What brings us together is our love of great design and craftsmanship, a healthy sense of adventure, and a deep respect for the people we work with, be they colleagues or customers.
When Erin started her career as a service and interaction designer more than a decade ago, she didn't foresee entrepreneurship in the cards. She had followed up her BS in Journalism at Ohio University with a Master of Design at Carnegie Mellon University and was focused on building a career as a designer who understood business, but didn't run one. Yet after years of blue chip consulting in New York and a bold decision to move to Turkey (for love no less!), Erin found herself in the perfect position to start a design studio...in Istanbul. FourByNorth was born and Erin witnessed firsthand the power that a company centered around design can have, for team members, for clients, for customers. It was then that she decided to bring this same philosophy to an industry in dire need of fresh thinking: rugs.
Not only do rugs themselves embody issues close to Erin's heart — stellar design and craftsmanship, economic opportunities for women, rich historical and cultural influences — but finding and producing the cream of the crop requires one of her favorite past times: travel. Her work may take her far from her native Akron, Ohio, but she feels right at home working between Los Angeles (Floorplan's HQ), Istanbul, New York, and a handful of weaving centers across the globe.
Like many first generation kids, Mehmet spent his childhood afternoons helping out with the family business; In his case, it was a rug store in the heart of Seattle's Pioneer Square. Folding and showing 2x3 handmade rugs to customers at a young age sparked his passion for craftsmanship, design and entrepreneurship, and after graduating from Georgetown, he opened a wholesale rug business in New Jersey, specializing in fine handmade rugs from all of the world's major weaving centers.
Despite the business's growth, Mehmet chose to pursue further studies and earned his Master of Architecture from Columbia University. He later moved to Turkey to work on hotel development and co-found FourByNorth Studios with Erin. Now, Mehmet has returned to the industry in which he grew up, with his sights set on one goal: using his extensive knowledge of both rugs and architecture to help people transform their spaces.
Throughout both his professional and personal life, Mehmet has had the occasion to travel all over the world: from the mountains of Peru to the streets of Moscow and Seoul, he has immersed himself in the cultures and styles of all different kinds of people. It has made him an insatiably curious person and notorious for peaking behind curtains and opening doors marked Do Not Open. How does this help him as a carpet dealer? Rest assured he has left no stone unturned to find the best rugs at the best prices.
It was a chance (and fortuitous) meeting of expats in Istanbul that led Jesus to extend his trip and begin working with Erin and Mehmet on Floorplan. Originally In town to visit friends and help out on a new product's development, Jesus realized that his own perspective of Design as Change Maker aligned with the vision that Floorplan was seeking to create — and he jumped on board.
Jesus started out his academic career in Spain studying engineering, but quickly found himself drawn to the aesthetic aspects of design and course-corrected quickly. It turns out that his engineering roots were well suited for this new era of design, where understanding and leveraging technology to design better products, experiences and brands is a critical and sought-after skill — and one at the heart of Floorplan. Jesus is a jack-of-all-trades in the design world, constantly challenging himself to grow his domain.
Throughout Marissa's career as a top PR consultant for Fortune 500 companies, there was another passion driving her in her free time: fashion and textiles. A "maker" before the term was trending, Marissa began making her own clothes in high school and took Halloween costumes to an otherworldly level. When she and Erin were students studying abroad in Europe, she insisted on visiting the most opulent fabric stores, despite costs completely out of reach on their $30/day budgets. She even studied at FIT in New York to further her knowledge of fashion and design.
After relocating with her husband to San Jose, Marissa took a break from corporate PR and focused her energy on her nearest and dearest project: her kids Felix and Sofia. This role has opened her eyes to the challenges of maintaining a stylish home in the throes of toddlerhood, and she's constantly searching for ways to create a beautiful space that makes sense for a rich family life.
Now Marissa is a founding member of Floorplan, leading the charge to bring Floorplan's message to the public: great handmade rugs don't have to be out of reach for the modern family's home.