On a trip to Istanbul a decade ago, we came across a charming rug shop in the middle of the Sultan Ahmet district, known for the lush history and architectural marvels that reside therein. This shop was very small, a six foot square, but packed to the rafters with scores of beautiful hand made rugs, reaching a height of 25 to 30 feet. The shop owner, whom we affectionately refer to as Hoca, told us that a lot of his rugs don't actually come from Turkey, they mostly come from Pakistan. This was a real surprise since Pakistan is not known for its hand made rugs, although it is well known to be a textile powerhouse in the region, often favoring the creation of clothing rather than high quality hand made rugs.
Skip forward half a decade, on a trip to Pakistan to visit an old university friend, it came to light that the city of Peshawar is the hub of Afghan carpets. Close to the border of Afghanistan it serves as a marketplace for many Afghan artisans who other wise do not have a venue to sell their hard work. A common unfortunate practice prevalent is the middle man who buys the rugs from the artisans for peanuts and then sells at exorbitant prices world wide. To solve this problem we decided to deal with only transporters that directly deal with artisans so artisans can sell at the price they want and thus benefit the most from their hard work.
After years of searching for artisans and building relationships of trust and confidence, we finally created a place for their hand made rugs to be purchased by the general public. The goal, which we have achieved, is to reduce as many middle men as possible so the artisan can charge the price they want. The cost to the consumer is always the same and the artisan is always getting slightly higher than market value for their goods. This is something we are very proud of here at Cuprah, we hope to expand our relationships with more artisans in more countries and continue to bring high quality artisanal products to those wishing to have it.
Thank you for supporting the store and for supporting our artisans.