Rugs to Riches
Jeremy Mistretta
May 20, 2022
6 min

What’s the meaning of life? Ask “District Loom’s” Heather Cade and she’ll tell you that it’s to be happy.

Happiness comes in all forms. Many aspire for white picket fences, luxury vehicles, and two weeks of vacations. Other’s just want sand, crashing waves, and a guitar. For years, Heather chased her version of the dream. After tireless semesters in school, she earned a Masters of Nursing degree in 2014 from Binghamton University in Upstate New York. This degree would most certainly open previously closed doors and serve as a launchpad to infinite happiness.

Heather specialized in Pediatric ENT focusing her attention on quality care for her patients. Sadly, she found herself immersed in a broken healthcare system that focused primarily on patient numbers rather than qualitative care. “I really enjoyed spending time with my patients one by one, but the clinics I worked in focused more on increasing their balance sheets rather than ensuring a patient was truly healthy-I think that health is wealth,” said Heather in a casual afternoon phone call. She found herself “watching the clock” while cultivating progressive thoughts of how to fix her system. She’s a self-proclaimed idealist, and when her streamlined PowerPoint efficiency presentation to superiors was met with disapproval, she opted out of the healthcare system entirely leaving behind a decade of investment and deliberately entered the unknown.

Heather told us that “engineering your life by executing choices to lead to happiness” was her ultimate investment.  “Leaving a six figure a year salary with benefits seemed crazy to many, but a logical step to me.”  She detailed how habitats affect her.  “My medical surroundings didn’t make me happy. The spaces I am in can really impact my mood and emotions. Spaces should instill a story of history and character and be a source of enhancement.”  She reminisced about an old family friend whose home was impeccably decorated with calming textures; a space that served as a pivotal moment of reflection that ultimately settled her mind.  

Heather’s favorite soothing element in all homes is a rug.  “They actually DO tie the room together.”  For her first home, she sourced a machine-made replica vintage style rug.  “It looked like a stamp with curled edges and vacuuming it was a nightmare.”  Appalled by the quality, she navigated towards her local rug galleries where she had marginal experiences.  “The salesmen were pushy, the assortment was lackluster, and the space was dark and dreary not-inspiring me to want to buy anything.”  Like many customers who have negative store experiences, Heather fled to the internet.  “I was happily surprised at the quality, prices, better assortment, and kind virtual customer service.”  She purchased several rugs for her home and shared her experience on social media.  Soon, friends and family began to seek her rug sourcing counsel for their spaces and District Loom was born.

Her premier business purchase of seven Turkish rugs in December of 2018 led to her first District Loom sale in January of 2019. It’s been a wild ride in just a few years for Heather. She has relocated to Bozeman, Montana leaving behind “real world” societal happiness and is basking in the glory of her new life.

She has opened a showroom in Four Corners that is by “appointment only” so she can focus on one-on-one client interaction with no pressure. “I want to help my clients get EXACTLY what they want.”

We met Heather in May of 2021 and have been riveted with her ever since. Her wild and upbeat demeanor is infectious. We were immediately taken by her savvy design sense, keen awareness of color, and desire to get even the smallest details PERFECT. Heather loves plaster and we were honored to be referred to her. Working alongside Heather and Sara Marcille from Mountain Home Collective @mountainhomecollective was pure joy.  Together, we created a custom color that graces the front entry and accents eclectic mirrors, simple signage, and perfectly patinaed corral board. The space is a step across the globe and a marriage of design and culture.

Heather passionately proclaims that a big part of her job is being a curator.

“I tend to the design market and study what the big designers are doing in the industry. I started seeing an uptick in plaster application in the US two years ago. But in the infancy of District Loom, I would investigate global trends. I was always taken by the plaster in Mallorca, Portugal, and Morocco.”

These trends funneled towards a European look in the bulk of the showroom. The main space that houses the rugs is minimal and intentional. The rugs drive the design and the subtle white plaster that flows perfectly into the floor is a mere backdrop to the overall feel of the room. The towering plaster walls are delicately dressed in low profile racks that hang big Turkish, Persian, Caucasian, Afghan, and Moroccan spun creations. Each individual rug tells a story of hand-woven history and Heather hopes that these pieces of authentic art will move through families and enhance generations to come.

In addition to showroom sales, District Loom has a strong following on social media @districtloom. It’s a hip page where followers can track new inventory, Heather’s travels, showroom updates, and peek at some of her other inspirational muses. The page is so current that it has garnered the attention of the design world’s elite.  As of recent, District Loom has partnered with an e-platform called “The Expert.” The site has been celebrated by the Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, Forbes, and The New York Times. It’s a virtual hub for the world’s top designers, offering consultation and soon in July of 2022- an exclusive collection of District Loom inventory.  

This partnership will be sure to bring happiness and joy around the world to many as Heather’s keen eye and taste infuses their home décor. Simultaneously it will enhance her life; with plans to expand her volumes of offerings in the shop, introduce other unique, collected, and curated product lines, expand her design services, and maybe write a book. The big goal is to build a team to provide freedom in her work schedule to allow for worldly travel and investment in her new and happy life in beautiful Montana.

Images by Dan Armstrong