C. Markarian & Sons, Inc. started in 1921. The founder, Charley Markarian grew up in Armenia at a time of political unrest. The Ottoman Empire were masequring many Armenians. After a terrifying and restricted childhood, he came to America in 1918. He was 18 years old. Grandpa was hungry. He had many talents. Butcher, Cobbler and most of all, loved Oriental Rugs. Armenia, geographically, is between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. The rugs were produced in Persian, to the East and they were purchased by the Europeans to the West. It was natural for the Armenians to be the middlemen.
Buffalo, NY in the 20’s was prospering. Many people wanted the status of an Oriental Rug. Grandpa would clean and repair rugs. Sometimes the rugs were not able to be repaired. They needed to be replaced. Charley was able to buy wholesale from his friends in the business and turn around and sell them retail. He had a great way of anticipating the colors and styles the customer wanted. As word spread of his talents and patience, more and more people wanted him to help them pick out just the right piece. Eventually he needed a store front. The Importers would consign rugs to him to start. It wasn’t long until he had enough revenue to buy carpets at the best prices so he could be extremely competitive.
Charley’s business grew so well, as soon as his children were old enough, they helped out. They too enjoyed being around rugs and the beautiful homes they were going in. It wasn’t hard to make this your livelihood. Today the current owners are Charlie’s grandchildren.
The work ethic the Markarians’ have is derived from Grandpa. He was hungry at one point. Prospered and fearful never to lose what he built on the premise of honesty, hard work and integrity. He always did his job and then some.
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