Monday, December 31, 2007

Persian, Oreintal, Area Rug Blog, my Rug Master Weblog, and the Year 2007

It is 6:30 pm in Los Angeles and the date is December 31, 2007. The year will reach its end in a few hours. I want to review what I did in this year and put forward few plans for the upcoming year, the 2008.

I worked very hard, seven days a week, and probably around 12 hours a day. I provided excellent services to my customers who wanted to buy or sell rugs, do Oriental carpet cleaning, repair, restoration, and appraisal. I delivered lectures and tried to educate my customers. And I did all this with joy and love. More than anybody else, I loved what I did myself. Although it was financially very difficult for me, it was gratifying to see that my sales doubled in 2007 compared with the year before. The secret was extremely hard work and first class customer service. Many of my customers in this year were repeat customers. They understand and prreciate customized and flexible services.

And my plan for the next year is to double my sales compared with 2007! Impossible? Not. I will make it happen by another round of hard work, good planning and first grade customer services. I learned a lot from my customers and others and by reading, attending professional shows, participating in different meeting and professional events. I will continue to do so, and even more.

I wish everybody a happy and prosperous year, full of love and passion. I year without bas and sad news. A year, without war and killing. Let us pray for that. I celebrate this new year with my family and friends. It is always good to celebrate other cultures and religions' celebrations. this will foster love and mutual understanding. This is my last post on my weblog for the year 2007.


Khosrow Sobhe

Oriental Rug Blogs and Aatracting More Traffic To My Rug Master Web Log

I was looking for a way to attract more traffic to my rug blog. I found this article which I enjoyed reading. An Oriental carpet blog may not have that many readers, but this article may help to find more visitors and readers to such Persian, Oriental and area rug blogs. It is simple but useful. I like to share it with my readers.

How to get regular traffic

If content is the king of a site, traffic is the queen. Traffic is the key to success for a publishers. It is not difficult to attract visitors to your site for the first time. You may place your URL in the forum, Yahoo answer, email or in bulletin board. It is basic instinct of people to visit a new site. So at the first phage you may get good number of traffic. But after a certain period of time your traffic may decrease day by day. The reason is that people are not willing to visit a site which is boring. If you are able to convert your visitors as constant traffic, your success is not far ahead. It is natural that traffic may overflowed into your site for a short period of time. It is due to search engine ranking or by getting to dig homepage or by any means. Grasp the opportunity. Do something so that your visitors turn into your regular traffic. How can you increase the number of regular visitors?
1.Be Unique, informative and creative: Be creative and write unique content. Your article must contain useful information. Elaborate your writing but don't deceive your visitors. Try to fulfill the expectation of your traffic for which they are exploring your site.
2. Regular posting: Post regularly with new and interesting contents so that your visitors feel interest to come back to your blog. Most of the popular bogs are updated regularly with new contents. If you write on part basis such as Part-I then Part-II your visitors certainly wait for the next part.
3. Simple Designing: Have you visited this blog earlier? You may remember that this blog was incorporated with images. But I have removed images. Because I have experienced that image affected my traffic. Actually people do not prefer the site which takes much time to upload. If you upload your site with many images, it may take more time to open, consequently visitors will skip to other sites for information and you will loose your traffic. So don't upload your site with unnecessary images.
4. Limited words: Your content should not too big or too small. Content with 400 to 500 words limit is ideal for a site. Don't be repetitive. Write your content with simple sentences and appropriate density of key words. Make your content interesting and keep it away from boring. If visitors feel interest in your blog they certainly will return and subscribe your feed to keep touch with your blog.
5. Relevant links to other sites: Provide link to other relevant and good quality sites so that your visitors may be benefited. If you are able to provide links to sites for updated and relevant information, people will use your site for updating their knowledge.
6.Promote your RSS Feed : You should keep an active link after every post with few words such as subscribe this blog or like that. Good number of people may subscribe your blog.


In a separate post, I will do a wrap of my rug blog for the year 2007 as it is the last day of the year.

Khosrow Sobhe

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Afghan carpets to go on display at major trade shows

Afghan carpets to go on display at major trade shows

KABUL: Various varieties of carpets, recognised around the world as a symbol of Afghan culture, tradition and civilisation, will go on display at three major international trade shows this winter.

The US Agency and International Development (USAID) said Afghan traders would attend for the first time the South Asian Commodity Fair in Beijing, China, from December 28 to 30 and at the Domotex trade show in Hanover, Germany, from January 12 to 15, 2008.

For the second time, they will visit the United States. This year, they will attend a show in Las Vegas from January 28 - February 1, 2008. A number of high ranking Afghan government officials will also be present at the events, the agency added..

The annual trade shows host carpet producers from all over the world. Afghanistan will be an active participant, presenting its elegant handmade carpets and building relationships with international exporters from all over the world.

On the importance of the fairs for the economic growth of the carpet sector, Suleiman Fatimi, CEO of Export Promotion Agency, said: Participation in these trade shows will support and encourage the promotion of the Afghan carpet industry, and will boost Afghan traders. The shows will help establish linkages to new markets and customers around the world.

Twenty-eight industry representatives will first visit Beijing. China is increasingly becoming an important business destination for Afghanistan, both for exporters and importers, remarked Bryan Rhodes, the Chief of Party for USAIDs Afghanistan Small and Medium Enterprise Development project.

We are pleased to support emerging Afghan entrepreneurs in strengthening trade ties with one of the worlds most important economies, added Rhodes.

The Export Promotion Agency of Afghanistan (EPAA) is coordinating the projects in conjunction with the Afghan Carpet Exporters Association, the Association of Afghan Carpet Weavers, and the Federation of the Afghan Women Entrepreneurs. Germanys GTZ is also providing technical support.


Khosrow Sobhe

Rug Blogs, Rug Master and Oriental Carpets

It is good to have a rug blog. During the past few weeks that I have had my rug blog, I have received several e-mails encouraging me to go ahead with my blog. There are very few rug blogs on the Internet and those few are not updated. I try to write few posts per week. Persian, Oriental and area rugs have a big market in the world and in the US, but very few rug dealers like to write about rugs. They either cannot or do not want to write about rugs and how they do business. I believe we live in a wonderful era when tons of information is at our fingers' tips. Why not use it and why not contribute to it?

I do my homework and try to write about my every day life which is very much related to textiles, rugs, art, and culture.

Khosrow Sobhe

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Rugs and Holiday Season

At this time of the year, when there is only few days left from the year 2007, it is unlikely to sell rugs, since people are usually busy doing other kind of jobs and planning. But we rug dealers never lose hopes. In the morning, a customer called me from Texas and talked about possible purchase of two Persian Nain rugs. She called me in the afternoon after talking with her husband and gave me her credit card information so I could go ahead and charge her credit card. I did that and will send these two hand knotted Persian rugs by UPS tomorrow. She will probably have these pieces by the new year.

This maybe the last sale of the year, but who knows, we may sell other rugs in the 2-3 days left before we are in 2008!!

Khosrow Sobhe

Selling Few Nain and Afghan Rugs

I have been busy during the past few days with holidays, Christmas, remodeling, and redecoration of our store. I sold a very nice Afghan wool on wool runner to a customer. A colleague, a rug dealer came in and wanted few pieces of our Qashqai Collection rugs which are our own production made with hand spun wool and vegetable dye. Another colleague gave us an Indian rug for color fixing and dyeing work. I also sold one Persian Nain rug to a walk-in customer. A lady came in and bought 5 door mats. We do not make money on our door mats, but they catch the attention of the drivers and the people who pass by our rug gallery on the very busy La Cienega Blvd.

As usual, we have been busy with rug repair, appraisal, cleaning, and stain removal.

