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We were in High Point last week, visiting an Oriental rug manufacturer. We learned a lot about the rug business. It’s interesting that they have some things in common with us—intellectual property. Seems that they have to be creating new designs constantly. Rather than launching a new line every year or every other year, they just launch them as they need to. Goes like this…

They launch a new design, complete with design variations to accommodate all the various rug sizes. They sell that design, until they see the same (or a very similar) design in some other manufacturer’s line. Then they discontinue it and replace it in the line with a new design. They actually expect to be knocked off, and they plan their new product strategy around that expectation. How cool is that?

Something else that was really interesting is their “distressing | aging” techniques. Using these techniques, they can make a new rug, with current fashion colors, that looks like an old rug. With rugs, age is good. You want a rug that looks like it’s been around for a while.

We’re beginning to see why a rug might cost thousands, or even tens of thousands, of dollars. It’s a room sized piece of unique art. Turns out, even rugs of the same design, in the same colors, are unique. Very cool. Very, very, cool.

We’re going back tomorrow to meet with them again. I really hope we can help these folks. More later.

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