It was Sunday today, the third and the final day of our Rug Tent Sale. It was the busiest day of the sale. We were busy from around the noon, up to 8:00 pm. I got home around 9:30 pm. We received several rugs and kilims for cleaning and repair. We also sold few area rugs and several other hand knotted Persian rugs and two tapestries. We sold few hand knotted Qashqai rugs made with hand spun wool and natural dye.
We all got tired today, but since the sale was a success, it was OK. Our customers were also very happy to find good deals.
It was Saturday today and the second day of our Rug Tent Sale. It wasn't that bad. We sold several pieces of hand knotted and area rugs. I do not know why in many instances several customers come in at the same time and this makes it difficult for us to serve all of them. This was the case in a couple of times today.
Anyway, it is almost 9:30 pm and I am going home but thought to post a brief report on this relatively busy second day of our rug tent sale.
It was Friday November 28, 2008 today so called the "Black Friday". I went to work at 7:00 am today and at 7:30 Pedro and his worker showed up and sat up our tent. Then we took several samples from our inventory to the tent which was in our parking probably 30 feet away from our store. It was relatively a busy day. We received several rugs and kilims for cleaning and repair. Few customers also bought hand knotted kilims and area and hand knotted rugs. We sold two European new tapestries. The sale was not extra ordinary, but at the same token it wasn't bad either. This was only our first day, and we still have two more days to go. Usually our Saturdays are busier than our Fridays. So we're hopeful to have a better day tomorrow.
It was the Thanksgiving day here in the U.S. yesterday, Thursday November 27th, 2008. We were at work in our rug gallery getting prepared for our big rug tent sale event. I went to work at 9:00 am and stayed up until 3:00 pm. It was a quite day. I had to prepare few signs, price tags and some last minutes jobs.
Around 4:30 my family and I went to a friends home to celebrate and observe the beautiful Thanksgiving to appreciate what we have and do not regret for the things we do not have. There was a big roasted turkey and lots of good Persian food, deser and meeting several good friends. Ali and his wife Shahla, the hosts had prepared everything to make sure all the 20 guests were enjoying the festivity and the party. We chatted and had a real nice time there. Everybody enjoyed the party.
My birthday was a week ago, and the host's birthday and the couple of other birthdays were two days ago. Ali & Shahla had made a beautiful and delicious birthday home-made fruit cake for all of us.
We returned home around 11:00 pm. I went to bed around 12:00 midnight to get ready for the big tent we would have on Friday, Nov, 28, 2008.
We will be having a huge Rug Tent Sale from Friday Nov. 28 (The Black Friday) through Sunday Nov. 30, 2008. During the past few days, we have been busy getting prepared for this event. Almost all of our rugs will be on 30% off sale and select items will have 50% off and these are the more expensive items to encourage the customers to buy them to provide us with more cash. This is going to be a very exciting rug sale in Los Angeles with live rug weaving workshop and live rug repair show to educate our customers.
We have printed postcards, and mailed hundreds of them. Many of these postcards will be hand delivered this afternoon in our neighborhood. We have sent thousands of e-mails and I have promoted this event in several meetings that I have lately attended.
Tomorrow Thursday is the Thanksgiving day here in the United States. Our rug store will be open from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and we will take care of the last minutes jobs and preparation. Pedro, the guy who takes care of our tent will be on our parking lot at 7:30 am to install the big tent.
Later in the day on Thursday, we will attend a Thanksgiving party in a friend's home to meet with several friends who will attend this beautiful event from San Diego and Orange County. We celebrate all the good events if we can no matter where they come from and which one belongs to whom. Life is too short and we cannot afford not to celebrate. Don't you agree?
It was Sunday yesterday and we were at work from 9:00 am till 9:00 pm! We were supposed to pick up two rugs for cleaning from a neighboring town, some 25 miles away from our rug gallery. My helper did not show up on time and while it was getting really late, one of his friends Noah went to the restaurant next door to drop off something. I asked Noah to see if he was free and could help me and he said yes. I called the customer and let her know that we would be a little bit late and she said it would be fine. We picked up two very old area rugs for cleaning.
During the day, at least five different customers walked in separately but none bought any rug. Only one repeat customer who is in love with Persian rugs came in and bought a hand knotted Persian rug to give it to his friend as a gift. It was a rare 5 x 8 rug in black background made in Toyserkan in Iran. It is very rare to have Persian carpets in black except for two towns which make them, Nahavand, and Toyserkan, two small towns in the vicinity of the famous city of Hamedan which make small rugs of up to 5 x 8 in black. There are a couple of other towns such as Malayer and Nanadj which also made a limited number of rugs with black background.
