Warm Fuzzies Place Blog: Musings On A Cruelty-Free Lifestyle That Celebrates The Best In Comfort And Design
Just in Time for Valentine’s Day - For You, With Love! Check out the warm and fuzzy shag, faux fur and microfiber rugs at the newly remodeled Warm Fuzzies Place. 0
Welcome to the new and improved Warm Fuzzies Place, decked out in the colors of the love to warm up this cold February (or to make it a super cool February if you already happen to live in a warm place!)
So, what is new other than all the Valentine’s Day appropriate and welcoming pink and fuzzy designs?
The big news is that we decided to become even choosier and pickier when it comes to selecting the best cruelty-free, good choices, good feelings, warm fuzzies galore merchandise for our store. That means only the best quality items, easiest to care for and clean, color fast, durable, affordable and as unique as possible in our world where all designers seem to follow the same color trends, identical design styles, similar textures and as a result, so many people end up with a tasteful, trendy but unfortunately, completely indistinguishable home decor, devoid of personality, uniqueness and that wonderful joyous feeling, otherwise known as warm fuzzies.
We want to make sure that our customers have a chance to find something that they can call their own, something that expresses their personality, fits their personal style, makes them happy and allows them to enjoy every moment in their cozy, comfortable and unique home. In come the vibran colors of the Solid Shags Collection!!! One of a kind, patterns of
How about designs inspired by nature itself? Take a look at the appropriately named Living Shag Collection or put one of the Rocks’ Collection Rugs in your living room and you could practically hear the stream nearby as you jump from one cosy and soft ‘boulder’ to the next.
Feeling playful? How about some oh la la with Lo La Shag Collection? Yearning for a touch of elegance and class but still want softness and warmth? Check out our Moro Shag or Luna Plush Microfiber collections. Like Sparkle? We got Lurex Shag Collection.
Is virtual reality your kind of thing? Then 3D Shag is for you!
And for the grand finale.... can't get enough of the softness and luxury of cruelty-free (THE ONLY KIND WE WOULD EVER OFFER!) faux fur? Our new Faux Real Fur selection of faux sheepskin, faux fox, faux chinchilla and almost real pink fairytale animal furs feels real but even better since no animals had to suffer for it and it won’t shed, get destroyed by moths and lose it’s shine in any foreseeable future. Rugs, throws, pillows - take your pick or better yet, get it all and sink in the layers of furry softness. Stick to one color, make it striking black and white or mix and match - it all works together beautifully and feels amazing.
Please be assured that we stand behind every piece. I personally “petted” each and every one to assure incredible silkiness and softness and unparalleled quality. Choose carefully, make sure you get what you want (we have swatches if you are not 100% sure) and… LOVE your rugs, pillows and throws. Happy Valentine’s Day and Warm Fuzzies!
- paulina hubli
Rugs Like No Other. Peter Haim of Rug Factory Plus Rug Designs Magnificent, Truly Original Carpets Inspired by Art and Nature 0
As the owner of an ecommerce rug store, WarmFuzziesPlace.com, I always try to learn as much as possible about rugs and carpets as well as their manufacturers who authorize me as their online reseller. There is really no substitute for meeting people in the home decor business in person, face to face, as well as actually seeing and even more importantly, feeling the rugs first hand.
That is why I wouldn’t miss the biggest trade show in home decor business, High Point Market (or HPMKT as it is commonly known) that takes place in High Point, NC twice a year. The market is huge with hundreds of exhibitors. Since rugs and floor coverings are such a fundamental part of home decor, every rug manufacturer is there boasting their latest designs. Safavieh, Surya, Momeni, Loloi, Kaleen, Jaipur, Kas, Oriental Weavers and most other vendors are large corporations with catalogues that have thousands of rugs and complimentary home decor items. Their enormous showrooms are bursting with rug collections and are complete with buffet spreads and refreshments to welcome potential buyers. Most rugs are quite beautiful and come in a variety of materials, styles and designs. Needless to say, I made plans to visit every showroom and see all that abundance for myself so that I could advise my customers in turn.
To my dismay, the more showrooms I visited, the more I realized that the similarities between each vendor were much greater than the differences. They all seemed to have the same standard set of styles and materials and, seemingly, the same basic colors and designs, with only minor variations.
I found it to be a bit disappointing to be in at a large trade show once I got the feeling that after I saw one rugs’ showroom, I saw them all. How was one supposed to find a rug that would express their individual style when everything had more or less the same “trending designs” and “season colors.”
