Thursday, January 31, 2008

Area Rugs on Sale

We have a rack which we put up every day in the front of our rug gallery on La Cienega Blvd. in Los Angeles. To attract potential customers and the drivers who drive by, we put one piece of area rug on sale each morning with its price considerably reduced. I also put up a "Today Only" big sign this morning and it seems to be working. I have sold few pieces since I opened up the store and it is only 12:30 pm. I do not cheat and will change the rug which is on display every day if that is not sold. It is good to build trust of the customers.

Khosrow Sobhe

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Persian Carpet Shipment From Iran Containing Old and Antique Rugs

We received a new shipment from Iran containing old and antique Persian rugs. It is very easy to receive rugs after the embargo was wisely lifted by President Bill Clinton in 2000. We received this shipment by Air France. They took the bales from Tehran to Paris and from there directly to Los Angeles International airport. Rugs such as Armenian Bakhtiar, Sarouk, Qashqai, Borchalou, Malayer, Tafresh, and many more were included in this shipment.

Khosrow Sobhe

A No-Rug Subject, Iranian Town Carved From Rock

Carved into Iranian mountains, the village of Kandovan may be more than 700 years old. The energy-efficient homes draw tourists from around the world.

Visit this link to learn more:

Khosrow Sobhe

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Persian Rugs: Woven in Memories

Woven in Memories

Anita Amirrezvani was 14 years old the first time she shopped for a traditional handmade rug in Iran.
At the time, she was living with her mother, Katherine Smith, who had raised her in San Francisco. She had traveled to Iran on her own to visit her father, Ahmad Amirrezvani.
During the trip, he took her to a small shop in Teheran, where the stacks of carpets were piled high, and they spent a long time mulling over each intricate handmade rug as the dealer spread them out, one after the other.
The teenager in her was drawn to the bright greens and oranges of the more modern rugs, Amirrezvani recalled. But her father recommended a more traditional carpet, with a classic Isfahan pattern hand-knotted in wool dyed with deep reds and
Anita Amirrezvani's novel, "Blood of Flowers" has been translated in many languages including, German, French and Lithuanian. (Joel Rosenbaum/The Reporter)
"He, being older and having taste, knew what classic design was, and he knew it was a nice example of it," Amirrezvani, now 46, said during an interview in her Berkeley home. "That appealed to me, the fact that it was done in a more traditional way."
At the time, Amirrezvani didn't know that this early childhood experience would have such a profound impact on her, or what an important role the journey would play in developing the background for her historical novel, "The Blood of flowers."
The novel is the current choice of The Reporter Book Club. The author will discuss her book at the group's meeting at 7 p.m. Feb. 13, at the Vacaville Library-Town Square.
'The Blood of Flowers' is set in 17th-century Iran, in Isfahan, a city that was so vast and alive with bustling bazaars and art that it was nicknamed "The Image of the World."
The main characters in Amirrezvani's novel are fictional, but the depictions of their everyday lives and artistry skills were crafted after years of research into the cultural history of Iran.
One of the main characters, a young girl who was forced to move in with relatives when her father died unexpectedly, learns the art of traditional rug-making. The historical traditions Amirrezvani found in her travels and research are woven throughout the story.
Of her visit to Isfahan with her father as a teenager, she said: "I remember being completely dazzled, in a way that only a teenager can be."
Years later, she began reading about the history of the fabled city and Shah Abbas the Great who pioneered an age of the arts.
"I learned who had built (Isfahan), what his reign had been like, the architecture, the calligraphy and bridge-building," said the author, who was born in Tehran. "It had a kind of ripple effect through my life."
Amirrezvani said that she used to meet many American adults who had lived in Iran before the Revolution of 1979, when the country was transformed from a monarchy into an Islamic Republic. She was in Tehran the day the revolution began, remembers hearing the gunfire, and seeing the fires darken the sky over the city. Her family moved off Iran 10 days later. Since then, relations between the two countries have been increasingly strained, and cultural exchange programs have become rare.
"I wanted to write about an Iran that I thought was disappearing from people's consciousness," Amirrezvani said.
"All of a sudden, (Iran) seemed to be taking on this unknown quality ... We could probably have a conversation about almost any part of Europe, and we could bring it into our minds together," Amirrezvani said. "But if I say, 'Have you ever been to Isfahan?' you'd say, 'What?' And I think that kind of thing is really a shame."
And so Amirrezvani made it her goal to write about culture and history of Iran that doesn't make the newspaper headlines. She worked as a journalist and art critic by day, and blended fact with fiction by night.
It took Amirrezvani nine years to write the novel, and for the first five years, she didn't tell a soul.
"It's a long process to develop a novel," Amirrezvani said. "I just wasn't sure if it would ever get anywhere. I didn't want to tell anyone, because I didn't want to answer their questions on how it was going, and have to say, 'terrible!' "
The fruits of her labor show that her progress was anything but. The novel has been published in 12 countries, and has been hailed by major critics as a "passion-filled delight," and compared to a rarified object, "like a fine, old carpet."
To be sure, the fine old carpet with the traditional Isfahan design that inspired Amirrezvani decades ago decorates the living room of her Berkeley apartment today, where she has lived and worked as a writer for the past 20 years.
An abstract expressionist painting made by her mother decorates one wall, and traditional Iranian cushions are placed under a picture window overlooking a quiet Berkeley street on the other. Amirrezvani sometimes sits on the cushions under the window to write.
Amirrezvani is currently working on an master's degree in fine arts at San Francisco State University, so fans of her work can look forward to a future as rich in artistry as the historical Iran she masterfully recreated in "Blood of Flowers."


