Eliza Gatfield's Custom Cool Textiles
by john bobey
Eliza Gatfield’s company, Custom Cool, brings unique textiles to the East End.
“I love that people have to wait to get what they want because that means they’re going to get exactly what they want,” says Eliza Gatfield, founder, CEO, and design director of Custom Cool in Quogue. “We provide a lot of attention, and our customers really appreciate it.”
That’s putting it mildly. Gatfield presides over a group of like-minded creatives who share her passion for bringing “beautiful, ethically made products” to the Hamptons (and beyond) that are truly unique, decidedly luxurious, and undeniably cool. After studying architecture and fine arts at the Rhode Island School of Design and textiles at Central Saint Martins in London, Gatfield felt the spark to push the boundaries of designs for the home. Living in and traveling throughout Southeast Asia for several years, Gatfield was also able to gain practical knowledge of rug making. Finally, she could not only conceive her visionary designs but also have them expertly executed, as well. Custom Cool was born.
“Our rugs are handmade and take a phenomenal amount of time—it’s an expensive and arduous process,” Gatfield says. “They’re a commodity in themselves, and that’s why people traded rugs years ago.... They bartered and paid for things with rugs; they were like money.” Unfortunately, too many designers and manufacturers try to save some of that money by exploiting overseas child labor, and that’s why Gatfield is so passionate about her long-standing relationship with GoodWeave, an organization dedicated to ending child labor in the industry. “My goal is to raise awareness about how important it is that everything we do is fair trade—it’s a fundamental principle to me,” she asserts. “Custom Cool’s rugs and textiles possess a beauty that is both external and innate. We make things that are not just beautiful but also are made with a nod to human dignity and sustainability.”
After years of working out of her dining room and developing her textiles, Gatfield is now celebrating five years in business and one year in her breezy Quogue studio. “For a lot of my clients, they’re often surprised that we’re here,” Gatfield confesses. “We’re a very new company—not just in how long we’ve been in business, but the way we do business. We want to open up the process of design to people who aren’t professionals. We absolutely love that!” Gatfield’s approach and her Hamptons home base are an ideal match. As Gatfield puts it, “Here, you get both the beach culture and sophisticated clients who are interested in cutting-edge design and ideas. I’m inspired by the relaxed environment of the Hamptons and also the proximity to New York City. My clients understand that the perfect rug serves an incredible purpose—it can connect various design elements and completely transform the way a space looks. It can define a room.” 44 Quogue St., Quogue, 996-2900
photography by temidra willock