Since we will have a rug tent sale at the end of this week with up to 50% off, we were busy setting up the store and organizing the racks up to 9:00 pm last night. I do not know why I was not tired at all when I got home!! It maybe because of the excitement of the tent sale and its adventure!!
A customer who had a hand knotted wool on wool 9 x 12 Turkish carpet wanted us to cut the rug and make it smaller into a 6 x 9 rug and a 3 x 12 runner. We did this but while we were trying to attach the two cut borders of the rug to make a nice runner, we realized that one border was 6 inches longer than the other border and it was not possible to sew and attach these two pieces together. What we did was to cut 6 inches from the longer border to make the sizes of the two borders the same. The pictures show our cosmetic rug repair and restoration. What do you think? How do you grade our repair job on the scale of 1-10?Scale of 1 is for very poor and unacceptable job and ten stands for outstanding repair job. I like to hear from you.
It was Saturday today and a repeat customer who was on her way from Simi Valley, a city roughly 45 miles north west of Los Angeles heading our store to pick up her cleaned rug called and said she had forgotten to take her checkbook with her. I said its OK; you can mail me the check later in your convenience. They came in an hour with the whole family of five. They liked the cleaning of the rug and bought one 8-foot long runner and a 3-foot diameter round rug.
Another repeat customer from the city of Irvine roughly 50 miles east of Los Angeles came in to pick up her rug which was left with us for cleaning. She also needed a 3 x 5 and a 5 x 7 hand knotted rug but said she would come back next week with her husband.
I did some paper work and printed some labels for the postcards of our Tent Rug Sale. I went home around 6:00 pm.
It was Saturday today and we had appointment with a customer at 10:00 am to deliver his three rugs which were cleaned and repaired. One of the rugs was very big and super heavy a 12' by 19' Indian rug with a very high pile. There were four of us, but still could not easily take the rug to the bedroom on the second floor. The gentleman and his wife were so happy with our service and the quality of our rug cleaning and the repair that he gave some tip to one of our workers. This means a lot when I see our customers' happiness. They had a beautiful big house on a hill in a gated residential complex. They had many other rugs for cleaning and repair and the gentleman said they would call us after the holidays and after their parties.
A beautiful half a million dollar Ferrari stopped in our parking lot and blocked the way to our store. A young man got off and came into our store and we thought he would buy one of our Persian silk rugs. He said you have a $99 area rug on a rack in front of your store; what other colors do you have in this price range?!
He looked at few rugs and left without buying anything. I said to my son who was with me at the store "Everything looks upside down these days. A homeless man buys a rug (read the story)and pays cash and a man with a $500,000 Ferrari asks for a $99-rug and doesn't buy anything!"
In a few days, we will have a huge rug tent sale in our huge parking lot on La Cienega Blvd. and Airdrome street here in Los Angeles. This rug event has made us busy for its preparation for the past few weeks. We will have 30% off on most of our Oriental, Persian and area rugs and carpets and 50% off on selected items. We need cash (who does not these days) and this maybe a way to raise cash while we may find new customers.
We will have live rug weaving and rug repair shows with tons of free literature on rug buying secrets, rug vacuum cleaning, rug storage and more. We have mailed postcards, sent e-mails and have promoted the event in person in many events and professional gatherings. We have also made an exclusive web site for this event to give the kind information which cannot be given in the postcards on on e-mails.
A customer who had a water pipe breakage in his house wanted me to do an appraisal job for 14 of his rugs which were water damaged. Since it was difficult for him to take all the rugs to our store, I made an appointment to see the rugs in his place in a neighboring town. One day after I made the appointment, I received a phone call from his insurance company asking about me and who I am. The gentleman said he would like find out more about me to see if I could be eligible to do the appraisal. I gave him the information he needed and said he could "Google" me to see how many entries would appear about me on his monitor. He called me back in 15 minutes and said I could keep my appointment.
I did the rug appraisal and issued individual certificate for each rug with all the technical details and the lost value for each piece.
Today, we received a shipment of Artificial Belgian silk rugs and I was busy putting price tags on them. The sizes were 2 x 4, 2 x 5, 2 x 8, 3 x 5, 5 X 8, and 8 x 11. We will have a rug sale next week and we are getting ready for that, making sure that all our items have price tags. Tomorrow we will send our first e-mails out to potential customers. I will write more on our sales as we get closer to it.
It was a very slow Tuesday. I received several phone calls regarding an antique tapestry cleaning and repair, rug cleaning and repair, kilim stain removal and a customer who was looking for a very big 15 x 20 feet Persian silk rug.