Fortunately, one of my appointments was with a well-known independent rug designer and manufacturer from Los Angeles, California, called Rug Factory Plus. Finally, I was looking at rugs like no others, with a vast array of distinctive styles, textures and colors. The company owner, and the creative force behind each and every rug, Peter Haim, has been known for his innovative design ethos ever since he started in the industry over 20 years ago. He was there to greet his customers, both brick and mortar and online retailers, and to show off his latest creations.
Even though the Rug Factory Plus exhibit space was significantly smaller than that of their larger counterparts, Peter and his team managed to showcase the striking variety, not to mention, individuality. The quality of all the rugs was superb. Silky and pleasant to the touch, the materials are non shedding, very thick and heavy, and, therefore, not requiring a rug pad. Obviously, Peter Haim does not compromise on manufacturing quality of his rugs. Clearly, the lucky owners of these rugs will be able to enjoy them for years to come.
Collection names are not only whimsical but also true to their inspiration and descriptions. Names that reflect the nature of the product are helpful to both retailers and customers. Each of the Rug Factory Plus collections deserves its own blog and it is a challenging task to give a quick overview of even a small part of the catalog. That said, some of my favorites are:
Rug Factory Plus Living Shag Collection. This collection is appropriately named with each plush shaggy texture and designs reminiscent of water, meadow or a stormy sky. Each design is available in a variety of colors and color combinations: blue, green, red, purple, gray, yellow and more.
Rug Factory Plus 3D Shag Collection. I can honestly say that I have never seen anything like this line of rugs in any other collection. These “carved” rugs look like high art, feel like the softest blanket and come in a full palette of colors and hand cut designs.
My favorite Shaggy Viscose Design collection looks like it was created by some alien intelligence rather than a mere human combining different yarns and textures into wholly original, imaginative and unusual compositions of shapes and swirls.
Art imitates nature, and for those who like the idea of bringing the great outdoors indoors, there is an unusual and versatile Rocks Collection.
I do not think that anyone would complain about the comfort of this “bed of rocks” after trying out these super thick, varied texture, hand carved shags.
Rug Factory Plus had a huge variety of amazing pure color and two tone solid shags ranging from shorter to longer lengths, various textures, lurex or silky threads and a combination of all of the above, plus some new and unusual texture varieties such as Crystal Shag with thicker and thinner threads and even some that look like feathers and Lurex Shag with shiny lurex threads interwoven with the soft yarn
There are designs and textures to fit every taste and style, from ultra modern geometric shapes to the tribal designs microfiber and distressed look Persian rugs, plus a great variety of contemporary transitional styles.
My favorite collection is, of course is Rug Factory Plus Faux Furs Collection. After all, what gives you warm fuzzies more than these soft luxurious and elegant creations? Fortunately, by now, most humans have evolved enough to make and use their own fur rather than torture and kill for it.
Rug Factory Plus is the place to go for that special faux fur feel in your house, be it chinchilla, lamb, fox in both natural colors and beautiful dyes. It was impossible to just walk away from the warm and fuzzy throws, rugs and pillows without placing an order for a few of those for my own home, knowing how much my tween children would appreciate their furry softness. And sure enough, these have fast become their favorite sitting and snuggling places.
Rug Factory Plus and Peter Haim’s gorgeous pieces imagined and created at the crossroads of art, nature and interior design were truly the HIGH POINT of my High Point Market visit. When I commented on the individuality of his rugs, Peter told me that he never looks at what the others are doing so as not to be influenced by anything other than his own desire for perfection and love of colors, textures and forward-thinking designs. Clearly, his approach to design is effective.
Our world would be a brighter space if more home decor designers were to follow that advice, rather than attend the “trendy styles right now” and “colors of the season” seminars and ending up with the look alike collections. After all, rugs are not supposed to be a “trendy right now” and “seasonal” kind of thing but rather a representation of each
owner’s personality and a compliment to their individual style.Keep it up Peter Haim and the entire team at Rug Factory Plus! You got many happy customers including myself.
- paulina hubli
Uniquely Lovable Nursery. What Baby (or Mom or Dad) Doesn’t Need Warm Fuzzies? DYI, Craft and Novelty Items and Ideas to Create Your Dream Nursery 0
What child doesn’t have a natural love towards animals, including “farm animals”? (Unfortunately, we live in a time when the realities of a “farm” are generally a far cry from the idyllic images we sing about in nursery rhymes.) How wonderful it is to nurture this natural love, curiosity and genuine affection from the very start. And there is no better way to do that than to surround children with comforting images of animals and teach them that people should be kind to all the creatures with which we share this planet.