I have been invited by the Oriental Rug Retailers of America to talk about an antique Persian rug in the Atlanta Rug Show which will be held in Atlanta, Georgia (01-17-2008 to 01-20-2008). They have also invited me to have a lecture in the July Atlanta Rug Show (07-13-2008 t0 07-16-2008). This organization has around 300 members all of whom are rug retailers from different cities around the U.S.

Khosrow Sobhe

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Persian carpet to be promoted

Persian carpet to be promoted

Iran is to introduce Persian carpet to the world.

Iran will make an appraisal of hand-woven carpets in a bid to restore the reputation of its carpet industry in domestic and foreign markets.
“Iran's hand-woven carpets have long enjoyed a very high reputation in the world. We must take steps toward introducing the Persian carpet more effectively to attract customers to its artistic value,” said Houshang Fakher, vice-chairman of Iran's Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines.

“The hand-woven Persian carpet needs more and better advertising to ensure its successful introduction to its international customers, as well as recapturing the first place it had long held in the world market”, he added.

To this end, national and international exhibits to introduce the country's age-old art of weaving exquisite carpets must be held on a regular basis and with adequate preparations, he noted.The hand-woven Persian carpet has always been viewed as an essential part of Persian art and culture, dating back many centuries and represting one of the most outstanding symbols of the country's cultural and artistic traditions.

Khosrow Sobhe

Friday, December 21, 2007

Pantone 18-3943 Blue Iris

CARLSTADT, NJ – Blue Iris, a balanced blue-purple, has been projected as the color for the year for 2008 by Pantone, Inc., the global authority on color and provider of color standards for the design industries. The Pantone number is 18-3943 .
"From a color forecasting perspective, we have chosen Pantone 18-3943 Blue Iris as the color of the year, as it best represents color direction in 2008 for fashion, cosmetics and home products," said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute.
"As a reflection of the times, Blue Iris brings together the dependable aspect of blue, underscored by a strong, soul-searching purple cast. Emotionally, it is anchoring and meditative with a touch of magic. Look for it artfully combined with deeper plums, red-browns, yellow-greens, grapes and grays." Blue Iris is one of the 3,000 colors available in Pantone’s line of eco-friendly paint.

Pantone Inc. has been providing design professionals with paint products and services for more than 45 years. Pantone paints, created in partnership with Fine Paints of Europe, contain no fillers. They are formulated using high quality pigments, oils and resins.


Going Out of Business and Rug Racks

A rug dealer from down town Los Angeles contacted me few days ago and said he is going out of business and would like to sell his area rug racks. I made an appointment and went to see the racks. He was there for a year but since the rug business has been very slow, he wanted to close down the store and sell the rug racks. We bargained and reached an agreement. He had three racks, each one had 20 arms which would hold forty 5 x 8 (feet) rugs. He also had three bed type frames over which he placed piles and stacks of the rugs he had. I bought all of them, rented a truck and transferred every thing to our rug gallery. This has made our shop a mess since a couple of days ago and we have been busy redecorating and remolding our rug store to fit in all the racks and the frames. It has been a lot of work and it is not finished yet. Meanwhile, during the past three days, we sold several small and medium Persian and area rugs. As usual, we have been busy with rug cleaning and repair, and also several rug appraisals.

At this time of the year, people are usually busy with last minute shopping and do not buy rugs, with maybe few exception. But we have to work hard, and plan ahead to make 2008 a very busy and prosperous year. We can make it if we want it and go for it.

Khosrow Sobhe

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Selling Few Indian Rugs

We went to deliver one Indian rug which was left with us for cleaning. This customer had given us several rugs for cleaning and had wanted few small rugs. Last week, we delivered the cleaned rugs and left several small pieces with them to see and think about. This time we took several more Indian small rugs. They did not want to keep the Persian rugs, but liked few small pieces of Indian rugs which looked cute at their beautiful house.

During the day, nothing special happened. In the afternoon, I went to an event which was held at James Bridges Cinema in UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) to celebrate the 800th birthday of Rumi, Moulana, the Iranian sofi, poet and the great philosopher. I could not buy the ticket online, since it was sold out. When I got to the box office, I was also told that the event was sold out. The organizer of the event saw me and said why did not you tell me you would like to attend the event and I said I did not think it would be a sold out event. Anyhow, I met several friends in the lobby and chated with them, but had no luck to get in. There was also a presentation of a wonderful documentary made by Farzin Rezaeian, another friend who has made a documentary named, "Iran: Seven Faces of a Civilization". Besides this, the Lian Ensemble also was going to preform a live program. It was a great event, but I missed it. A friend who had come from Washington D.C. offered to give me his ticket, but I did not accept. I returned home.

Today, Sunday Dec. 16th, was also a slow and quiet day. I went to a friend's Italian restaurant in Culver City with my older son and had a wonderful brunch. We had a nice time. Other family members did not want to join us. At work, we met few customers, non of whom looked serious rug buyers. A customer came in and picked up his rug which was left with us for cleaning.

Khosrow Sobhe

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Afghan and Indian Rugs

A customer called in and later walked into our rug gallery. She had several rugs to sell. Two Indian silk rugs, two typical Pakistani rugs, old designs, and two Afghan rugs, wool on wool. We will take professional photos of each rug and will post them on our website with all the technical information. We have a special section for pieces like these which are for sale by our customers. We post them on our "Market Place" section of our web site.

In the afternoon, I went to an Oriental rug store which wants to close down. The owner has many Persian rugs that he wants to sell. I took a general look at the rugs which were from Tabriz, Bidjar, Nain, qum, and etc. He wants to sell all these pieces at once with a bulk price, without specifically mentioning the price on each piece. The rugs are not the tastes of the average American customers and may take a long time before some one can sell them. I returned to my rug gallery. While I was out, my son sold a runner and a small rug to a walk in customer.

Our repairman was busy today working on stain removal of a pair of Tabriz rugs. The lady who brought these two pieces few days ago, had washed them at home. All the colors had ran and bleed. The rugs were messed up. They will be OK after we work on them and remove the bleedings.

Today, I was mostly busy preparing and mailing many greeting cards to our customers and friends. It is nice to be remembered by receiving a beautiful card. Christmas is the best time of the year, as many people celebrate it around the world. It is good to be happy and make others happy.

Khosrow Sobhe

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Rug Cleaning and Sale

A customer who had taken three rugs to try at home returned two of them and kept a 40 radj fine Ivory Mashad rug. Few customers brought their rugs for cleaning. A lady brought in a rug for cleaning and said I want to have this area rug cleaned. I said this is not an area rug; it is hand made. She said no it is area rug and a friend has give this rug to me for free. I said maybe she/he did not know what this rug was. Otherwise this guy would not have given it to you for free. This dark blue 5 x 8 rug is from Tabriz, Iran and is worth around $750. She could not believe it. She was so happy when she left our store. I suggested to have the fringes repaired and she agreed.

A lady came in today to our rug gallery and said if it would be ok to buy a Turkish rug when somebody is in Turkey as a tourist. I said I do not recommend it specially if you spend more than a couple of hundred dollars. Because you do not know rugs and there is a chance you buy a fake rug. There are for example Chinese silk rugs made in China which maybe sold as Hereke Turkish rugs which are very fine rugs, but how can you tell the difference. Thaen I talked to her and gave her some literature, among which a "Rug Buying Tips". She read part of it and appreciated. I post that tip here in case some one would like to take a look at it:

Rug Buying Tips
Dr. Khosrow Sobhe

1- If you do not know Oriental rug, try to know your Oriental rug dealer.
The dealer should be knowledgeable and should not insist in selling you a rug. You as a customer should not feel you are under pressure. The rug dealer should provide you with the right information, based on which you can make a sound and informative decision. Choosing the right store and the right dealer is the most important job in your rug buying process.

