From dabbling with data systems and applications to the warp & weft of aesthetic and vintage carpets, Zeeshan Tariq wants to reach the stars with his merchandise that entails carpets, rugs, dhurries and more. Chennai-born Zeeshan in a very candid conversation with Canta Dadlaney, shares his passion for carpets and what makes them an aesthetic ornament across spaces.
RugWeave is a family business established by Zeeshan’s father. Zeeshan always found himself having many intriguing conversations with his dad and clients. He, however, pursued mechanical engineering and even worked for an SAP organization for some time. Once, when his Dad was on a business trip to Srinagar, Zeeshan had to manage the store for about 10 days and that was a turning point in his life. He never looked back and started acquiring in-depth knowledge about his family business through books. He learnt how to identify the nuances in design, structure and other factors associated with the world of carpets and the 3,000-year history of rug weaving.
Nestled in the of the busiest shopping neighbourhoods of Chennai, it’s impossible to miss out on the 2,000 square feet store of RugWeave and its majestic range of carpets and rugs. Step into this store and you will be surprised to experience carpets that are as old as 150-200 years!
What are the various types of carpets/rugs available in your store?
Our collection includes Carpets, Rugs, and Kilims (flat weaves) which are sourced from various geographical territories like Central Asia, Persia, Jaipur, Afghanistan, Turkey and Gwalior. We also have an impressive collection of Serafina and Haghighi rugs and Dhurries as well.
What’s the difference between handmade carpets and machine-made carpets?
Handmade carpets have a uniqueness to them, are labour-intensive and stand the test of time for a long. The latter are synthetic, of a repetitive nature and don’t last beyond a couple of years.
What type of clients patronize your store?
World-renowned architects & interior designers, celebrities, third-generation clients, private collectors from all over the world and homeowners from across the country.
How do you advise clients who walk into your store?
We are very transparent and first understand their requirements and their knowledge about the subject. We give them insight in accordance with their wants and empower them with information for them to become smart buyers. We assist them in making the right choice, irrespective of whether they make a purchase or not.
What is the total number of carpets available in your store at any given point in time?
What is so fascinating about old carpets that draw people to them?
They are akin to Picasso, da Vinci or a Hussain. They embody unparalleled artistic value and are defined as a growing investment avenue. The intense workmanship, unique designs, historical significance and unavailability of the same are what make them a coveted item.
The oldest carpet you have restored/sold?
The oldest carpet restored by us was 130 years old and the oldest-ever carpet sold by us was 200 years old.
Describe the types of weavers you are associated with and your other services.
We are associated with weavers who work on specific orders, artistic weavers who make their own designs and a multi-weaver collective throughout the country. We also provide appraisals, washing and restoration services.
How do you view competition in this space especially since you state that your store isn’t skewed towards tourism?
Honestly, we have never experienced nor foreseen competition. Our clientele includes individuals and private collectors from across the country and the world. While it is a trade, it’s also a passion for us and we pride ourselves on being perfectionists in this space.
Some of your esteemed clients?
Consulate members, private collectors, industrialists, builders, and businessmen.
What do you attribute the success of your store to?
The core principles established by my father viz., authenticity and honesty to the craft and the people who make it happen. These are the key contributing factors to our success. Our goodwill has increased over the years and that keeps drawing clients from different places across the world.
Could the modernization of homes make carpets redundant?
In fact, modernization has created a new wave of demand for both contemporary and classical carpets.
What does the future look like?
The demand for this merchandise is immense and is only going to increase but the supply is going to diminish, just like it has been for the last 25-odd years. The new generation amongst the weaver communities or elsewhere is vying for greener pastures to earn a more comfortable lifestyle by educating themselves.
The best compliment from a client to date?
A client acknowledged our innate passion for this trade and admitted this was by far, the first, among his experiences across numerous carpet & rug stores.
While RugWeave caters to all sections of society, their heirloom pieces have made them carve a niche for themselves. Zeeshan is keen to spread the flavour of his carpets and rugs across the seas with exports being the next initiative on his list of expansion plans.
10:30 AM to 8:00 PM (Monday to Saturday)
11:00 AM to 5 PM (Sunday)
Zeeshan Tariq +91 9962231664