Fahim Khurram, owner of Persian Rug Gallery of Woodbury at 572 Man St. South, stands in the new showroom where he has more space to show off the many carpets he offers to customers. He also cleans, restores, and repairs these rugs, some of which are more than 100 years old but still as vibrant and durable as the day they were woven. (Zukauskas photo)
Quality Products and Repairs Come First for Rug Gallery Owner
by Linda Zukauskas
Fahim Khurram recently moved Persian Rug Gallery of Woodbury to 572 Main St South, but the products and services he’s offered for three decades remain the same.
He told Voices, “I provide professional help and information for everything related to carpets.”
In addition to selling a large selection of antique and modern wool and silk carpets, he offers restoration and cleaning services.
Mr. Khurram had studied architecture before arriving in America in 1990 but, after learning English at a local YMCA, he saw an opportunity in the carpet business.
“I decided I was going to build something for myself and a way to support my family. I believe that if someone wants to do something and that comes from the heart, they will be successful.”
As he learned the carpet business, he noticed people dying carpets and offered, “If you give me four colors, I can mix any color you want. I earned $160 a week and paid $20 in taxes.”
After apprenticing for two years to learn rug restoration skills and the market overall, he began to build his own business, collaborating with his friend Wally Husini.
Mr. Khurram became sole owner of Persian Rug Gallery of Woodbury, buying out Mr. Husini after he left for Afghanistan to act as a translator with special forces stationed there and then moved to California to live with family.
Mr. Khurram said, “The business was located at 1153 Main St for a long time but I wanted more space to display the rugs. I noticed this space had become available and immediately saw myself here.”
He is excited about the new layout and, therefore, the improved ability to help customers pick just the right rug as he shows them a wide variety of options.
“The first question is size and then I ask about color.” He is intimately familiar with the inventory and can guide customers as they consider the wide variety of styles and patterns.
“I make it easy for my customers because I can give them options and advice.”
Mr. Khurram has a good reputation in the rug industry and has restored 300-year-old rugs for museums in Manhattan.
“I can mimic weaving techniques so repairs to rugs from 1880 are hard to find. I can also offer custom made rugs because of my relationships with fabricators overseas.”
He offers a history of the rugs he sells and his confidence and pride in them are apparent as he stands behind his products for a year after a sale. “If there is a problem, I will fix it at no charge.”
Some pieces, such as a French rug from about 1780, are framed as artwork but another silk piece depicting princes hunting game with a poem written in Persian on a silk rug can be displayed on the floor.
Persian pillows can be used to lounge on the floor or a sofa.
“These are tribal. The people move around as the weather turns cold and use wool from the sheep they tend.”
Noting that vegetable dyes look vibrant after 130 years, he said that it’s possible to enjoy these rugs and walk on them without fear because of their durability and the ability to repair damage done, such as he did after a family dog chewed on a corner of one rug.
“I can take care of any problem you have with your carpet.”
He regrets that his mother-in-law got rid of her rug before he could offer to repair damage made by her pet, smiling as he recalled, “I could have fixed that.”
Persian Rug Gallery of Woodbury is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.
More information is available at www.woodburyrug.com, Facebook, or by calling 203-263-5666