2- When you buy a Persian or Oriental rug, ask the dealer to write down on the invoice whatever he claims the rug to be. For example "Hand knotted Persian rug with vegetable dye and hand-spun wool". Ask him to give you a copy of his printed return policy. This should be simple and clear and not with many preconditions.

3- Never trust "Going Out of Business" rug stores or traveling auctions. In many cases, "Retirement Sales", TV and the Internet auctions by unknown sellers are also not trustable.

4- Do not trust those who claim to give you 80% off. Think for a moment. How is it possible to buy a hand knotted (or handmade) rug and pay only 20% of what it is worth? Why should somebody do this favor to you?

5- Material of the rug you would like to buy is very important. Wool is the best material for pile. Silk pile is luxurious, but is not good for high traffic areas of your home. The warp (foundation of the rug) can be cotton, wool or silk. Usually, tribal rugs are made of wool warp. Machine made and area rugs may look beautiful, but there maybe some health issues and concerns with them compared with hand knotted rugs which use natural fibers such as cotton, wool and silk.

6- To make sure a silk rug is real, take a little piece of the fringe (warp) and burn it. If it leaves a little stem, it is silk, if it disintegrates, it is not real and is probably rayon or other synthetics. Some dealers refer to rayon in the rug industry as "artificial silk", or worse "art silk". In either case, it is not silk. A lot of Silk rugs from India, China, and Pakistan are not real silk so make sure you know what you are buying. A reputable rug dealer should always tell you clearly what material a rug is made with.

7- Choosing the right size is very important. Make sure to measure your room correctly before referring to any rug store. Try to get standard size rug compared with odd sizes. The usual standard sizes in foot are: 3 x 5, 5 x 8,
6 x 9, 8 x 10, 9 x 12, 10 x 14, and 12 x 15. The standard width for runners of any length is 2' 6", although there are other widths as well

8- Color is another important factor in selecting a rug. Many buyers would like the color of the rug match with the wall, furniture, draperies, and other items surrounding it. Light colors make the room look bigger.

9- Design of a rug is a matter of taste. Some people like busier designs while other may prefer less crowded designs with more open field. In classical and traditional rugs, there is a medallion in the center with a corner medallion (1/4 of a medallion) in each corner. Another design group is overall with no center medallion while there are big flowers and motives. This design is more popular than the classical designs with medallions. Persian rugs have a vast collection of designs which can satisfy many different types of customers.

10- Price is also another important factor which you should consider. There is no one formula based on which you can determine the price of a hand knotted rug. Variables such as size, origin, quality of the wool and dye, density of the knots, material, age and … are important factors. As mentioned earlier, if you find a reputable dealer who is an active member of several professional societies and associations and has knowledge of the rug, you are probably in a much safer hands.

11- We at will be happy to give you free advice on your rug buying journey. Please give us a call at 310-770-9085 from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm PST, California time!!

Hope you like these tips which have been gathered based on my many years of experience and what I have learned from others in the Oriental carpet world.

Khosrow Sobhe

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Persians Are Back!

This evening when I was browsing the Internet, I happened to see this note by Emmett Eiland. I liked it and would like to share it with you.


oriental rugs PersianTHE PERSIANS ARE BACK
by Emmett Eiland

The moment we heard that trade barriers were down with Iran, we were hell bent on flying off to beat the bushes in Tehran and the Persian countryside for rugs, old or new. At about the same time that we heard the news, the scion of a Shiraz-based rug-making family arrived in our Berkeley showroom and laid out a sampling of 10 or so rugs from their production, all dyed with natural substances and knotted with hand spun wool. Most were from Shiraz, others from Kirman and from near Isfahan where Baktiaris are woven.

Modern Isfahan Carpet

On hands and knees we poured over new Kermans as fine as the best old ones and new Baktiaris with natural dyes - all with wonderful wool.

But the colors were another matter. Naturally dyed they were, but attractive? Maybe not. Certain very bright colors were not commercially acceptable or pleasing to us personally. Worse, when Natasha, a model of good manners, spoke gently about her concerns about the rugs' colors, one of the Persians took her words personally and bristled. That's a bad sign..

And price. Those rugs were expensive! Our impression is that some Iranian rug manufacturers have an exaggerated notion of American wealth. It is true that some Americans will pay "anything" for the right carpet, but it really does have to be right - and those wealthy few for whom money is no problem are likely to bring in a team of designers to confirm the "rightness" of the colors. The rugs we saw were not quite right, and we have reason to believe that they are the very cream of the Persian crop.

Modern Bakhtiari Carpet
Though we’re disappointed, sober thought has convinced us to wait before we go to Iran. Our concern is whether or not there is anything to buy there- at a time when there is so much else of real merit to be had elsewhere. Reports from colleagues who have gone to Iran and returned are not encouraging. They report only very scarce antique rugs- remember that Europe has been buying in Iran all these years while we have not-, and these few antiques are offered at huge prices. Furthermore, they have found the market offering only a very limited number of new rugs with natural dyes. Deprived of American demand for nearly 20 years, many realistic Persian rug makers have been producing less expensive rugs of limited merit for the thriftier European market. Sooner or later Iran is going to lead the pack again. That's hard to doubt after seeing the quality of Persian wool and the skill of Persian weavers. That will take a while. But when it happens, oh will we be happy to tromp around Persia again, looking for the gems.

Another Busy Day With Rug Cleaning and Selling Two Sarouk Rugs

Yesterday was Saturday and a very busy day. We had an appointment with a customer at 10:00 am and delivered 8 rugs we had picked up last week for cleaning and repair. We delivered all the rugs except one Indian silk little runner which had the bleeding and color run problem. We had to wash it few times and it was not dry by the time we delivered other rugs. All the rugs needed padding which we provided and tailored. The customer was happy with the service.

In the afternoon, a couple came in and selected two Sarouk rugs and a very fine Mashad rug to take home to see which one they would like. They will keep two of these three Persian carpets. They also picked up an Indian silk rug they had with us for cleaning. They also gave us another Indian hand knotted wool rug for cleaning. When they left, the whole store was a mess. It took us a couple of hours of work to put back every thing in order. Here, I post a photo of one of the fine Sarouks which is in old and traditional Qazvin carpet design.

After this couple left, a customer which had called earlier came in and brought two Tabriz fine rugs, a pair. She had washed these rugs at home and all the colors ran and bleed. We assured her that this problem could be taken care of. She left the rug with us. It was a busy day!

Khosrow Sobhe

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Kerman Rugs

More than any other carpets, I have seen Kerman rugs in the homes of my customers here in and around Los Angeles. I went to a customer's house last night to pick up two rugs she had for cleaning. One was an old Kerman rug which belonged to her parents. She wanted to sell this beautiful light green or turquise color Kerman rug, 9 x12 (9 m2) and I suggested that she keeps it and use it at her house. She accepted my professional advice. Below, I mention a little information on Kerman and its rugs. The sources are the "Wikipedia", and

"It is believed, that Kerman has been founded as early as the 3rd century by Ardeshir I, founder of the Sassanian dynasty. In Islamic time, Kerman was one of the important cultural centres of Iran.

Carpet weaving is one of the main industries of the city, and the carpets produced there are renowned internationally. Carpet weaving is a very old tradition in Kerman. The oldest carpet discovered in Kerman, belongs to about 500 years ago, which proves the precedence of weaving in this city. Cotton textiles and goats-wool shawls are also manufactured. A number of modern establishments such as textile mills and brickworks also have been constructed. The province's mineral wealth includes copper and coal."

