The corner of NW 10th and Davis in the Pearl District is a busy crossroads. People walk, bike and drive by in all four directions. West Burnside is only a couple blocks away. There’s a sushi joint on the corner; a catering company across from it; the imposingly grand, gray, rusticated stone walls of what used to be the Armory but is now the Gerding Theater, complete with stone benches and plantings to linger by; and, on the fourth corner, the huge windows of a red brick garage that now houses Kush Handmade Rugs.
Inside, the store is a crossroads as well, because Kush sells rugs from all over the world. While its windows look out onto the street and all the people each with their own story, inside the shop, each rug has a story, too. The rugs in Kush might sit in a pile for months or years before they start their next chapter in someone’s home for what can be expected to be a rich, long life. They wait patiently for the right owner, shopkeepers Rebecca Lurie and Brian Robins taking good care of them.
Rebecca and Brian are the founders and co-owners of Kush, and they have their own ongoing and unique story too. When they started the business some ten years ago, they were married – to each other, as well as to the business. Now they’re amicably divorced, remarried, and have a better business partnership than ever. Travis, the mellow 12-year old shop dog, is their child, as is the business, which they sometimes refer to as their “Kush baby.”
It’s understandable that one might think of a rug business this way, because the more you learn about each rug, the more they seem like children. Each one is your favorite. Which is also why it’s not unheard of for a rug to sit in a pile for years before the right owner comes along. Each rug is unique, has its own style and story, and either speaks to a person or not.
Plenty of the rugs speak to me, but my pocketbook isn’t quite ready to carry on the conversation! The handwoven rugs from Turkey, India, Nepal and elsewhere are long-term investments, heirlooms of the future. Sizes vary from small to humongous, though, so there is generally a starter rug (or blanket or other handmade creation from Turkey or Nepal) within reach.
Kush Handmade Rugs
205 NW 10th Avenue
Portland, OR 97209?