It was my birthday today, Tuesday Nov. 18, 2008. Yesterday I was busy at work until 6:00 pm. We did not sell any rugs. We received few rugs for cleaning and repair for the Thanksgiving. I went to a meeting after work and got home by 9:00 pm. The lights were off and I thought my wife and two sons were out somewhere. When I walked into the living room, my wife, my sister in law and my two sons were waiting for me with candles lighting on a home-made cake singing happy birthday song in Farsi, the Persian language. I was surprised and punked!!!! Since my older son Ashkan would be at colleges tonight Tuesday up to 10:00 pm, and my sister in law would be at work until 11:00 pm, they had decided to hold my birthday last night.
We had cake, tea, fruit and of course gifts. I was surprised.
Last evening before we close our rug gallery, Leslie and Tom Atieyh walked into our store and spent an hour with me and my son Ashkan. Atiyeh family has been involved in rug production and import for more than a century. They are based in Newbury, Oregon.
I met Tom in 1992 in Tehran during the first Persian Carpet Grand Exhibition and Conference for the fist time and we became friends. For many years, we produced fine rugs for them in Iran in different provinces and cities such as Kerman, Shiraz and Varamin. Tom's father, Victor Atiyeh, was the governor of Oregon for two terms. Atiyeh Brothers produced fine Kerman rugs in Kerman, Iran from early 1900 up to the Iranian Revolution of 1979. They have always cared and loved fine rugs and have nevered lowered the quality of their productions. They are lovely people. We have taken many trips together inside Iran to very remote places. Leslie has been to Iran several times by herself. Once we went to the city of Bam before its destructive earthquake which turned that ancient city upside down in 2003.
I just checked to see how many entries appear on the Google search if we look for rug blogs. The results was about 3,630,000 for rug blogs. And guess which blog is number one on the list. The blog you're visiting right know. RugMaster.blogspaot.com. No modesty?!
It has paid off after one year of posting real stories from my every day life in my rug and carpet world. I has been a fascinating journey and I loved it.
Thanks for visiting my blog. Any comments, ideas, suggestions on how to improve or criticism?
When Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, insurance giant AIG and Lehman Brothers failed few months ago, everything looked bad and this situation was seized by the Senator Obama's Campaign. Obama won the election with the promise of change. Can president-elect Obama turn the rhetoric and the ideas that won him the presidential election into policies and implement them correctly to bring the desired changes about?
I am not politician and do not like politics but of course try to follow it to see its effects and consequences on my life. I see from the people who walk into my rug gallery every day that people have high hopes for the right kind of changes to happen. Although the holiday season is approaching and we are almost in the middle of November, people have not really started shopping for the Christmas yet. We have not felt getting closer to holiday shopping in our rug gallery here in Los Angeles. We have not either felt people getting ready to buy rugs or have their Oriental and area rugs cleaned for the holiday traffic.
I am a rug dealer and see and measure everything from a rug point of view and angle. Just wanted to share some thoughts on the new political transition and its relationship to my profession and passion which is rug!!
In the past, we received many phone calls or personal inquiries about carpet cleaning and we regretfully said no. Now our answer is yes. We serve the greater Los Angeles area including San Fernando Valley.
The day before yesterday, Sunday November 9, 2008 was my older son's birthday. Ashkan turned 22 on this day. He is a senior at California State University Northridge here in Los Angeles. He has one more semester to go to get his bachelor's degree in Information Technology and Information Systems. He established his own company in 2007. He does web designing, search engine optimization and online marketing.
Ashkan is a member and also board member in different nonprofit professional organizations. He knows he should give back to the society in which he lives and works. In his university, they have roughly 1,500 Iranian American students with a very active Persian club, of which Ashkan has been the president for the past year and a half.
Ashkan helps me a lot not only with web mastering my company's web site, but in sales, marketing and its management whenever he has time. When he is in my rug gallery and a customer comes in, he usually gets up and helps the customer. Although he is still very young, he acts so maturely and presents himself proudly to the customers as a third generation rug man.
I believe in supporting local businesses, therefore on Sunday evening, we all went to our next door Mexican restaurant, La Cienega Mexican Grill & Cafe for dinner. The food was great and so was the service and the atmosphere. The owner of the restaurant, Ignazio who somehow knew it was Ashkan's birthday, provided us with a beautiful and well decorated cake with candles and the waiters and waitresses who brought in the cake while singing HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU. We were all surprised because we did not expect that.
As a father, I let Ashkan make his own decisions. I watch him doing so but try not to interfere and let him make acceptable mistakes. In my philosophy, making affordable mistakes is acceptable as long as you learn from it and do not repeat that mistake twice. It only has to be done once.
Persian carpets, with their intricate weaving techniques, beautiful assortment of colours, and explicit designs, hold the top rank in the list of carpet exporters across the globe.
Recently, Masoud Mirkazemi, Commerce Minister of Iran, called for the formation of a national consortium of hand-woven carpets for the exports. This will help the age old handicraft to survive the fierce competitions from the cheap imitations.
