As a champion of the traditional methods of hand-made rug weaving, remaining “radically old-school” in the way fine Tibetan rugs are made is keeping Erika Kurtz on the cutting edge of modern design and interiors.

“In a world of fast fashion, we are finally beginning to see a return to a time where consumers are being more thoughtful in their product choices and have a renewed appreciation for fine, artisanal goods and the impact products can have on communities and the environment,” says Kurtz, Chief Operating Officer and designer for New Moon Rugs, a company founded in 1993 by her father, the artist and renowned rug historian John Kurtz, in Wilmington, Delaware.

“Innovation then really comes in the form of unique design and using materials in new and surprising ways,” Erika continues. “Companies that strive to hold on to these century-old techniques to make something built that stands the test of time, and who push the envelope to create exciting new design trends, are the ones worth watching.”

Starting out as an antique-rug collector and dealer in the living room of his home before moving into a gallery, John enthusiastically searched for and found beautiful antique rugs and shared them with collectors from around the world. Early in his career, he was inspired to bring the wonderful art of rug weaving to an even larger audience. He did so with his popular PBS series Art Underfoot, which ran from 1988 to 1992, and then again on HGTV, introducing millions of viewers to the world of oriental rugs. In 1993, John began fulfilling a desire to have an outlet for his own creative process by taking his more than 20 years of experience as a dealer of antique rugs to create original designs under the New Moon label.

After discovering partners in Nepal with whom he could make this vision a reality, New Moon was founded. Since the inception of New Moon in 1993, John has been uniting his dedication to the highest standards of craftsmanship and design with his commitment to socially responsible business practices.

Since 2004, Erika has guided the operations at New Moon.

Many of the textiles in Winterthur’s collection can serve as inspiration for today’s designers, Erika says.

Erika is a featured speaker in March at the month-long Winterthur House of Style event. A lineup of sought-after design professionals will deliver flair to Delaware with talks, workshops, and demonstrations featuring their expertise in floral elegance, table décor, home fashion, wine, and entertaining throughout March at Winterthur.

Participants in the House of Style event series will dive into the latest design trends and learn how to use them in their living spaces. With different themes on March 4, 11, 18, and 23, every design devotee will find an event—or a day of events—that interests them.

“I will be providing a look into all parts of the living supply chain that creates my family’s line of Tibetan rugs that are made in Nepal,” Erika says. “It will be a crash course on how Tibetan rugs are made, from the raw wool to the finished product. From there we will discuss the evolution of design in the rug trade, from traditional to contemporary, and how the ancient traditions of fine hand-weaving juxtaposed with a contemporary design aesthetic pave a way where styles can evolve constantly without having to sacrifice any of the quality or traditions of this ancient art form.”

Other speakers include such industry leaders as Margot Shaw, Founder and Editor in Chief of Flower magazine, and Scott Kravet, Chief Creative Director of Kravet Fabrics.