Brenda Saget: I've heard
you say Hokanson has "an obsessive devotion to quality." What
distinguishes quality carpeting to you?
Larry Hokanson: How sleek
a rug looks on the surface–the finish–is key. It will have a lot to
do with whether or not it will wear well. Can you see the weaving–or
is it virtually invisible, as it should be? Are the yarn tips in
neat, even rows the same distance apart, or are they going off in
all directions? Also examine the yarn itself. Rub your hand across
it. When a manufacturer uses less-expensive materials, you may see
fuzz. A lower-quality yarn also will yield a dull finish.
The only real secret Hokanson has is the quality of our
yarn. The finest silks and wools, custom spun and then dyed by
master colorists, help Hokanson carpets earn a place in prestigious
homes, executive offices, and designer boutiques across
Brenda Saget: Tell me a
bit about Hokanson's newest floor- covering options.
Larry Hokanson: We made our reputation by producing very
fine, thin rugs tufted in extremely high-quality wool and silk. But
the market is changing: Shag rugs are back. In fact, we've just
completed a spectacular handmade shag carpet for the Los Angeles
home of a major star and fashion trend-setter. It's an unusual
combination of copper and platinum yarns spun together, and it's
Brenda Saget: Your company sells to some of the
highest profile and most demanding clients in the world. Hokanson
carpets have even graced the Oval Office. What's your
Larry Hokanson: We don't cut corners when it comes to
design integrity and quality. We offer the best product money can
buy, design it better than anyone else, and gear the entire
organization to customer service.
Brenda Saget: What current design trends do you
see reflected in carpeting?
Larry Hokanson: Speed–and simplicity. Hokanson has the
fastest production time in North America. Another area where we made
our reputation is in intricately designed rugs. Nowadays simpler
designs are popular as well. So we're offering a new Texture
Collection, which is well-priced and produced quickly.
As with all our products, these textured designs are
seamless and available in custom colors.
Brenda Saget: What do you
attribute your production speed to?
Larry Hokanson: More employees; it's that simple. When
you put more people on the job, it's done faster. So there's no
waiting for an order to move from department to department. When
it's finished in dyeing, the gunners immediately start tufting it.
At Hokanson, rugs don't sit in the factory, waiting to be
Brenda Saget: It's well
known that design artistry is paramount at Hokanson. How big a part
does that play in your business?
Larry Hokanson: I started out in rug design and still
have a strong affinity for it. We now have ten design artists
working in our showrooms and factories. In the showrooms they're
available to design rugs for individual jobs. To help clients make
decisions, we have color photographs of more than 150 original
Some 60 percent of the business now comes from our
collection. The rest is custom work, where we create rugs and
carpets from scratch, designing and dyeing for a specific job.
Brenda Saget: When last we
spoke, you were about to open a Florida showroom at DCOTA (Design
Center of the Americas).
Larry Hokanson: It opened a few months ago [at 1855
Griffin Road, Suite C466, Dania Beach; 954-922-9382] and is a
beautiful 3,000-square-foot space designed by Gensler &
Associates architects. David Fernalld is the manager. Our next new
showroom will be in San Francisco, and that's scheduled to open in
Brenda Saget: Does your
Web site at www.hokansoncarpet.com also help to market your
Larry Hokanson: : It does, in that it acts as a catalog.
Visitors get to see a random selection of beautiful rugs from the
collection, and it's an easy way for the design community to contact
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