Khosrow Sobhe

Selling an Area Rug and a 9 x 12 Persian Sarouk Carpet

It was Tuesday and relatively a quiet day. A young customer came in and bought a 5 x 8 area rug we had on display on sale and paid with his debit card. It took only a minute. Another lady walked in looking for a deal and a 5 x 8 area rug on sale. We only had one piece on sale with 50% off and many with regular price. She liked one piece but did not want to pay the regular price. She left without buying it.

A couple stopped by and after inspecting many pieces, bought a 9 x 12 Ivory Persian Sarouk. They asked about our return policy. It is a 30-day money back guarantee with no-questions asked if the rug is in the same condition as they bought. The husband was not willing to buy anything, but luckily, the wife liked the piece and could impose her ideas on the husband. They paid with a credit card and left. It is good that God has created women!! Otherwise, businesses could go bankrupt! We men, would like to postpone buying forever!

Everything else was normal. Paying bills, checking and responding to some e-mails. I did not feel like staying late. I went home at 5:30 pm. I had started work at 8:10 am.

Khosrow Sobhe

Monday, January 28, 2008

Area Rugs and Customers From Redondo Beach

I do not know why sometimes my cell phone and office phones ring at the same time. And while I am talking on the phone, another person calls and I do not know what to do. This sometimes happens with customers come in at the same time. Today, was Monday and I was busy doing some office jobs until 2:00 pm. My repairman works at the workshop next door. My son was in my rug gallery doing some computer work and web site designing. Two customers came in at the same time. One of them, a lady walked in with a very small 2 x 4 light brown area rug looking for an 8 x 11 feet light brown area rug. While we were showing her few rugs, a couple came in. They were looking for a 5 x 8 area rug. I showed them few pieces on the racks. They liked and selected one light green piece. They also selected a 4 x 6 matching area rug for under the computer chair and a 2 x 4 for their cat. They were very nice couple and after I pulled out a 4 x 6 area rug from a pile and a stack of rugs, they put the rest of the rugs back. I rolled and wrapped the rugs separately with rope. They paid and left. The other customer wanted us to put away a light brown 8 x 11 area rug for her. She will comeback in a day or so, since she is in the middle of remodeling her house.

At the end of the working day, I went to a weekly meeting which is held at the Camden House, a Persian cuisine in Beverly Hills. This is for the Coalition of the Iranian Entrepreneurs. Each week between 30-40 people attend the meeting. After networking, and having Persian food, a couple of members talk each one about 5 minutes, and then a keynote speaker talks about a subject of interest. It is good for networking and meeting old and new friends. At the end of the speech, and after a 5-minute question and answer, we have raffles. Usually, one or two businessmen donate gifts for the raffle section. I have also donated small Persian rugs in few of the meetings. I got home at 9:15 pm.

Khosrow Sobhe

Persian Senneh Rug and a Rainy Day in Los Angeles

It was Sunday yesterday and a very rainy day in Los Angeles. It was one of those slow Sundays. A customer who had left an antique Persian Senneh rug with us for cleaning and repair came in and picked up her rug. 2-3 rug dealers had shown interest in buying this rug, but she did not want to sell it. They have had it in the family for a long time and she wanted to keep it in the family.

Paying bills, checking my e-mails and doing other paper work and administrative and office job, along with finishing the pricing of our newly arrived area rugs was what I did yesterday.

Today is Monday and it will rain again off and on in Los Angeles. Are we going to have an exciting day with many contacts and coming and going of people and customers? Who knows? We'll see.

Khosrow Sobhe

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Persian Carpet Exhibition in Kish Island, Iran April 29, 30 and May 1, and 2, 2008

The Iranian Carpet Exporters' Association in cooperation with Kish Promotion Center will hold the 6th Persian Carpet Festival in the beautiful Island of Kish in the Persian Gulf. Kish is a free zone island and no visa is needed for the holders of non-Iranian passports. This beautiful resort, Kish Island has fine hotels.

There will be many free Persian rug weaving and dyeing workshops, along with thousands of hand knotted Persian carpets from different regions of Iran on display. For more information, please visit:

Khosrow Sobhe

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Selling a Persian Nahavand and a Couple of Area Rugs

It was Saturday and I went to work at 11:00 am. We are open on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. I was again busy with fixing the price tags on the new area rugs we received two days ago. All our items have price tags, so we do not have to tell the prices to the customers from the top of our heads. In my opinion, customers do not trust a dealer if he/she just tells the price without looking at the tag, or if there is no tag. All our rugs must have a clear price tag with the rug number, size and other related information. We are very strict about this.

A couple came in today. The husband had stopped by few days ago and had checked some of the Persian hand knotted rugs and area rugs, but wanted to come back with his wife. They both showed up today and checked everything, from area rugs, hand made rugs, antique rugs and more. The husband was very flexible and left everything up to her wife. She did not knew what she wanted at first. Later, she showed us a photos of the rug they had at their house. They needed another rug to match with their existing rug which had red and blue. Finally, they bought two area rugs and a 5 x 8 Persian hand knotted dated and signed Nahavand rug. They paid with check and left.

A rug dealer also visited us and gave us a deposit for a rug he had with us for color fixing and a dye job. Another customer came in and brought a hand knotted Pakistani rug for repair. This rug is severely damaged by rats in a storage. Another customer came in and bought a pictorial rug we had. I was busy with tagging and pricing until we closed down around 6:00 pm. We were supposed to work until 4:00 pm!!

