I had a very busy day yesterday. It started at 7:30 am by our wonderful BNI Money Makers chapter meeting. The session officially started at 8:15 after we had the open networking part. As usual we had two 6-minute speeches delivered by two of our good members, both doctors. Each member had a 45-second introductory opportunity to introduce themselves. In the beginning I thought 45 seconds was too short. Now that I have practiced, I believe it is enough. I never go over my time and our time keeper which happens to be very strict, does not have to remind me that my time is up.
Each member also has 45 seconds of testimonial, shout out or report on her/his meetings with other members which takes place through out the week. It can be with other chapter members. If members get to know each other better, they can send more referrals and this means more business for all of us. That is why we try to have more one-to-one meetings every week.
This week, Dave Rittenhouse, our Assistant Director was our guest and presented our chapter with a BNI Founders Award 2010. This certificate is awarded to the chapters which have outstanding performances. Our Money Makers chapter is one of these chapters. We will continue to thrive. I just renewed my membership last week. It has been paying off for me. My older son Ashkan who has his own company which does Search Engine Optimization and web design is our chapter's vice president. I have not seen any other family members in the same chapter as BNI members. I guess Ashkan and I are very unique in this regard!
COMMUNITY TOGETHER TO SAVE LIVES - Panel discussion with teenagers and young adults (15 years and up)
Moderated topics for discussion: ALCOHOL, DRUGS, SEX I am a member of the board to the Iranian American Parents Association (IAPA) in Los Angeles. This non-profit organization is pretty active on dealing with the issues that our youngsters face these days. We had a seminar last night with a panel of experts and a few teenagers. This was held in the Beverly Hills Country Club from 6:00 to 9:00 am. It was a sold out event and we had to turn many down because there was no more space even to stand up and enjoy the program.
Dr. Nanaz Pirnia , psychologist and the founder of IAPA was the host and the keynote speaker. Sergeant Cripe from the Sheriff's Department, Dr. Taheri, Suzi Khatami, the host of a popular radio show for youngsters and a few youngsters and former drug addicts were also on the panel. It was a wonderful and educational event.
I liked the Sergeant Cripe's speech when he told the teenagers "you have no idea of how dangerous these inmates are and you don't want to get into drugs and alcohol to be in one cell with these criminals. They kill you in a heart beat." He then went on to say that "Education can give you everything, and drugs and alcohol can take everything you have."
Two very brave young girls and boys told their real stories and how they got into drugs, alcohol, stealing from their friends and families. They said that they have been clean more months after being heavy drug addicts for years. It is more effective when teenagers and youngsters talk to each other and share their experiences rather than parents giving boring advices to their kids.
The pictures speak for themselves. I am posting a few of them here. There will be more and follow up seminars on these and related topics in the months ahead.
We ordered more rug pads in Los Angeles couple of days ago as we keep running out of them due to the demand. Many of our customers become interested in purchasing rug pads as we tell them the benefits they get from having rug pads.
Rug pads have many features and uses. The main use of a rug pad is to prevent the rug from slipping and moving from its place. We have the top quality rug pad that is out on the market.The Super-Stop Quality Rug Pad is made of superior quality polyester fabric coated with a high-grade vinyl compound. Its new design will not stick to the hardwood and other types of floor coverings as some other rug pads do. The Super-Stop quality rug pad is a network design which allows air circulation underneath the rug. Without a rug pad, a lot of dust and dirt, including moth, will gather and house under the rug. The air circulation provided by the rug pad will prevent dust and dirt and moth from gathering under the rug.
The rug pad also provides padding for the rug, so when the rug is walked on and vacuumed, it is not rubbed and pushed against hard surface. Having a rug pad underneath the rug will extend the rug's life by preventing this harsh rubbing.
My wife and I went to Los Angeles Art Show yesterday. It was held in the Los Angeles Convention Center. It was Sunday and the last day of the show. Many artists from around the world had participated in this show. We saw all kinds of paintings and sculptures. Some of them looked strange, but can you tell the artists that these are not art?! I don't think so. Paintings were from a couple of hundred dollars to around $300,000. I am sure there were more expensive pieces, but these were the prices for the items we liked and did not buy!
In front of an art booth, there was a nude statute of a young lady. I did not dare to touch it to see if it was real or not. While I was passing the booth and taking a picture, I heard from the artist that she (the statue) would take a 15-minute break momentarily! Her picture is the second one from the top on this post.
