Nobody does it better…
MERA’s principals are among the most respected Oriental rug dealers in the United States, with more than 80 years combined experience buying, appraising, designing, importing, selling, cleaning and repairing high-quality Oriental and area rugs.
In addition to the feature contributions each has made to various publications and programs, together they are contributing editors to a number of industry-specific journals and online forums, including Rug News, Rug Insider and RugNews.com.
Owner of Persian Rug Galleries in Nashua, NH, Sy Mahfuz has been selling, appraising, cleaning and repairing Oriental rugs for more than 40 years, his first introduction to the business coming at the tender age of eight.
Representing the third generation to take an active role in his family’s business, Sy has achieved enormous recognition as one of the nation’s foremost authorities on Oriental rugs. He is a Certified Rug Appraiser (CRA), and a past trustee of the Oriental Rug Retailers of America (ORRA). In 1999, Sy was named National Oriental Rug Retailer of the Year; and Retailer of the Year by the NH Chamber of Commerce Executives. In 2008, he was named as the Eminence Award winner for Small Business of the Year by the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce.
Consumer education has always been a priority for Sy, and he shares his expertise at seminars and events across the country, often weaving both the history of Oriental rugs and detailed knowledge of the rug business into his presentations. He speaks to civic organizations, college students, decorator groups, business owners and trade associations. His lecture topics include “Oriental Rugs, Past and Present” and “How to Buy an Oriental Rug.” Sy also contributes articles about Oriental rugs and rug retailing to various publications, including Decorative Rug magazine.
For more than a decade, Sy has also extended his passion for selling Oriental rugs, by giving motivational talks to sales teams. These sessions change the way salespeople approach their customers, and energize their sales.
In 1994, Sy was instrumental in getting House Bill 1391 passed in New Hampshire, strengthening consumer protection statutes regarding going out of business sales in the state. This bill has been invaluable to reputable dealers in Oriental rugs, and to legitimate retailers of many other goods.
Steve Boodakian graduated from Bucknell University with a degree in management in 1974, and immediately went to work at the Oriental rug business begun by his grandfather. He is the former president of Koko Boodakian & Sons, a highly-respected Boston-area retailer and restorer of rugs since 1938.
Steve is a Certified Rug Appraiser (CRA); a member of the Luxury Marketing Council; a founding member of the New England Antique Rug Collectors; a past trustee of both the Oriental Rug Retailers of America (ORRA) and the Oriental Rug Dealers of Massachusetts; and was voted the National Oriental Rug Retailer of the Year in 2000.
During more than 30 years as a guest lecturer and industry spokesman, Steve has consulted to numerous industry partners; and delivered talks to audiences at the Oriental Rug Retailers of America (ORRA) annual conferences; the University of Delaware Symposium on Islamic Art; the New England Interior Design Show, and other industry gatherings .
Steve’s lecture topics include “Mosaics In Wool,” “Avoid Getting Tied in Knots,” “Using Consumer Education as an Effective Marketing Tool” and a course entitled “Oriental Rugs – A Comparative Study of Quality, Condition and Relative Value in Today’s Market.” He has also contributed to features on Oriental rugs in the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Yankee magazine, Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal and public television’s
This Old House.
Consulting to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Affairs and the Eastern Massachusetts Oriental Rug Task Force, which includes representatives from the FBI and state and local police, has also helped Steve keep the Oriental rug business in his home state safer from predatory sales practices and misrepresentation of goods.
For more information, please contact us today.