"Marco Polo praised the carpets of Kerman as a marvel to see in 1270. His description is still apt today. Kerman is the capitol city of a province of the same name in Southeastern Iran. It is a city of about 2 million people about 1000 kilometers southeast of Teheran. For about the last 100 years a major source of high grade Persian carpets. Today Kerman produces highly distinctive carpets primarily in highly floral medallion plan and medallion all over designs.

In the older carpets the all cotton foundations have a depressed foundation with the first and third wefts rigid and the second sinuous. This has caused some to incorrectly attribute the Vase and Sanguszko carpets to Kerman. John Chardin traveling in Persia from 1673 to 1677 noted Kerman province especially Seistan as the home of the finest Persian Carpets."

Khosrow Sobhw

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Old and Antique Persian and Oriental Rugs

I was browsing the Internet and I read a report on old and antique Persian and Oriental rug and why their value appreciates and increases over the time. I would like to share this report with you.

more stories from Hot Springs

Oriental Rugs: What Creates Value?
In Hot Springs, Arkansas, a woman named Susan discussed two oriental rugs that her grandparents had bought in 1931 for the exact same price: $2,000. One of the rugs, a very large Serapi, was woven in the late 19th century in northwest Persia, present-day Iran. In a little over 100 years this rug has appreciated twentyfold, to a retail value of $40,000. However, the other rug, a small Turkish Hereke prayer rug, has appreciated to only $6,000, which means its worth hasn't even kept pace with inflation.

What happened? Why does one old oriental rug soar in value over the years, while another one, just as old, stagnates in value?

We took these questions to Peter Pap, the ANTIQUES ROADSHOW rug expert who evaluated the two Hot Springs rugs. He says the differential in the appreciation of these two rugs, and of oriental rugs in general, is closely related to each rug's respective quality. He's quick to add, though, that the worth of a rug at any given time is also tied to cycles of the market and trends in people's taste.

"What happens to the value of an oriental rug over time is in many ways no different than what happens to any antique or collectible," Peter says. "Supply and demand, and the effects of fashion, play major roles." Susan's two rugs serve as prime examples.

First, Authenticity
Older Hereke rugs — and other Turkish prayer rugs similar to the one Susan showed in Hot Springs — were in great demand during the first few decades of the 1900s, Peter says. This fact inflated their value at the time. The keen market in turn inspired ever more exaggerated sales pitches — a factor Peter says likely played a part in the grandparents' purchase.

The original paperwork from the interior designer who sold the Hereke rug lists it as a "semi-antique," a term used to refer to objects that are more than 50 years old, but not yet 100 years old — the minimum age for a bona fide "antique." But Peter says that this rug was not in fact a late 19th-century specimen; rather, it was a copy made no more than 20 years before Susan's grandparents purchased it.

"They were definitely misled, and they overpaid for the prayer rug," Peter says.

Quality Matters
Quality of craftsmanship — or lack of it — has also played a role in the Hereke's lackluster appreciation in value. The red dye used in the pattern was of poor quality and has bled into the rug's lighter colors. Peter also notes that the rug is not actually made of silk, as was claimed, but instead is woven from treated cotton.

On the other hand there is the second rug, a Serapi, which Peter spotted in a photograph that Susan showed him of the St. Louis penthouse that her grandparents lived in. But how can Peter tell from the picture that this rug is a winner? Serapis, he explains, only started being made late in the first decade of the 1900s; in the 1930s, this type of rug hadn't been around long enough, nor become popular enough, for rug makers to begin producing copies for sale. That's why Peter doesn't have misgivings about its authenticity. And Susan reports that the Serapi is still in excellent condition. A wealthy collector, her grandfather even built a special museum-like room in St. Louis to house his rugs. So Peter feels comfortable that his $40,000 estimate is accurate provided the Serapi has continued to be well cared for.

"While large Persian carpets with primitive geometric designs were relatively inexpensive at the time this was bought, they are now one of the most desirable types," Pap says.

So the first — unsurprising — lesson illustrated by Susan's two rugs is that quality matters in oriental rugs. But what may be a more important lesson, even for collectors of fine hand-made oriental carpets, is that the market is fickle.

Fickle Market
Peter says that in the 1950s, oriental rugs lost their allure when buyers began to develop a preference for the color beige, as well as for wall-to-wall carpeting. Peter knows old-timers in the antiques business who had to dump the oriental rugs they bought as parts of complete estates. "One of my mentors in the business would drive from Washington in his Volkswagen Beetle to New England with $200 and be able to fill the car with antique rugs purchased at antiques shops," Peter says.

In the 1950s and 1960s for about $500 you could purchase a 9x12-foot Persian Bidjar carpet made in 1920. That same rug, if kept in good condition, is worth about $10,000 today.

Prices for Turkoman tribal rugs and saddlebags, however, which collectors eagerly sought in the 1970s, have moved in the other direction over the last 10 years. "Now collectors are only looking for the masterpieces to round out their collections," Peter says. "And there isn't a second wave of younger collectors to support the entry-level pieces, so the prices have dropped in value."

In addition to changing patterns of demand, changes in the supply of oriental rugs have also affected the prices of mid-century rugs. As part of the renaissance in oriental rugs over the last 20 years, rug makers have begun to use quality natural dyes again and have created vibrant designs that borrow from 19th-century patterns.

"These rugs now make many of the semi-antique rugs look stiff in design and have caused that market to come down in price," Peter explains. "Any rugs whose designs and colors evolved to meet current taste in the West after World War II are bound to experience drops in demand and therefore price."

So perhaps the ultimate lesson in all these up-and-down swings is to buy what you like and treasure what you have. "Investment should not be your number-one requirement with a rug," Peter says. "An oriental rug, if it's cared for, will last a hundred years or more. You don't want to discount the value of something that can be used for a lifetime."

I hope you enjoy this report. Below you may find the link and the source for this report:

Khosrow Sobhe

Rug Cleaning and repair

Yesterday was Monday and a busy day. We picked up several rugs from two customers' homes. One of them was a very fine big Mashad rug which had water damage and we had to extract the water first and then try to make it dry by spreading it under the son and using a strong and heavy duty lower and fan before it was washed. we also received few other big rugs and a long runner for repair and cleaning. Making few phone calls, reading and responding to e-mails was another job that I did today. In the evening, I attended a weekly meeting in a restaurant in Beverly hills. We have networking, dinner, two 5-minutes speeches and one keynote speaker. A question and answer follows the speech. This is a gathering of Iranian entrepreneurs.

Khosrow Sobhe

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Rug Cleaning, Sarouk Rug, and an Opera Singer!

We went to a customer's house yesterday morning, Saturday Dec. 1st and picked up several rugs for cleaning and repair. They were mostly rugs from India, and Pakistan. These customers, a husband and a wife, both physicians, had just returned from India and had brought several Indian Kashmir silk rug with them. They needed rug pads for all their rugs, but since these rugs are not in standard sizes, we are supposed to cut and tailor the rug pads and under lays to fit the rugs.

In the afternoon, a couple came into our rug gallery looking for a 9 x 12 Persian silk rug. This husband and wife after one hour, ended up leaving with a beautiful ca 8 x 10 Sarouk rug made by Iran Carpet Company with a touch of silk. They had brought a burgundy Indian silk rug, a piece of travertine tile and a cushion to match their color with the color of the rug they would like the rug. After seeing many rugs, they liked an Ivory Sarouk rug. The wife had a rug book to use as a guide. I showed her the section on Sarouk rugs. They left their silk Indian rug with us for cleaning. They will comeback in a week to pick this rug up. When these couple were seeing different rugs, I showed them few Indian Jaipur rugs with the size they were looking, but the lady did not want to look at them at all and said I want a piece of art, and these are not the type that I am looking for.

