T he inside of Durango Rug Co. closely resembles the Istanbul Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world.
The business, which opened last month at 747 Main Ave., sells an assortment of handwoven rugs and home decor items such as pillows and baskets.
Owner Nadeem Mull was born in Pakistan and raised in Albuquerque. He started selling imported rugs in the 1980s at Tesuque Flea Market next to the Santa Fe Opera in Santa Fe. “I started selling at a swap meet,” he said. “A friend and I took a truckload of rugs that we got from another friend and began selling them.”
Nadeem did business at the flea market for 20 years before opening his first store, Tribal Arts in Albuquerque.
The rugs sold at Durango Rug Co., which include oriental and contemporary designs, come from around the world.
“I get them from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey and Iran,” Mull said.
He said that he was influenced by Native American culture having grown up in the Southwest, which inspired him to sell a line of rugs that honor traditional Navajo designs.
The Navajo-inspired rugs are handwoven in Pakistan and sell for a fraction of the cost of those crafted by Native American artisans.
“It is difficult to find oversized Navajo rugs, and if you do, they are tens of thousands of dollars,” Mull said.
“I was inspired by Navajo culture and artwork. Some of their baskets resemble Pakistani-woven baskets.”
Mull said the cost of rugs varies depending on type, size and complexity. He said tribal rugs are more popular than their oriental-style counterparts. “Customers here do like the geometric tribal style,” Mull said. “There is a big Southwestern influence in Durango.”
Durango Rug Co. also offers rug cleaning and repair services.
“I have one of the best guys who does Navajo rug repair,” Mull said. “All someone has to do is bring in a rug that needs washed or repaired and we can do that.”
Employee Lisa Harris said the business has been well-received since its opening.
“It is amazing how many people walked in here in the first two weeks of opening and said, ‘This is exactly what Durango needs,’” she said.
“People either go to Farmington or online to order rugs. I would say the reception has been really exceptional.”