ONH Frequently Asked Questions
When Dave and I met in 2009, I was working as a freelance portrait and wedding and photographer and well into 2014 that was a huge part of my life; it was my career path really and I was quite satiated by it. However we began Old New House as a hobby venture in 2010/2011 and by around 2014 had decided to grow it full-scale and have it become 100% of our focus in our work lives. This did not leave room for my wedding photography business, sadly, and though I do miss it at times (the happiest day of people's lives is so so rewarding to capture!) I do feel very fulfilled by photographing rugs every week and being such an integral part of what we have grown ONH to be. The truth is I am still finding myself within the business - like which aspects I enjoy the most, which aspects I am happy to delegate to others, and which aspects I may like to explore in terms of incorporating into a new workflow (like re-decorating our own home as you may have seen in other posts).
It's funny, there are so many things I never really pictured or prepared for in having our online store and retail shop -- one is that we get asked a lot of questions and sometimes, the same ones over and over again. I don't mind it at all, not in the slightest actually, but I do sometimes wish I had a better way to answer all of them. So here I find myself turning this post into a little FAQ post. I want you to understand me and our business better when I blog! Of course if there are other questions that come up, e-mail us please so I can add them!
1. There are so many rug sellers to buy from and I am overwhelmed! What makes you different from them and your selection different?
We know the feeling and feel the same even in our sourcing! What we hope truly sets us apart is our photography, descriptions, and knowledge of the rugs (+ our drive to share that knowledge with you). Every step of the process still involves me and Dave personally, and when you get in touch with us via e-mail, Etsy message or phone, you are most likely talking to one of us. We have always believed in 100% customer satisfaction at its core. We literally do this to bring joy to the lives of others as cheesy or odd as it may sound!
2. Why the photos with you and your shoes on them?
When we first started ONH, I (Melissa) photographed the rugs in visually interesting positions like draped over chairs and benches to really show the sheen and the artistic qualities of the rugs, but also in a room context like with a chair on top of it or next to a door or in a hallway. Now we are seeing in interiors, more of an emphasis on being with the objects you own and have in your home, and so this context of the rug is really nicely acheived by having an actual person (a lot of times me) on the rug so you can see it from the imagined perspective of "this is in my home and I love it and I am looking down at it in awe". Often times I am actually in awe of these carpets, so it is like a perspective shot I am sharing with the viewers. At its simplest form, it is like a "point of view shot" in film.
3. Where do you get your rugs from?
We source from all over the world, creating new connections with suppliers and building on old ones constantly. Reliable and consistent suppliers are who we mainly work with, though occasionally we will attend flea markets with our kids and pick up some small pieces here and there.
4. Why are some rugs so expensive?
With vintage and antique rugs, there is a one of a kind factor. Often, we won’t be able to easily replace the exact rug we are selling. It is like custom. Also, the quality of the past was much higher in most circumstances. Oftentimes for one of our vintage rugs to be made today, its cost would be higher the price. Some of our rugs are collector caliber also. Some have provenance. A vintage and antique rug is typically unbranded and therefore prices will fluctuate.
5. Is there room for negotiation on prices?
We typically do not negotiate as we want the pricing to be as transparent as possible for all buyers. Be on the look out for discounts and monthly markdowns, and as you become a repeat ONH buyer, the discounts become more prevalent.
6. Do you offer designer discounts?
Yes, we have a trade program – you can e-mail us here to register for an account!
7. Why does the rug look creased / have fold marks and will they come out?
Because many rugs being stored are folded, they will have these crease marks but they do release with time and use. We have never had a complaint.
8. What does vintage mean? Are the rugs pre-owned? Are they clean?Vintage in our world is post 1920 and no newer than 1990s. We will call a rug “new” if it is made within within last 15 years or so. Vintage means having age. Not pre-owned in all circumstances as it is conceivable that a rug bought from manufacturer in 1970s sat in a rug showroom for 40 years. Vintage to us tells a story, is often of higher quality and is often a steal for what it is. The piece made “then” would cost a lot more made “now”. All of our rugs are professionally hand-washed, some repaired or restored. Some are sold as is with tatter, but still yes, cleaned.