He was aghast at the thought of sitting next to me, the un-shrouded western woman. All boarding stopped while the family rearranged itself so that I had two female seat-mates in my row.
“I have so many stories to tell about being a woman in the rug business that I could keep you here all day. I developed a pretty thick skin early on because a female in the rug business was just an outrageous rarity.
As told by Roz Rustigian…
“Rustigian Rugs was established by V. George Rustigian in 1930 in the midst of the Great Depression. "Rusty" started the business in 1930, which is approximately two decades before I emerged onto the scene. So my understanding is that his mother was connected to rug dealers in New York and that after the depression hit, he dropped out of Harvard Law School and took the rugs from his relatives in order to start the business. And that's how it happened.
About 20 years ago I was in New York on a rug hunt for fine older carpet. I did the usual rounds and ended my day on 31st street with my friend Mike from Apadana. He had the typical old rug business in mid-town Manhattan and the rugs were folded and piled almost to the ceiling on a plethora of pallets. I had learned how to scan a pile, so I politely refused any assistance. I started examining my 8th stack from the ceiling to the floor and stopped at the fourth rug from the bottom.
By Roz Rustigian, Rustigian Rugs, Providence R.I.
I first attended the Atlanta Market in January 1985. The second floor was abuzz with excitement as importers – then almost exclusively from New York – crowded the temporary exhibition space in the Americanized version of a middle eastern bazaar. The corridors of floors four thru six were packed with buyers, shoulder to shoulder, seeking fashion forward trends in wall to wall carpet and machine made area rugs.
The world of rugs had been discovered by a growing population interested in keeping up with the Joneses and displaying their own entry into what was heretofore the rarified atmosphere of interior design and mass availability...
Rosalind “Roz” Rustigian is probably one of the most successful specialist rug retailers in the US. Her knowledge of antique rugs and rug-making is unmatched, thus she was twice elected President of the Oriental Rug Retailers of America.