Jason Nazmiyal moved to the states from Iran in 1979, right after the revolution.
He wasted little time in adapting to the free enterprise system here.
He set up shop in New Jersey, selling high-end vintage and antique rugs. Soon enough he’d opened a second store with his brother in Morrisville, and then a wholesale operation in New York City.
Then they parted ways, amicably.
“Twenty years ago my brother took New Jersey and I took New York,” he says. “Everything is good.”
His library of rugs been growing ever since, in large part because he figured out how to use Google as his marketing arm. “We became good soldiers for Google,” he says. “We have 150,000 pages there.”
Today, his inventory of rugs, carpets, and tapestries totals more than 2,500 pieces – vintage and antique, as well as custom and modern.
He’s never bought from rugmakers or dealers in Iran, citing longstanding embargoes on merchandise there. Still, he has his sources, worldwide. “Today a lot of good rugs come from our associates in Paris, London, Germany and California,” he says. “Through the years we have established credit, and they know when they sell, they will get paid.”
His rugs are both wool and silk, though most – 99 percent – are wool. “It’s the sturdiest fiber,” he says. “It will last 100 years, so that’s not an issue.
Educating his customers is a key part of his selling process, and as important as the number of rugs he has available. “If I show you five Hamadan’s and you pick one you like, and then I show you 50 and you pick one you like, and then you pick one from 500 – that one is more unique and special because you’ve seen so many,” he says. “Your taste improves.”
His website, he says, stands out as the standard for the industry. With its technology, a customer can snap a picture of a room, load it onto the website, drag any rug into the image and place it where it needs to be. “You can see sizes, patterns, and colors,” he says. “You can view the rug in your room, and see fabric and colors along with the dining room table.”
His target market? High-end interior designers, and affluent customers with sophisticated taste in color, fabric and design.
And sure, he may have started out in 1979 selling rugs at $2,000 apiece, but now some run as high as $200,000.
That’s because he has a good eye, excellent contacts worldwide, a savvy sense for marketing – and one of the largest selections of rugs in the world.
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