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Discovering Shiraz Rug Gallery in the Heart of Bellevue

August 13, 2020 - by Mona Ghorbani

Discovering Shiraz Rug Gallery in the Heart of Bellevue

When you think about the word “art,” you’re probably seeing visions of fine works framed on a wall or displayed behind glass. But what about art you walk on?  While they’re often considered to be a decoration, fine rugs are true pieces of art - and that’s no better seen than at Shiraz Rug Gallery in Old Bellevue. 

With beautiful foreign hand-knotted rugs displayed throughout, Shiraz Rug Gallery has one of the most renowned selections in the Greater Northwest, a reputation that was earned over time. Owner Jafar Hendi, a third-generation rug merchant originally from Iran, followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and father by entering the rug business at the age of 18. He moved to Washington State in 1995, opened his first rug gallery in Seattle, and quickly made his way to the top as one of the area’s best rug merchants. 

It was his love for Downtown’s Old Bellevue neighborhood that set him out to open a new location for his business, and in 2012 he opened the doors to his Main Street gallery.

Hendi takes pride in his vast collection of rugs and helping his clients find the perfect piece to enhance their living space. He also sees the beauty in each piece as a work of art - he knows the true labor of an antique rug. It can take anywhere from a few months to years to weave depending on the size of the knot and design, Hendi said.

“Everything that I carry is unique,” Hendi said. “If you find something at our gallery, you can’t find it anywhere else.”

With over 700 rugs from Pakistan, India, Iran and all over the world, we found ourselves lost in a sea of rich, vibrant colors and beautiful art designs as we browsed the gallery. With rugs hung like paintings on the wall and others stacked beautifully as displays, it was easy to see why his customers have earned him such a reputation. He also carries rugs fit for every price, color and style - each beautifully hand-woven with natural wool and silk materials. 

As of today, Hendi is climbing his way back to the top of his business. Due to the pandemic, the gallery saw a significant decrease in sales and traffic, unlike ever before.

“We were closed for three months,” Hendi said. “Nothing has been the same.”

Many clients and designers have slowly returned to doing business at the gallery and Hendi is eager to continue helping people find the perfect rug to complement their home or business. He also expanded their services to help safely clean rugs during this time. Shiraz Rug Gallery offers pick up and drop off services for antique and oriental rug cleaning, allowing customers to clean their rugs while also reviving the beauty of it.

We’re all spending more time at home these days. If you’re looking for a unique and cozy piece of art, a one-of-a-kind rug might be just the fit – Hendi is more than ready to help you find the right piece for your haven. Stop by Shiraz Rug Gallery and check out the collection for yourself.

This blog is part of the Heart of Bellevue: our campaign to showcase local businesses while connecting you with stories of activity, creativity and recovery. Find out about our campaign and explore more of what’s happening around Downtown.