During the past few years, we have all spent more time dining at home – creating a desire for many to set a more stylish table. As a result, we have experienced an increase in demand for beautiful tabletop products sold at the Museum Store. Especially popular has been a line of high-quality textiles from family-owned company Rennie & Rose.
The Company’s Beginnings
In 1989, Lisa Rose was encouraged by her mother, Charlotte Rennie, to make her own handbag after expressing frustration at not being able to find just the right one. Lisa had been sewing since she was 7-years-old, so she got to work. That one purse would be the project that launched Rennie & Rose, a successful home décor business that is thriving today.
Lisa and her mom started by selling their wares – mainly totes and apparel at that time – at craft shows on the weekends. Lisa was employed full time as an accountant, but, after a short time, she was able to devote all of her skills and creative energy to this rapidly-growing business.
Lisa’s husband Greg joined the company in 1997. An engineer and salesman by trade, Greg and Lisa managed the wholesale side of the business while Charlotte oversaw retail partnerships.
In the early days, the company was creating throws, totes, and apparel from custom fabrics woven at several mills around the country. It was a contact who worked at one of the mills who asked “why aren’t you doing tabletop?” A new line of products was born.
While not formally trained in art or a related field, Lisa’s inherent design sense and skills allow her to translate the family’s love of nature, history, art, and architecture into unique and stunning patterns.
During a conversation with Lisa and Greg, Lisa explained that Louis Sullivan’s designs have provided a lot of inspiration over the years. It’s worth mentioning here that Frank Lloyd Wright worked for Sullivan’s firm very early in his career, calling Sullivan his “Lieber Meister” (German for “Beloved Master”).
The Company Today
Rennie & Rose has a never-ending commitment to quality, and during the last decade has witnessed the closing and consolidation of many mills in the US. About four years ago, they moved the fabric weaving to Turkey, where centuries-old, traditional weaving methods are still used. The custom fabric is then sent to the company’s facility in Vermont where all production takes place. They expect perfection, and it shows.
The pandemic also created the need for the company to update its website and enhance its e-commerce capabilities. Sales continue to grow, and the family-owned business is grateful it was able to pivot throughout all of the challenges and opportunities of recent years.
The Museum Store carries a wide selection of tabletop and other home decor items from Rennie & Rose, available online and in store. The store is open to the public during tour hours.