MAY 20, 2023
From Rugs to Riches— A Supplier Story
One of the products in Twenty Third by Deanne I’m most proud of are the vintage rug pillows. These stylish rug pillows quickly turned into fan favorites after I released them in the shop. However, aside from being well-loved by customers, the vintage rug pillows are uniquely sustainable because they originally came from rugs and carpets. Turning these items into decorative pillows effectively gives them a new life.
I had the opportunity to talk to one of Twenty Third by Deanne’s suppliers to talk to them about their business and how it preserves their family heritage.
I initially set up a partnership with Ugur Karaca through Instagram when I was looking for pillow suppliers. The handmade carpet and rug business started in 2018, but Ugur began as an apprentice in Istanbul when he was only 17 years old.
Patience & Time
“I became an old carpet and rug repair master and trained dozens of apprentices.” Ugur alludes to himself as a carpet and rug doctor. However, this career is far from easy.
“Our profession takes patience and time.” Ugur tells me. “Sometimes it takes months to repair a rug, and that takes patience.”
“Meeting Twenty Third by Deanne helped us a lot,” Ugur said. “This company has become one of our very good customers with very good business potential. We know that this company really has a very professional business sense, and we are very happy to work with you.”
Ugur’s family is one of the best and most knowledgeable people when it comes to the quality of rugs used especially for the vintage rug pillow products since their family had been in the business for many years.
“My family is one of the nomadic families in Central Anatolia, and my father was engaged in the wool trade.” Ugur shares about his father. “He thought it would be a better idea to make pillows from these old rugs and market them after he started trading old rugs from Anatolia as well as the wool trade.” Ugur also notes that his father had an established pillow making workshop in Istanbul.”
The pillows that Ugur’s family supplies Twenty Third by Deanne with are Turkish vintage pillows made from rugs and carpets. I asked Ugur about the process of how these beautiful pieces are made. How exactly does Ugur’s family turn rugs and carpets into pillows?
“After we buy old carpets from various parts of Anatolia, we first wash them professionally, while putting the dirty, dusty, and soiled ones into the dust collectors, and dust them for hours. Then we send them to our workshop in Istanbul for pillow-making.” It is in this workshop where the carpets are cut into various sizes, packed, sealed, and are sent to their clients.
All the products supplied by Ugur’s family are extremely well-crafted, with amazing textures that are especially made to be more beautiful over time. It warms my heart to see that the customers from Twenty Third by Deanne also love the products.
I was very inspired by Ugur’s family’s passion for their craft and in turn, I intend to help preserve their rich history and heritage. I value our partnership so much, and I look forward to continuing to work with them so we can keep passing on our shared love for these Turkish vintage rug pillows to the world.