About Hill & Company Rugs
Hill & Co History
Established in 1991 by Bill Hill & Peter Auckland, Hill & Co Rugs has enjoyed a slow but steady rise to the top. 'We've learnt as we've gone along,' says Managing Director, Bill Hill. They met in 1980 at Vigo Carpet Gallery, one of the world’s foremost sources for antique rugs. “We drank in information, history and knowledge of design aesthetics, giving us a huge passion for the rug business,' explains Bill.
Bill and Peter worked together for many years at Vigo, with Bill as Managing Director and Peter responsible for a new business faithfully reproducing antique originals. They also successfully set up the Contemporary Textile Gallery in Golden Square, the first retail outlet dedicated exclusively to the promotion and marketing of new work in fabrics and carpets mostly by young designers, many of whom have now gone on to become household names. They eventually decided to make the bold move to 'go it alone' and Hill & Co was formed.
Hill & Co are at the forefront of the British rug business designing and developing new ranges, unique one-off's and personal commissions.
‘The Company was initially focused on the manufacture of one-off reproductions of antique carpets for the likes of embassies, international government bodies, and museums where accuracy was required in every detail,' says Peter. 'But also a huge part of the business was focused on high end decorators from the Eastern states of the US, particularly New York'. 'We now enjoy working on a broad scale, being able to offer our customers beautifully hand made rugs as well as supplying unique designs for prestigious projects and some of the best interior designers, which means the business is varied, exciting and challenging at any one moment.'
Production was predominantly centred in Hungary and Romania in the earlier years but was gradually moved to India as Bill & Peter began to develop ranges of traditional and modern carpets for a broader market. 'This is where we put our passion for the business on the line as we pursued our conviction that moderately priced rugs need not be shoddily made nor carelessly designed,'
The wholesale side of the business now overtook the bespoke work and the business now makes for some of the biggest names in the home retail sector. 'It was from this point that we were able to develop Hill & Co, into the vibrant company it has become today. We're immensely proud of the strong link we've created between the UK – which in bygone days was known for producing rugs of the highest quality– and India, a nation renowned for it's craft, skill and ability to produce the finest quality products,' says Bill. The result is a forward thinking, dynamic company, able to offer a myriad of designs and qualities of rug within the market enhanced by the seamless working relationship between it's manufacturers and a strong UK based design.
Head of UK Sales, Denise Williams, says ‘Hill & Co are proud to be the first port of call for many homeowners. I love guiding customers around the showroom and seeing their reaction to various designs and finishes’.
The attention to detail that Hill & Co pride themselves on means all design work is undertaken by the in-house design team and full working ‘Nakshas’ (graph-paper format designs used by the weavers on the loom) are produced and supplied to the workshops.
Hill & Co has expertise covering all areas of new and antique carpets, manufacturing techniques and design from youth-culture to the minutiae of antique carpets. This is why we've been able to expand but also remain true to the quality and style that is key in rug design.'
Yet, not only are Hill & Co able to enjoy the success of their own business, 20 years later, but the business has also enabled local communities in India to benefit from investment in the area through 'Care & Fair' – an organisation that campaigns against illegal child labour in the carpet producing areas of India, Nepal & Pakistan. 'Even though our rugs are sourced predominantly in India, they are made under stringent controls regarding matters of both quality and child labour,' explains Bill.
'We fully fund a school near Varanasi catering for 350 pupils as well as paying for primary healthcare and tree planting programmes. Needless to say, this is always the most satisfying, rewarding and heart-warming part of any trip we make to India. It's what we're most proud of here at Hill & Co – it's an investment of a different kind in our business that helps us and the Indian community to thrive. It's actually a fantastic way to create and run a business – you just can't get job satisfaction on a higher level.'