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.

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

MWBN Women’s Networking Night 2011

Abrash offers a unique and pleasant environment for business networking.  My Women’s Business Network took advantage of this opportunity at Abrash to help its members to build new relationships and develop contacts.  The evening was filled with great conversation, fun, laughter and good food.  It was a pleasure to host the event, and getting wonderful feedback from our guests on our collection always raises our spirits.

4th Anniversary of Abrash, December 2010

As hard as it is for us to believe that it has already been four years since we opened our doors, it is indeed a celebration that we are thriving despite the economy.  We certainly owe our success to you, our loyal customers.  We remain committed to our pledge to provide only the best in quality and service, and realize more every day that you deserve no less.  It was a great pleasure to share our joy with our friends and clients, of course in company of delicious food.  Thank you for your support!

New Store Hours!

Please make note of our new store hours, set by the needs of our loyal customers:

Monday 2:00pm – 6:30pm
Tuesday GONE SAILING :)
Wednesday 12:00pm – 6:30pm
Thursday 12:00pm – 6:30pm
Friday 12:00pm – 6:00pm
Saturday 12:00pm – 7:00pm
Sunday GONE FISHING :)
Also available by appointment

Looking for something specific? Be sure to call us at 216-320-9300 and we’ll see what we can do for you!

Cool Cleveland lists Abrash as a Sundries Shop in their ShopLOCAL Gift Guide

To ease the pains of holiday shopping, Cool Cleveland came out with a holiday shopping guide of where to shop for your specific tastes of holiday needs.  Our gallerie was featured as a “sundries” selection, for our variety of unique, hand-made, one-of-a-kind items.  They even mentioned that we were a “hidden gem” worth seeing.

To see the full article, and all stores listed, click here.

Cleveland.com says “Buy a Rug, Take a Yoga Class at Abrash”

When writer Rosemary Downing walked into our gallerie, she seemed so interested in what it was we had to offer.  She wanted to know about our story, and learn about the pieces we had available.  She sat down and listened to my daughter who occasionally comes in as a helping hand, as she described what it was that we bring to the culture of Cleveland Heights by having this gallerie.

It seems she was so delighted that she felt compelled to publish a story about us.  To read the article, click here.

Open House, Spring 2009

The focus of our Open House this time was newly created quilt jackets as part of our unique wearable art collection.  The jackets are one-of-a-kind, hand-sewn patchwork designs with antique materials.  Our guests appreciated these special features and we appreciated their great enthusiasm.

Dr. John T. Carey Memorial AIDS Walk

On Sunday, December 14th, Abrash Gallerie supported a benefit for the Dr. John T. Carey Memorial AIDS Walk by hosting a reception after a private screening of the movie “Milk” at the Cedar Lee Theatre across the street. The event was a great opportunity for about 200 people to get together on a cold Cleveland night over warm conversation and reflection. We thank you most sincerely for joining us to support this worthy cause. We hope to see all of you back at the gallerie soon. Have a wonderful holiday season!