Based in London's Shoreditch district, FLOOR_STORY is a multi-award winning and independent flooring brand with a focus on rugs.
We got the chance to have a chat with Simon Goff, Founder and Director of FLOOR_STORY about how to unite design, craftsmanship and sustainability in one brand.
Designed by John Booth
I created FLOOR_STORY back in 2009 but alongside my full time job so it wasn’t really until around 2015 that we really started. This is when we launched our first collection with my dear friend Kangan Arora (new and 3rd collection dropping very soon). Things really took off when we took our first retail space with KENT & LONDON in Shoreditch. Since then we have grown year by year and have now just opened a 2200 sq ft stand alone showroom, still in Shoreditch.
We set out to create rugs that were a little more leftfield, not follow trends and with designers that inspired us. One rule only though: each designer must not have designed a rug before. We find we get better, more creative work, our part of the collaboration is taking the designs and making them into a product we can sell. We work with established names and up and coming designers as well as producing our own in-house collections.
Designed by Emily Forgot
They all happened in different ways but always from an angle of creative admiration. I’ve been an Eley Kishimoto fan for a long time, I kept bugging Mark until he eventually agreed to meet me and show me around his factory in Brixton and we agreed on a plan that day. New collection is coming very soon.
We had previously made some limited edition hand woven pieces for John Booth and Studio Voltaire, which is when I ‘discovered’ him and his style. I was in love with his vases (and now own one) so approached John and he was up for developing a small collection. The Giovanni rug has gone on to win awards and John is also one the nicest blokes in the business!
I bought my partner Emma one of Kitty Joseph’s Chroma dresses and everywhere we go she gets stopped by people asking where she got it. I was telling Grace Woodward this and she suggested I speak to Kitty about a collab, I did and the collection is one of our most popular to date.
Designed by Henry Holland
Your products not only stand for award winning designs, but also for sustainability. How are you maintaining ethical correct products in a very competitive market?We are currently putting our company through a ‘cradle to cradle’ sustainability audit. We want to find out where we are failing, where we are good, and where we are failing - we aim to put things in place to improve with a 5 year plan that is almost ready All rugs we make carry the Goodweave label which means (amongst other things) no child labour, good working condition, fair wages etc. We want to ensure that the wonderful craft people that make our rugs are treated incredibly fair and well.
Are you educating your customers here, or the other way around?It’s always been in the forefront of our minds but our customers are more interested now, they are willing to pay more and be patient to receive ethical goods which are fairly paid for, this is a big shift. People in the past have been very ethically minded until it hits their wallets.
Designed by Child Studio
Designed by Mac Collins
You have a background in interior design. What are your personal sources of inspiration?
Travel, art, fashion but mostly travel. My partner Emma and my Daughter Bibi love to travel and have been to so many places. We are conscious of too much plane travel so bought a camper in lockdown (like many others!) and have been exploring this much closer to home and into Europe, Switzerland, Germany and Slovenia have been real highlights.
Simon, thank you so much for your precious time!