Earlier this summer The Ruggist featured a glowing review of the Fatboy Picnic Lounge; lavishing praise and adulation upon it as the hot summer sun beat down on us, we extolled the virtuous wonder of that amazing blanket for the beach. But that was summer, and with the sun now resting much lower in the sky, I had assumed the lounge had been rolled up and packed away for the last time awaiting next year and another season of beach going. That was until I spoke with the delightfully cheerful Paige Albright of Paige Albright Orientals in Birmingham, Alabama.
‘Designers love them’ Ms. Albright begins, referring to Fatboy’s other rug product, the Non-Flying Carpet. ‘They don’t button them together [as the product is designed to do], but they love the style and versatility, and when they get dirty you can just four oh nine them.’ I pause her for a moment wondering what kind of regional vernacular I am dealing with before I realize she means Formula 409 ® the cleaner, and not something else. She then continues ‘They are a clever product that is fun and perfectly suited for going to the beach, football games, little league games, and of course tailgating!’ I next inquire as one would after hearing the later part of that sentence by asking: tailgating? ‘Oh yes!’ Paige states ‘One client bought one and took it tailgating, and the next thing you know everyone has to have one. Tailgating is very competitive!’
Paige also tells me that while her business is primarily in older and antique traditionally styled carpets she does significant business in indoor/outdoor rugs – specifically mentioning those from Capel and Dash and Albert. Her clients love the durability and ease of cleaning afforded by indoor/outdoor rated carpets, and when paired with the fun, fresh, and modern interpretation of traditional ‘Persian’ elements, it’s easy to see how the Fatboy products fit into her offerings. ‘Oh and the Picnic Lounge, that is just crazy!’ she says enthusiastically ‘All of those little motifs are just so interesting!’ Obviously I could not agree more, but having your product described as ‘crazy’ is not always seen as an endorsement, unless of course you happen to be Studio Kluif, the design firm that created the Picnic Lounge for Fatboy.
As we further discussed his work for Fatboy he regaled me with the origin story of the ‘Cooper Cappie‘ for their ‘Edison the Petit‘ lamp which in short involves imagery of famed British [actually Welsh for those concerned] prop comedian and magician Tommy Cooper (renown for wearing a fez), too much whisky, and lamp shades as hats. The rest, as is said, is history but you can see now why ‘crazy’ is an appropriate description for the work behind the Picnic Lounge.