Friday, November 30, 2007
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.
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.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
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.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
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.
Monday, November 26, 2007
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:
Saturday, November 24, 2007
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 , 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.
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.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
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!!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
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.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
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.
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. 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.
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.
Friday, November 16, 2007
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.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
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.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
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.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
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: www.RugIdea.com 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
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
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: www.RugIdea.com
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Direct Importer & Award Winning Producer of Persian Rug
Persian Rugs: 2500 Years of History, art and Culture
Speech by: Dr. Khosrow Sobhe
Coalition of the Iranian Entrepreneurs,
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,
Rug Trade at international level:
Around $2 billion per year.
Where does Persian rug stand today in the world:
In 2006, around $120 million Persian rug was imported to the
Big rug shows in the world and in the
Biggest Rugs in the world
A- 4,434 M2 Ordered by Soltan Qabus for a mosque in
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
Monday, November 5, 2007
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!!
Sunday, November 4, 2007
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.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
I took photos of about 40 Sarouk rugs today from different angles to be edited and posted on our website: www.RugIdea.com. We received these rugs recently from Tehran. My helper and later my two sons helped me do this. We were all tired at the end of the day when we were going home. Our repairman is still busy with the Pakistani rug which is damaged by moth.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Right after they left, another couple came in looking for an 8x11 feet (240x340 cm) area rug in deep dark red (Burgundy). I showed them few rugs and they liked one of them. They had a very quiet 9 months old cute son. The man said that they had a limited budget and the wife mentioned that with Christmas approaching, they would have so many other expenses to take care of. The wife liked the carpet very much and I could not see them leave without having the area rug they liked. I accepted their offer. They paid part of the price in cash and the rest with a debit card. I gave them a couple of gifts, a heart shape key chain for the lady and a fine pen to the gentleman. They were happy and left with smile. They also need a rug for their son's room and they will come back later when the husband receives his new check.
The first customer called me to make sure that I would stay until he gets to our rug gallery. I assured him that I would. He came in around 5:30 pm and bought the rug they wanted with a rug pad (underlay). He asked me not to charge his new credit card for a few days, probably seven business days until this new card is activated. I agreed and trusted him so he took the rug and the rug pad home. I wrote down the credit card information.
My helper and I had to pack few bales to be sent to another state for another customer. We finished the packing around 6:00 pm. Our repairman said he would stay up to 8:00 pm to take care of a Pakistani rug we have for repair and weaving. This 10x14 rug (ca. 12 m2) is severely damaged by moth. It has taken few days of our time to repair it. We had to do the warping and wefting to be able to weave the damaged parts.
Today, I learned that a friend who was an importer of rugs passed away in New Jersey. Mr. Amin, from Iran was a fine gentleman who died a couple of days ago. I sent an e-mail and faxed a letter of condolences to his sons Mikel and David who run their rug import business in New Jersey. They are very well-known and correct rug dealers living in New York City.
I guess I wrote enough for today.