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Welcome from Hakan Evin

Welcome to all my friends in Istanbul and across the world as I unveil Imperio Otomano’s first catalog. On this proud occasion, I would like to take the opportunity to thank my loyal customers for their many years of friendship. It is because of you that my reputation continues to be the best in the businessAfter nearly two decades in the Grand Bazaar, the question I am most often asked is: how can Imperio Otomano sell carpets at such low prices? The answer is simple: we have no middle man. Other shops have few or no contacts within the rug-buying world. They do not source their own carpets; they are simply storefronts that must mark up their prices to pay for the middle man. At Imperio Otomano, all the carpets are hand-chosen by me. So, although you will pay less for your carpet at Imperio Otomano, you will also be getting better quality. In fact, I would be surprised to find a carpet dealer whose price I couldn’t beat by at least 25%. And our carpets always come with a certificate of authenticity and age.A good way to judge a carpet shop is by its repeat business, and there’s no better example of customer loyalty than Imperio Otomano’s enduring relationship with the American diplomatic community. U.S. Consulate personnel are very savvy consumers by the end of their two- to six-year assignments in Istanbul. Some also spend time in other rug-producing countries in the Middle East. Armed with this expertise, they choose to shop with me. Thanks to years of referrals, I also proudly host their friends and family, including members of Congress and Presidents of the United States.Now, I invite you to come and visit me. Let’s spend some time one-on-one sampling the carpets and learning their history as we sip on a traditional cup of Turkish coffee or tea.Hope to see you here soon, Hakan

A Family Tradition: The History of Imperio Otomano

A Family Tradition: The History of Imperio OtomanoHakan is a third-generation shopkeeper whose history is woven deep into the ancient corridors of the Grand Bazaar. “I’d dreamt since I was a child of becoming a rug dealer,” he says. “I love carpets, like the mother’s love for her children.”Growing up among the stacked mats and earthy aroma of the family’s carpet business, he finally joined the company as an apprentice after high school. He learned the art, culture and science of carpet making, and naturally, selling.Now the owner of his own shop, Hakan says he never tires of answering client questions. “It’s a big pleasure for me to teach people about a thing that has played such a large part in my family’s history, and in the history of this country,” says Evin.Preferred by American government officials, Imperio Otomano has played host to American Presidents and world leaders for more than a decade. But, despite his celebrity clientele, Hakan focuses most of his energies on the daily shopper. To that end, he reaches out to the expatriate communities, while also serving generations of families living in Istanbul. “We don’t want to sell a rug and then forget about that customer,” he says. “We want to gain the customer and make them come back. If they are pleased with us, then hopefully we can also sell a rug to their friends.”

Hakan, who speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian in addition to his native Turkish, named his shop Imperio Otomano, which means Ottoman Empire in Spanish.

Hakan travels frequently throughout the country, searching for new markets from which to purchase. “It’s really fun to go to the small villages, stay there for a few days and see their hospitality,” he says. “It’s a pleasure to see the artist make her rug. It’s beautiful to see how proud she is while making perfect knots.”

There’s no denying Hakan appreciates the hard work and imagination that goes into each of the carpets: shopping with Hakan is like getting a mini-master’s degree in rug arts. His tips for choosing the right rug? He recommends “feeling” the rug with your eyes, and then with your hands to see the quality: “When the knots are tight, it is good quality.”

Reputation is Key

Hakan Evin is proud and grateful for his impeccable reputation. But with this privilege comes responsibility. In order to protect his status, Hakan continually provides the highest quality service and products. Excellent word-of-mouth is the cornerstone of the business so Imperio Otomano insures that each and every customer is 100 percent satisfied.The cornerstone of Imperio Otomano’s success is customer service. Hakan Evin personally ensures that each of his customers receives the highest level of attention. His goal is to create a perfect shopping experience, from beginning to end. Though, as Hakan frequently says, there is “no end” to his service. In fact, most of his customers become lifelong friends.Imperio Otomano avoids the “quick sale” that is so frequent in the Grand Bazaar. Although some carpet dealers are more interested in a single purchase — making a quick deal — Hakan Evin concentrates on each individual customer, answering every question in detail. He wants to be sure his customers are happy, not only immediately after a purchase, but also for years to come. It is because of this attitude – total commitment to customer satisfaction — that Hakan welcomes so much repeat business. His loyal customers frequently refer their friends and family to Imperio Otomano.Preferred by American government officials, Imperio Otomano has played host to American Presidents and world leaders for more than a decade. But, despite his celebrity clientele, Hakan focuses most of his energies on the daily shopper. To that end, he reaches out to the expatriate communities, while also serving generations of families living in Istanbul. “We don’t want to sell a rug and then forget about that customer,” he says. “We want to gain the customer and make them come back. If they are pleased with us, then hopefully we can also sell a rug to their friends.”

Quality of Carpets

Oriental Carpets come from traditional rug-weaving areas of the world: Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, western China, and India. Though all the regions share a history of carpet-making, not all the products are the same high quality. Turkish carpets are double-knotted; this makes them more durable. Afghani and Chinese rugs are single-knotted. In addition, Chinese carpets are machine made, and then sold illegally as handmade. These rugs may appeal to some buyers because the Chinese rug merchants sometimes employ American designers, but the carpet quality is poor and colors can run easily.The best way to judge the quality of a carpet is by counting the number of knots. Judge for yourself: take a tape measure to the back of a carpet and count the knots per centimeter.
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