Magic Carpet Ride

Pity the poor rug.

People spill wine on it like it's not even there. They traipse all over with their stinky feet and dirty soles. Heck, even its name is synonymous with a bad toupee (is there really such a thing as a good toupee?).

But Jo Ellen and Jessica Stammen, a mother-daughter design duo from Camden, elevate the humble floor covering to an art form. Jo Ellen, a children's book illustrator and artist, and Jessica, a Cooper Union grad, teamed up in 2007 to create Jo Ellen Designs. Their hand-hooked wool rugs and pillows have an Arts and Crafts feel — echoes of William Morris abound. But their business model is decidedly 21st century — they donate 10 percent of their profits to charity and local scholarship fund, and through the Designs for Good program, $10 from each purchase benefits designated nonprofits.

It's enough to make rugs everywhere proud. Not that it'll make a difference — they're still going to let people walk all over them.

Stop by Jo Ellen Designs in Camden's renovated Knox Mill (39 Mechanic St.) or order online by clicking here.


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