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Meet Your Merchant: Carson man keeps culture alive in rug business

BRIAN DUGGAN
bduggan@nevadaappeal.com
Shannon Litz/Nevada AppealMaziar Mahjoobi at Shahram's Fine Persian Rugs on Curry Street on Wednesday.
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Maziar Mahjoobi has spent most of his life outside of his home country of Iran, but continues to appreciate his culture every day from his Carson City business.

Mahjoobi is the co-owner of Shahram’s Fine Persian Rugs, which offers rugs from Iran – where the rug making tradition goes back thousands of years – as well as Afghanistan, Turkey, India and Pakistan.

They also offer handmade items from Asia and the Middle East, such as shawls, original artwork and Buddha statues, some a couple hundred years old. All of the items will be marked down 70 percent starting Saturday through Aug. 7.

Mahjoobi, 38, was born in Iran and was raised in London. He moved to Los Angeles when he was 18 to study music at University of California, Los Angeles.

He eventually moved to Carson City for some peace and quiet and opened the rug store with co-owner Shahram Ghaedi in 2002.

“(Persian rugs) it’s in my culture, it’s very prominent,” he said. “I always grew up with them around.”

And despite the sour economy, Mahjoobi still says he’s confident about the business’ future with hopes to eventually expand.

He said the Persian rugs are considered to be the best in the world.

“It’s something that’s kind of rare around here,” Mahjoobi said. “We have antiques that you don’t really find in other places around here, and some specialty rugs that you don’t find.”

The rugs vary in price, based on the amount and quality of work needed to make the rug.

“An 8-by-10 sized rug usually takes two people about a year or year and a half depending on the fineness of the quality of the knots, how small the knots are,” Mahjoobi said. “A lot of work goes into a rug.”

Some of the most expensive rugs can cost upwards of $15,000 and last hundreds of years, “and if it becomes an antique, the value goes up.” The most expensive rugs he’s offering cost about $7,900.

Mahjoobi said some rugs are colored with vegetable dyes instead of synthetic dyes and others feature one-of-a-kind design work and hand-spun wool or silk.

“They’re made to go on the floor, but you can hang them up, too,” he said. “It’s almost like a painting.”