Khosrow Sobhe

Friday, January 25, 2008

A busy Friday, Area Rugs, and a Silk Persian Rug

It was Friday today and a very rainy day in Los Angeles. We received a big shipment of area rugs yesterday. I was busy today with unpacking, pricing and putting these are rugs on the racks the whole day. Meanwhile a customer came in looking for a 5 x 8 area rug, but she did not like any of the area rugs we had. She liked one piece but since the pile was not wool, she did not like it. The wool pile hand-knotted ones looked expensive to her. She fell in love with a little 2 x 4 feet Persian hand knotted pure silk on silk Qum rug. She took the photos of the rug to see if this cute little rug matches the decoration of her house in Redondo Beach, south of Los Angeles.

Khosrow Sobhe

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Severe Rain in Los Angeles, and Selling Tufted Area Rug

It was rainy in Los Angeles today. When we were receiving a new shipment of area rugs, a customer came in and after few minutes of comparing some of the rugs we had on our racks, bought a 5 x 8 feet tufted rug and left. At the end of the and before closing, a customer walked in and asked for a 11 x 14 fine Persian Tabriz hand knotted rug. I showed him few smaller pieces that we had. He did not like them. This man has an area rug shop in Down town Los Angeles. He got my visit card to call me later to see if we have anything close to what he is looking for.

I closed the store at 7:00 pm. Time goes by so fast and Jan. 2008 is coming to an end before we can believe it. Time flies!

Khosrow Sobhe

Selling Area Rugs and $2 Doormats

It was a busy Wednesday, yesterday. A rug dealer from one of the neighboring towns of Los Angeles who had taken a rug for his customer called me and stopped by to pay for the hand knotted Persian rug he had sold. A customer parked his pick up truck in our parking and came into our rug store and bought a 5 x 8 feet black background area rug which was on Sale. Another customer also came in and bought a dark blue background 5 x 8 feet area rug with a 2 x 8 feet back background area rug runner. He was short $16.00 and I said I trust you, take the rugs and when you're in the area, pay me. He was so happy that I trusted him.

We always have $2 doormats on sale and we sell several pieces everyday. We do not make profit on these doormats, but this makes people notice our store. Many of them cannot afford passing buy without buying one or two doormats. What can you buy with $2 these days? Maybe a chewing gum. This is one way of attracting customers who pass or drive by. They may come back one day to buy rug!

A lady came in today and brought a hand knotted Pakistani rug for cleaning. She said she found my web log first, and then my web site. Good to hear this!

There will be a very big home furnishing show in Las Vegas next week. Earlier, I had planned to visit this show, but now after I have returned from the Atlanta Rug Show, I do not have the feeling of visiting another show. I have many unfinished jobs here and do not want to leave my store. There is always tons of work to do when you have your own business. You always lag behind.

I better get back to work and concentrate on doing something done before it is time to go home. It has been raining off and on in Los Angeles since two days ago. To me rain and cloud is always sad, but some people may like it and think it is romantic! They maybe right!

Khosrow Sobhe

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Walk The Market With Phil in the Atlanta Rug Show on Jan. 18, 2008

A program was sponsored by the Oriental Rug Retailers of America, ORRA on Friday 18, 2006 at 3:00 pm in cooperation with the AmericasMart, the organizer of the Atlanta Rug Show. Several rug dealers gathered on second floor in front of the ORRA's stand and then, Philip Menendian, the knowledgeable board member and vice president of education for of the society led a tour of about 2 hours. We went to several showroom s and the principals of those companies lectured about how they produced their rugs with exhibiting some of their newest collections. Like other events, this one was also fun and informative. Below, you may see few photos of "Walk the Market".

Unique and Antique Rug Forum in Atlanta Rug Show

I was in Atlanta from Jan. 17 to 21, 2008 and visited the Atlanta Rug Show. That is the biggest area rug show in the country and the AmericasMart is the organizer of this exhibition. It was good to see friends and colleagues. You could also see what sells and what does not. On Friday 18, 2008, there was a "Unique and Antique Rug Forum" held by the" Oriental Rug Retailers of America". Many dealers and professionals participated in this fine event and brought in antique rugs about which they talked. Three judges also added some comments. The judges were Philip Menendian, Daryoosh Chaman, and my self, Khosrow Sobhe. Many unique pieces were shown. Some discussions went on regarding the origin and the age of few pieces. The event took roughly two hours. It was conducted by Robert Zakian, the new president of ORRA. At the end, the judges selected two rugs as the best rugs shown at the forum and gave prizes to the exhibitors of those two rugs. It was a very fun and educational event.

Khosrow Sobhe

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Mohtasham Kashan Rug and the Atlanta Rug Show

During the past couple of days I have been busy with the sale of few area and bamboo rugs to different customers. It seems that nobody has the money to buy Persian or Oriental rug these days. Today, a customer came in and brought a wonderful antique Mohtasham Kashan rug for cleaning and repair. It should be around 150 years old. His grand aunt had bought this rug in San Fransisco in 1904, and I am sure this rug was old then. The customer does not want to sell it and wants to keep it in the family. It is a fascinating rug. I will fly to Atlanta tomorrow morning t5o visit the show there ( I will be there four days. If I can, I will post some stories, and if not, I will write about the show after I return.

Khosrow Sobhe

Monday, January 14, 2008

A Magic Carpet Ride & Selling Area Rugs Early Morning

I came to work at 8:00 am today, Monday Jan. 14, 2008. First, I opened the door and put up the signs and a rug rack in front of my rug gallery. I checked my e-mails and responded to few of them. This is what I do every day right after I come in and open the doors. A lady parked in the adjacent parking lot and came into our store asking for door mats that we have on sale. She did not like the doormats, but asked about the prices of our 8 x 11 area rugs. She bargained a little and bought two of these rugs. It was a quick deal.

In browsing the Internet, an article on magic carpets looked interesting to me. I read and liked it. I want to share it here with you.

