For Rashid Ansari, MA Trading COO, and Barbara Hosak, CEO of Kateha, the carpet business is a family affair. Both share a common heritage in rugs and textiles, and a long-standing partnership which translates into an impressive display for DOMOTEX. Here, they offer great insight into individualization in the industry.

DOMOTEX's lead theme this year, UNIQUE YOUNIVERSE, focuses on individualization. How have you witnessed the trend develop over the years?

Barbara Hosak: "More and more people are looking for specialized products. It’s not like the "stocking race" from 20-30 years ago, where mostly wholesalers were selling rugs. There is increased demand for manufacturers to offer uniqueness. Customers expect a wide spread of choices, so design and production have to become more individual."

Customer demands are diversifying: How are you reacting to this?

Rashid Ansari: "We try to fulfil the customer demand by providing them with no limit of choice. We have a mix of different clients, from specialist wholesalers to interior designers, and so we need to provide rugs that will suit them all. Our three brands make sure there is something for everyone. The MAT Basics collection offers modern and high-level carpets, whereas MAT Orange is more affordable. The rugs in the MAT Vintage collection have an antique style and are made of recycled wool. In this way, we adapt to different customer needs."

Hosak: "Everything we do is hand-made. This really has an influence on the individual style of each and every rug – as well as ensuring sustainability."

"DOMOTEX visitors will be able to dive into the production process of hand-woven rugs."

Is individualization having an effect on the quality of your carpets?

Hosak: "People are tired of mass production and mass production is really not sustainable. For us, individualization goes hand in hand with sustainability – one of our core company values. We have always put great emphasis on handmade rug-making and the use of quality, natural materials. Such as linen, cotton, bamboo silk, or wool which is the best material for a rug.”Ansari: “One of our best-selling rugs is hand woven out of bamboo silk, a viscous material, and wool – we love to work with wool!"

How is MA Trading incorporating the concept of UNIQUE YOUNIVERSE?

Hosak: "Our design concept is "dive into the big blue": The display is like its own universe inside a cave where three different shades of blue cover the walls and floor. It will present educational elements, showing how rugs are made. Our aim is for visitors to dive into the production process of hand-woven rugs. We wanted to really put emphasis on "hand-crafted" rugs and help visitors visualize the process. We have developed a really interesting exhibit for the visitor to come and experience."

Ansari: "The display will involve lots of exciting mixed mediums. We want visitors to get involved with all the different elements to really understand the various stages of production."

"The different shades in the rug designs really flow from dark to light – just like water."

So, why the color blue?

Hosak: "Blue is a very dramatic and actually very popular color. But more than this, it reflects the idea of “diving” into the production process and into the universe we have created."

Ansari: "Blue reflects the idea of diving into an ocean. Many of the rugs you will see at our display are created using tie-dye. This allowed the different shades in the rug designs to really flow from dark to light – just like water."

How long have you been attending DOMOTEX? Why do you enjoy it?

Ansari: "I can’t remember… [Laughs] More than twenty years I think!"

Hosak: "We have been attending ever since DOMOTEX moved to Hannover. It is the best platform for MA Trading to reach out to clients all over the world because it’s the largest international carpet trade fair."

Rashid Ansari is COO at MA Trading , where hand-woven rugs are in its DNA. Named after founder Mohammed Ayub Ansari, Rashid is one of two grandsons now running the family business in the third generation.

Barbara Hosak comes from a long line of textile producers and founded her own rug company, Kateha , in 1998. The company has long-standing relationship with MA Trading.