• Deborah

How can it be 40 years?

Updated: Dec 30, 2019

I'm feeling very nostalgic lately both on a personal and professional level. While sorting out my letters, notes, cards, pictures and other mementos, I happened to come across a beautiful photo of my first boss in this carpet and rug land of mine. Her name was Mae Gertrude Fields Ryerson... but everyone called her Cis! Cis came from a very ordinary Brooklyn family who went on to do some pretty extraordinary accomplishments: Her brother Shep Fields and his Rippling Rhythm band were very popular during the 40's and 50's when Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Frank Sinatra and the like were playing throughout the country and the world. Another brother, Freddie Fields was a talent agent in California, producer of several movies including Glory with Matthew Broderick.

Edward Fields loved carpeting and rugs, and after several failed attempts to create what he patented as the "Magic Needle" for hand tufted wool rugs produced in the USA (and specifically, Flushing Queens!) he went on to become the premier bespoke manufacturer and succeeded to open up many “to the trade “show rooms throughout the country. His brother Elliot was involved in opening and managing the LA showroom while the only sister in this family, my beloved Cis, was one of several salespeople in the NY showroom located in the Fine Arts Building at 232 East 59 Street. The first day of work at this beautiful showroom for yours truly was on September 17, 1979 when a then newly married 25-year-old accepted a sales assistant position with Cis. For eight years until she and her husband Roy retired (he was National Sales Manager at Fields) it was a joy filled journey.

Every day that I was there was an adventure since Edward Fields only did custom sizes, colors and patterns. You never know what Interior Designer or Architect would come in designing something new for their clients. Fields was known (and probably still is known) as mainly a contemporary house although seen in picture below. we did do traditional pieces as well.

As they are referred to now, we did cater to the " 1%" er's, and for the most part never got to meet up with the recipient of these works of art for the floor. Shahs... princes... former AND the current President... titans of the business and entertainment worlds were the clients. New York's finest design professionals became friends of mine, and truly when my son Kristofer was born in 1988, the outpouring of gifts for my son seemed never ending! Kind wonderful people who were a big part of my world for nine great years. The last photo shows Mr. Jon J. Fields (on the right) who took over the reigns at Edward Fields in 1979. Mr. Edward Fields passed away six months before I started, so I never had the privilege to meet him.

To Mr. Fields (and I ALWAYS called him Mr. Fields even though he was about 12 years older than me) and his mother, Mrs. Elinor Fields, and of course Cis came up with my nickname, " Debula". Years later when I " went retail" and Mr. Fields was at a trade show that I attended, I will never forget his out- stretched arms greeting me as yep... Debula! Now in our 60's and 70's if we cross paths again, I am sure it will be the same.

I wanted to share some of my memories to all of you who may run into this blog and get a very small sense of who I am. Starting at Fields all of those years ago was the best foundation I could have ever had in this business. After having my son, I joined two prominent NJ retailers; Einstein Moomjy in Paramus and J & S Designer Flooring in Morristown. Those establishments gave me the first foray in the wool and synthetic wall to wall carpet world, as well as machine and hand knotted rugs. I certainly, was a bit of a different duck on those selling floors since my background was only in custom work and I never had any hesitation of offering it to my clients. I even got to train several of my coworkers to not be afraid of " going custom". I have always felt that flooring no matter soft or hard surfaces is the foundation for any room which is then built up adding furniture, fabrics or wall coverings. Every client is unique and every room is a new canvas to create something that is right for you and your family. That in essence is what keeps the " juices flowing" all of these years! Until the next time...Happy December!

My email is theruggarden@yahoo.com.


Debula.. or Deb to most!

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