Our Homes Today
A magic carpet ride

I don’t care what the interior designers say – I love Persian carpets. Or should that be Iranian carpets? Or Oriental, Middle Eastern or even Siberian carpets? Whatever they’re called, I think they look exotic, infinitely interesting, warm, soulful and most importantly, brimming over with history.

In fact, I love my Persian rug so much I think I’m going to be buried in it. Some might think this fixation with my rug to be obsessive, especially when I admit it didn’t come from an exotic location, which required me to travel there by camel. No. I bought my rug in Katikati.

Oh, I checked that it was authentic. It definitely has a number on it. And it looks the real deal. But perhaps most importantly it makes my heart sing every time I see it, and even when I vacuum it. I keep asking my husband to imagine how happy I’d be if I had an entire house full!

Alas, I only have one Persian rug but if life is good to me I might end up with a few more and have a choice about what to wear on my final outing. A slightly bigger one would be great, because the one I have wouldn’t cover me properly and I’m sure my mother would object to me being buried in something reminiscent of a woven mini skirt. “You’re not wearing THAT!” I can hear her shouting from the heavens.

But I digress. If one really is seeking a timeless piece for the home, it’s hard to go past an antique rug. In fact, experts are still arguing over how old they really are. The jury is still out over whether the Mayas made the first floor coverings (which in the early days were more for warmth than decoration), or the Chinese or Egyptians.

Of course, there is also the theory that the same idea can exist at the same time in different parts of the world, so perhaps these different groups started making rugs in unison? Whatever the truth, at about that time woven carpets became the new animal skins. Skins had obviously served their purpose well, but it was time for something different.

In those early days, patterns weren’t a priority on rugs; rather, their practical purpose was more important. Decoration came later, when life was easier and there was more downtime. Cave drawings showed the first signs of man’s creativity and it was only a matter of time before patterns appeared on flooring options too. As with cave drawings they became a way for people to express themselves, illustrate their surroundings and to show their perceived place in the world.

The Old Testament refers to carpets, as do other classical writings such as Homer’s Iliad and by 500 BC, richly woven carpets definitely were in existence and highly valued. It’s thought the earliest surviving complete carpet, made from wool and camel hair around 500BC, came from the Altai Mountains in Siberia. The Siberians would certainly have needed some warmth as surely Vodka couldn’t have been the solution to all of life’s challenges.

In an interesting twist of fate, this earliest of carpets was only discovered in 1947 by a team of Soviet archaeologists. Essie Sakhai, in her book “The Story of Carpets” says that in ancient times, the bodies of the wealthy and aristocratic were buried surrounded by possessions thought helpful in assisting with their passage into the next life.

The downside of this tradition is that tombs were often robbed for the valuables contained within as was the case of the tomb where this ancient rug was used to envelop a Scythian prince. Luckily, it was one of the few things the robbers left behind. And the good news is, when the thieves broke the seal of the tomb, water seeped inside and then froze (as it would in Siberia), protecting the rug superbly.

Although this 500-ish BC specimen is thought to be the oldest example of a complete woven carpet, woven fragments from flax coverings have been found from much earlier times. Textiles made from flax, thought to cover beds, date from 1500 BC and were excavated in near-perfect condition from the Tomb of Ka in Egypt early last century.

Sakhai says that with the advent of Islam in the seventh century carpet weaving had been around as an art form for at least 2,000 years. “From this time on, the history of Islam became in many ways the history of the carpet. Islam was spread by tribes; with a large part of the Near East and Central Asia converted to the faith. This centralization of power created a stable society and the energies which had once been put into war were now directed towards artistic and social achievements.”

As Islamic art flourished, artists began to decorate rugs with the same passion as other objects. Geometric patterns became more refined and flowing, and medallions were popular too.

Nomads, too, have been weaving for centuries, usually practical items such as bags, saddle-cloths and storage cupboards, as well as rugs for warmth and keeping out sand. It’s thought because they lived in barren, dry and harsh environments, they wanted to surround themselves with color and pattern.

While Auckland certainly isn’t dry and barren, we could, in fact, send a little more precipitation the Nomads’ way and I’m sure we’d all be happier. We live in a green and damp land but I can still relate to surrounding myself with color and pattern, until my dying day and beyond. But to keep my mother happy, it needs to be a large rug.


Khosrow Sobhe

Sunday, January 13, 2008

An Antique Persian Senneh Kordestan Rug

It was relatively slow Sunday today. We have a big sign which we will put up on the side walk in front of our rug gallery, on La Cienega Blvd. in Los Angeles everyday. We also have a rack, on which we hang one piece of rug to draw attention of the people who drive by. The item we had today was an antique look 5 x feet area rug priced $175. A customer parked in the rear parking and came in and said how many of these rugs do you have? I said only one, and he said, OK I take the one that you have outside. I took the rug down and brought it into store. The smart customer saw the $175 price tag. He had thought it was only $17. What a mistake this bargain hunter had made. He left the store without the rug!!

A customer, a friend of my wife who had called me yesterday brought a wonderful antique Persian Senneh Kordestan rug sized ca. 4 x 6 feet. Wool on silk, very rare type of Senneh rug in perfect condition. It has two little moth damages as big as a ten-cent dime coin. Fringes are OK, but to preserve them, we have to overcast them to prevent the knots from coming off. We should also have it cleaned. It is rare because the foundation is(warps) is made of natural silk. This Persian old rug should be more than one hundred years old worth few thousand of Dollars. This kind of Seneh rug is made in the city of Sanandadj, the capital city of the province of Kurdestan, in north west of Iran.

