FROM THEN TO NOW; HOW DID A GENERATIONAL PASSION PROGRESS INTO A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS?
Stephan started out as many adventurous youths do, with curiosity and intuition guiding their passion. Coming from a generational family business, Stephan wanted to continue the family legacy- but with a twist. After acquiring the needed knowledge from his family's store in Chicago, he stepped out of the USA and into a world where few knew English, but it was a world filled with colors, world-class (yet largely unknown) rug weavers, dusty roads, and tea. In the ’60s, the Middle East and Central Asia were an untapped paradise of high-quality, handmade rugs. That first overland trip ending in Afghanistan was the beginning of 9 additional trips traveling in a VW van, on different routes each time. These voyages passed through Turkey, Greece, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Armenia, Pakistan and ultimately ending in Afghanistan. The wealth of knowledge and acquisitions gained by these moments allowed Stephan to flourish in the Aspen operation.
Shortly after his return to the USA, Stephan met his wife, Heather, and together they went on to open Aspen’s most celebrated rug store. The rich tapestry of experiences gave Stephan and his wife the knowledge needed to excel. They learned how to spot key market indicators throughout their travels, accumulating some of the greatest Armenian and Caucasian carpets. Today, they have a collection of almost 600 antique Armenian inscribed and dated rugs.
Stephan and Heather have adapted to the changing economy, and the changing landscape, yet continue to be there for people who want to turn their house into a home with a rug. And not just any rug, a rug that can be selected with purpose, chosen with care, and a rug that is the result of a journey of one man, a van, and thousands of hours combing the collections all around the world. Today, Stephan and Heather are the go-to rug couple, there to help you repair your heirloom, select your next home piece, or simply show you around the showroom.
Isberian Rug Company is more than just a store. It’s a story, an adventure, and a glimpse into the rich culture of rug weaving itself.