We had the good fortune of connecting with Edgar Podzemny and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Edgar, what is the most important factor behind your success?
We are one of the few companies in the world that design and manufacture our own rugs with a select team of weavers. Our method is integrated from design concept to the loom and then directly to the end-user, which ensures we have control over every step of the creative process. This also allows us to control the materials being used, the style of weave, and the texture achieved. Every facet of our process enables us to guarantee a quality product that is distinctively designed to our client’s specifications.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Art is a passion that’s baked into me! When I was 21, my grandmother encouraged me to start painting. The first piece I created featured a modern take on sunflowers and she fell in love with it. She had it professionally framed and always called it her most prized possession. For me, painting is like therapy; it really draws me into the present. I find that playing with different compositions on canvas inspires some really interesting concepts in my rug designs as well. Lately, I’m most excited about my art pieces that boast fresh, citrus tones. I also love texture in both rugs and art and two of my newest rug collections, Studio Series and the Benjamin Johnston Collection, offer it in spades! The pieces are so unexpected and artistic; they don’t even look like rugs. When I think about how Madison Lily has evolved over the years, and how I’ve grown professionally, the key to that growth has been persistence. No matter what business you’re in, you go through ups and downs, but I love what I do and that makes even the most difficult days feel less like work. It can sometimes be difficult to tune out what other people are doing and saying, but it’s so important to stay focused on creating work that you’re proud of; work you can stand behind. In terms of lessons learned, decades in this line of work have proven that a successful business is built through exceptional service. We love designing rugs but the real reason behind what we do is the relationships we build with our clients. We maintain integrity in all interactions and consistently go above and beyond to satisfy everyone we serve. When it comes down to what we want the world to know about our story, it’s that Madison Lily Rugs has been a labor of love between me and my wife, Kelly, for 25 years. We work together on every aspect of the business and we’ve built an incredible amount of knowledge and experience that we love sharing with our clients. The coolest part is that, if someone were to hand all of this to us, it wouldn’t be half as meaningful as the journey it took us to get here. Every step, every late night, every relationship forged; it all led us to where we are today and we couldn’t imagine being anywhere else in the world.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We have long loved the Contemporary Arts Museum and would be sure to make a stop there. At the moment, they are only open digitally so that might include an afternoon spent enjoying a virtual tour with light bites at home followed by a full meal at our favorite restaurant, Mastro’s! As for hotels, we always recommend Hotel ZaZa (it’s close to the Museum District and so many other Houston hot spots) or Hotel Derek as it’s located only a few minutes from our Galleria showroom. Both hotels are beautifully appointed and offer fantastic dining. As for activities, a fun weekend with friends always includes a visit to Top Golf and we envision winding the weekend down with a picnic at the newly opened Eastern Glades at Memorial Park. With 100 acres dedicated to relaxation and reflection, and new trails to explore, you can enjoy the beauty of nature right in the heart of the city.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many people who have been instrumental to Madison Lily’s success, but I’m dedicating this particular shoutout to my grandmother. Growing up, everyone in my family was either a lawyer or had their MBA, but I was always an artist at heart. I was 120 hours into my college program and it felt like I was changing majors daily. My grandma finally said, “Eddie, maybe college isn’t for you. I think you should try this for a while,” and handed me a book about the history of antique rugs. It was like the veil had been lifted and I suddenly felt comfortable pursuing other passions. She nudged me to embrace what I wanted from life instead of trying to fit into the family mold. It was hugely inspirational and an essential moment in my journey.
Other: Houzz: https://www.houzz.com/pro/madisonlilyrugs/madison-lily-rugs Wescover: https://www.wescover.com/creator/madison-lily-rugs
Image 1 – Madison Lily’s Sultanabad rug in Acid Green in a space designed by Talbot Cooley Interiors (photographed by Kerry Kirk Photography)
Image 2 – American Beauty, a mixed media art piece on wood panel by Edgar Podzemny
Image 3 – Winged Victory from the Benjamin Johnston Collection for Madison Lily
Image 4 – Santorini from the Studio Series Collection by Madison Lily
Image 5 – Rugs on display in the Madison Lily Galleria showroom
Image 6 – Vintage rugs from Madison Lily serve as the backdrop to Tootsies fashions as seen in Houston Magazine (photographed by Julie Soefer Photography)
Image 7 – Madison Lily’s Chiseled Rug in a dining room designed by Talbot Cooley Interiors (photographed by Kerry Kirk Photography)