A Beautiful Celebration of 7 Years In Business

On Tuesday, December 4th, we celebrated 7 years in business with loyal customers and friends. It was great to see such support for a small business. We are lucky to have shared our successes with all of you, and we look forward to continuing to do so!

Cleveland Business Connects Magazine Profiles Abrash Gallerie

In October, store owner, Tuba Gokoglu, was contacted by Cleveland Business Connects (CBC) Magazine regarding a profile they were interested in doing on Abrash Gallerie. As a Northeast Ohio female entrepreneur who hails from Turkey, they believed that Gokoglu’s story would be a great match for their section on diversity/minority owned businesses. When freelance writer, Doug Guth, showed up for the interview with Gokoglu, little did he realize the rich history Gokoglu came to the table with. The two spoke about everything from Gokoglu’s move from Turkey to Northeast Ohio, to her transition from the banking industry to oriental rugs, to her family’s contribution to the business, and the growth and success of the gallerie. The ultimate outcome of the article is a great representation of what Abrash Gallerie is, and hopes to continue being.

To read the full article, click here.

 

7th Anniversary Celebration Scheduled for December 4th

You’re Invited!

7th Anniversary Open House @ Abrash Gallerie

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

6pm – 8pm

 

Drinks & Hors d’oeuvres

 

Unique holiday gifts for your loved ones

 

Mingle with notable Interior Designers

 

Skincare products & makeup trends from Dresden Buras,
Dior resident artist & set stylist

 

Meet Colin Lively, former Clevelander,
now nationally recognized NYC hairdresser

**Free valet parking available on Lee Road across from the Cedar Lee Theater**

 

Abrash Hosts Ladies Night with Dior Regional Team

Join us for a fun Ladies Night at Abrash Gallerie

Monday, November 5, 2012

6pm – 8pm

 

Enjoy a complimentary make-over with the Regional Dior Team
Meet Colin Lively, former Clevelander, now a nationally recognized hairdresser in NYC
& many more surprises…

 

Drinks & Hors d’oeuvres

 

Valet parking available on Lee Road across from the Cedar Lee Theater

 

The Grand Bazaar: Deal or No Deal

On July 6th, The Washington Post published an article titled “The magic of carpet shopping in Istanbul” which described, in my view, a realistic and accurate carpet-shopping experience in the Grand Bazaar, Istanbul’s number 1 place to go for carpets galore. I wanted to share this article as well as some of my thoughts with you.

Grand BazaarEvery time I travel to Istanbul it is a must for me to stop by the Grand Bazaar. I love the experience of browsing, shopping, or even pretending to be a customer to buy a rug. (I also cannot skip visiting Erol Kazanci, owner of Shirvan mentioned in the Washington Post article, both for doing business and admiring his outstanding collection.) The store-owners are all in front of the entrance of their shop waiting to pull you in.  They speak every language you can think of. Somehow, they first start with English when they see me, it must be my talent in acting like a tourist :-) .  I never give away the fact that I am fluent in Turkish and I know the carpet business inside out. I always go into the store with an open mind to see how I will be treated. Will they give me a correct story of the quality of the weaving, construction of the carpet, whether the dyes are natural or chemical, or will they tell me the actual country where the carpet was made with its associated workmanship? Will they quote a reasonable price relative to my assessment, understanding the fact that “fair price” is a subjective judgment? Unfortunately, much more often than not, I end up having to leave with a disappointment. As a member of the Turkish-American diaspora, I do my share of patriotic contribution by eventually telling them, in Turkish, that their old-fashioned ways may hurt them in the long run in an increasingly globalized economy.

So here are some words of wisdom ;-) . In my personal opinion, on an apples-to-apples basis, it is safer and cheaper to buy in the U.S. than in the Grand Bazaar, and your best bargain will most likely be in Cleveland, a city with a very low cost of living. Enjoy the Washington Post article!

Abrash Gallerie Teams Up with Local Designers at Cleveland Botanical Gardens

Since the beginning of the year, we have been busy with buying new merchandise, working on projects with our customers, participating in design shows, and collaborating with Northeast Ohio’s interior designers.

We are proud to be a part of the Cleveland Botanical Garden’s Interior Design Showcase which opened last weekend and will go through May 13th. The Showcase is free with Garden Admission.

It is a spectacular display of home designs inspired by botanical themes and put together by top designers in Northeast Ohio.  You can see Abrash Gallerie’s beautiful, unique carpets and accessories presented in three separate vignettes: Deborah Smith Interiors, Jorge Castillo Design, and In Design.

This is a good time to visit the Cleveland Botanical Gardens to enjoy the spring flowers in full bloom and check out the fascinating display of rooms.  You never know, you might get inspired and go home with some unique ideas for your space!  Abrash always welcomes the opportunity to turn your dreams into reality….

A Bed of Roses, a creation of designer Deborah Smith and Abrash
currently on display at the Showcase.