Today, which was Sunday, I was at work and after I received a phone call from a customer, I went to his house to take a closer look at few of his rugs which need cleaning and repair. We talked about the kind of repair these rugs would need. We will probably pick these rugs up tomorrow. These are all old and antique Persian rugs.

In the afternoon, a lady came in and said where are your Mashad Saber rugs about which you have posted some literature on your website. She had come from Orange County, a place some 45 miles south of Los Angeles. I showed her the pair and mentioned that these beautiful museum quality rugs have 9,000,000 knots each and it took four years for each piece to make. Then she examined few other Qum silk and Isfahan rugs we had. She was looking for a Persian rug with hunting design. She could not find what she was looking for. She gave us her contact information in case if we find anything close to what she want, we can call her.

A designer with her client came in with two pillows looking for a 9 x 12 rug. They could not find any thing close to what they were looking for. Before they leave, I showed them few Indian rugs we have. These rugs are hand knotted with wool pile. The customer said, I do not like these rug. They look like area rugs. They left. Few other people also came in looking for area rugs, but none of them looked serious.

I came home around 6:00 pm. After a light dinner and chatting with my family, I browsed different TV channels. There was a wonderful program on channel 8, KOCE. I loved this program. It was showcasing a blind Italian opera male singer, Andrea Bocelli. What a wonderful and glorious voice?!. You can easily meditate with his songs and send your sole to cruise the sky!! This TV channel featured one of his concerts in an open air place called Tuscany in Italy. Thousands of people attended this concert. Andrea Bocelli has sold more than 60 million albums worldwide!

Well I guess I wrote more than what I wanted. Now is the time to say good bye.

Khosrow Sobhe

Friday, November 30, 2007

A Slow Friday In Los Angeles and Taking More Rug Photos

It was raining today in Los Angeles and this affected the traffic and those who might want to go shopping, specially those who may want to buy Oriental or area rugs. They can postpone their rug purchase until everything looks right!!

We followed our job from yesterday and took many more pictures of our rugs, several of them antique or semi-antique and old Persian rugs. Some of them were from Nahavand, Zanjan, Tafresh, Malayer, Borchalou, Bakhtiar, Kashan, Kerman and other Iranian cities. They are mostly village rugs.

In the evening a friend who is a rug importer and whole seller from San Francisco came to visit me. We talked about rugs, new and old, Persian as well as Oriental rugs and the market.

Khosrow Sobhe

A Nice Antique Farahan Rug

Last evening, a customer brought a Farahan small rug for cleaning and repair. For me seeing rugs like this is like a kid seeing a fun toy!

We took many photos, some from our new arrivals and some from our previous rugs. We are planning to post them on our website after we're done with the photo shooting. We just received a small shipment of Qum silk and Isfahan rugs. I prepared the price and description tag for each piece and attached them.

Khosrow Sobhe

Thursday, November 29, 2007

American Society of Interior Designers ASID Los Angeles Chapter

We had a meeting at the American Society of Interior Designers, ASID Los Angeles Chapter yesterday for the Industry Partners who are the suppliers of goods and services to the designers. This is a monthly meeting in which roughly 30 members participate. The meetings take place in the Pacific Design Center, PDC on Melrose Ave. in Los Angeles. This is a huge building with hundreds of offices and showrooms which provide high end products to the design community. There are few Persian and Oriental rug dealers in this blue building which is also called the "Blue Whale"!

We talked about different plans and programs for December and the new year. At the end of the program which is usually between 12:00 to 1:00 pm, each member introduces him/her self and we all exchange our business cards. It is a good networking opportunity for all of us. ASID is a national organization with 38,000 members. The Los Angeles Chapter is one of the biggest and more active chapters with around 1,800 members. Few Oriental rug dealers are also members but they are not active in regards with participating in the programs or in the meetings. They are just silent members who do not want to get involved.

While I was in the meeting, my son sold two 5 x 8 rugs to a customer. In the afternoon, a customer came in and picked up his rug which was left with us for cleaning. At home, I watched CNN for a couple of hours and the debate between the Republican presidential candidates. It is interesting to see how the Internet and Youtube are playing big roles in the election.

Khosrow Sobhe

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Few Customers , But No Sales!

Today, few customers came in separately looking for cheap rugs. One of them put two 4x6 area rugs aside and said he might come back later. Working on the repair of a Persian Kerman rug took some time. Talking to a couple of customers on the phone, and arranging the delivery of few rugs for today evening and tomorrow morning was part of what I did today. Reading many e-mails, and responding to some of them and sending several e-mails was another job that I did today. The mail man brought few mails, but no bill was among them!

I had sent a letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein regarding Persian Carpet Embargo couple of weeks ago. I received her response today mentioning that he shares the concern with me and agreeing that this embargo will only affect the weavers, many of whom are mothers who make rugs while their kids attend school. I had received a somehow similar reply from another Californian Senator, Barbara Boxer.

I left for home at 6:00 pm.

Khosrow Sobhe

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Quiet Sunday and a very good book

Yesterday was Sunday and a very quiet day. I sold a short Persian Hamedan runner to a customer. Another young lady also bought a small area rug. I stayed in my store up to 6:30 pm and did paper work. It never ends and the mail never stops coming in, most of it bills and junk mail.

I have started reading a book called: "Secrets of the Millionaire Mind" a bestseller book sent to me by a relative from New York. I share a review of this wonderful book with you here:

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind reveals the missing link between wanting success and achieving it! Have you ever wondered why some people seem to get rich easily, while others are destined for a life of financial struggle? Is the difference found in their education, intelligence, skills, timing, work habits, contacts, luck, or their choice of jobs, businesses, or investments? The shocking answer is: None of the above! In his groundbreaking Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, T. Harv Eker states: "Give me five minutes, and I can predict your financial future for the rest of your life!" Eker does this by identifying your "money and success blueprint." We all have a personal money blueprint ingrained in our subconscious minds, and it is this blueprint, more than anything, that will determine our financial lives. You can know everything about marketing, sales, negotiations, stocks, real estate, and the world of finance, but if your money blueprint is not set for a high level of success, you will never have a lot of money—and if somehow you do, you will most likely lose it! The good news is that now you can actually reset your money blueprint to create natural and automatic success. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind is two books in one. Part I explains how your money blueprint works. Through Eker's rare combination of street smarts, humor, and heart, you will learn how your childhood influences have shaped your financial destiny. You will also learn how to identify your own money blueprint and "revise" it to not only create success but, more important, to keep and continually grow it. In Part II you will be introduced to seventeen "Wealth Files," which describe exactly how rich people think and act differently than most poor and middle-class people. Each Wealth File includes action steps for you to practice in the real world in order to dramatically increase your income and accumulate wealth. If you are not doing as well financially as you would like, you will have to change your money blueprint. Unfortunately your current money blueprint will tend to stay with you for the rest of your life, unless you identify and revise it, and that's exactly what you will do with the help of this extraordinary book. According to T. Harv Eker, it's simple. If you think like rich people think and do what rich people do, chances are you'll get rich too!

Here is the link for this book:,M1

Khosrow Sobhe

Saturday, November 24, 2007

After Thanksgiving Sale Started strong!

Each year, the day after Thanksgiving which is the last Thursday in November is the record day for sales in the US. I was browsing the Internet and a news caught my eyes. It was about the amount of sales on Friday, Nov. 23, 2007. This after Thanksgiving sale day is called the "Black Friday". I want to share this news with my readers. It follows:

According to ShopperTrak RCT Corp., which tracks sales at more than 50,000 retail outlets, total sales rose 8.3 percent to about $10.3 billion on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, compared with $9.5 billion on the same day a year ago. ShopperTrak had expected an increase of no more than 4 percent to 5 percent.

