There is poetry in knots. A thread that connects us from material, to color, to form. The right rug stirs the subconscious. You almost don’t know why you love it, you just do. Rugs call to artistic souls who hunger for beauty. Jane Rohr is one such soul. As co-owner of the Scarab in Minturn, Colorado, Jane has made her life in the rug world. She’s organically intertwined art, craft, and commerce, resulting in a thriving business that commands a loyal following.

­­­JANE: We’ve been around for thirty-two years now in the same valley. We’ve always had more of an artistic approach. Back in the day, I was twenty-three, decorating the store with my house plants and with whatever I could stuff in there. We’ve always had a vibe and it still feels that way when you walk in. Nothing is sterile.

One of my first big sales was a Sharkoy kilim. The client wrote us a check and I couldn’t cash it. It just sat on my desk, and I looked at it for like two or three days. I thought, “This makes me a professional. This really seals the deal.”

We xeroxed the check and hung it in the office. It was great! I’m still, to this day so many years later, just so grateful when someone hands us their money.

For over 30 years, The Scarab has offered a curated collection of beautiful handmade rugs from its Minturn, Colorado location.

RI: It’s a vote of confidence not only in your business, but also in the way you’re living your life. Entrepreneurs put a lot of themselves into their business, but there’s something about the marriage of business, artistry, and passion that goes into the rug profession. It can feel tremendously personal.

JANE: Yes. Back in the day of going through warehouses in Istanbul and all over in Turkey and looking at stacks, I would find a color that would pop out. And I’d say, “That one. What’s that one?”

Then, when they pulled it out, music would play in my head. The beauty would get me excited about the potential and the possibility of being able to take that piece, going through the effort of shipping it all the way to Colorado, unpacking it, and then introducing it to someone.

I’d think to myself, “Somebody has to wake up on this planet today, get in their car, drive down roads, come to the shop, open the door, find this thing that I found on the other side of the planet, hand me money and I will give this to them. What are the chances?”

RI: The chances are good!

Entrepreneurs put a lot of themselves into their business, but there’s something about the marriage of business, artistry, and passion that goes into the rug profession.

JANE: And it would happen over and over and the excitement of that connection for me, gave me so much confidence. And I still have it today. I’m certain that I’m picking the best rug out of a thousand. I’m certain of it!

The Scarab team (clockwise from top center) Tara French, Brady Anthony, Helene Mc Manus, Danny Perez, Jane Rohr, and Larry Stone.

RI: One of the cool things about our industry is that “the best,” isn’t a fixed metric. It represents what excites you, and that passion connects you with someone who’s also ignited by it and has to have it.

JANE: Yes. That confidence of going, well if I’m one person who likes this, there’s going to be another person who does. That’s where I went off on the flea market bandwagon of just finding cool objects. For about twelve years, I’ve been selling really odd, but awesome things in my opinion. I’m like, “Someone’s going to like this, it’s going to appeal to them. That’s it, that’s it! The excitement of that is part of the juice of creating all of it.

The approach for me has always been the art of it and the stories behind it. I did utilitarian pieces for a long time. I’m really intrigued with peoples, with different tribes, bowls, spoons, and clothing that they wore for ceremonies. I did hats from central and southeast Asia and put them on stands. They looked sculptural. That stuff made me wake up in the morning.

We’re always evolving… I have to create. That’s just part of what I do.

We’re always evolving, and I feel that we’re in this new stage. I have to create. That's just part of what I do. Someone said to me, “You’re insatiable!” And I said, “It’s not that I’m insatiable, this is what artists do.” You can’t just paint one painting and say, “I’m done now. I’m content.” You’re never content. Of course, I’m looking to what’s next!

Just another day at the Scarab— Jane Rohr talks rugs among the showroom’s artisanal treasure trove.


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