Dodging behind a large stack of rugs, I hid from James as he chased me around the store. My cousins and I were constantly using our family’s rug store as our personal playground, climbing up and down the mountains of rugs that covered the floor. Scaling the rolled-up rugs that stood vertically along the walls was a challenge that took months to master. I can still remember the feeling of victory when I finally reached the top.

On one special occasion plans with some girlfriends to have a campout at a local park were thwarted. The weather was horrendous that day, and just as we were all about to call it quits and head home, my dad, Sarkis, suggested we all sleep over at the rug store. He opened up the store after-hours and we had a sleepover party with about 10 of my friends and their fathers. We sprawled out across the rooms, claiming which rugs we wanted to be our bed for the night. It was so exciting to be eating snacks, telling ghost stories, and sleeping at the store my great-grandfather, Oscar Isberian, built in the 1920s; it seemed like we were breaking the rules.

My father’s quick thinking that day turned into a cherished memory that will forever be woven into the Oscar Isberian Rugs’ history.