Travis is the shop dog at Kush Handmade Rugs, here relaxing nonchalantly on a pile of imported rugs worth many thousands of dollars.
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Co-owners Brian Robins and Rebecca Lurie are expert rug flippers; it's quite a good workout for the arms. Brian started his career in the rug industry as a rug washer here in Portland some 16 years ago; the job gave him an intimate understanding of the craft and quality of handmade Oriental rugs. Rebecca fell for rugs as an lifelong traveler with an anthropological point of view.
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Kush also sells smaller items, some local, some from India, Turkey and other rug-weaving countries – at price points lower than even the smallest Oriental rug. (A $6 wool felt mouse is a favorite.)
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Kush has been in its Pearl District space for about two years now, adding to what has clearly become a home furnishings hub of the Portland metro area.
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Each handmade rug has its own story – including literally the front and backstory. Both front and back are beautiful to behold, but front trumps back as far as comfort and softness are concerned.
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An all silk, handwoven rug is a luxurious, splendid creation. The rich, saturated colors seem to change as the light changes and as one moves around a room.
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Kush specializes in having a wide range of rug styles including a variety of non-traditional patterns, weaves and textures. Here, a long-and-lush-piled banana silk and a street-smart graffiti pattern face off.
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Co-owner Rebecca Lurie with a rug made of banana silk fibers; the silvery sheen and ultra soft feel of the silk are remarkable.
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The rugs are piled one atop another; each pile is a wealth of color, craft and human effort and creativity. When Kush first moved into the Pearl District space two years ago, the piles were much lower – their inventory and selection have grown over time.
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Travis is a friendly and low-key dog, keeping watch over the inventory at Kush and proving that the rugs are dog-friendly.
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Even rolled up by the window, the rugs present a beautiful display.