Coppola Home: Bringing the world to your feet for three generations

Coppola Home: Bringing the world to your feet for three generations

Coppola Home (and its wholesale brand Italtex) has come to be synonymous with many things - European style, value for money, high quality products, a passion and eye for trends, and ultimate dedication to customer love and care.

The Italtex business was created in 1976, by rug pioneer and dedicated family man, Giuseppe Coppola. ‘Peppi’, as he was affectionately known, journeyed the world seeking out the best products, from the most skilled craftsmen and women. He had a keen eye for spotting trends, and an uncanny ability for sourcing the best materials, transformed by the most authentic and innovative techniques, and a brilliant strategic mind. 

But, in true Coppola fashion, he didn’t do it alone - it was a family affair from day one…

The land of opportunity

Ten years after the end of WWII, Giuseppe Coppola met Ingeborg Hellberg (Inge), at a local dancehall in Stockholm, Sweden. Peppi was a handsome salesman travelling through from Southern Italy; Inge, a statuesque blonde-haired telephonist. After a short courtship, they spent two years travelling together to the most remote corners of the world, carving out a modest living selling finished fabrics to East African tribespeople along their route. In 1957, they took their journey to the ‘land of opportunity’, Australia.

They initially settled in Box Hill, Melbourne, where sons Roberto (Rob) and Stefano (Steve) were born. A short time later the family moved to Sydney where, ever the entrepreneur, Peppi felt there were better business opportunities. It was a different world to Sweden and Italy, and despite missing their respective homes, they put down roots and raised a beautiful family in the sunshine of Sydney. Spurred on by the ‘Aussie battler’ mentality, in a country known for embracing and encouraging grassroots innovation, the foundations of Italtex were laid.

Modest but promising beginnings

Despite limited financial security, Peppi’s sound judgement and larger-than-life personality, saw him take to the business world with gusto. With Inge by his side, the first iteration of the family business was born; Italtex Trading Co - a spin off from an earlier joint venture with original business partner, a WWII Dutch Jewish refugee named Coen Polak. 

An odd couple indeed, Coen and Peppi fostered key relationships with David Jones, Myer (or Grace Brothers as it was then known at the time), and Waltons. These contacts, combined with Peppi’s outgoing personality and drive to expand, saw the COPPOLAK Textiles business enjoy 15 years of success, before Peppi and Coen went their separate ways in 1976. 

With eldest son Rob now a school graduate, it was the perfect time to build a true family business. 

A family affair

Although Rob had worked for his Dad every year throughout high school and University holidays, he was determined to forge a path of his own, and to perhaps, one day, bring a new level of expertise to the family business. So, in 1979, he graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing) from UNSW. After time spent in insurance, sales and marketing, by 1986 he realised he missed the hands-on nature of the family textile business. He was nostalgic mostly for the personal, face-to-face contact with clients and suppliers, which provided a unique opportunity to form long-lasting relationships - something lacking in many modern businesses.

The timing was fortuitous as in the mid 1980s, Peppi’s exclusive Belgian rug supplier, Balta, had invented a way to extrude yarn from polypropylene granulate. This method revolutionised the floorcoverings industry, and once Italtex started to import these innovative new products, the business went from strength to strength. It became immediately clear that more help was needed as it seemed every carpet, rug and furniture shop was now demanding Italtex’s rugs. And so, after a call from his brother Steve - who had already stepped away from a career as a university-qualified physiotherapist to take on the Coppola legacy - Rob re-joined the family business.

Not always smooth sailing

During the early years of patriarch Peppi and his two sons working together to build the Coppola legacy, they had their fair share of disputes. The experienced father and the young sons with fresh and innovative ideas often clashed. And despite mutual love and respect, the sometimes-stubborn and always-dedicated men did not always see eye-to-eye.

But the bond of family remained strong, and when disputes arose, wife and mother Inge would shine. The family connection was maintained in true European fashion - with food, conversation and laughter around the daily lunch table. Feuds would be forgotten while the family broke bread and shared home-cooked delicacies. These lunches became almost as famous as the rugs themselves, with clients, suppliers, friends and family all coming together to share a meal.

Today, more than 35 years on, Italtex still maintains these partnerships with suppliers across the world, including the best of the best in Belgium and Turkey. This loyalty and reliability are the unbreakable threads that run through the Coppola family DNA, and are representative of the family values that truly set this business apart from its competition.

From strength to strength

Despite the men often holding different (and passionate) opinions on how things should be done, family love and respect won out, and the business grew successfully.  

The momentum provided by the Coppolas’ Belgian floorcovering innovation required more and more attention. Italtex needed to invest further in warehouse space, staff and technology. Business opportunities arose everywhere, across Australia into New Zealand and even Papua New Guinea.

The rug range expanded to include higher-end machine-made rugs from Turkey; then China and India, always with a commitment to high-quality at affordable prices. The Coppola Home offering has always kept ahead of competition by offering value combined with access to current trends, timeless style, quality and craftsmanship. 

Coppola Home: from our home to yours

Today, Italtex has cemented its position among the most successful innovators and style setters in the rug industry. From meeting mass-demand in the segment, to satisfying the needs of higher-end retailers, designers and architects, Italtex has forged a market that is entirely its own in the industry.

The entrepreneurial drive of the family patriarch, combined with more than thirty years visiting the world’s design capitals of New York, London, Rome and Paris have helped craft a truly unique business that doesn’t follow trends, but sets them.

And so, buoyed by their huge success in wholesale supply, the new generation of Italtex are making the bold move into direct-to-customer retail with the next chapter of the family businesses; Coppola Home. 

The Coppola family business we know and love today is a generational legacy that was built by Peppi and his wife Inge, and continues to evolve under the committed and passionate guidance of their two sons, Roberto (Rob) and Stefan (Steve), and grandson, Nick.

A true family tapestry, Coppola Home will capture your heart and embody the style you seek. From our family to yours, we cannot wait to bring the world to your feet.