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Inside Job

Inside a Textile-Obsessed Designer’s Mood-Boosting Studio

Inside Job 03/29/2017

Millicent Armstrong travels far and wide to source antique Moroccan and Turkish rugs for Artemis Design Co., her line of colorful shoes, bags, and home goods. So it makes sense that she’d want to do some serious nesting in her atelier in Boston’s up-and-coming Allston ‘hood where she spends most of her time when she’s stateside. She invites customers in on an appointment basis—if you’re lucky enough to be a local, take note! And if you’re not, well, here’s a virtual version.

 

This is me at my desk, wearing my favorite new Sophie Monet earrings! Our studio is painted completely white—our products, kilim rugs, and furniture are all so colorful that we didn't want the rest of the space to compete with the products. My chair is an antique Chinese piece that I found on the street on the Upper West Side when I was living in NYC. To this day, it's my favorite free find. The rugs are my favorite boucherouite flat-weave style, which I got on a recent sourcing trip in Morocco.”

 

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Blue Orbit Earrings
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“I am completely fascinated with the symbology and language of kilim weavings. So many people do not realize that every kilim tells a story, and the motifs and their placements are not random. The creators, who were mostly women, wove stories about their lives and their desires into their kilims. Whenever we get new kilim products in, we try to find symbols and figure out what they mean using books that we have on hand like How to Know Oriental Rugs, Oriental Rugs in Color, Kilim History and Symbols, and Kilims and Symbols.”

 

“The large plant in the corner is a calamondin tree that I've been growing for the past 22 years! I started it from a seed when I was very young, and it produces at least three large harvests of calamondins every year. They look like kumquats but are very sour and are only really good for making delicious cocktails or marmalade. The other plants were all rescued from the trash! On the left are our signature classic kilim loafer shoes. They are incredibly comfortable, and every single pair is unique.”

 

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Silk Ikat Dot Loafer
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“This little seating area is for customers to try on shoes and relax when they visit the studio. All of the furniture was purchased through Craigslist, and a friend of mine, Cody Nowell, reupholstered the cushions so they all match—I've always dreamed of having a velvet sofa. The rug on the floor was sourced in Turkey, and I loved it so much that I couldn't bear to cut it up for shoes!”

 

“There’s lot of stacks of Turkish kilims, Moroccan wedding blankets, and shaggy Moroccan carpets around because we sell them on our site.”

 

“This is Gerry, my dog! He is a rescue from North Carolina. We think he's a poodle-dachshund-terrier mix. Being able to have my dog at work is the absolute best.”

 

“I love my desk—I found it at an antique store for $30, and I’m obsessed with the scalloping detail. The pencil and paintbrush holder is a souvenir from a really incredible fish restaurant in Tangier that I went to with my mom. They gave this to us as we were leaving, and it has the most incredible smoky smell to it.”

 

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