Finally, Rugs for Everyone!
A New Kind of Rug Shop Opens in SE Portland.
PORTLAND, 2017 – Owner Omar Abbasi and his partner, Alexandra Brennan, have opened THE ONLY Persian Rug shop on the East side of Portland. We know what you’re thinking, “Persian rugs? I can’t afford that.” Abbasi Fine Rugs aims to prove you wrong. This is a different kind of rug shop.
Omar and Alexandra believe very passionately that everyone deserves the chance to own one of a kind, historically rich piece of art, not just the extremely wealthy. The overall assumption about Persian rugs is that they are expensive and out of reach. Omar’s mission is to set prices so that they are attainable. The same amount of money spent on “just another rug” from a department store can be spent on something unique and timeless.
Since he was born, rugs have played a major role in Omar’s life. Coming from a Persian family with a long history in rugs, he’s been surrounded by rugs his entire life. His mother jokes that he didn’t have crib, he slept on rugs. He crawled around on rugs as a baby and took his first steps on Persian rugs. His grandfather, father and three uncles all work in the rug industry and his father has been a huge inspiration to him.
At the age of 15, Omar received his first paycheck in the form of a delicate prayer rug after helping in a rug exhibition. Since then, it has been a dream of his to join the entrepreneur world and have his own business. He has gone on to manage rug galleries and exhibitions all over North, South and Central America. He’s seen the crazy markups that created the “only the rich” stereotype and that has driven him to provide something different.
The business model at Abbasi Fine Rugs is built to include all types of consumers. Alexandra explains, “Before we opened the shop, Omar kept saying, ‘I want to sell rugs to my friends, and my friends’ friends. People like me.’ We want to provide this opportunity to people who don’t have ten grand just lying around. Pun intended.”
The couple wants to teach people about the culture and traditions of rug making. Omar has spent his life studying his passion and loves to pass his knowledge on to others. There’s even a TV in the shop showing documentaries about the process, materials and cultural history. His family lineage traces back to the Abbasid dynasty in ancient Persia and there’s even a popular motif named for them.
We’re all working to be at least a little more environmentally conscious, right? Instead of buying something that’s “okay for now” and replacing it when you have the money and drive to find something better, take the time to find something you really love, that is timeless and you can keep forever.
In a recent interview with a local real estate agency, Omar explained, “My dad used to run an advertisement that I thought was kind of cheesy as a kid but have grown to realize is true. The line is ‘Don’t spend a lot of money on a copy of a Persian rug when you could afford to have the real thing for less.’ Working in the mainstream rug business for the last six years, I really see that to be true. I want to continue my dad’s approach here in Portland to help people connect with a better product.”
The goal at Abbasi is to make that an affordable option by working with consumers to find just what they want. The rugs available at Abbasi Fine Rugs are made to last. Handmade with wool fibers colored by natural dyes that age beautifully, they are full of history and are in fact, functional art.
“We have rugs that are 100 years old, and they’ve never looked better.”
Buying a rug is a really grown up purchase. It makes your space feel like a home. A good rug can change everything about your space. Not just aesthetically, but emotionally and energetically as well. Finding the right rug is an emotional experience. When you find it, you’ll know.
Omar is especially interested in the process of helping people find the right rug. “Nobody that I know of really asks people what they want. People start shopping and if they’re not seeing exactly what they have in mind, a salesperson comes in and tries to sell them on something else. I want to help people find what they are looking for.”
Abbasi Fine Rugs opened April 1st on the corner of SE 32nd and Belmont (3150 SE Belmont. Bring your friends, family, pets, take a load off and hang out! You can also check out their website abbasifinerugs.com to see their inventory."
Sooooo - what do you think??