2 Years of Rug Rag!
By David Dilmaghani
It's been a great two years! We've made excellent strides through hard work and tremendous support from both the public and industry alike.
Although we do have an 'About Us' page, there's probably no more appropriate time than the two year anniversary to talk about our statistics, how Rug Rag started and why it started:
Rug Rag Statistics:
- 875+ blog posts and 1,100 public pages on rugrag.com archive.
- 5 interactive tools and widgets with over 20,000 automated 'estimates' rendered to the public.
- 600+ hand knotted rugs Verified online with full 'report cards.'
- 1000+ Individual rug inspections in our network
- Most active rug forum with over 640+ topics and 3800+ posts
- Growing Testimonials!
- Currently Ranked as being in the top 1% of all websites online*
- 300% + average quarterly growth
- Noted/featured in several online and print media resources.
- 15,000+ Inbound links
- 15,000+ Outbound links
- 25,800+ Internal links
- Google Pagerank 4
My brother Matthew and I both grew up in a Rug family. Our family history in the business (on
our father's side) goes back to the 1860's in Persia, and perhaps even
further. Great, great, Grandfather produced distinctive Kermanshah rugs
which still occasionally appear at Sotheby's and Christies auctions. One of my favorite examples (seen up and to the right), dates back to the fourth quarter 19th century signed at the top 'Made to the Order of Delamaqani'.
I gained hands-on experience in our family's wholesale import
and retail rug business at a young age. I began learning the rugs by helping my father
at his office in addition to working part time in our wholesale warehouse. Often responsibilities would include making deliveries, vacuuming, inventory, computer entry, photo adjustments, etc. In
late 2001, I began working for the family full time, and about a 2 hour round trip drive from home. I worked shipping
& receiving, wholesale, import and even designed a few rugs. Later I became the retail manager for our weekend retail outlet store.
College was stretching too long. After many years of full time work and night classes, I decided to finish my education and do so quick! At the time I was driving 35,000 + miles per year to get to work and my car was getting tired. Mid 2007, I left my position in the family business to complete college.
The idea of Rug Rag stemmed from two main experiences: One, a personal dilemma with my vehicle a year earlier, and second, discussion with my brother Matthew.
I've always liked cars,
and didn't mind the long commute to our warehouse. However, by 2006, the head gasket in my 12 year old, third-hand BMW developed a slow leak. In the interest of pursuing autocross and perhaps SCCA racing, I had the
motor rebuilt to "race specifications." Unfortunately, despite my efforts to
have the car serviced at a BMW repair shop, the end result
was unsatisfactory due to a less-than-meticulous mechanical job. The shop was
not willing to improve the problems, and I could not afford to hire an
attorney. Very tough spot to be in.
It was sometime late August 2007 that my brother Matthew and I went on
a day trip for my birthday between semesters. We discussed where the rug industry was going, recent experience with my car, and everything seemed to come together in an interesting way. We started thinking about how consumers often make mistakes in buying rugs, and
how less reputable Rug dealers unfortunately take advantage of consumers (similar to the experience with my vehicle). The Oriental Rug market has traditionally been buyer beware for consumers. Especially on the internet. Much business has migrated online, however many goods are being purchased sight unseen, making it that much more of a risky investment. I saw many sellers on ebay
capitalizing on first time buyer misconceptions, sales fetching high
value on deceiving information, shill bidding, heavily exaggerated age and other misrepresentations. We saw this as a possibility to help people make more informed purchasing decisions.
A few hours after getting back from our trip, we acquired the domain names for Rug Rag. By Late September, I was posting to Rug Rag every day, sometimes twice a day. I attended
classes, in the evening do homework, and finish up with sometimes very, very late night posts on the site. It was May '08 I graduated as a business major, art minor. Post graduation, I declined opportunities of work to continue developing the Rug Rag site full time.
My brother Matthew is the "tech" man. He's turned all the ideas I've
had like the style guide, rug estimator pro, rug verifications, into
reality. He continues to do all of the site's back end maintenance. Many of these interactive tools have not been attempted, and think
it's pretty wild and exciting they've materialized the way they have.
To keep learning myself, I attend
trade shows, visit dealers, take courses, read rug books, study auction
catalogs, review auctions, monitor web activity, and have kept an
eye open to just about every rug opportunity possible. I've also had the honor of viewing several large and distinguished private collections of antique oriental rugs here in the Tri-state area. We're very lucky to also have assistance from several independent experts in our network, with a combined knowledge base of over two hundred years in wholesale and retail markets.
We sincerely appreciate the support we've received from the public, participants on the forum, guest bloggers, and industry encouragement!
*Websitegrader.com's interpretation of Rug Rag's rank position of 283,000 in Alexa.com