The personal touch is key for Oriental rug store owner

By From page A13 | March 23, 2014

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An expansive, handmade Oriental rug covers the dining room floor in Jim and Susie Smith's home in Davis. The rugs in the Smith home are laid out with the same care one might take with a painting. That's fitting, says Mansour Yaghoubian, who advises his clients to consider their rug purchase as they would a piece of art. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo

A good rug really ties a room together.

Fortunately for his customers, Mansour Yaghoubian understands this very well. Since he first opened Mansour’s Oriental Rug Gallery in 1979, Yaghoubian has developed a well-deserved reputation for excellence, not just in his hometown of Sacramento but across Northern California.

“I only sell handmade rugs,” he said proudly of his merchandise — an almost unbelievable number of beautifully hand-spun rugs. “I don’t have any machine-made rugs, or anything related to machine-made.”

Originally from Teheran, Iran, Yaghoubian came to America in 1974. Now he owns Oriental rug stores at two locations — one in Sacramento on Fair Oaks Boulevard and the other in Roseville. But Yaghoubian’s clients come from all over to do business with him.

Longtime Davis residents Jim and Susie Smith met Yaghoubian nearly 20 years ago when they were looking for a rug for their living room. “Mansour was customer-oriented, he had high-quality (rugs), and over the years we just became friends with him,” Susie Smith said.

“His talent is coming to someone’s house and remembering the colors and the design,” she added. “Then he goes away, looks through thousands of rugs, and picks out one, rolls it up and brings it over — perfect.”

Indeed, the rugs in the Smith home are laid out with the same care one might take with a painting. Which is fitting, since Yaghoubian advises his clients to consider their rug purchase as they would a piece of art.

“Mansour doesn’t just buy a boatload of rugs,” Jim Smith said. “He actually goes to India and Pakistan and picks out the rugs. Some of them he has made specifically to his design.”

In fact, in order to supply his stores, Yaghoubian travels all over the  world — to India, Pakistan, China, Iran, Turkey, Russia, Afghanistan and Europe. He usually travels abroad several times a year to production sites for his merchandise.

“The way I do it, I go over there, I choose the rug that I already ordered the year before, I inspect it, and then I look at the rug, and if everything is fine I ask them to ship it,” he explained.

He also visits the producers in person to select colors that will be used in future rugs.

“It all depends on the age of the person,” Yaghoubian said, reflecting on the changing demand for different styles in the United States. “The younger generation is looking for more modern transitional rugs. Rugs (that don’t) have that sophisticated pattern.”

Globetrotting and keeping up with local fashion trends are just part of what Yaghoubian does to make his business the kind of place customers come back to year after year.

“When you buy something, you deal with him, the owner of the store,” Jim Smith said of Yaghoubian. “He brings the rugs out for you to look at, he delivers the rugs … the guy works 24 hours a day.

“Mansour, he’s good at keeping customers once he’s got them.”

For more information, visit www.mansoursruggallery.com.

Evan Boylan

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