In May 2019, Pamela Rainey, VP of residential product design, Shaw Industries, waxed poetically regarding design, where she finds inspiration and her role at Shaw. Since we last spoke with Rainey, much has changed in the world of design and in the world in general. 

Floor Trends reached out to Rainey for a brief update on how and if her design inspirations have changed and to get her perspective on women's roles in the flooring industry. 

FT: In your May interview, you talk a great deal about where you get your design inspiration and how you apply it in your personal and professional life. Can you give us a sense of where you stand with that now or perhaps where you see things heading?

Rainey: Since we last connected, our industry has had to rapidly evolve and innovate to meet the ever-changing needs of consumers. The home has been essential during this time and has really become the center of our lives, serving so many purposes like the office, classroom or gym—to name a few. I have really leaned into my all-star design and product development team: John Crews, Michael Ferguson, Clark Hodgkins, Lisa Lux, Charla Pettingill, Greg Scott and Herb Upton, among many others, to further propel all Shaw’s products and brands as the leaders in style, design and performance. 

I am so proud of the team’s efforts for our 2022 collections and design themes, they conceptualized and brought to life the essence of the Transformation we have seen in the world around us. Anderson Tuftex‘s design theme, Reawaken, resulted in products that are crafted with intentionality and transparency to transform spaces. COREtec has been disrupting the industry since COREtec Originals first debuted 10 years ago, so it is only fitting that its design theme is Revolution. True to its core, COREtec’s latest styles are inspired by bold designs that are elevating the aesthetic of homes today and boasting performance innovations on par with the floors of tomorrow. Shaw Floors and Philadelphia Commercial captured a sense of Renewal with their new introductions by re-imagining the spaces in which we live, work and play. Both brands offer beautiful, cutting-edge floors designed to provide solutions that meet new expectations and activities. I am so excited for our customers to see all the hard work that the entire Shaw product development team contributed to execute the Transformation design theme.

FT: Working in what has historically been a male-dominated industry, you seem deeply rooted in your field and are highly respected—characteristics many women in the industry have to fight for. What do you feel has contributed to the shift toward women in positions of power in the flooring industry?

Rainey: Shaw’s leadership team, including our president and CEO, Tim Baucom, and our Residential business leader, Scott Sandlin, among others, have intentionally created an environment where all perspectives and lifestyles can succeed. Shaw leaders recognize the importance of diverse points of view and how they further help the industry grow, encouraging us all to bring our unique selves to work. When I began my career on the commercial side of Shaw’s business, women like Brenda Knowles mentored me and helped me become the leader I am today. In my role now, I rally behind all my designers to grow in their abilities and succeed in all aspects of the business. Shaw has created numerous associate resource groups, like our Women’s Innovation Network (WiN), that help facilitate mentorship opportunities with diverse leaders from all over the company.