Barnyard Animal Themed Nursery offers many wonderful benefits:
- The decor has universal appeal and is also gender-neutral, so they make for a perfect gift request if you don’t know or don’t wish to announce whether you will be having a boy or a girl. You can’t go wrong with the “farm animals theme”
- The decor is flexible; you to choose your favorite animals or color variations. The choices include cows, lambs, chickens and even pigs, and they come in a large variety of colors. Whether you prefer brights or pastels, light or dark colors, you will have no trouble finding just the right decor to fit the theme as well as your color preferences.
- In many cases, the same decor is versatile and can be used for multiple purposes, and even switched around in the future, to decorate the nursery crib, the floor and the walls, to give the room a fresh look every few months if desired.
- The decor is exceptionally adorable. What could be cuter than a Pink or Spotted Piglet, a Beautiful Baby Calf with big expressive eyes and cute ears or the Fluffy Pouncing Lamb?
- The decor is affordable. Animal Themed Nursery can be done on the budget. There is no need to go to one expensive place and buy the entire set of furniture and matching decor at once. You can mix and match many different items, including the ones you can pick up as a bargain or even make yourself.
- It grows with your child. Little ones will giggle and smile at the “lamby” and you can use your nursery decor as a teaching tool, pointing out shapes, textures, colors and animals.
- You can tailor objects to your taste, make it as modern or vintage as you wish, or turn it into a charmingly eclectic room.
- You don’t have to buy standard products - animal nursery theme allows you to look for many unique and one-of-a-kind products and furnishings. Give it a try by going on Etsy or any other site that showcases artists and handmade crafts.
- You may not think of yourself as someone capable of sewing, ceramics, painting, beading, knitting and making toys, but guess what?
You CAN make truly unique things for your child that show your love without too much skill or effort. Whether your children have an affinity to a piggy, cow, lamb, bunny or, as one of mine did, a duck for their special lovey, the things you make yourself will be the ones that they will treasure forever, that will always remind them of your love and also, inspire them to be creative and try making things with their own hands and your help, strengthening the bond you have with your child.
With a wealth of ideas, tutorials, blueprints and instructions at your fingertips you can start your Farm Animals Nursery by creating adorable mobiles, toys, bedding… and don’t forget BIRTHDAY PARTY POSSIBILITIES!
I hope you will consider the theme of animals for your baby’s nursery. Whether you choose
or an entire barnyard full of friends, I wish you the best of luck with your decorating endeavors. Enjoy every moment with your child and teach your precious boy or girl to respect all living things, to cherish our planet and to welcome people and animals into their life and be kind as they set out on their own path.
- paulina hubli
My Daughter and Her “Lamby”. Why We Don’t Like Rugs That Resemble Real Animal Skins. 0
It seems that almost all kids pick a “lovey” toy and it becomes their favorite animal as they grow up. For some, it is a teddy bear, a furry dog, a fuzzy bunny, a soft ducky or even something as unorthodox as a plush alligator. It just so happens that for my older daughter Lea, who is now almost eleven years old, that lovey was a LAMB or “Lamby” and she has always insisted that her favorite animal was the lamb.
Lea was “born vegan”. She was always acutely aware of others’ feelings and had a deep understanding that calling animals “food” or “leather goods” or “fur” did not take away their fear, pain and desire to live and love. The more Lea grew capable of logical thinking, the more she became unable to put animal flesh in her mouth. She was terrified to learn that everyone’s favorite UGG boots, were not just made to feel like lamb skin and fur but that they were made out of actual sheepskin, a process she did not want to envision – and, frankly, neither did I.
Both of us are bothered by the fact that sheep and lambs are being killed and skinned so that people can enjoy the softness and warmth of their skin. With time, we came to believe that people can and should live without harming others. Moreover, modern luxuries make it so easy that we hardly need to give anything up, including - yes, the feel of sheepskin. We can lounge on the softness of the sheepskin and feel it underfoot. We can enjoy the fuzzy furry rugs that did not cost any animal their life. For our "Faux Fur Things And Rugs Collection" we looked for some of the most luxurious feeling products and we’ll be announcing some other surprises in the near future. One thing we were adamant about was that we did not want to offer anything that actually resembled real animal skin, not in shape and not in print. It is one thing to try to replicate the feel and the softness but entirely different to play “hunter” or “farmer” by putting down a faux fur rug cut the same shape as a wolf pelt, a cow hide or sheep skin.
That is why we only offer rugs in shapes that do not resemble the actual skins taken off the animals at Warm Fuzzies Place. … debating on whether to have just “natural” colors or throw in some pink and turquoise as well, so your comments and suggestions are welcome.