It is such a joy to see rugs like this in good condition with an owner who cares about preserving it.

It is Sunday afternoon 5:45 pm and I want to close the shop and go home. Tomorrow is Monday, the beginning of a new week. Will something exciting happen? Who knows. I will write about that tomorrow, when I have more time.

Khosrow Sobhe
Khosrow Sobhe

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Persian Rug Speech & Exhibition in Bowers Museum in Santa Ana California

I went to Santa Ana this morning to visit the Bowers Museum there. The Persian Art Council of this beautiful museum has invited me to deliver a lecture on Persian rugs on April 26, 2008. I went there to see the lecture hall and the place in which we will have a Persian carpet exhibition. The auditorium in which I will have the lecture is the state of the art facility. The museum and its different halls and exhibitions looked wonderful and magnificent. I visited the book store in which they had two rug books, The Root of the Madder, and Tribal Rugs (by James Opie, a very fine gentleman in Portland, Oregon). We will have a book selling section on the day of the lecture. Below, you may find the web site of the Museum.

Khosrow Sobhe

Friday, January 11, 2008

American Women in Iran

Rowan Storm is a musician who fell in love with Persian music and art many years ago. She took a three-month trip to Tehran last year. She traveled to many cities in Iran freely and had a wonderful time there. She speaks, read and write Farsi, the Persian language. You can visit her web log and read her stories by visiting the link below:

I see her once in a while. She plays and teaches Daf, a kind of Persian Drum.

There is another American lady named Laurie Blum. She also spent some time in Tehran and Shiraz. Laurie is an American painter lady who has visited Iran several times. You can read more about her and her works by visiting the link below:

Khosrow Sobhe

Armenian Rugs and the Unique and Antique Rug Forum

I have been asked by the Oriental Rug Retailers of America to present an antique rug and talk about it in the Atlanta Rug Show (Jan. 17-20, 2008). I have a pair of two old Persian Bakhtiar rugs made by an Armenian lady called Arosiak Keshishian in 1912. The size is 4' 2" x 9' 10. One of the pieces is inscribed in Farsi, the Persian language, and the other piece is inscribed in Armenian dated in English, 1912. I shipped these two pieces to Atlanta yesterday by UPS to be able to present them to the audience at your "Unique and Antique Rug Forum" on Friday Jan. 18.

I also donated a Persian prayer rug to American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Foundation in Washington D.C. This is a non-profit organization which will have a silent auction in March 2008. They wanted me to contribute something, and like last year, I could not turn them down and donated a Persian rug .

I will have great stories and posts after I come back from the Atlanta rug show next week. it will be fun and educational.

Khosrow Sobhe

Persian and Oreintal Rug Business and Tough Times in 2008

Many experts say Persian and Oriental rug business will have a tougher time in 2008. What I can do myself to protect my business as a rug dealer and rug lover here in my city, Los Angeles is not to lose hope and work harder, and of course smarter. We should not sit down and wait for a miracle to happen. We should create a miracle. I do not say we should try to create a miracle. We should make the miracle to happen. I believe on our fate train, I am not a passenger. I am the driver.

I have been in Los Angeles for less than 4 years, with a few months of stay in New York City. Before that, I lived in Tehran, where I had a very successful Persian rug business and a very good life. I moved to the States because of the great educational opportunities this country would have for my two sons. I have two great hard working sons. Kash, will turn 16 in March, 2008 (Khashaiar, an ancient Persian king's name = Xerxes) is at the 10th grade at Beverly Hills High School. Hid GPA is 4.0. He is a volunteer homework helper in Beverly Hills Public Library two days a week helping kids who have difficulties with their math, science and other academic subjects. Kash is very sociable. He wants to go to UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) to study information technology. He does not want to go to a community college. He thinks ahead. He wants to give back part of what this great city has given to him. My older son, Ashkan, studies information technolgy at Californian State University Northridge here in Los Angeles for his BS. He is a dedicated young man. Few weeks ago, he established his own company called "ITChair", an information technology company with a very active web site w. He does web designing and online marketing. He has made several professional web sites. He is a Microsoft certified expert, eager to learn and progress. He has some certificates, under which are signed by Bill Gates. Ashakn is a great son. He is a member of several non-profit societies. He serves on the board of several of these societies. I always ask his opinions on different subjects to give him the opportunity of expressing himself, and this has worked in letting him step forward. Of course, I have a great wife. Some times when we want to attend a professional meeting and my wife wants to introduce herself, she asks me how she should introduce herself. I tell her to introduce herself as the "Vice President of Expenditure" in my company, as she loves to shop and help other businesses grow!! Besides this, I have so many good American and a few Iranian friends. I have written about myself in other sections of my rug blog and see no need to bore anyone repeating them again here.

So much for that. I do not know why I entered into this subject, but I felt it might be OK to give my readers a brief information on my personal life here in Southern California.

Khosrow Sobhe

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Germany to display Iranian carpets

Germany to display Iranian carpets

A group of skilled Iranian carpet-weavers and designers are slated to participate in the 2008 Domotex Hanover Exhibition in Germany.

Some 30 artists will present unique rugs from different parts of the country along with carpets showcased in last year's international Copenhagen exhibition.

Domotex is the largest international trade fair for Carpets and Floor Coverings, which showcases a wide array of high-quality products.

The 2008 Domotex Hanover Exhibition will run from Jan. 12th to 15th, 2008 in the Hannover Fairgrounds.

Iran is a leading exporter of hand-woven carpets in the world. Persian carpets are highly sought out due to their breathtaking designs.


