When Michael Pourvakil, the Iranian-born founder of Weavers Art, got his first "real job" at 26, it was a fluke that it was in the rug business. He was a "people person," and figured he would be a good salesman, but had no idea he would fall in love with rugs. Pourvakil is fascinated with the industry and with the weavers who have the most difficult task in the creation of carpets. “They spend their lives tying millions of knots day after day, and they and their families need to be taken care of, “ he says with conviction. From the beginning Michael Pourvakil has tried to do his part to help the workshops where the rugs are made, but joining RugMark, he says, is “a very direct way to give back.”
Weavers Art isn’t just a business for Pourvakil. “Because I am Iranian, I feel sometimes that I have a deep connection to my roots and my ancestors through the rugs,” he says. Though he began as an importer of Persian rugs, he soon added contemporary and modern carpets to his collections of Old World and formal Persian rugs. Working exclusively with the interior design community has helped him push the creative envelope. “The interior designers are always ahead of the trends,” he says.
Weavers Art has its own design studio, but Pourvakil does much of the designing himself. He finds inspiration from architecture and from nature. For example, he explains, Weavers Art “Reaction” series with its delicate gradations of color comes directly from his experience driving to a friend’s country house at dusk.
Traveling, of course, is a big part of Pourvakil’s job. There is an upside and a downside to that. Though travel to trade shows in places like Milan is fun and glamorous, he says, the trips to villages and out of the way places are challenging. The best thing about the travels he says, however, is the opportunity to find wonderful treasures of rugs like the tiny 100% silk pile carpet he found in China. “It was over five thousand knots per square inch. It blew me away!” And then there was the one that got away, a pair of rugs with a French Aubusson design and a Persian weave. “Quite a while ago, I bought the two and then sold them. I wish I hadn’t. Now I try hard not to fall in love with my merchandise”, he says wistfully. Such deep connections with the craft inevitably lead to a deep connection with the craftspeople who make the rugs. “We need to do something for those weavers,” Pourvakil says. “In this life we have to give back.”
Learn more about the Weavers Art Collection and Michael Pourvakil’s contributions to the community at www.weaversart.com.
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