About the Founder of Rug Rats. Color, texture, style. As a young woman, Sandy Henderson was drawn to materials and design. She wanted to explore how we can take charge of the beauty and happiness of our own homes. In 1975, she earned her B.S. degree in Home Economics, with a specialty in Clothing and Textiles, from historic Longwood College (founded over two hundred years ago as a teachers’ college in Farmville, Virginia). Her degree also enabled her to study nutrition, another passion, and she headed to Norfolk, Virginia to start her career as a dietician.
After a decade, Sandy knew she wanted to do more with her life, and that it was time to shed the white lab coat. She made a trip back to Farmville to see some old friends, a trip that reminded her how much she enjoyed the civilized pace and friendly character of the lovely small town. Her friends needed her help: they had a contract to supply carpets to the local sororities and fraternities. One contract led to another, and Sandy began to see that the market potential in custom and high-end carpets was wide open.
In 1987, she took the big step and started her own business, Rug Rats. The excitement and optimism she felt then still propels her forward today. Sandy is very active with other downtown merchants in promoting Farmville. She also travels extensively to the major international design shows to find out “What’s best, what’s new.”