I’m delighted to tell you all about The Rug Mine, a dream that I’ve had for many years that has finally come to fruition.
I am Nargis Habib, and each exquisite piece at The Rug Mine is carefully sourced by me. I believe my rugs are extra-special, perfectly designed, and every rug uses the finest possible materials so my clients receive something of premium quality. My rugs are made with devotion by expert rug weavers across the world, and I am absolutely passionate about what I do. I know that all my rugs are genuine labours of love, and I hope that you will adore yours.
Each Rug Mine rug is a treasure that will last a lifetime and beyond.
I was raised in Afghanistan in the bustling cultural city of Herat. In Herat, I was surrounded by the intricate beauty, textures and opulence of Afghan and Persian arts and rugs. Wherever I turned, I could see the extravagant weaves, colors and designs that danced in front of my eyes! Rugs adorned my home, my school and everywhere I visited — I completely fell in love with those rugs and wanted to learn all I could about the art of rug-making. It wasn’t just me that felt an infatuation for oriental rugs. I was part of a close family — when I was a little girl, my uncles, aunts and grandparents used to regale me with tales about the rich history of oriental rugs. Their rich colors bejewelled every corner of Herat. I developed an understanding and deep appreciation of their intricacies, the different motifs and their meanings, each rug’s individual story, and how they were meticulously woven by hand.
Me, strolling through the ancient corridors of the Citadel of Herat in Herat, Afghanistan. The Citadel dates back to 330 BC and was built by Alexander the Great.
When we lived in Afghanistan, it was not an easy life. My family and I lived under the Taliban regime and later on, following September 11, the new government. When the Taliban ruled, girls were not allowed to go to school — we couldn’t learn like our brothers. We were expected to run a home, marry early (usually to men much older than ourselves and that we did not know) and raise a family. However, my story was different to hundreds of thousands of others, and I consider myself lucky. My sisters and I used to secretly visit a female teacher in a basement where we would learn for six hours a day. We would all crowd into the small basement together, eager to find out about mathematics, language, science and whatever our teacher could fill our minds with. We sat on magnificent Afghan rugs, as there were no chairs! The hand-spun wool — red, and soft as a feather — lathered my feet. I was again fascinated. Those magical rugs became a real source of comfort; they felt familiar, cozy, welcoming, and formed a long-lasting memory. This fascination has never left me.
Herat city has for centuries served as a mecca of the arts and culture. The city’s historic architecture tells rich stories of ancient empires and mystic Sufi poets.
In 2006, I was fortunate enough to immigrate to the USA. It was a complete contrast to what I was used to, but my curiosity for art and culture was still deep in my heart. I’ve always been creative and I used that creativity to make clients look beautiful by becoming a professional make-up artist. I love using different shades and blending them to bring out the best in clients. These experiences serve me well as I grew to really understand the importance of matching the right colors to the right skin tones and even lifestyles — I apply these same principles to rug sourcing and interior design!
My career as a professional make-up artist with MAC Cosmetics allowed my passion for the arts to shine through my beautiful clients.
I am excited to use my rug passion and draw from my early experiences in the city of Herat — a historical city of Afghanistan and once the world’s mecca for carpet-weaving. Herat was also once the capital of the Persian and Khorasan Empires and has a treasure trove of exotic culture, ancient architecture, and stunning beauty.
Carpet merchants in Afghanistan have historically been men. I felt I wanted to break down those cultural barriers and taboos and decided to start my own rug business. I am proud that I am now one of the first female carpet entrepreneurs from Afghanistan to manage and run a rug business. In doing so, I draw from my own deep knowledge of my home regions’ heritage and the vibrant colors that I could still see! I blend that knowledge with my affection for the arts and those glorious rugs I once sat on. I also draw upon my real interest and understanding of interior design and décor. Using all of these ingredients, I formed The Rug Mine and source expertly hand-woven rugs from across the globe.
My aim is to elevate and beautify the homes of every person who buys one of these extraordinary creations, including yours. I appreciate that art lovers (like myself) feel uplifted by certain pieces, while other pieces evoke feelings of belonging or perhaps refresh the mind with a distant memory. There’s no doubt that art is a truly individual experience, and my rugs should also bring depth of feeling, joy, and warmth.
- Nargis Habib