About Deborah
I grew up in the Deep South and I can still cook, plant and talk like a “Y’all Girl”. From an early age I was taught how to set a beautiful table. I learned from the women around me that “my glass belonged on a coaster, not the table”. There is great sense of pride and American tradition out there which is deeply rooted in all I create. However, early on in my life I made a move for something much bigger.
Years in Los Angeles took me on a whirlwind of modeling for print and television, and opportunities to work with stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy's. A glimpse at the exciting world of fashion made me realize I had the urge not only to wear the fashions, but actually contribute.

It was love, actually, that brought me to New York City. Not a love for fashion but a love for a man; Paul, who is now my husband, father of our two beautiful daughters, and my partner at Deborah Rhodes. Back in the 1980’s, I was immersed into the vivid club scene culture, the fast pace of the city and the array of opportunities. Inspired by great fashion minds like Elsa Schiaparelli and Alexander McQueen, I made the brave jump to start a fashion line. The ever changing collection of hats, hair accessories, handbags and scarves sold in stores worldwide. It was a privilege to collaborate with such names as Cynthia Rowley and Nicole Miller, and to be able to add the perfect chapeau to the runway!

Paul and I ran a 10,000 square foot studio and workshop in the heart of New York City’s garment district. I was very happy for a chance to work with the most talented pattern makers and seamstresses that made my sketches come to life in inventive shapes and colors. It’s great to reflect on how much we accomplished - we’ve produced some of the most exciting and sought after fashion accessories of the 80’s and 90’s. I strove for each piece to be an eclectic mix of color, texture and layering, which I still do today. I even have some of the original artists working on my napkin rings to this day.

Exciting as it was, the fashion world presented a major trial for me. Seasonal trends dominated the industry requiring the design and production of five collections each year. I felt like I was losing my ability to creatively express myself…
And just like that, the inspiration I so needed came from Martha Stewart. At the time, she was uncovering traditional crafts and rediscovering techniques for how products were made. She gave me the vision of a possibility to pursue my dream and follow my heart.
A valued customer, boutique department store Henri Bendel, approached me to make placemats. Naturally, I applied my tried and true millinery techniques to conjure up what is now known as my signature “Original Braided Round Placemat”. My first “babies” were even made on hat machines.
It took off like a comet, and Deborah Rhodes
Tabletop was born!
I set out on a journey to fill the void in home entertaining. Just like my fashion accessories, the products had to be fun and creative. I traveled the world and explored the crafts of The Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, India and Haiti to find artisans and unique pieces. I'm always on the lookout for new materials, trends, and products. In fact, my linens were discovered while searching for something altogether different - while on a trip to Lithuania to adopt our two daughters.

My career has been the journey of a lifetime. And it finally has everything that one needs to make a great table setting - placemats, linens, and napkin rings. Now that I have finally arrived at home, I would like to take my customers on a journey of discovering new ways to add a touch of excitement and creativity to their table. Every season I have been carried by my dream to bring new, innovative, unique, and inspirational ideas to table decor hoping that it would help to contribute to unforgettable events or cozy family times at home. Be it at the mountain lodge, ocean front bungalow, the lawn of your backyard, or an exquisite dining room.
I strive to design practical luxuries that stand the test of time and tell a story. I am thrilled to know that my ideas inspire event planners, photographers, and a myriad of hosts in their own homes. With hundreds of colors, patterns, and textures to choose from, each customer can be as authentic or unique as they please.

The greatest applause comes when I see someone bringing my creations into their home.
Deborah Rhodes


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