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Featured in The Herald
Behind the counter: stories behind the shops we love; Fine threads tied to a distant homeland:
Marisa Duffy. The Herald. Glasgow (UK): Jan 22, 2004. pg. 6
It was a simple gift from father to son, a commemoration of a family reunited after more than a decade of separation sparked by the Iran-Iraq war. But the small, handcrafted rug handed to computer consultant Reza Cheshmehdoost as he sat with his family in their Tehran home led to a passion for collecting and, eventually, the rug shop he runs by the Clyde in Glasgow.
Little-Persia stocks more than 1000 exotic rugs. An unassuming frontage gives little clue to the cavernous, carpet- filled interior. The rugs, which can take up to several years to make, are stitched from silk, wool, and cotton, and range from £100 to £10000.
Reza, who came to London in 1977 to take a degree in computer studies, seeks out his stock from auctions and markets in Tehran. Now he can make those trips every year, but in the years that followed his move to the UK, travel home became impossible. While he worked his way up in software consultancy, marrying a Motherwell girl and moving to Scotland, the Iran-Iraq war raged. It was to be 13 years before he saw his family again. When he finally made it home in 1991, his delighted father gave him a small rug. Reza loved it. "I was fascinated by its changing colours. I still have that rug in my house," says Reza.
He started a collection, every year bringing back more from Iran, until his home was crammed. He realised he couldn't keep them at home any more but couldn't bear to part with them. So, as his computer work was winding down, he took his chance, found premises in Glasgow, and transformed his hobby into a business. That was April 2003 and the shop is now flourishing, but the rugs adorning his walls will always be a reminder to Reza of his relationship with his father.
He says: "My father has passed away now but has given me a love for these beautiful rugs, each of which is a little piece of history in itself."
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