Are You Getting Your Money’s Worth

Oriental rugs are a ‘blind’ item for most people.  Trust in the dealer is the most important factor in your purchase – trust that you are being shown the most beautiful rugs of each type – well made and fairly priced.  Here are some tips on quality…

Abrash Gallerie launches an Online Store!

Abrash Gallerie is happy to celebrate a decade in business by launching a new online store! Excellence in customer service has always been our pride, and we hope that this new addition will make your shopping experience a bit more convenient.

Creating a home-like environment for our deserving customers is a pleasure. Now, it’s time to bring our gallerie to your lap, or should I say laptop :-) , to save you some time in your hectic life. The online store will make your holiday shopping much easier this year. We are uploading new items and categories continuously, so check back often and expect to be surprised each time.

We are always happy to see smiling faces in our gallerie, and we are committed to making your online experience just as pleasant. Come and join us for our decennial celebration, in person or virtually.  Thank you for visiting us!

Warmest wishes,

Tuba Gokoglu, owner

Memories Of A Village Lady

Browsing through my photo albums the other day, I came across a picture of an old village lady on the beach in Turkey that brought back a memory I wanted to share with you.  It was about two years after opening the doors of Abrash, and I had taken some time off to visit my family in Turkey.  Every time we visit family, we try to gather everyone at a vacation spot so we can all relax and enjoy our time together.

This particular time, we decided to go to Assos, an Aegean-coast seaside retreat about 40 miles south of Troy.  Though I had always heard great things about the town, I had never vacationed in the area.  I was especially excited for this trip, not only because of the beautiful landscape, but also because of the many small villages in the region where woven arts are a crucial part of the economy.

On one of these days, while I was enjoying the peace and serenity under the sun with soothing sounds of the waves, I saw an old village woman carrying a pile of kilims on her back, trying to sell them.  Most tourists ignored her presence.  It was a hot day, so I asked her if she wanted some water after carrying all those heavy kilims from the mountains where she lived.  She put down her pile next to me and started to tell me her story.

This villager’s family was part of a Turkoman tribe who makes these kilims for their homes and to make a living.  Her son was getting married and they needed money for his wedding, but after coming to the beach to sell these pieces for several days, she didn’t have much hope left to raise the money.  I was very saddened by the hardships she told me about.  I asked her to open the pile so I could look at the quality of her work.  I was very impressed by the natural dyes and workmanship.  The more I spoke with her, the more people were intrigued and wanted to join the conversation.

I raved about these kilims to the group, and within half an hour, I had sold all of them for her (even in my bathing suit :-) ).  This woman couldn’t believe that everything had sold.  Not only did she not have to carry them on her back all the way to the village, which was quite far, but she could also afford to buy a bus ticket back instead of trekking back by foot.

Making a small difference in this woman’s life warmed my heart.  Now she could give the money to her son for his wedding.  It’s moments like this when I realize how much I love what I do and why it is that I started this gallery in the first place.  Come in and take a look at some of the kilims we have in store now.  Each of them has a story just as beautiful and touching as this.

Beginnings

It wasn’t long ago that I found my inspiration for starting Abrash. It was a lengthy process that took an unsatisfying job, patient soul-searching and the support of my family (especially my husband and 2 beautiful daughters).  Naturally, my growing passion for oriental rugs had a lot to do with finding this great joy in my life.

It has been approximately 11 years since I left the banking world through a series of systematic “reorganizations” happening after the Y2K crisis.  At the time, I was not the happiest soul to be laid-off from my job/profession.  I didn’t really enjoy what I did, but I hadn’t considered what other possibilities existed for me out there either.  Sometimes we have to experience a struggle to explore and discover new and better options in life: a blessing in disguise.

I always loved the arts but didn’t go to school for it.  I was brought up with the notion that if you become an artist, you would starve.  But what about loving what you do in life?  I guess that is a luxury to many in this universe.

My beginnings in the carpet world started with a visitor who came to Cleveland to give a lecture at the Cleveland Museum of Art.  Her name is Josephine Powell, an American nomad. She is the source of inspiration who widened my horizons and ignited my passion for the woven arts.  During her visit to Cleveland, Josephine was staying with Dede Moore, a kind lady who owned a rug gallery in Shaker Heights.  When Dede offered me to help her in her gallery, I felt consumed by the thrilling opportunity to learn this art form.  I wasn’t getting paid for what I did, but it didn’t matter, I was really enjoying myself in this so-called role as an ‘apprentice’.

Two years passed by, and I felt I needed to continue this journey on my own.  I needed to combine my passion with a viable business idea.  I was actually quite scared to start a venture on my own without any retail experience.  After knocking on every door for available space, I found an existing design store that was interested and proposed to share some of their space.  There, I learned more about what it meant to work in the industry and provide hand-woven oriental rugs to clients for interior decorating purposes.  Another five years passed by and it was time again to move on and be a completely independent entity.   Abrash, my third daughter :-) , was born December 2006 in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.