filled with questions, anxiety and concern, but our children have not been happier and have lead us through this time with the most amazing abundance of joy and love. Quarantine has give us the opportunity as a family to laugh, cook, read, watch movies and eat meals together. Simple joys, which our fast-paced life was previously not allowing us the opportunity to do!
My day starts at 6 am. I like a routine and early starts, and this allows me to have a cup of tea on my own before the kids wake for breakfast and we start our day. Keeping a schedule has been key for our family, as it has been a challenge to even remember what day it is and to also make sure we have purpose during our working week.
My morning Zoom pilates classes give time for me, my mind and my body, (pretty much the only time of the day I am on my own) after which the rest of the day cascades into school work for 3 kids until lunchtime – and then my Armadillo day begins!
After many years of building our house in Venice, CA, we are finally getting to enjoy it at its best, the timing could not have been better. We have swapped out school PE classes for swims in our pool, math fractions for cooking and science for documentaries and gardening.
Time at home has allowed me to observe the way the light dances in our rooms, at times of day I wouldn’t normally be home, as well as use spaces I normally wouldn’t have the time to do so. I am also enjoying our garden, in all its abundance, and the hummingbirds that come to visit now that we are easing into warmer weather.
All in all, I have become so grateful for slowing down, being mindful with our family, our space, the things that surround us and taking our children’s lead, whose love buckets are overflowing!
– Jodie Fried
A few additional questions outside of your quarantine routine!
Ronen Lev: One of the things we love most about Armadillo & Co is how devoted you are to ethics and sustainability. You built Armadillo & Co on the principles of sustainability, fair trade and social responsibility. Can you tell us more about the Armadillo & Co foundation and how we can help to support it.
Jodie Fried: When Sally and I first met we were very much united by a desire to give back, so the philanthropic side of the business is something that has been around since its inception. We established the Armadillo & Co Foundation in 2018, really to formalize what we had already been doing.
The Foundation supports a local school in India called KVM, attended by many of our weavers’ children. When we stepped in seven years ago they had just lost their funding, so we really resurrected it from scratch and now fully subsidize everything from teacher salaries, textbooks and school uniforms to utilities, maintenance and health checks for students and their families.
As a women-led business, the thing that Sally and I are probably the most proud of is the Foundation’s scholarship program. Traditionally, a lot of girls in these communities leave school to assume domestic duties. Each year, we identify the highest achievers and award them a nine-year scholarship to ensure they can complete their secondary education. Returning each year to visit these girls and see how much their world has opened up is wonderful and overwhelming all at once – we feel such a deep responsibility towards them.
At Armadillo & Co, we give back 10% of net profits from each rug sold to the Foundation to fund all these initiatives but we also welcome donations – if you’re inclined to help, you can do so on our website.
RL: How do India’s artisanal, handcraft traditions inspire what you design and produce?
JF: Sally and I will often take the seed of an idea to India and build on it based on what we see our artisans doing. We’re constantly inspired by our dye masters and weavers, because they have an abundance of experience and an incredible skillset that has been handed down through the generations.
We combine this legacy of craftsmanship with a contemporary edge, and keep pushing and pulling until we land on something that feels fresh and exciting but substantial and enduring. It’s mesmerizing to witness firsthand – our visits are full of these magical “aha” moments of creativity and we hope that translates into products that our customers treasure.
RL: You opened up your first flagship store in California and then another in Sydney, do you have plans to open more stores?
JF: We do – in addition to our flagship stores in LA and Sydney, we have trade showrooms in New York, Melbourne and Brisbane. We’re looking to open them up to the public in the near future!
RL: How would you describe the overall experience you’re striving to create in your showrooms? What kinds of words would you use to describe it?
JF: Our showrooms are an extension of our brand, intended to set a mood that is soothingly intimate, immersive and elevated, like a refuge from the outside world. They are sensory environments where you can experience our rugs firsthand, really appreciate their understated luxury and impeccable quality in a calm and considered setting, and easily imagine bringing them to life in your own home.