Jodie Fried and Sally Pottharst of Armadillo&Co are unique entrepreneurs. Their business is based on social responsibility – giving back to the communities with whom they collaborate in tangible ways. That means paying a fair wage, investing in traditional craftsmanship, supporting community-building ventures and educating children. A very rewarding way to make a living!
‘First and foremost we work closely and responsibly with our weavers, providing them with fair salaries and support to their families when they need it, this is fundamental to our operations,’ explains Jodie. Armadillo&Co are also the primary funders for a local primary school in their weavers’ area, with more than 450 children in attendance! ‘We pay for all the salaries, uniforms, books, maintenance and have plans to build extra class rooms,’ Jodie says.
On top of this, the business is also the primary sponsor of The Anganwadi Project, an Australian Not For Profit association founded by Jodie in 2007. This project builds ‘Anganwadis’, which are preschools in slum communities in India, for children between the ages of three to six years. Here, Jodie says, ‘they receive much-needed education, nutrition and love’.
ALSO, the rugs are beautiful. Armadillo&Co’s new hand-knotted design for the Heirloom Collection, in a distinctive palette of earthy, rich colours, is a departure from their previous flatweave ranges. The newest addition, Agra Knot, has been a labour of love for Jodie and Sally, using hand dyed wools in single colours, with a plush deep cut pile and subtle tonal variations – we love the jewel-liked deep Kingfisher green.
Exciting times are ahead for Jodie and Sally, with with expansion into the US on the horizon! Melbourne-bred Jodie is now based in LA, and will be opening the first flagship store in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles in September this year! The pair also have some very exciting collaborations coming up with like minded creatives both in Australia and the US. Stay tuned!
Armadillo&Co will be exhibiting at Denfair at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre next week, from Thursday June 8th to Saturday June 10th (open to the public on Saturday only).