Hidden treasures to be found below Crystal Springs
Photos by Chris Wyman
Silken Wool Home owner Bruce Ghorbanian and his dog ìQuincy,î a four-year-old, nearly 100 pound Polish Tatra are shown in front of the Route 94 showroom. The friendly canine greets visitors as they enter the showroom.
By Chris Wyman
HARDYSTON — On the hillside above, the immaculately groomed fairways and greens of Crystal Springs easily catch the eye of passers by. With the rows upon rows of homes and townhouses above, the valley below holds the hidden treasure of Silken Wool Home.The purveyor of fine Persian and Oriental rugs is now in its third year and draws visitors from not only the affluent neighborhood on the hillside, but from the nearby towns of Sparta and Wantage and even from New York City.Less than an hour from uptown Manhattan, the showroom is more like something one might find in Soho or the Upper East Side, rather than along winding Route 94 in bucolic Sussex County. According to owner Bruce Ghorbanian, it is not uncommon for visitors from the city to discover his showroom while out enjoying a motorcycle ride in the country, make a unexpected purchase, and then return the following weekend with a vehicle more suitable for transporting their newly discovered treasures.Silken Wool has plenty of offerings in the 2,100-square-foot showroom and gallery. Along with an extensive collection of about 1,100 handcrafted Persian and Oriental rugs, the gallery also offers a plethora of handmade interior furnishings and art by renowned American artisans and craftsmen, which includes glass works, metal art, wall sculptures, and hand-made lighting.Their vast collection of oriental rugs consists of tribal to modern to collectible one-of-a-kind silk pieces. They also offer rug cleaning and repair services.But there is something else that Ghorbanian wants to people to realize. In these days of dismal interest rates, investors are now seeking to put their money into previously unrecognized commodities. According to a June 2010 article appearing in The Wall Street Journal entitled “The Rug Market Takes Flight” investors are now purchasing rare Persian rugs for their resale value in the years to come.The article details how auction houses such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s are selling these rare collectable rugs for millions of dollars, sometimes selling the rugs for 20 times their initial asking prices.Ghorbanian says those interested in investing in the rug market would find his Hardyston location to be a good place to start, since his rental overhead is far less than in New York and his asking prices for the rugs is about a third of what is asked in the city.At this point, he credits about half his sales to his website, although he hopes to increase local walk-in business by word of mouth. As a special introduction to what his Hardyston showroom has for the discriminating shopper, Ghorbanian is now offering a limited-time 20 percent discount on all items in the store that are not already on sale.