5 Tips to Starting a Successful Home Décor Business

5 Tips to Starting a Successful Home Décor Business

Business,Interior Design,Small Business
Starting a home décor business should be very easy. &nbspWhy? &nbspBecause you have already succeeded in making your home look fabulous, why wouldn't you want to help others do the same? &nbspA home décor business is something that is great for someone who has an eye for style, and can imagine how a room will look when it is finally finished.

Follow these five tips and a home décor business will become a reality for you.

1. Choose a Niche:

There are so many options when when it comes to starting a home décor business. &nbspFor example, you could work on a room level, and change the look of an entire room, or you could just offer great items that would spruce up any room. &nbspBefore you decide what your home décor business will be, you need to carve out a special niche.

2. Be Unique:

One imperative thing you must do is to really specialize yourself, and make your business one of a kind. &nbspFor example, if you have an eye for beauty and art, turn that talent into your business. Start a picture home based business. &nbspYou could recommend great pictures and artwork for clients' walls, or specify the perfect place to put their existing artwork.

3. Advertise Your Business:

Remember when starting a home décor business that you must effectively advertise your services. &nbspThere are many ways to do this, from hiring a firm to doing it yourself. &nbspHome décor is a specialty field, so ask if you can put up advertisements in a home improvement store, or even in your local newspaper. &nbspAlso, you may want to give discounts for referrals and repeat customers to attract repeat customers.

4. Fully Commit:

Home décor businesses can take a lot of work, so make sure that you are really committed before you start this business. &nbspBefore you start any home business by yourself, be sure you do your research. &nbspEducate yourself about tax laws, insurance, and all of the technicalities before you start your business. &nbspIf you aren't sure about any of these, make sure you ask a professional for advice, before you get started.

5. Stay Positive:

Don't get too discouraged if you can't find someone to buy your products or utilize your services in the beginning. &nbspIn fact, it may be a couple of months before you get your first client. &nbspDon't get discouraged. Most home décor businesses take a bit of time to build up a client base.

Following these five tips will help you prepare to start a home decor business. &nbspRemember that this should be something that you enjoy doing and are good at. Not everyone is qualified to start a home décor business.

If you are interested in starting a home décor business, there are many to choose from. Visit our Home Décor Directory to find a business today.

We offer extensive business opportunity listings along with rates and reviews.

About the author:

Mindy Benkert is a successful internet marketer and mom devoted to helping home business owners achieve SUCCESS. She is the owner of an extensive Work at Home Directory that gives you the opportunity to Advertise Your Business FREE!

Source: Click here

Khosrow Sobhe

Carol Lee

A visitor called Carol Lee has contacted me and asked a question without leaving her e-mail address. Carol if your read this post, please get back to me.

Khosrow Sobhe

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Rug and Carpet Cleaning Tips

The secret to fabulous-looking carpets? It's simple — have a "no-shoes-in-the-
house rule" and vacuum frequently.
Here, Good Housekeeping Institute's home care director, Carolyn Forté, offers advice on how to keep your vacuum and carpets in great shape.
1. What's the difference between a canister and an upright vacuum? A canister vacuum is generally more versatile. Like uprights, canisters handle carpets, but they're also great at cleaning bare floors, vacuuming stairs and sucking up dirt from corners.
2. Which is better — a vacuum with a bag or a bagless vacuum? Neither is better. The Good Housekeeping Institute tests show that both clean equally well. Which you buy depends on personal preference. Bagless cleaners save you the trouble of having to buy extra bags, but they can be messy to empty, and the filters and dust containers must be kept clean. While vacuums with bags keep dust and dirt contained, they are tricky to retrieve an earring or small object
that gets sucked up accidentally.
3. Do more amps mean better cleaning? If you're tempted to buy a model with the highest amps, horsepower or watts, you might want to think again. These numbers are simply measurements of the electrical current used by the motor. A vacuum cleaner's performance depends on airflow, the amount of suction it produces, and other factors including the overall design and attachments.
4. What are all the attachments for? When you're vacuuming pile carpets and rugs, you should use the motorized power nozzle. But when you're cleaning bare floors and walls, it's best to use the wall/floor brush. To get dust out of drawers, heating and air-conditioning vents, and from
under larger appliances, try the crevice tool. For mattresses, upholstered fabrics, curtains and car interiors, use the upholstery attachment. And to remove dust from blinds, lampshades and moldings, use the dusting brush.
5. How often should I vacuum? In an ideal world, an area that has heavy traffic should be vacuumed every day. Butonce or twice a week is more realistic with today's busy lifestyles and certainly enough for areas that aren't often used. For best results, slowly move the vacuum
over the carpet several times, going back and forth and side to side in parallel rows.
6. How many times does a vacuum need to be run over a carpet to get it clean? Generally, you should use as many as seven strokes for high-traffic areas; three or four for lighter ones. If you're fanatical about dirt, consider buying a vacuum with a dirt sensor, which tells you when an area is clean.
7. How often should my vacuum-cleaner bag be changed? If your bag is filled to the indicator line, it's time to change it. Even though some vacuums have "check bag" indicator lights, it's best to check the bag yourself and change it when it's no more than three-quarters full. If you have a pet or you vacuum up fireplace ashes, you may have to change the bag more often. To be on
the safe side, check the dirt level in the bag before each use.
8. How often should I change the filter on my vacuum? You don't have to change the filter as often as the bag. If the filter shows signs of wear, or is excessively dirty or torn, it's time to replace it. HEPA filters — ones that remove most dirt particles — should be changed after six months or after the sixth bag change. The owner's manual will tell you where the filter is located and will have recommendations for your particular model.
9. At what height should my nozzle adjustment be set?
The level you set your nozzle at depends on the height of your carpet. For example, you would use the lowest setting for a low-pile carpet and a higher one for plush carpet. You'll only need to push your vacuum with a moderate amount of effort when you've selected the appropriate level.
10. When do I know it's time to replace the belt on my vacuum? If you think your vacuum isn't cleaning as well as it used to or the brush roll has stopped turning, it may be time to change your belt. First, shut off your vacuum and unplug its cord. It's not difficult to replace the belt as long as you have a screwdriver and a replacement belt. For instructions for your specific vacuum, refer to your owner's manual or call the manufacturer's service center.
11. What should I do if my vacuum cleaner isn't picking up dirt? First, give it a full inspection. To do so, turn the machine off and unplug it. Then, check to see if the belt is worn or broken, or if the roller-brush won't move. Also, look for a full bag or any blockage that might be affecting the power of the machine. Sometimes, new carpet can be a problem because it sheds more fiber and has a tendency to fill bags quickly and clog the air stream. If everything checks out and
your machine still isn't working properly, bring it to a repair shop.
12. How do I vacuum an Oriental rug? Since Oriental rugs can be very fragile, you may have to use extra care when vacuuming them. Still, to keep them in peak condition, they should be cleaned often. If you're using an upright vacuum cleaner, it's best to turn off the agitator brush (if possible). When approaching the fringe, tip up the front slightly and push it completely off the carpet. This cleans the fringe without catching it in the rotating agitator brush. With a canister vacuum, use the bare floor brush for gentler cleaning of the carpet, and use an upholstery attachment for the fringe. Also, don't forget to periodically turn the rug over so you can vacuum its underside.
13. Is it bad for my carpet or vacuum to use powder fresheners? Provided you have a good vacuum, powders shouldn't be a problem. For the best pick-up, start with a clean bag. Since these powders can clog the bag, you'll probably have to change the bag afterward.