Khosrow Sobhe

Thanksgiving, and Oriental Rugs

We had a great Thanksgiving with family and friends. I already wrote about this in my previous post. As planned, I was at work yesterday, Friday at 9:00 am. A customer came in and picked up his cleaned Pakistani rug and paid by credit card. He gave me a $10 coupon he had from his last year's cleaning and I deducted it from his invoice. Another lady also came in and picked up her Kirman carpet which was left with us for cleaning and repair.

An out of state couple who had a Hamedan runner with us for cleaning came in and brought a 10x14 feet (12 M2) old Dark Blue Persian Kashan for cleaning. I reminded them that we have a 3-day after Thanksgiving sale with up to 30% off. They nominated two Nain rugs, an square one (almost 7x7 feet) and a ca. 1ox14 rug. The husband, a humorous guy, told me that they were not expecting to buy a rug, so they were not sure about the sizes, but he would give me a call tomorrow if they would want to buy these two rugs. A couple of other people came in and asked for some rugs, but they did not look serious. When people do not spend time in my store, they are most probably not serious customers.

A designer called me and then e-mailed me a photo of a Hosseinabad Hamedan runner she needs for her customer. She needs three pieces with different sizes. They should match one another. I should look for them and get back to her. She is in a rush to find these three runners and her budget as usual, is very limited! Is there a rug buyer in the world who needs a rug and is not in a hurry, and is ready to pay what you ask for without bargaining and without asking for something irregular?? Very rare!!

Paying few bills, cleaning the store, and arranging few repairs was what I did today with my helper and repairman. My two sons spent few hours with me at the store. My younger son said he would like to buy a case for his cell phone therefore he wanted to go shopping before his new cell phone is scratched. My wife and my younger son have one big thing in common and that is an innocent love for shopping for which they always find excuses and fake needs!!

I returned home around 7:00 pm with my younger son who had returned from shopping. Besides a cell phone case he had bought a sweater. It is getting cold in Los Angeles.

Khorow Sobhe

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Day Before Thanksgiving

Yesterday was a relatively busy day. Few customers brought their Persian or Oriental rugs for cleaning and repair. A friend who lives in a city close to Los Angeles brought in a couple of rugs for cleaning and picked up other rugs he had left for cleaning and repair. He is not in rug business directly, but sells rugs and provide its related services as a side job.

A couple came in just before we closed in the evening around 6:00 pm and bought a handmade Persian Kashan with dark blue background. The size was 10x14 feet. We also delivered two Bokhara rugs and a silk Chinese rug to a customer's home in Hollywood. The customer was so pleased with the quality of the cleaning and giving her rugs right on time before her Thanksgiving party. She said "Oh God; I am so happy with the cleaning of my rugs". This is what I love to hear from my customers. I believe providing the customers with high quality of service is more important than the price or the quality of the good you sell. Timing which is also a part of the service is very important.

We will have a 3-day after Thanksgiving rug sale with 30% off on almost all of our stocks starting from Friday Nov. 23rd to Sunday Nov. 25th. We will extend our working hours for these three days from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. Like always, if we sell online, or by phone and any other means than walk ins, shipping will be free for the continental USA.

Today is November 22nd and is Thanksgiving day in America and it is a public holiday. All shops and stores are also closed today. I am at work because I had promised to a customer to deliver her Nepalese rug which was left with us for cleaning. Another customer had also appointment with me to come in to pick up her cleaned rug. My younger son told me last night : "Dad do not go to work tomorrow. All the shops are closed tomorrow and even the beggers will not work"!! I simply laughed and said my working hours will be short tomorrow, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Actually I get bored when I am at home during the day. On the other hand, if family members see you too much, they get bored with you too. You lose your freshness for them!! Strange idea? Not?

Today afternoon, me and my family are invited to go to a very dear friend's home to see them and be with them and few other friends to celebrate Thanksgiving and eat Turkey. I believe we should celebrate all occasions if we can, regardless of where they come from or who those celebrations belong to. It is always nice to celebrate and have fun with family and friends.

In a separate post, I will write how our Thanksgiving was. I was supposed to write about rugs, but ended up writing about food and feasts!!

Khosrow Sobhe

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Rug Cleaning in Early Morning

A customer called me at 7:55 am today and asked me if our store was open and I said yes, we're open and I asked if he had our address. He said yes you're on Olympic Blvd. I said no, we have moved to another place on 1655 South La Cienega Blvd. He came in a few minutes and brought a 6x9 feet rug. I said this rug looks familiar and we cleaned it last year. He said yes, but it is dirty again. He is supposed to come back on Sunday to pick up the rug. It was a hand made choubi Pakistani rug.

Khosrow Sobhe

A Very Slow Day and My Birthday

It was very slow yesterday. Few people came in separately, but they were only asking for cheap area rugs which I did not have. A couple of rug dealers also came in to sell area rugs. I contacted a few customers whose rugs are left with us for cleaning. Their rugs are ready so they can either come to pick them up or we can drop them off. We made the arrangements.

It was my birthday yesterday, so we went out to a Thai restaurant for lunch with Ali a very close friend of mine. We were class mates at the University of Southern California, USC between 1978 and 1982. In the evening, we went to an Italian restaurant for dinner with my family. After we returned home, we had cake and tea and I received few gifts from the family members including shirts, sweaters, cologne, a 4-gigabyte memory card and etc. It is always good to receive gifts. That is why I give gifts to those who walk into my store. It could be a little booklet we have: "Carpet Cleaning Tips For Dummies", a pen, key chain, money clip or something else.

Khosrow Sobhe

Sunday, November 18, 2007

God Creating Women!

Can you imagine what would happen if God had not created women? All the businesses would go bankrupt!

Usually when a couple come to our store to buy a rug or give us a rug for cleaning and repair, we can tell that the man has come to our rug gallery under the pressure from his wife or girlfriend. As soon as the man can get away and postpone the purchase he would do so. It is interesting to see the fight and discussions which go on between the couples. The lady wants to buy something and the man says"Honey we do not know the size. Let us measure and comeback"! God saves women for us, the rug dealers! I posted this comment, because I witness these kind of conversations everyday.

Khosrow Sobhe

We Delivered Few Cleaned Rugs Today

We delivered few cleaned rugs today. I talked about this job on another post. The lady and her husband wanted to have only one rug cleaned and sell the other fine Persian silk rugs. I recommended that we clean other rugs as well and since they were beautiful high quality Persian rugs, they might be kept as an investment. They accepted my professional advice. We delivered their rugs this morning which was Sunday. Four of the rugs were individually packed, with moth balls inside the packing. Plastics of any kind are not good for packing so we used special heavy duty packing papers. The customer who was an MD (Doctor of medicine) and his wife, a very nice lady liked the service and this is what makes me feel good about my job and providing professional services. We also posted a rug storage tips on each package. I will also have them below for those who might be interested in learning from our experience.

When we got to our store, a young couple were waiting for us to give us a 5x8 feet are rug for cleaning. I suggested to change the selvage before they loose part of the knots which would be loose in a while. They accepted and left. They were in a hurry and needed to get the rug back in four days so they might use it for Thanksgiving which will be on this coming Thursday, Nov. 22nd. I told them they would receive the rug before that date, cleaned and repaired.

Rug Storage Tips

1- A basement is not a good place to store a Persian, Oriental or area rug, even if it is completely dry.
2-Using plastics of any kind are not recommended for wrapping. Special thick wrapping papers are much better.
3- Vacuum your rug on the face and on the back.
4-You can use moth balls or if you do not like the smell, use tobacco leaves inside the rug to keep the moth away.
5-Cover the rug with the paper and roll it. Then, use tape to keep the outside papers in place.
6- After roughly 10-12 weeks, change the paper with new and fresh ones.
7-Before changing the paper with new ones check the condition of the rug.
8-You may unroll your rug for a while and vacuum it before re-packing it.


