By Beth Luna
David’s Oriental Rugs
More often than not, our passions grow from what we are exposed to as children. You may love hockey, or ballet, or nursing because one of your parents did, and they shared their interest and talent with you as you grew. This was certainly the case for David Aliff, founder of David’s Oriental Rugs, who grew up surrounded by handmade rugs and textiles collected and treasured by his parents Evon and David Sr. As a young man, David struck up a close friendship with a Persian classmate named Parviz at Fairfax High School who shared his family’s keen interest in rugs. After graduation, Parviz opened an antique rug and carpet shop while David pursued civil engineering.
As years passed and families grew, the two friends decided to work together at Parviz’s shop. David’s son Dustin, who was eager to learn the historical aspects and art of handmade carpets, was at his side, and the trio worked together for several years.
The Aliffs lived in Fauquier county, and on a drive one day an empty building in Marshall caught their eye. “I graduated from Liberty High School in 1998, and my father and I founded Carefull Carpets in that building in Marshall the following year,” Dustin said. As fate would have it, a Turkish master weaver visited the store one day. “We talked for hours about handmade rugs and carpets,” said Dustin. “And then, he offered me the opportunity of a lifetime.” The man, named Ismet, invited Dustin to train with other master weavers in Istanbul outside of the grand bizarre after being impressed by Dustin’s thirst for knowledge. “I wanted to enhance my skills,” Dustin said, “and after spending three months every year for three years in Istanbul, working with several of the oldest carpets in the world, I became a Master Weaver.” Dustin now continues to pass his skill to others, having trained seven students; currently, he is training his eighth apprentice, Niko from Winchester. He explains his enthusiasm for teaching by pointing out, “This beautiful art form has taken others to new and wondrous heights and hopefully showed them another creative side of themselves. I hope it inspires them also to pass these skills for handmade natural woven items on to others who are willing to take the time to learn.”
Now, David’s Oriental Rugs opens its doors at the store’s new home in The Plains, where the father-son pair are eager to share their love and knowledge with an ever-expanding customer base. “Now here we are in the year 2021 after we’ve all gone through the worst thing we’ve seen since birth,” Dustin said. “We have found a new energy through the community and compassion from our previous clients both local and outside of Virginia.” The store closed for a time during COVID, but they continued to work. disinfecting and washing rugs and carpets following CDC guidelines. “With the help of our clientele, we were able to keep going and continue to provide the best organic washing and restoration of carpets in the DMV,” he continued. “We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those who called and kept our one-of-a-kind store up and running during such a difficult time. The Fauquier county community really came together to help not just our shop but other small businesses during the pandemic, and we appreciate that.”
Moving to the new location allows David and Dustin to expand their reach to new customers without moving too far from their current base. “I look forward to meeting interesting people every day,” Dustin said. “Besides my love for rugs and carpets, interacting with those new and intriguing people, especially those who are getting into the art of the rug for the first time, is a high for me. I could say that is the main reason I’m still in this business and not trying other endeavors. I have met some very nice young couples that are starting their lives together and decided to take a drive to the country and come into the store.”
Outside of work David, Dustin and their dog enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, gardening, and planting an exotic and beautiful array of trees and shrubs at their home in Sumerduck. “We love the Shenandoah and Appalachian trails through Virginia and West Virginia,” said Dustin. And, the art of the carpet is not their only talent — they both love music and play multiple instruments, with Dustin writing poetry and his own music. “I love my dog Sirius Ray Charles Aliff more than life itself, especially during the pandemic! He made me and many others smile during such a harsh time!”
The Aliffs feel very fortunate to have such a passionate and educated clientele, many of whom they now call friends. “We are lucky to have this life with our friends and family,’ Dustin shared. “ We couldn’t have done this for 21 years without each and every one of them. This shop belongs to all of us, and we respect it as we respect each other. As David says, ‘We would like to be your kind, so please be kind.’ We love to meet and talk with new and interesting people every day except Sunday. Just kidding — Sunday too sometimes!”
6487/6489 Main Street, The Plains
General Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Estimate, Cleaning & Repair: email@example.com
- Expert cleaning/washing of all kinds of rugs and carpets, no matter how delicate.
- Restoration and repair performed by trained, experienced weavers
- Custom projects
- Under matting and cushion padding
- Local and online sales
Join David’s Oriental Rugs for a reopening celebration at their new shop in The Plains on July 4.
Dustin is currently available for new apprenticeships