Craftsman Darryl Gilbert Designs Custom Rugs

Darryl Gilbert

By Ashley Chambers Talented in custom design and floor installation, Darryl Gilbert created his first custom rug for his daughter, an image of a little girl holding balloons. “I saw what the value of [customizing rugs] was when I did the rug for my daughter,” Gilbert said, whose business took off after that. The idea to customize rugs came to Gilbert while using pattern designs as a floor installer. Now 16 years later, he has designed tailored rugs sporting company logos, popular child TV characters and even for the sandwich chain Quiznos. Gilbert’s talent has taken him on a fascinating journey – creating personalized rugs for colleges and fraternities, designing carpets for a sports team locker room and most recently, making a custom rug for Post News Group. However, the dwindling economy has left Gilbert working two part-time jobs and searching for work in his niche. “All I want to do is work, if I could locate customers for what I do,” he said. “It’s been hard to find a job and connect with a crew or someone who needs my services,” he said. Resourcing employment services from the Oakland Private Industry Council, Gilbert’s determination sets him apart from the average. “You have to turn over every stone. You can’t get discouraged because there are a lot of people who are more qualified and educated in the same or worse position,” he said. “The ones that get the jobs are the ones that keep at it and that get there first.” Gilbert looks forward to expanding his business for mass production once he acquires the tools. Drawing and designing rugs as small as car mats and as big as an entire Quiznos store, he says his craftwork speaks for itself. For more information, contact Darryl Gilbert at (510) 253-4882 or

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