Royce Epstein has traveled what she calls “a nonlinear path” to become the A&D design director for Mohawk Industries. From working as a camp counselor and in a record store as a teen to assisting architect and designer Michael Graves and climbing the ladder in large design firms for 21 years, she learned about her love of materials and how to apply them in commercial environments.
We have a large R&D department. We have research and development, we have product development. Technically, I’m on the product development team, but I’m one of the few people on our product development team that is public-facing. Because of my background as a commercial interior designer and material specialist, I am like the voice of a customer. I lived our customers’ lives. When I go in to meet with them, I go in with inspiration and I talk about trends, which designers are hungry to learn about. While my work does help drive sales, I like to think of myself as a design thought leader.