Khosrow Sobhe

Persian Rugs in Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California

Bowers Museum in Santa Ana California has a very active Persian Arts Council. They have invited me to deliver a lecture on Persian carpets. The Bowers Museum lecture and film program series is designed to enhance the viewer's experience of the exhibits featured in the museum galleries by bringing scholars from around the world to their patrons. The museum programs are varied to meet the interests of the patrons and community. The information on this lecture follows:

Persian Rugs: 2500 Years of Art, Culture and Craftsmanship

In this lecture, Dr. Khosrow Sobhe will talk about the history of Persian rugs and the oldest rugs in the world and the one which is in the Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Arts (LACMA), inscribed in 1536, around 470 years ago. The current status of Persian carpets in the world and the two biggest carpets in the world which are bigger than a football stadium will be presented by tables and pictures. The new return to traditions by using hand-spun wool and vegetable dye will be discussed and several samples will be displayed.

This program will be accompanied by an exclusive video presentation of Persian rug weaving from sheering, spinning, and dyeing the wool with all the steps taken in making rugs. Exclusive photos of the weaving process and the weavers will be also presented. There will be live weaving and repair at this program.

Dr. Khosrow Sobhe is the founder and CEO of, and SOBCO International, Los Angeles. He holds an MBA and a second Master's degree in Education, and a Ph.D. in Educational Planning from USC, University of Southern California. He is a member of the boards of the Iranian Carpet Exporters’ Association and the Textile Museum Associates of Southern California, and the Editor in Chief of "Iranian Hand Woven" quarterly, published by the Iranian Carpet Exporters’ Association. He is also a member of the Textile Group of Los Angeles, TGLA, and Industry Partner to the American Society of Interior Designers, ASID. Dr. Sobhe is an award winning carpet exporter of the year 2000 and received the Iranian Presidential award. He has written numerous articles in Farsi and in English on Persian carpets, and has delivered many lectures on Persian rugs in different venues.

Khosrow Sobhe

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Tent Bands of Central Asia and The Textile Museum Associates of Southern California

I wrote about the tent band presentation in my previous post. It was held in my rug gallery on 1655 South La Cienega Blvd, yesterday, Saturday January 5, 2008. The attendance was very good. Almost all of our seats were occupied. As expected, the lecture by Richard Isacson was well presented and well received. We had refreshments at 10:00 am. Every body chatted and talked with old and new friends. We started the program at 10:30. First, David Ruderman, the president of the Textile Museum Associates of Southern California welcomed everybody and made few little announcements. The Cheri Hunter, the program chair of the TMA/SC introduced the speaker. She also thanked me and my family for hosting the event in our Persian and Oriental rug gallery.

The program was accompanied by a slide show and a powerpoint presentation. My older son, Ashkan is the It Chair and the honorary tech man of the society. He helped Richard Isacson to set up the projector and his Mac computer. Mac computers are wonderful for graphics and some other academic jobs, but are not perfectly compatible with digital projectors and other types of digital equipments. But Ashkan made a way to make it work. It was a very interesting topic and the content of the speech was also well prepared and well presented. The last part, the "Show & Tell" was very interesting. Many people had brought their tent bands from their collections. They showed the tent bands to the crowd and talked about them. Richard Isacson commented about each piece and some of the people from the audience also added comments. Everybody enjoyed the program. It was fun and educational. I will try to post the photos of the event on our website: in a few days. We in Los Angeles are lucky to be a part of this wonderful association which provides us with this unique educational and wonderful forum.

The website of the Textile Museum Associates of Southern California is under final review and it will be up and running in the near future. Then, we will have all the information on the past and future events posted on the website.