We also just added some amazing beanbag chairs by an ultra progressive company in Canada. They are the highest quality on the market and yes, you guessed it, some models come with POSH faux fur covers! And for the yoga lovers, check out the Fuzzy Yoga Balls. My kids are begging for one but can't decide on the color.
- paulina hubli
Live Long and Prosper. 0
Veganmania Chicago 2017 took place today. My young activists and I volunteered to help run the booth for Mercy for Animals, which co-sponsored the event. Mercy for Animals is our favorite organization dedicated to promoting a compassionate (i.e., vegan) lifestyle. I’m in awe of the dedicated team, which fights against the evils of factory farming by educating the public (in part, by infiltrating farms and slaughterhouses to document the business-as-usual atrocities), and working tirelessly to enact legislative and societal change. We had a great time talking to people about the issues that mean a lot to us. We also got to explore the expo, sampling yummy food from dozens of vendors and adding a bunch of new t-shirts to our wardrobe. We were happy to be at an event that was swarming with people committed to the shared ethos of saving “1,100 gallons of water, 40 pounds of grain, 30 square feet of forest, 20 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions and one animal’s life every day”. Slowly but surely, and however belatedly, our society may be coming to the collective realization that we must stop destroying our planet. First and foremost, that means embracing plant-based living. We’re seeing more and more dairy and meat alternatives making their way onto the shelves of mainstream grocery stores. My favorite Whole Foods often runs out of the most popular vegan items while products featuring “funny chicken” or “happy cow” occupy ample shelf space secured by powerful merchandisers.
Today, there is a treasure trove of delicious, nutrient-rich plant-based food products. There is also an an embarrassment of riches when it comes to man-made fabrics and cruelty-free cosmetics and home decor items, including rugs (such as the ones we’re proud to feature on Warm Fuzzies Place). These items tend to be prettier, softer, more durable and more hypoallergenic than traditional animal-derived products like wool, silk, leather and fur.
Going vegan today requires very little, if any, sacrifice. Still, the majority of people in food-rich nations continue to contribute to the systematic torture and slaughter of animals on an unprecedented scale. The good news, on the other hand, is that veganism had grown by more than 500 percent since 2014 in the United States. A full 6% of Americans now identify as vegan. This statistic offers a glimmer of hope that the trend will continue, and even escalate. To be sure, I see the growing shift toward compassionate consumption increasingly even in my day-to-day interactions with strangers. Passersby on the street, noticing my kids’ attire with slogans like “Animals are Not Commodities,” offer a nod of approval or voice their support. Surveying a product in my shopping cart, people in the checkout line ask: “Is it good?” Store employees commonly remark: “I love those burgers” and “this is the best ice cream!”
While the tide may be turning in the United States, European countries remain light years ahead of us on the vegan front. My girls and I were astounded by the difference we saw during our travels this summer. There are 120 vegan restaurants in Prague, for example, including four quick meal chains that serve fantastic and varied cuisine. Berlin, known as the vegan capital of Europe, has a vegan only supermarket chain, called Veganz. We saw vegan clothing and shoe stores and a plethora of vegan eateries, ranging from coffee shopswith delicious lattes, crepes and croissants (yes, no need to give those up) to pizza joints (amazing pizza by any measure) to restaurants offering lovingly prepared comfort food.One of our favorite restaurants was Attila Hildmann's Vegan Food,
owned by the namesake celebrity chef and fitness guru. My kids enjoyed the dinner there so much that we returned the next day for lunch. At one point during our meal, a young guy seated next to us removed his wraparound sunglasses. Right away we recognized that it was Attila Hildmann himself, the author of such best-selling books as “Vegan for Fun”, “Vegan for Fit” and “Vegan for Youth” and also the creator of a line of food merchandise so rich and tempting that it’s a mystery how he managed to make them healthy and nutritious at the same time.
My 11-year-old daughter and I enjoyed a great conversation with Atilla about our chosen lifestyle, our dining experiences in Germany and our hope for the world to become a healthier place for all earthlings. We asked Atilla about his logo. We noticed it on our first visit and assumed that it was Spock’s signature “Live Long and Prosper” greeting from the Star Trek TV series. Leonard Nimoy, the actor who played Spock, reportedly introduced this gesture because as a child he saw the rabbi in his temple raise his fingers to signify the Hebrew letter “Shin” as a symbol of Shaddai (god). Shin is even more meaningful to the sages and students of the Kabbala because it can be interpreted to mean “change” and “the world to come”. It seemed to us that both the Hebrew meaning of the letter and the popularly known Star Trek sign were fitting with the vegan lifestyle and a logical choice for Attla’s logo. However, Attila gave us a puzzled look and admitted that he had never heard about the 21st letter of the Hebrew alphabet. He was about to give us a real explanation when my 9- year-old daughter, who up until that point seemed more interested in her bowl of Spaghetti Bolognese than our conversation, took a sideways glance at the logo and declared: “It’s a ‘V’ for ‘vegan’”.
