A LEGACY OF DESIGN
CARL ROBINSON with his son HARRY
" Like my father before me, and his father before him"
Design is in the Robinson family's blood.
Carl Robinson was born to a prominent designer in England, and his father's father was a noted designer as well. Carl is a dad now, too, and…
"I think there's something in the genes, in the blood," Carl Robinson says, laughing. "I remember, growing up, my father would come home from work with designs and big pattern books. And he'd often take me to work. He loved what he did, and from a very early age I found it all very interesting. What's funny is my son, Harry, who wasn’t even five yet and - maybe I'm imagining this - but I swear I’d seen him looking at patterns on the wall and pointing to them. So what does that tell you?"
Robinson began his career working for his father, then worked at Burlington Wallcoverings and also Graham & Brown in England. By 2000, he was serving as a consultant for Wallquest, Inc., one of the world's most innovative wallpaper manufacturers. Finally, in 2003, Robinson joined the Wallquest team on a full-time basis and today is the company's Design Director.
"I love what I do," Robinson says. "From a business perspective, the most satisfying thing is when you know you've got orders. It means people are interested in what you've created, that they're excited about it. And when you walk onto the shop floor and there are large rolls, rolls with patterns you designed, and lots of them, you feel like you've created something special. You want people to appreciate and enjoy what you do; that's ultimately what it's all about."
Robinson considers himself lucky to have found his niche at Wallquest. It's a family-owned business, and he notes, they treat him like a son. Speaking from a creative point of view, he describes his position as Design Director as one of the best in the industry. "We really get to do it all, and there's a team mentality behind everything," Robinson says. "Unlike some of the very large, very corporate companies, there's a fluidity and flexibility at Wallquest. We're not held back. If we have an idea, we can pursue it. Just to have that freedom is very important. And with our size we can move fast. We can bring something to market in just three months, which is exciting."
The latest brand to come to market is particularly exciting to Robinson, and for good reason. It bears his name. Robinson admits that he was "apprehensive" when asked to create his own collection. He began the process immediately and spent almost a year putting together Carl Robinson Edition 1, which is available in showrooms and better decorating stores the world over.
Shortly after Edition 1 was released, Carl began working on Edition 2 and would go on to launch the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 9th Editions. Showing no signs of slowing down, Carl Robinson is currently planning to launch his 10th and 12th Editions in early spring 2015.
Carl lives with his wife, Melissa, son Harry, and daughter Adalyn in the rolling hills of picturesque Chester County, Pennsylvania. Robinson laughs when asked how proud and pleased he'd be if Harry or Adalyn someday elect to follow in the family tradition. "I'd be very interested in seeing that happen if that's what they want," Robinson says. "I think I have a great job. If they pick it up from me or if it's really in their blood, I'd be thrilled."
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