Khosrow Sobhe

Friday, November 16, 2007

A Kerman Rug on E-Bay

A customer came in with an old Kerman rug which needed to be cleaned. When we said this would cost her $175, she said" I bought this rug on e-bay for $79 and paid $65 for shipping". She was surprised why she had to pay for cleaning more than what she had paid for the rug itself. I told her not everybody can find a deal like this on e-bay. She said that the rug was from Mashed based on what the sell had said. I said this rug is from Kerman and the seller probably did know where this rug came from; otherwise he would not have sold it for $79. The rug needed selvages on two sides plus it needed a repair as big as a palm of a hand. She was convinced that she should invest on this rug which was probably 60-70 years old in light brown. This is the color that many people like these days.

Last night, I attended a meeting set up in a magnificent house in Beverly Hills by the American Society of Interior designers, ASID, Los Angeles chapter. There was a lecture which was delivered by Darrel Schmidt, the former president of the chapter, followed by a question and answer section. The house belonged to a Persian lady who sells European antiques in her house. She had wonderful Tabriz and Bidjar rugs. The meeting was educational and I learned a lot. I am a member of this wonderful organization which has around 38,000 members in the United States, and 1,700 members in Los Angeles.

Khosrow Sobhe

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Delivering Cleaned Rugs and Selling One Qashqai Piece

Yesterday, I delivered an old Persian Heriz and a Kilim which was given to us by a customer from Hollywood area. The kilim was so dirty that we had to wash it few times, face and the back. The customer liked the service and was happy with the quality of the cleaning. I offered help th spread the rug pads she had also bought from us. She wanted me to help with moving the furniture and spreading the Heriz and the Kilim which we did. I got the check the left. For some samples of these items, please visit the link below:

Later during the day, a walk-in customer came into our rug gallery looking for a Zarnim (zarnim is a size around 100x150 cm, 3x5 feet) with traditional design. He did not find anything interesting until I showed him some of the Qashqai rugs we produce in Iran around the city of Shiraz with hand spun wool and vegetable dye. He selected a 3' 10 x 5' piece with gold background and a small dark blue medallion. He wanted to give this rug a one of his friends as a gift. He paid cash and left while he was offering me to join him and his friends for lunch. I thanked him and said that I would have to work.

Khosrow Sobhe

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Veteran's Day and Selling a Shiraz Rug

It was Veterans Day yesterday in the United States and was a public holiday. Shops and many private institutions were open. We were open too doing some paper work and paying few of the many bills I had waiting for me on my desk!

A customer came in and looked all over all rugs. She was looking foe a rug smaller than 6x9 feet in deep red and somehow geometrical. We finally found what she was looking for. A Shiraz rug, wool on wool (wool foundation). She liked it and bought it. This is the photos of this rug:

It was a very slow day.

Khosrow Sobhe

Sunday, November 11, 2007

My Son's Birthday, Getting Tip From a Customer and More

Friday, November 9th, my older son Ashkan turned 21. We had a party in an Italian-Persian restaurant in Culver City in Los Angeles. Ashkan did not know that his friends from his university (California State University, Northridge, CSUN) would be there. He thought only his family and a couple of family friends would be there. He was surprised when he saw several of his friends from his fraternity Pi Kappa Phi a 100-year old student organization there. Out of 20 guest, 7 were Iranians, but 19 people ordered Persian food and they loved it.

Ashkan is a wise and hardworking young man who studies Information Technology and Computer Science. He is a web developer and makes professional web sites. He has designed and made our company's web site: which ranks very high is Los Angeles if you look for Persian rug, Persian carpet, Oriental rug, or Oriental carpet.

In the morning, we (me and a helper) took two Pakistani rugs which were repaired by our repairman to a customer's house in Hollywood. We had to take the rugs which were so heavy to the house after taking at least 60 steps. The customer was so happy that he gave me $50 tip and I accepted that and thanked him. It is good when you provide a service and your customer appreciates it.

Saturday, November 10th was a busy day. I went to a customer's house in the morning to bring a 6x6 feet round carpet for cleaning. I left their house with 5 more rugs for cleaning and repair. They were convinced that their other rugs ( two beautiful Qum silk rugs, one very fine Isfahan rug with silk foundation, one very fine Nain 6 la with silk foundation, and a big fine Tabriz rug also with silk foundation) needed cleaning and minor repair. They said that they did not need their carpets and wanted to sell them. I would make good money if I bought their rugs. But I convinced them that they had very nice and beautiful Persian rugs. I knew that they did not need the money and they agreed with me that they did not need the money. I said then why should you sell these rugs which are a sound investment while you may use and enjoy them. The prices appreciate by the passage of the time as not very many weavers are willing to weave fine rugs these days. They (husband a wife both very gentle people) bought my professional advice. I suggested that we clean the rugs and do the needed repair and wrap them each separately in special heavy duty wrapping paper with the picture of each rug on the package along with the specifications and descriptions. They liked the idea and asked me to do so. A very customized service. This is what customers need and this is why they gave me 6 rugs for cleaning and repair instead of one. Customers appreciate your knowledge and frankness. Most of them are smart and can realize this. They wouldn't have had a multi-million dollar house on a hill, with a wonderful view of the city and the ocean, if they were not smart. Then it is not difficult for them to realize if you're giving them a professional recommendation which is to their benefit or not.

Mr. Akbar Herischian who is the president of the Iranian Carpet Exporters' Association in Tehran (with more than 6oo members) called me and later came to our rug gallery to visit me. He is in Los Angeles for a short visit. We talked and chatted about different matters, most of which about Persian rugs and the market here in the United States.

Max Moussavi, the manager of Art Resources, a well-known importer of Oriental rugs in New York and Los Angeles also came to visit me later in the afternoon when we were about to close at around 5:00 pm on Saturday. We mostly talked about the rug production and it's difficulties. Max stayed with us for one hour and then left.

My two sons helped me with my work at our rug gallery and for the late lunch, we ordered Domino's pizza. We had enough Persian food the night before when we had Ashkan's birthday party!

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Rug Market Is Getting a Little Better!

We are receiving more inquiries from our customers in regard with buying, cleaning and repair. It maybe because of the season and approaching holidays and the new year. We took several rugs to a customer who had a beautiful house on a hill surrounded by fog in North Beverly Hills. They are remodeling the house and will have a charity party. They did not have time to come to our store so we were supposed to take rugs to their house which we did. They did not like any of our rugs. They were traditional classic design Persian rugs. I said then you need maybe a non-Persian rug. The husband said no other rugs please. We only would like to have a Persian rug. They liked an Ivory Kashan runner which they kept. They said they would find a time to sneak out from their house which is full of workers of different types to come to our store to select the rug they want. We have several beautiful silk on silk Persian Qum rugs with very pastel colors which they should like if they want to pay the price.

Khodrow Sobhe

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

How Did the Last Night Lecture Go?

It was pretty good. Fine food, chatting, and networking. Before starting the program (I explained about this in my previous post), there is usually one hour time for people to mingle and get to know new members and exchange business card. During this time, a member came to me and said Do you do rug appraisal? I said yes. Then she asked how much I would charge. I do not like this question to be asked at the beginning, because the potential customer should ask how I do the job, without being concerned at the first place how much I would charge. She has several fine silk Persian Tabriz rugs that she wants to insure and when it comes to paying a nominal fee for the appraisal at her house (!) she starts bargaining by saying "Can you charge me less because I am a member of the group!". So what?! This is discrediting my work. I will feel more comfortable if she wanted me to do this service for free and as a favor rather than asking for a discount without being concerned about how professionally I would do my job. I will probably do not accept her appraisal by saying I am too busy to come to your house. Bring the rugs to our rug gallery please so I can do the appraisal.