Vegan is the only way of life she can imagine and it is natural and effortless for her. I marvel at her good fortune. As for me, Attilla’s “V” will always remind me of the letter Shin because of my own Jewish heritage as well as the 1960’s TV show that did foresee many things in the world in which we live today. I hope that the world to come is going to change for the better and all of us sharing this planet can live long and prosper.
- paulina hubli
Thin Mints and Thick Rugs: Making the Right Choices 1
Every Girl Scout parent is well-acquainted with the dreaded cookie order form. There are 28 varieties of cookies. You have to decide on the quantity of boxes to order for each variety, find and mark your choices on the form, check and re-check, sum up each quantity and make sure there are no mistakes before submitting it for Girl Scout Cookie order processing and fulfillment.
In my case, however, the job is easy. That’s because there is only one variety of Girl Scout cookie that qualifies as vegan: Thin Mints. (It also happens to be a favorite in our family, which works out nicely!) Just as our family refrains from consuming foods containing animal products, we also refrain from buying non-vegan items for others or offering them for sale. Girl Scout cookies are no exception.
Despite a limited a product selection, my daughters were successful in their selling efforts. It helped that they set up shop near a metro train station during rush hour. Many people stopped to ask them questions about why they sell only Thin Mints, even though their signs already provided the explanation. What does it mean to be vegan? Why are they vegan? How long have they been vegan. Is it hard to be vegan? Is their puppy vegan too? (The answer to the latter question is: yes.)
The girls explained to anyone and everyone who would listen that they are proudly donating 10% of the proceeds from their cookie sales to Mercy For Animals, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping to end factory farm abuse (and an organization that Warm Fuzzies Place also supports). Upon hearing this, some people generously threw in a few extra bucks “to help the animals”. It was heartwarming to see. In the end, my daughters felt that they accomplished something more meaningful than just selling Girl Scout cookies.
Maybe in talking with my children some people learned something about milk and egg production and the fact that these foods do not represent humane choices. Maybe some came to realize that enjoying delicious treats, even Girl Scout cookies, is not incompatible with making humane choices. Maybe some people were even inspired to start checking ingredients on food labels and choosing more cruelty-free products for themselves and their families.
Of course, every merchandise item that is chosen for inclusion in our Warm Fuzzies Place collection is 100% free of animal products. Fortunately, when it comes to home decor, there are many more options than just “one variety of Girl Scout cookies” from which to choose.
There are, in fact, an amazingly vast variety of gorgeous rugs, pillows and throws. They come in all styles, shapes, sizes, textures and colors. Filtering out products that contain animal-sourced materials is easy in many cases, but always. Often, for example, we come across an amazing-looking cotton, jute or viscose product that we think would be a perfect addition to our collection only to discover, upon closer examination, that the thread contains a mix of wool or silk.
Just as we scrutinize the ingredients of food products, always on the lookout for that tiny amount of milk or whey that seems to pop up in the least expected places (thanks to the powerful dairy lobby), we conduct an enormous amount of due diligence on new items we consider for Warm Fuzzies Place to weed out any that may contain materials of animal origin. I’m sure I drive my manufacturing suppliers crazy when I insist on knowing whether something as seemingly insignificant as the felt on a rug pad contains wool particles. But we are committed to our cause and would rather find out right away that an item contains animal products rather than later, after we have already made it available to our customers and shipped out a hundred orders.
It is fair to assume that most of the people who stopped to buy a box of Thin Mints from my daughters at the train station that day do not subscribe to a plant-based lifestyle. It may have not mattered to them one bit that the cookies they bought are vegan. It did, however, matter to my children that what they shared with others was cruelty-free and that, just maybe, they educated a few strangers on their way home from work.
By the same token, I am certain that a large percentage of my customers come to Warm Fuzzies Place because they like our merchandise, our presentation and our prices. After all, synthetic and natural fiber rugs are popular with everyone. And who doesn’t want a price match guarantee? It matters to me, however, that everything we offer is 100% free of animal products. I hope that, over time, some of my non-vegan customers will come to appreciate their purchases for the cruelty-free aspect as much as for the outstanding quality and design.
Good choices. Good feeling. Warm fuzzies.
- paulina hubli