Spotlight: Khouri’s Oriental Rug Company
100 Years of Craftsmanship and Care
A Century of The Khouri Family’s Artistry and Integrity
There are pieces in customer’s homes where a sense of nostalgia is embedded—dining room tables, a solitary chair, perhaps, but chief among them are rugs. Rugs are not just a focal point in a room but an investment, and the staff at Khouri’s Oriental Rug Company knows this, and handles their customers’ pieces with the utmost care in order to help maintain their value. Customers become like family and return over and over for the level of excellence and service they receive. It isn’t unusual to arrive at their 8,000 square foot facility in Mashpee and be greeted by owner Joe Asack, who will examine a rug by crawling around on it, feeling it with his hands and assessing it from all angles. This level of inspection and scrutiny isn’t unique—it’s what they do at Khouri’s for each and every rug they encounter, whether a $300,000 rug or a $30 rug. This year at Khouri’s marks the milestone of 100 years of doing business this way.
Owner Marion Khouri’s grandfather started the business, opening his first store in 1923 in Boston, and her father soon joined after he left the service. Her father had a shop in Boston, and then expanded to the North Shore, New Hampshire and Florida. She also had cousins and a brother with their own individual stores. Khouri says, “It was very much a family company from the beginning.” While the business has changed and clearly grown over the years, the core principles of knowledge, customer service, and building relationships remain. Asack reflects on the knowledge passed down from Khouri’s father, “He taught me what he knew and I also spent a lot of time in New York with experts who showed me how to look at a knot and determine not only what country, but what village it was made in.” Khouri concurs, “Knowledge of rugs can be pinpointed to knowing that certain colors may have only been made from 1950 to 1960.” They made the decision in 1983 to bring their knowledge and their company to Cape Cod, and they have been cultivating customer relationships ever since. Khouri states, “The business has evolved and not only do we do what we have always done, but we can also clean, restore and repair any rug a client has, handmade or machine made, needlepoint or tufted.” Their knowledge and 100 years of experience is peerless. Whether it’s a needlepoint or a braided rug, an oriental, or perhaps a popular Claire Murray piece, Khouri’s Oriental Rug Company knows how to clean and repair it.
The dedicated team at Khouri’s is comprised of years of experience but also, and most importantly, integrity. They won’t take your rug if they don’t feel right about the transaction; they will advise you on your best course of action. Asack says, “I won’t do a repair if it doesn’t make sense. This is the way we do business.” Customer service, another tenet of their business, is of the utmost priority to Marion Khouri. “During hours of operation, someone will answer the phone. You won’t have to talk to a machine and push buttons.”
Asack shares, “People have emotional attachments to rugs. For some it’s a rug that was in a grandmother’s home, or I’ve had grown men come in and say they need us to save a rug. They’ll point to the border around it and tell us that they used to crawl around with a toy car on this rug.” In a time when appreciation for craftsmanship is becoming a rarity, Khouri’s excels. Asack says, “An 8 x 10 rug, depending on the quality, can take two or three people three years to make by hand.” Rugs serve a multitude of purposes in a home—they decrease noise, protect your floor and are arguably the most important piece in a room, therefore they deserve proper care, regular cleaning and attention.
It’s important to note that Khouri’s still washes rugs the old-fashioned way. Their technicians and weavers work step by step in a comprehensive process that in part involves turning a rug over, beating dirt out, using a vibrating machine to remove soil and washing it (often washing each piece of fringe by hand), extracting excess water, grooming the nap to lay in one direction and finally, hanging the rug carefully to dry in their large, dedicated facility. “As our business has grown and times have changed, so has our knowledge. We can clean, restore and repair virtually all kinds of rugs whether they are made by machine or by hand,” Khouri proudly states.
Statistics bear out that very few businesses survive as long as Khouri’s has. In fact, only about a half a percent (0.5%) of all companies have what it takes to last 100 years. The depth and breadth of knowledge and the respect for craftsmanship are the key factors in what goes into sustaining Khouri’s Oriental Rug Company. Rest assured when your floor covering is in the care of Marion Khouri, Joe Asack and their team of artisans, you’ll have a century’s worth of experience tending to your beloved rug.