Khosrow Sobhe

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Textile Museum Associates of Southern California, TMA/SC TMASC in Los Angeles

It is Saturday morning in Los Angeles, January 5, 2008. It is exactly 7:30 am and I am at work. I am a member of the Board of the Textile Museum of Southern California, TMA/SC. We will have a lecture and presentation on the Tent Bands of Central Asia in my rug gallery today at 10:30 am. The speaker is Richard Isacson. I wrote about this event in my yesterday's post on my rug weblog. I am at work to do some preparations. We are expecting to have about 40-50 guests. It has been raining since yesterday and this may affect the numbers who may want to attend this presentation. The topic and the lecture is very appealing to Oriental carpet dealers and scholars. I will write more about this event in my next post. Several people will bring their tent bands and similar items for the "show and tell" section we have at the end of the session.

Khosrow Sobhe

Friday, January 4, 2008

Tent Bands of Central Asia in Los Angeles

Textile Museum Associates of
Southern California TMA/SC
Architectural Textiles:
Tent Bands of Central Asia


Richard Isaacson
Oriental Carpet Curator and Researcher
Arlington, VA
The trellis tent is a brilliant invention. It has made nomadic life possible across Central Asia for at least one and a half millennia. An important component of its construction is a woven tent band which girdles the lower part of the wooden roof struts. This critical engineering element provides the tension necessary to brace the roof dome against outward collapse under the load of heavy felts and the force of strong steppe winds. Beyond serving a utilitarian function, tent bands are often elaborately decorated. This talk will discuss the history of the tent, the role of tent bands, and include examples made by different Central Asian peoples.

Richard Isaacson is a retired physicist, who has simultaneously pursued a strong interest in art and oriental carpets. He has been active at the Textile Museum in Washington, DC, lecturing frequently and serving as a member of the Textile Museum Advisory Council. He is a member of the International Hajji Babas, and was a member of Local Organizing Committee for the 10th International Conference on Oriental Carpets (2003), Washington, DC, in which he also served as the Exhibition Project Manager for the ICOC show Treasures from the Museums of Uzbekistan. Richard was the Guest Curator for the exhibition Architectural Textiles: Tent Bands of Central Asia, at The Textile Museum, Washington, DC, (March 30, 2007 -- August 19, 2007), and was previously a Guest Curator for the exhibition From the Amu Darya to the Potomac: Central Asian Bags from Area Collections (Sept 7, 2001--Feb 24, 2002). He has published in Oriental Rug Review, HALI and Steppe magazines, and has written an exhibition catalogue for Architectural Textiles: Tent Bands of Central Asia, which will be available for sale at the program. Richard invites TMA/SC members to bring examples of Central Asian tent bands from their collections for Show & Tell.

Members: Free Non-Members: $7
When: Saturday, Jan. 5, 2008 at 10:00 am
Where: SOBCO International Ltd.
1655 South La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035
Tel. 310-770-9085 Free parking in lot

Khosrow Sobhe

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Rug Cleaning and repair in Los Angeles

People have had parties for Christmas and the holiday season. They have spilled wine, tea. coffee and other types of drinks on their rugs and bring their rugs for cleaning and possible repair. we are getting busy with professional Oriental rug cleaning. The money we make is not that great, but it brings us traffic, and on the other hand we feel good about serving our customers.

Khosrow Sobhe

Area Rug, Kashan Rug, and Spot Dyeing in the First Day of the Year 2008

Yesterday, was the January 2nd, the first working day of the year 2008. We had a busy day. A lady came in the morning and looked at few rugs. She asked for a better price and I said since you're my first customer in the new year, I will pay your sales tax and will not charge you 8.25% California sales tax. I will pay it for you. She said she would have to go to Target Store to buy some thing and she would return later. She did return in the afternoon with her husband. They liked two 8x11 rugs but were not sure which one would look nice. I suggested to try both of those rugs at home to see which one looks nicer. She agreed. We took 2 rugs to her place, and she kept the one which had a patina brown one. This was our first sale of the year. Another lady came in and looked at many rugs. She wanted us to put one 5x8 and a 2' 7" x 8 rug away for her to comeback with her husband. I wrote down the information of these two pieces on the back of my business card and gave it to her.

A rug dealer from one of the neighboring towns came in looking for a 10x 14 rug for his customer. He selected a very nice corner medallion burgundy Kashan rug and took it with him. Another rug dealer from Los Angeles who had left a rug for a spot dyeing visited us and saw some of the sample colors we had provided for him. He will return again to see more options.

A couple came in and looked at many rugs. The husband liked the area rugs of lower prices. The wife, a first grade teacher loved our Qashqai hand-knotted rugs made with hand-spun wool and vegetable dye. The lady's taste was good, but they had limited budget. They could not agree on what to buy. I gave them rug books and literature for free with a small gift. They left happy and said they might comeback later.

We received a shipment of rugs from New York. we unpacked and labeled them one by one. These are Belgian area rugs of different sizes.

It was a busy first day of the year.

Khosrow Sobhe

Los Angeles Rug Society (LA Rug Society)

Los Angeles Rug Society can be a fine forum for Persian, Oriental and area rug dealers who do business in Los Angeles and its neighboring cities. It can be educational, cultural, fun and a networking place where experts in the Oriental carpet world can mingle and exchange useful information and ideas. It is one of my plans to establish such an organization in Los Angeles. I should consult with few of my colleagues to see how we can materialize this 2008 resolution. We need a board of directors and after a few meetings, we should start getting members. We can have informal gatherings, lectures, exhibitions, talks, and more. I know that some people may not like the idea, but I am sure if well planned and good implemented, this can bring business as well as education and fun to its members and even non-members who will participate in the events. It is going to be a win-win for all of us, the rug dealers in LA. I will work on this idea and will write more about it. Other smaller cities have rug societies, why not have a good one in Los Angeles. we can surely use the experiences of our colleagues in other cities and states.

Khosrow Sobhe