Shopping Local: LillieKat Rugs

By: Evins Roddy

Tiffany Denson and Kristie Stewart of LillieKat Rugs chatted with us about their boutique curation in Birmingham, the importance of shopping local and high quality, and a few of their Nashville favorites!

1. How did you start LillieKat? What is the inspiration behind the name?

LillieKat was essentially born from personal necessity. We had built a house, and I needed some rugs. After looking at several local rug shops, I realized that many of the rugs I loved were out of my budget. I ended up digging and digging and found a rug source in Turkey where I was able to purchase a few rugs for my home.  At that time, I had a lightbulb moment! I could purchase rugs from my source in Turkey and then sell them directly to consumers through social media, all while selling them at a lower price than most high end brick and mortar rug stores. I began selling on Instagram and it quickly exploded beyond what I had imagined. From there, I built a website and then opened a “by appointment” showroom in Birmingham, Alabama.

The name LillieKat actually came from merging my two daughters’ names together, Lillian Clark and Kathlyn Grace. 

2. What goes into the curation process to select your specific rugs?

Through the years I have been able to narrow down my sources to five or six people I really trust. The rugs I purchase are always authentic and handmade. I buy what I love and try not to follow fads because the rugs I sell are meant to last a lifetime. I have learned not to overthink and purchase rugs that I believe are beautiful, well crafted and have a history behind them. My hope is that people will not only love the rugs they purchase but will pass them down to their children and grandchildren. The rugs I sell are truly original works of art. These types of rugs will stand the test of time from a design aesthetic and will also prove to be quality investments.

3. Our owner, Sara, had such a great experience shopping with LillieKat to find her rug. Why do you think shopping locally (and with small businesses) for rugs is important?

Whether you are purchasing a rug online or in a store, it’s imperative you understand the integrity of the vendor. Unfortunately we are beginning to see more and more rug sources that are selling what consumers believe are authentic, well-crafted rugs. It’s not necessarily “what you see if what you get” any more! Any vendor should be willing to answer questions and truly understand the integrity and history of the rug.

4. Explain the purchasing process. You get to bring a few on approval to try in your home first?

As far as the purchasing process you can find us on Instagram as well as  All of the rugs you find on Instagram are also on our website. The best part, all of our rugs are in stock and ready to ship! There’s no big wait time. We also understand the importance of seeing the rug in your space and that’s why we try to make the process as simple as possible! You have two options when finding a rug(s) you love. You can try on approval by emailing me directly to start the process. The window for approvals is three days from the time of receipt.

Your other option is to go ahead and purchase the rug(s) in store or online. With this, we do allow a full refund within three days of receiving the rug, after that there’s a window for receiving store credit. Returning the rugs is also easy. We send you a UPS label and you simply roll back up and return the rug in its original packaging. We are here to help along the way and all our policies are on our website next to each rug listing. We do offer payment plan options, as we know our rugs can be an investment.

5. Top 5 in Nashville: hotel, restaurant, bar, neighborhood, and activity?
I love Nashville! There are just so many fun neighborhoods to explore and they all offer something different. A  favorite spot to stay is the Thompson Boutique Hotel in the Gulch, not only does it offer a fantastic stay experience but its location is close to many great spots for eating and shopping. For something super casual, I love grabbing a bite at Superica. While we have so many wonderful spots to dine in Birmingham, I have discovered that Nashville is also home to many great restaurants but one I am particularly fond of is 5th & Taylor in Germantown. Everything on the menu is fantastic and their mashed potatoes are something I continue to dream about again and again. Another favorite lunch spot in Belle Meade is Roze Pony. I absolutely love their Chicken Paillard.