q & a with bob cadry...
Anyone who has stepped foot into a Tigerlily habitat will instantly recognise the incredible rugs that adorn the floors... Each one lovingly sourced from far flung, exotic locations by the Cadry family.
Bob Cadry has been a constant source of inspiration to both myself and our team, with regular visits to the Edgecliff store. Here we hand select all of our rugs for photo shoot sets, tigerlily boutiques and our Alexandria HQ.
Here we share one of our little secrets that doesn't require flying across the globe to be inspired...
Sourcing carpets from across the globe is ingrained in the Cadry's family history, how did your family business begin?
My father Jacques Cadry migrated to Australia in 1952 from Iran in search of a safe haven to settle his young family, of which I or my twin sister were not yet conceived. His family were established exporters of beautiful handwoven rugs to the London and European markets. He grew up as a young man searching and wandering in the bazaars of Persia with his father gaining an early apprenticeship and taste of the trade.
He was educated in France and obtained a degree in industrial pharmacy which led him to a career in perfume where he worked for Coty the famous perfume house in Paris as a qualified chemist and a “nose.”
After returning to his homeland in Persia in the early 40s his father was now a substantial importer and exporter and shortly after the 2nd WW his father acquired an interest in a steel mill producing water pipes for dams and irrigation. The company was based in London, so Jacques was dispatched there to learn the business.
Fluent in several languages and a seasoned explorer he soon became the top salesman and when an enquiry came from Australia to supply pipes for the Warragamba dam project he found himself flying around the globe to arrive in Sydney negotiating with the Australian government. Staying in a guest house in Darling Point overlooking Rushcutters Bay he was soon besotted by the beauty, laid back, friendly life style and opportunity that Sydney offered. After winning and later losing the contract, he gained the opportunity to emigrate with his family and start a new life in 1951-52.
From a small terrace shop in 1952 where the Edgecliff centre now stands he worked tirelessly to build the rug business and was able to slowly expand. A decade later, he moved two blocks down the road to our landmark sandstone showroom on the corner of New South Head Rd and Glenmore Rd Edgecliff.
Jacques worked patiently to educate clients and establish a new market as very few people at that time appreciated the quality or understood the value and artistry of handwoven rugs. It became his mission to show how an exotic handwoven rug can infuse mood, personality and character into any home. He did this by supplying his rugs to the furniture displays at Australia’s best department stores, which included Anthony Hordens and Beard Watsons. Little did he know that his infectious appreciation and love of the weaver’s art along with his expert knowledge and integrity would propel his family on a journey that has spanned 3 generations.
Tell us a little about Turkish kilims…
Kilims are one of the earliest forms of textile weavings (dating back to at least 500 BC) that evolved from simple basket weaving of mats and flooring coverings, made from organic reeds and rushes, which would eventually decompose.
Tribal weavers all over central Asia from China to Morocco that had access to flocks of sheep and goats learned how to spin and harvest their fleece into yarns that could be then woven into textiles for domestic use.
Floor coverings, saddle bags, cushions, blankets, and textiles for clothing became articles of great importance and value that would protect them from the elements, enhancing the overall feelings of comfort and thereby improving the quality of life.
When natural dyeing techniques were later developed these peoples found the opportunity to express themselves artistically and to bring colour and life to an otherwise bland environment. The positive emotional effects of this are timeless and triggered a sense of creativity and joy. These are significant factors that would lead to the desire to wrap, clothe and adorn ourselves with appealing garments that would excite our senses - a type of colour therapy.
What do you think could be the next textile inspiration for Tigerlily and why?
I love the diversity that tribal designs offer and within this genre there exists an enormous range of patterns that can be explored and developed. However we are witnessing a new found interest in classic and traditional designs that have been deconstructed, re-scaled and re-coloured and this is where I see many exciting new inspirations evolving from.
Exotic rugs are like any form of artistic expression and choosing the right piece should engage the same emotions as buying a beautiful piece of clothing, jewellery or swimwear. It must put a smile on your face and make you feel good whenever you see it.
Thank you Bob! Xx
(All images are our own/sourced from Cadrys)