When Arya Matin raised the possibility of auctioning off his 40-years-deep collection of worldly antiques, his son and daughter-to-be proposed a different plan. Bijan Matin and Natalia Grozina loved Arya's haul of vintage beauties, accumulated over a globetrotting lifetime, and saw a opportunity in Portland's booming antiques scene.
“He never bought or collected any of his items for investment purposes,” says Grozina. “Everything he owns are things he loves, from countries that remind him of his past.”
Last year, Grozina and Matin began working on a vintage décor website. House of Impress, the new online store launched in August, showcases Arya's treasures alongside each item's distinctive story. The online business will soon team up with local retail stores to curate a much larger selection of vintage design.
“A lot of antique stores have great inventory, but they don’t have an online presence,” explains Grozina. By partnering with Portland-based stores, House of Impress expands its own offering and provides the local design community a platform for online marketing.
Arya, now 84, began collecting clocks when he worked as a clock repairman, and then items around the world while serving as a general under the Shah of Iran before the Iranian Revolution. His son and Grozina blend his personal stories and their own research to put together the history behind three unique House of Impress pieces:
This vintage Zassenhaus coffee grinder comes from Germany, and one of Arya’s favorite collectables. He received it as a give from a friend’s mother, and brought it back to the U.S. when he moved to train in the military academy in Georgia. Zassenhaus, one of the best producers of hand grinders, is known for inventing the first continuously adjustable grinding mechanism.
When Arya was serving as a captain in Georgia, he bought these “I Dream of Jeannie”-esque glass decanters as a Christmas gift for his wife. The olive green glass was manufactured in 1964.
The Saint-Louis crystal glasses below discovered by Arya at an estate sale in Portland, OR. Bijan and Grozina contacted several European crystal manufacturers before discovering the glass was made from Europe’s oldest and most prestigious cristallerie. Saint-Louis Crystal was founded in 1586 and was the official royal crystal supplier. These particular pink stained glasses each take 10 days to make, as they are hand-cut and mouth-blown.