The lecture was well attended and I was told the guests liked it. We had several questions asked after the speech was delivered. People do not trust rug dealers as much as they should and they were so concerned about what they should do when they want to buy a rug. I said, if you do not know Oriental rugs, try to know your Oriental rug dealer. One lady asked how they can differentiate between the chemical dye and natural dye. My answer was that if the yarn is dye by a chemical stuff, you will see the consistency in the color as it may look perfect. If the yarn (wool) is dyed with natural stuff, you will see the inconsistency and deeper and lighter shades at the same time and some abrash and patina type of shades. Several other questions were asked and answered.

I will try to post few photos of the event on our website later:

Khosrow Sobhe

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Persian Rug: 2500 Years of History, Art and Culture

I have a lecture tonight in gathering in a restaurant in Beverly Hills. I post the handout that I am going to pass later this evening. It is a weekly gathering by the Iranian business people, men and women. We will have Persian food. Two speakers talk about business issues, each for five minutes and then, we have a keynote speaker which is going to be me tonight. I will comment on the event either tonight or tomorrow. It is fun, food, networking, and educational as well. The organization is called the Coalition of the Iranian Entrepreneurs.


International Ltd.

Direct Importer & Award Winning Producer of Persian Rug

1655 S. La Cienega Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90035 Tel. 310-770-9085 Fax 310-0860-0462

ASID LogoAmerican Society of Interior Designers, Industry Partner

Persian Rugs: 2500 Years of History, art and Culture

Speech by: Dr. Khosrow Sobhe

Coalition of the Iranian Entrepreneurs, Beverly Hills, CA

Nov. 6, 2007

History of Rug Making:

Rugs were made by nomads to cover the floor. Pazyryk the oldest carpet dates back to 2,500 years ago, kept in Hermitage Museum in San Petersburg, Russia. The Ardabil carpet made in 1539, a pair were woven during the rein of Shah Tahmasp Safavid dynasty. One is in Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The other one is in Los Angeles County Museum of Art, LACMA.

Rug Trade at international level:

Around $2 billion per year. Iran 30%, India 21%, China 18%, Pakistan 17%

Where does Persian rug stand today in the world:

In 2006, around $120 million Persian rug was imported to the US. Around $600,000,000 Persian carpet export annually. 1,000,000 looms, 2,000,000 weavers. Around 300,000 in side jobs. Around 8,000,000 Square Meters produced annually

Big rug shows in the world and in the US:

Tehran, Iran Aug. 23-29 each year

Kish Island, Iran May each year

Domotex in Germany in Jan. each year in the city of Hannover.

Atlanta, GA, January and July each year. Oriental & area rug show

Las Vegas, Jan and July each year. Home furnishing and carpet show

High Point, NC March and Oct. Home furnishing and carpet show

Biggest Rugs in the world

A- 4,434 M2 Ordered by Soltan Qabus for a mosque in Oman $5.2 million

B- 6,000 M2 Ordered for a mosque in Abu Dhabi $8.5 million

Both rugs were made by Iran Carpet Co., established 80 years ago

Rug Storage Tips

Rug Buying & Selling Tips

Khosrow Sobhe is an award winning producer and importer of Persian rugs and the founder and CEO of SOBCO International Ltd. ( Los Angeles. He is a Board member of the Iranian Carpet Exporters' Association, Tehran. He is the Editor in Chief of the "Iranian Hand Woven Rug" quarterly. Sobhe is a Board Member, Textile Museum Associates of Southern California, Los Angeles. Member, Textile Group of Los Angeles, and an Industry Partner to the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).

Monday, November 5, 2007

A Busy Day!

Today was a busy day. I went to a colleague's rug shop with our repairman to see an old big Persian Bidjar which needed some professional work. In the middle of our conversation with this rug dealer, I received a phone call from my store. A repeat customer who lives near San Jose, in north California, 250 miles away from Los Angeles had come to pick up two Bukhara rugs he had left with us for cleaning and repair. I do not know why every time I leave my shop, something extra ordinary happens or a serious customer comes in and then I have to rush back. I finished my talk with this friend and returned to our rug gallery. The customer who wanted to take back his two rugs was waiting for me to arrive while another gentleman with his wife were browsing my shop looking for a big tapestry. It is very bad when you have two groups of customers in your shop and you want to serve them properly and UPS man shows up to pick up few bales you have packed. This is what happened today. For many hours a day, no one shows up and now all of a sudden, everybody comes in at once.

The first customer picked up his rugs and paid for them. He was happy with the quality of the job. The UPS guy also picked up three bundles (bales) that were ready. Then, it was the time to take care of the couple who were looking for a big vertical tapestry. Some tapestries are horizontal meaning that the width is more than the length. Some tapestries are vertical, meaning that the length is more than the width. Tapestries are good to absorb noise and reflections of the sounds at houses which have tiles, stones and probably hardwood as floor covering. They are also decorative. These customers have a high ceiling house and needed at least a 80 by 80 inches (200x200 cm) tapestries. Out of about 40 tapestries that we had, none met their specifications. They gave me their phone number and address and asked me to inform them when I find a tapestry which meets their need. I asked for their e-mail address to be able to e-mail them the photo of the tapestries which I may find for them. The husband said they do not have e-mail, but are thinking of getting an e-mail one of these days. One hour after they left, I found a tapestry with one of my sources who e-mailed me the picture of the item which was somehow close to the size this customer was looking for. I called the husband and he said they would come to my store tomorrow, Tuesday to take a look at the photo. If they like it from the picture, I will have it ready for them by this coming Thursday.

We also received a shipment of area rugs today. A couple who bought an 8x11 feet area rug and a rug pad few days ago, wanted to have an area rug for the bedroom of their 11-month old boy. They wanted an alphabetical rug so their boy could start learning the alphabet. We received several other area rugs which I had ordered. I called this customer and let them know that we had the rug they wanted. They said that they would come to get the rug on the coming weekend.

I ended the day by paying a number of bills which never stop coming. Sometimes when I get home, I do not open my mailbox. I know a bunch of bills would be waiting for me. The later I see them, the better off I am!!

Khosrow Sobhe

Heriz Rug and a Persian Kilim

Yesterday, I went to this customer's house which was in Hollywood. She had many carpets for cleaning and repair. She only gave us two pieces for cleaning, a Persian old Heriz and a very dirty kilim. The Heriz was in a very bad condition and all four corners were severely damaged. She did not want repair. She said after we deliver these two pieces, she would give us her other rugs for cleaning. She has probably 7-8 more rugs which need cleaning and repair.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Rug Photo Shooting and Rug Repair

It was a quiet Sunday today. We took more photos of our Qashqai rugs in our showroom. These green rugs are made with hand spun wool and natural dye in Fars Province in Iran. The reason why we call them Green is that they do not have anything harmful to the environment, the weavers and the end users. We will redesign our website in the near future and we need fresh high resolution pictures of our rugs. Today, two of our repairmen worked on a 10x14 Pakistani rug (12 M2)which is damaged by moth. Hopefully they can finish it tonight.

I have an appointment with a customer who has several old and antique rugs for cleaning and repair. I love to meet customers and rugs myself. I should visit this customer between 4:00 and 5:00 pm to prepare an estimate before the customer can decide. If I get the job, I will bring the rugs to our showroom later this afternoon, and if not, I go home to be with the family and have dinner together. I will write on this probably tomorrow.

Khosrow Sobhe