A beautiful rug is the centerpiece and soul of a room, according to David and Sofia Khazai of Khazai Rugs. Rug making is “a dying art, but demand is increasing,” with over 300 million Chinese and 350 million people in India being added to the middle class. Khazai sees quality rugs as an investment “better than gold.” as these are “future Picassos and Van Goghs.” The work is “extremely labor-intensive.” David explains that the spinning, dyeing, design, and weaving takes four people 2½ years to make a $3000 rug. If made in the US with the same materials and processes, that same rug would cost $800,000 if they could even find the people to do the work. The integrity of traditional designs remains even as the rugs are updated with today’s home furnishing colors.
Sofia Khazai has a medical background as a nurse-midwife and joined the rug business in 2005. Her commitment to service and especially to women continues in her principal role running the business and traveling as a buyer to Turkey and Iran. 90% of the weavers are female, says Sofia. “Education and work give these women power. When they earn money, they finally have a say and can protect their children and offer them an education. Each rug sale provides food and care for the family, which is a big help.”
As opposed to ordering rugs online, supporting this local business has several advantages for consumers and the community. Buying local contributes to the local economy, helps retain local jobs, and builds local tax revenue. David Khazai brings decades of knowledge and wisdom to the selection process and maintenance of quality rugs, having written six books on the subject and developing advanced retail technology that is the “gold standard in the industry.” He represents the fifth generation of experts in the rug cleaning business and is the only rug dealer in the Midwest with an in-house cleaning facility. Dry cleaners and carpet cleaners are no match for their expertise with cleaning solutions and techniques.
Khazai Rugs had expanded to eight locations when David Khazai “saw the writing on the wall” in 2005 as online shopping became such a force in retail. In 2008, he consolidated and sold off all but two locations, one in Louisville and another in Lexington. They have the largest rug collections for customers to see and touch in person. Having access to local inventory and a strong source for ordering rugs out of stock are significant conveniences. Khazai Rugs also accepts rugs for trade or credit towards a new one. Khazai Rugs purchased within the last thirty years that have received regular Khazai Rugs Cleaning services are eligible to receive 100% credit. Khazai provides a no-obligation “try before you buy” policy - delivery service of a small selection of rugs to the home so the customer can see their options in place. “We are the only crazy people doing this!” says David.
Khazai Rugs’ “white glove treatment” is available within a two-hour radius of each location, whether customers have selected rugs in a showroom or online. The service applies to new purchases, cleaning, and repairs. They will move your furniture, professionally clean and mop the area, place/replace the rug, and reset the furniture. David Khazai is only half-joking when he says, “If we need to see our chiropractor every day because we bend over backward for our customers, we will. Customer service is our #1 priority.”