I am posting few pictures of these so called art works. Art is a very subjective word to define and open to different criteria and interpretations. Does it consider the aesthetics, appeals, skills of the artists, materials used in the piece, or what? Do you have to have it by birth or you can study and acquire it?
Anyway, we enjoyed the show and visited the Los Angeles Gift Show after that. This show was also a good one and was worth visiting.
Today was the 25th anniversary of the Textile Museum Associates of Southern California (TMASC). We had a full day symposium in the Faculty Center of UCLA. It started from 9:30 am with tea, coffee and pastries followed by speeches, lunch, desserts, questions/answers and of course chatting and friendly discussions.
Linda Mansouri, the president of the Association could not attend the event due to her knee surgery. Dick Smith, the vice president of TMASC delivered a brief welcoming speech. Then Cheri Hunter in her beautiful Syrian costume gave a brief history of TMASC and how it got started 25 years ago. Cheri has served in different capacities including being president on the board of our association. She now serves as the program chair. I joined TMASC almost six years ago and served on the board of this wonderful non-profit and volunteer organization for four years. It was a nice experience. Cheri then introduced introduced the first speaker and the program moved on.
We also had Maryclair Ramsey, Director and Bruce P. Baganaz, President, Board of Trustees, The Textile Museum from Washington D.C. with us as our Guests of Honor.
Conserving Textiles in the Topkapi Palace Collection, and in Our Own Collections” with Paul Hepworth, Istanbul, Turkey
During conservation treatment, the study of a group of textiles in the Topkapi Palace Collection for the Istanbul ICOC (International Conference on Oriental Carpets) brought many insights into how they have been cared for and repaired in the past, as well as their current needs. Special focus on a series of chatmas (Ottoman cushion covers) and wrapping covers that had never been exhibited or published before revealed a use of patchwork techniques of extraordinary sophistication. Examination of these techniques and the fabrics used in the creation of these cloths allow for better understanding and interpretation of the artistic and material culture in which they were produced. As the conservation issues addressed in such museum treatments are the same as those faced by private collectors, a practical approach to treatment and storage can also be applied to the textiles we acquire and live with in our homes, including considerations about how conservation can affect, both positively or negatively, the value of these rugs and textiles.Paul Hepworth graduated with an Advanced Certificate in the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works and an M.A. in art history from the Conservation Center, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. His training focused on the conservation of textiles and paper from Islamic cultures. He worked for three years as a manuscript conservator at the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland where he had special responsibility for the collection of Islamic manuscripts. Subsequently, for five years he has been in private practice in Turkey providing conservation services to museums and institutions. For many years he has been involved in expanding the collection of ethnographic textiles from the Middle East for the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. His own extensive collection of Syrian costume from the late 19th and early 20th centuries is now in this museum. Prior to becoming a conservator, he was an educator of science and mathematics for many years. As a conservator he has continued to teach approaches to conservation in programs in Turkey, Algeria, Iraq and Egypt.
"Buy Art. Pass It On."
Kate Fitz Gibbon, Santa Fe
Lecture covering the many personal and public reasons you should be collecting textiles and other ethnographic and tribal art, how collectors passing art on is key to a vital artistic life in America as well as tax advantageous, how textile collecting owes everything to hippies and hashish, though it is ending with corporate collections...and answers to all your questions on patrimony issues and where we go from here. With amusing photographs.
Kate Fitz Gibbon is a practicing attorney in Santa Fe, specializing in art and cultural heritage law, trusts, and estate planning. She was a member of the Cultural Property Advisory Committee to Presidents Clinton and Bush and editor of Who Owns the Past? Cultural Property, Cultural Policy and the Law, Rutgers University Press, 2005. She is an expert on Central Asian textiles and their cultural context, and has written or co-written seven books on Asian textiles, including “IKAT: The Guido Goldman Collection,” which won the prestigious Wittenborn Prize for the Best Art Book of the Year. Kate was also a founding member of the Textile Museum Associates of Southern California, and a past Program Chairman and Past President of TMA/SC.
We professionally clean many Sheep Skin and Lamp Skin rugs in Los Angeles and people who ship them to us from elsewhere. Sheep and Lamb skin rugs have extremely high maintenance. Stuff get stuck in them by the minute due to their high pile. As you get to enjoy their high quality and luxurious look, you also have to take better care of them. They have to be vacuumed anytime from one to two times a week and should be washed from every 6 months to at least once a year.
