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Why we started Atlas Chic

Why we started Atlas Chic

My search for a rug for our new apartment lead me start Atlas Chic.

I’ve always believed that there are 3 key elements to good decor: lighting, wall art and rugs. If you get those 3 right, you’re well on your way to having a stylish and cozy home.

I believe a rug is an investment. While I understand that the price tag for high quality hand woven rugs is often steep,  I also believe that the value of rugs appreciates with time as does their beauty and character.

Moroccan rugs specifically, have a timeless quality to them. They can easily pass from generation to generation and blend in with various styles of decor.

I often hear friends and clients say that they had hesitated to splurge on a rug earlier in their lives because they did not yet live in their forever homes and believed it would be an unreasonable purchase at the time. That’s why Atlas chic was created, to provide access to high quality unique hand made rugs at a reasonable price point.

I’ve purchased rugs at fancy high end decor stores - they don’t come close to the artistry, quality and care of our Moroccan rugs hand woven by women with skills and expertise passed from generation to generation.

How do i know this? I was my first client. I finally found a perfect rug for my house; I loved it so much that I decided to start selling them. It’s become a passion of mine and Atlas Chic’s co-owner, my friend Hamza Menebhi.

 Like many people searching for rugs online, i started my quest on Etsy. I wasn’t quite sure the name of the type of rug I liked. All I knew is that they were made in Morocco  So i tried many different searches:

Black & white rug

Rug with geometric shapes

Shabby chic rug

Moroccan shag rug

The search results did not correspond to what I was looking for.

I then directed my search to the high end furniture chains - West Elm, Anthropologie, Crate & Barrel etc… Their rugs were too generic for my taste and very pricey - but while searching I did find a keyword that would open a world of a difference in the search results : Beni Ourain.

THAT was the rug i was looking for.

 So I went back to Etsy, typed Beni Ourain and found many rugs in the style I wanted. One in particular, my wife and I thought, would fit beautifully in our living room.

 I contacted the Etsy shop that carried that rug and found out it had been sold. Needless to say I was upset. Searching for so long and finding something you like at a reasonable price just to be told it’s sold out is akin to promising a child to go for ice cream after school only to find out the shop is closed for renovations.

Fortunately for me, I also noticed the store owner lived in the same city as me - Montreal. That Etsy store owner was super friendly and proposed I look at similar rugs his shop offered. I couldn’t believe the beauty and quality of the rugs he was showing me! Beni Ourains in different colours and sizes with simple the symbols geometric designs I had been looking for! He also introduced me to different styles that I didn’t know of - Azilals, Boujads and others.

I became more interested in the rugs themselves than actually buying one - I asked to meet him in person to learn more about these rugs and what could work for our house. So we met and that Etsy shop owner, Hamza became my partner on this project.

After setting up the website, selecting inventory and launching, I decided it was time to order a rug for myself. That initial rug we had seen was still tugging at our heart string and Hamza suggested we get it custom made - a service Atlas Chic now offers.

We’re both very excited by this project. Sharing parts of our shared Moroccan heritage with people across the world, giving them access to high quality, beautifully hand made rugs at an affordable price. Rugs that can be passed down for generations. Now that’s one hell of an investment!




  • Post author
    Gabriel Assouline

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