In a seminar, Mirkazemi said that forming a national consortium would help the Government secure the market for Persian carpets, so that local producers can get financial support when they opt to participate at carpet exhibitions in foreign countries.
The Commerce Minister invites private sectors to increase their investment in the Iranian carpet industry, so that country`s share in the world consumption may surge.
Available statistics show that till date, exports of Iranian carpets increased by 7 percent, since the beginning of the current financial year. It is estimated that more than 1.2 million weavers in the country are engaged in catering to the demand of the domestic as well as international market.
It was a relatively busy Sunday yesterday. A young couple who had bought two rugs on Saturday returned a small one (4 x 6) and exchanged it with a 5 x 8 tufted Indian rug. They also got a super fine rug pad. They were excited to have this rug and mentioned how happy they were with their other rug they had bought earlier.
A couple who had brought in two rugs for cleaning and repair last Saturday from Irvine, some 50 miles away from Los Angeles where we are brought in three more rugs for cleaning and repair. They picked up two other rugs they had with us for repair and cleaning. We opened up the rugs and showed them the repaired part. They liked the cleaning and the repair. They were dressed up to go to Los Angeles Philharmonics concert.
One more prospect walked into our rug gallery and looked at some Persian rugs. She was not sure about the size she was looking for. She said she would measure the room for which she needs a rug and would comeback next week.
The day before yesterday around 5:00 pm a homeless man walked into our rug gallery and looked at an area rug which was on a stack of Persian rugs and asked for the price. I treated him well with respect and responded to his question. He said he would come back tomorrow morning at 10:00. Surprisingly, he showed up tomorrow, paid cash and picked up the rug carrying it on his shoulder. I was happy that I treated him respectfully and it paid off.
Holidays are approaching with Thanksgiving, Christmas and family and friends gatherings to have good times. Are your rugs clean? Cleaner rugs last longer and provide us with healthier and more sanitary rooms and homes.
Like any other Monday, last night we had our weekly meeting in the Camden House restaurant in Beverly Hills. As usual we started at 6:00 pm with Persian appetizers, tea and lots of networking and business cards exchanging. We had dinner, a wonderful Persian food buffet at 7:15 pm. After the dinner, Dr. Shay Maghameh the president of CIE started the session and welcomed the guests. Then I introduced the new guests. I also briefly gave a report on a Persian silk rug which was recently auctioned and sold by the Christy's for $4,500,000. This 5 x 7 foot silk rug was from the Safavid era, around 450 years ago. The new owner is an Iranian collector whose name is not revealed.
Then, Dr. Cyrus Meshky, attorney at law, the Chairman of the Iranian Coalition of Entrepreneurs introduced the speaker. Our keynote speaker was Honorable Ms. Ashley Tabaddor, a young Iranian-American U.S. Immigration Judge. She delivered an excellent presentation on the importance of voting right on the eve of the historic election in the U.S. which would send either an African-American President or a female vice president to the White House for the first time in the history. At the end of her speech, she answered the questions for 10 minutes. This was one the best programs we have had in our weekly meetings. Everybody was proud of her. Both her parents with several other friends were also present in our gathering last night. What a joy on the parents' part to have such a wonderful and successful daughter!
Rug Blog is a wonderful way to communicate with those who care about rugs of any kind. In this blog, I, Khosrow Sobhe (Dr. Kay) write about my everyday experience with Persian, Oriental and area rugs, and the people that I meet and talk with. I live and work in Los Angeles, where I have a rug gallery. I love my job. It is full of excitement. I hope you enjoy your visit and share your ideas and comments with me.
Rug is my PASSION. I grew up with it since it was my family business and my father's job. I have a bachelor's degree in Industrial Management, a Master's degree in Business Administration, MBA and a second Master's degree in Educational Planning and a Ph.D. in Educational Planning from the University of Southern California, USC in Los Angeles. I am a Board member to the Iranian Carpet Exporters' Association based in Tehran. I am a member of the Textile Group of Los Angeles, TGLA. I am a Board member to the Textile Museum Associate of Southern California, TMA/SC. I am also an Industry Partner to the American Society of Interior Designers, ASID Los Angeles Chapter with more than 1,700 members. I am also the Editor in Chief of the "Iranian Hand Woven Rug" quarterly. I have a rug gallery in Los Angels. I am also the president of the Iranian American Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles. I have an active rug blog: http://rugmaster.blogspot.com/. In this blog, I, Dr. Khosrow Sobhe write about my everyday experience with Persian, Oriental and area rugs, and the people that I meet and talk with. They may be customers, friends, designers, or just ordinary people. I meet them in my rug gallery on 1655 South La Cienega Blvd. in Los Angeles (Tel. 310-770-9085) or else where.