Sheep skins are also very hard to wash. We have to deep dust them first. Then we have to rinse them, shampoo them, and rinse them again. We have to use special types of enzymes to dissolve food and other particles deposited inside the pile. The water has to be immediately sucked from the sheep skin as improperly dried water will damage the wool. The final step is to then flat dry this under the sun which is the traditional and healthiest way to dry a Sheep Skin. After getting dry, we comb the Sheep Skin to bring back it's softness.
I just want to share my forecast for my rug business in 2011 with you. I will expect a slow and long recovery. The meltdown of housing market and growing unemployment caused young adults to stay with their parents longer and this meant lower and weaker demand for furniture and rugs.
Having gone through a tough 2010 has taught me that working smarter, having strategies, being methodological, studying customer behaviors and paying attention to what my clients are shopping for really works for me and for my rug business in the very competitive Los Angeles rug market.
I believe that economic growth is moving in the right and more positive direction today, but it will take some time before we see people are spending like Americans again. Therefore, I should take positive actions, and commit myself to change. I will sell value over price, and will focus on driving more traffic, lowering store costs where possible and building trust and closer relationships with my clients. I should try harder to provide more value for my customers. That is what they are looking for in tough times.
I will be watching new home construction and renovation rates nationally and in California, corporate vacancy rates and unemployment statistics. These will be meaningful indexes and indicators of how the market will move. These will give me the right road map for my rug business journey!
About a week ago a customer brought us a rug she had just bought. Unfortunately, they went to Las Vegas but did not take their dog with them. The dog, mad that he was left behind, decided to chew off the middle edge of the rug. The owner was extremely mad about the situation. She has a very unique rug which is composed of variety of pink and purple. The pile and foundation are wool.
Once in a while, we receive strange and uncommon types of rugs for cleaning and repair. Some of these rugs are special kinds of bamboo rugs with strange designs probably made by Indians or maybe other primitive but creative rug/carpet manufacturers. These rugs need their own methods of cleaning which is different from regular wet washing and hose-down cleaning. We cannot run them through ordinary water extraction machines, therefore we have to be creative and use other methods of cleaning, water extraction and drying!
The other type of rugs we picked up from a repeat customer were made with wool, nylon, jute, different types of fabrics, aluminum, and etc. This rugs could not be cleaned easily, but we managed to clean them properly.
Few days ago, two ladies with their two teenagers walked into our rug gallery. They were from Sao Polo, Brazil visiting their relatives here in Los Angeles. They bought two 4' x 6' hand made rugs in less than an hour. We chatted about Brazilian soccer players and how popular and famous they are world wide. It was a nice and friendly conversation.
I love my job because each day is full of excitement. You never know what you will face. I love its adventure. I am never board or tired. Every day is a new day!
My brother in law and his family came from New York, last Thursday, to get away from the snow storm there. We have showed them around Los Angeles and tried to show them a good time. Today, after shopping they came to visit our Rug Gallery in Los Angeles. We used them as a good excuse to clean up our desks and our rug gallery. We put all of the rugs for cleaning in an orderly fashion in one place and all the rugs that have been professionally cleaned and repaired on the other side. I also cleaned up all of the paper that have been stacked up on my desk for the past year. Staying clean is crucial in becoming successful. We are almost done with cleaning up all of the 2010 paperwork. Also, since my son Kash is taking care of all of the company's paper work, it's really helpful for me as we have not missed a single payment. He pays every bill right when it's delivered and takes care of all of my paper work, which really gives me a peace of mind and helps me focus more on the business and not be drowned in papers.
White Knots have been part of many Oriental rugs ever since rug cleaning existed. The loom which the rug is woven on is made of warp yarn which run vertically throughout. The rug is woven around these warp yarns and are then pounded down and pressured in order to create a strong dense rug. This pounding and pressure causes the warp yarns to break. They are fixed by tying another small warp around the two yarn pieces. This tied not creates something called the White Knot.
At the time the rugs is woven, the thickness of the handmade rug covers the While Knots. But after decades of use and wearing of the pile of the knots, the White Knots start to appear on the surface of the rug. This White Knots are like pimples on a face, not so nice looking. Although they should not be cut as the cutting will ruin the foundation of the rug and the rug will fall apart, there are alternatives.
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.