It all began in 1962 when Professor Doug Lay bought a small oriental rug for $15.00 during his first research trip to Iran. Over the next sixteen years Doug returned to Iran eighteen times, quite often purchasing rugs for friends in his spare time. The Persian Carpet was born in 1976, with Nelda Lay inhabiting a rental corner of an antique store. Since then, The Persian Carpet has grown into a leading regional retail store and a national wholesale business, known for the quality and beauty of our merchandise. Doug is the brains of the business. Nelda knows how to run the business.
The Persian Carpet began designing, producing and importing proprietary rug lines in the early 1990s. Our inventory has expanded to include all types of handmade oriental rugs and textiles with a wide variety of styles and designs from Iran, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Turkey and China. The collection offers antique and new oriental rugs and features an amazing array of transitional and contemporary designs.
Nelda and Doug’s daughter, Cynthia, and her husband Bruce McLaren joined the business in 2002 with responsibilities for marketing and servicing our wholesale accounts. Cynthia has a background in Environmental Sciences and used to be Director of the New Hampshire Estuaries Program. Bruce is an Australian with a background in Middle Eastern Archaeology. They have two children – Mae and Doug.
Over the years The Persian Carpet has gained a reputation for fair-dealing, fair-prices, honesty, integrity, and an extensive knowledge of both the history of oriental rugs, and the rug market we deal in today. The Persian Carpet has proudly served Durham, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Apex, Cary, Greensboro and Burlington for almost fifty years!