Get to Know - March 2011

Surya Celebrates 35 Years
By Emily M. White

Satya Tiwari, president of Surya’s U.S. division.

The rug and home décor company looks back on its fashion-forward, and pay-it-forward history

In 1976, American buyers interested in local, hand-made goods from India gave Surya M. Tiwari one week to manufacture an entire collection of merchandise, the result of which would be the very first collection for Surya rugs and home décor.

Thirty-five years later, that small collection, presented under a wedding tent in the small Northeastern village of Ugapur, India, to Federated buyers (now Macy’s Inc.) opened the door for Tiwari, a teacher and local contractor from a rural village, to develop a line of home décor for the American market.

Tiwari’s namesake company has since matured. After the launch of operations in New York City in 1986 and the appointment of Tiwari’s son, Satya Tiwari, as president of the company’s U.S. division in 1994, Surya went from a company with five patterns in six colorways to a company capable of rolling out a multitude of collections, full of designs and patterns that cater to top trends.

“Our product is unique because we have taken a different approach to rugs,” says Seth King, vice-president of sales and marketing, Surya. “We have always thought of our product in a fashion sense, where most rugs manufacturers see them in a construction sense. We understand that color is the main ingredient in a rug, and from there, we use designers from around the world to get new and innovative designs.”

From the Fallon Collection, this rug offers a delicate, sophisticated lattice pattern for Surya’s Spring 2011 collection in on-trend colors.
Surya Tiwari showed American buyers interested in local, hand-made goods from India a collection that led to the start of Surya rugs and home décor.

Today, some fashion-forward looks for Spring 2011 include: Fallon, a collection of delicate, sophisticated lattice patterned rugs with on-trend colors; the elegant Modern Collection, designed by legendary fashion and costume designer Bob Mackie, including a peacock pattern that is both exotic and whimsical; and Indus Valley, which features a hand-knotted look at a tufted price, an example of how Surya has also worked to help out their customers in harsh economic times.

Social consciousness is also a major part of Surya’s mission. As Surya Tiwari was given the opportunity to start a business, in turn, he has made his company give back to the communities that have been a part of Surya. Not only has the company increased staff by 50 percent within the past two years at its Calhoun, GA, corporate office, but also, Surya has opened up more opportunities beyond weaving and manufacturing in its primary manufacturing facility located in a very rural part of India.

“We are proud to have made it 35 years, but what we are really proud about is the impact we have had on the community,” says King. “We are also a proud supporter of non-profit charitable organizations, and have donated to more than a hundred local charities in the communities in which our customers are located. Overall, we are proud that we have continued to grow and thrive without giving up some of the core values that Surya Tiwari carried when he started this company 35 years ago.”

Resources

• Surya, 706-625-4823, surya.com


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