The Ruggist began somewhat on a lark during the summer of 2008 as a way to occupy the otherwise then idle hands of Michael A.C. Christie, and as such The Ruggist is as much ‘who’ as it is ‘what’. Through several years of intermittent and variable speed writing, Christie earned a solid reputation as The Ruggist (whether good or bad is uncertain to this day) for his critique and commentary on the world of rugs. Irreverence and levity are hallmarks of his opinionated, yet truthful, writing style. Michael A.C. Christie is The Ruggist.
Michael Christie has been commenting on the handmade rug and carpet industry since 2008. Known widely within the industry as ‘The Ruggist’ his passionate, educated, and often irreverent style is informed by a career spanning over two decades which includes experience in retail and design trade sales, wholesale, niche manufacturing, and now observational writing about and critique thereof. Additional experience working directly with Interior Designers and within the home furnishings market further broadens his perspective. As a quoted expert and former contributor who has appeared in highly regarded industry publications worldwide – most notably Carpet XL, Cover, Hali, and Rug Insider – his passionate appreciation of all manner of rugs and carpets drives his continuing quest to gain and share knowledge. A true aficionado of Tibetan weave carpets from Nepal, Christie has long discussed his love of the form and often expressed his support of those who make carpets in Nepal.
In 2017, Christie was named Editor of the United States based trade publication, Rug Insider Magazine, to which he had previously contributed both on assignment and via syndication. As only the second editor of the venerable two decade old publication, Christie oversaw a dramatic remake of the magazine and its accompanying website before embarking on an ambitious plan to introduce more informative articles for its readership. Christie continues to publish more provoking articles and thought pieces on The Ruggist, appear as an expert at various trade shows including The Rug Show and Domotex, and present his informative and visually delightful ’For the Love of Carpets!’ – a photoessay which chronicles modern carpet design spanning the past four decades.
Today I had the very distinct pleasure of touring the Nepali production facilities of @newmoonrugs with company founder John Kurtz. Mr. Kurtz has been an inspiration to me ever since I first met him and he made me ask the question that still drives us today: ‘What makes a truly great carpet?’ Though he is predominantly retired from the business – New Moon is now run by daughter Erika Kurtz – he agreed to a lengthy chat over lunch, coffee, inspection, and traffic congestion here in Kathmandu. Thanks to Erika, John, and future New Moon Principal Izzy for the most wonderful day. #rugs #carpets #kathmandu #interiors #interiordesign #theruggist
Based out of the Canadian Maritimes, Christie travels regularly around the world to major trade fairs, conferences, and rug producing countries in order to gauge the status of the industry and further develop an informed opinion on rugs and carpets.
An abridged curriculum vitae is as follows:
July 2017 – Current: Editor, Rug Insider Magazine
July 2008 – Current: Writer/Critic, The Ruggist
December 2008 – August 2015: Creative Director/Owner, Red Spruce Limited
July 2011 – August 2012: Design Assistant, Jonathan Legate Interior Consultation
December 2007 – December 2009: Nungester Christie Carpets, Consultant
December 2007 – June 2008: Business Development Consultant, GoodWeave
December 2005 – November 2007: Director Atelier Concept, Lapchi
January 2001 – December 2005: Manager, Classic Oriental Rugs
January 1995 – December 2000: Manager, Oriental Rug World
In addition to his love of rugs and carpets, Christie is an avid cook who enjoys incorporating the many regional flavours of the world into his personal répertoire de la cuisine. A dual Canadian-American citizen who currently resides in the Canadian Maritimes, he enjoys hiking, travel, handwork, and functional yet stylish design. Crediting his success, such that it is, to inspiration from nature, urbanity, well funded public education including his influential teachers Ron Bowerman and Jeanette Mathern, and the work and writings of Mies van der Rohe, Frank Lloyd Wright, Gustav Stickley, and the innumerable unnamed others who without recognition have built the current world, Christie strives to learn more and gain ever elusive wisdom with each new day.
Fortunate enough to have been in favour with the God(s) or not of opportunity during the booming years prior to the 2008 financial crisis – an experience that afforded many opportunities for growth that still shape his life – Christie continued to broaden his knowledge and skills working for a major United States carpet importer before beginning both The Ruggist and his own niche rug company, Red Spruce (now also defunct) in mid to late 2008. This latter project – assessed as a ‘very costly mistake’ by Christie’s perfect hindsight – directly informs and shapes his experience as an avid rug aficionado, commentator, and fledgling collector. Post Red Spruce, Christie’s work has largely focused on writing and critique with his opinion being sought out when subject matter the rug industry press traditionally shies away from, needs to be addressed.