Our Story Ahwazian
The Oriental Rug Centre
How it all began
For them, it’s a perfect opportunity to gain first-hand experience of the rug industry for which the country is famous. We have steadily built up good relationships with weavers and their communities and it is always a pleasure to see how the weavers take great pride in their work and their craftsmanship. Rug weaving is still very much a cottage industry and the weavers themselves take their finished products to local bazaars to trade directly with the buyers. No matter how many trips we make, we never cease to be amazed at the enormous talent and creativity of the people who produce such a rich variety of beautiful rugs for our industry. It has taken many years to develop our vast and varied stock and we continue to work closely with teams of trusted weavers. Before leaving Iran, the rugs we have carefully selected for the UK market are taken to our washing plant in Tehran. There they go through the final stage of the all-important finishing and washing process, after which they are ready to be shipped to the UK and sold to our trade customers here.
After 20 years trading at the well-established Oriental Carpet Centre in Eade Road, N4, Jalil Ahwazian sensed major changes in the industry. Many other carpet dealers had moved on, some had retired, other relocated.
Time was when the OCC had been the ideal space for a business based in North London, but then, like so much else, the carpet trade was changing, retailers and shoppers were doing things differently.
This was exactly the right moment for us to set up our very own Rug Centre. So we made the move to the Oriental Rug Centre in NW2 and the business was launched in August 2015.
As Jalil says: “It took me over 2 years to find the right place but when I walked in I just knew this was the perfect warehouse to showcase our amazing rugs and develop the largest Oriental Rug Centre in North London.”
It’s a great location, with easy access from the A406, M1, and plenty of on-site parking – a convenient one-stop shop for both trade and retail customers.
Our key aims was to bring in well-known colleagues in the rug industry, to complement the service and selection we were offering. As specialists in Persian, Indian, Moroccan, and oversize rugs, we needed rug manufacturers in Afghanistan and Pakistan, whose products would enable us to give all our customers a much wider choice.
The Oriental Rug Centre is not yet one year old and business is already booming. Whether trade customers and people just looking for a beautiful rug for their home, they all love the location and are delighted with the service we provide.
Meet the team
From the age of 15, Jalil Ahwazian lived and went to school in the UK before moving to Switzerland to continue his studies. While still a student, he took a part-time job with a large oriental rug company in Zurich. It wasn’t long before the owner of the company “talent-spotted” Jalil. From his long experience in the rug industry, the boss could see his natural instinct and enthusiasm for this highly specialized business and was happy to share his expertise with his young employee. So began Jalil’s journey in the rug industry. In 1992 he moved with his British wife and two young children to London, where he founded Ahwazian Ltd. By 1994, the company, which operated from the Oriental Carpet Centre in London N4, had become one of the UK’s leading Persian rug companies. In 2015 he moved the company to his new Rug Centre in London NW2. To complement his in-depth knowledge of the rug trade, Jalil is also a talented linguist. As well as his native Farsi, he is fluent in English, German and Arabic.
Jacqueline was born and educated in Scotland, she then travelled to Switzerland to study at the Dolmetscherschule, followed by business studies at one of the city’s business schools. It was while still studying in Zurich that she met Jalil. After getting married and completing her studies, Jacqueline worked as an English tutor, mainly to children from Zurich’s large Japanese community, as well as undertaking translation work. In 1992, the Ahwazians and their two small children returned to the UK where Ahwazian Ltd was founded. Initially, Jacqueline worked only part-time for the company, taking some time out with the arrival of the Ahwazians’ third child. But in the 24 years since the firm was founded, she has come to play a major role in the business, where her main focus is on marketing and finance, although she still loves travelling abroad to meet the weavers and select rugs for the UK market.
Najib originally comes from Afghanistan and has been working with the company for over 10 years. He takes care of the day to day running of the warehouse and is known to all our clients. His wealth of knowledge and experience in the oriental rug industry makes Najib a valuable part of the team.
Graphic Designer / Photographer
Joao is originally from Portugal and works professionally as a Photographer and Graphic Designer. He brings together all his creative energy and skills in graphics and digital design, photography, retouching, illustration, web design and video. The passion he has for his work makes everything at Ahwazian look amazing especially all the intricate details he captures when photographing the rugs. Joao is a valuable and dynamic part of the team.