Rug business has been challenging worldwide and also for US importers and retailers. Many factors have been the cause such as the US Iranian rug embargo, weavers moving to higher paying jobs and a flood of tufted goods.
Jozan Magazine has recently interviewed rug professionals on how they survive in these tough economic times. Paul Shaper, owner of a Los Angeles based oriental rug marketing company says “While business is more challenging, we look for new ideas and marketing products for our customers. As advertising costs have risen, we have been able to bring down costs for both direct mail postcards and mailing costs. Recently to serve importers, rug shows, and affiliates, we have added e-blast services as part of our new business model. Our database includes over 3.500 rug professionals”.
For the past 21 years, Shaper Productions have published their “Woven Treasures” advertising rug calendar that is customized for rug retailers and cleaners/restorers.
Paul and Tammy Shaper often travel to the Far East to capture video and photographs of the rug-weaving culture and display their photos in their calendar.
Shaper Productions has been in rug marketing business for more than 30 years. “We were the first western company, I believe, to have created a rugmaking film, circa 1972, The Art of The Persian Carpet” said Paul Shaper to Jozan Magazine.
Paul Shaper’s interest for oriental rugs grew out from this visit in Iran as student filmmaker in 1972. His dedication to oriental rugs and rug making later took him to Turkey, China, Tibet and Vietnam.
Links: 2013 Woven Treasures Gift Calendar, Printing the Calendar (YouTube video)
Location and more information: Shaper Productions, 2228 Selby Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90064