Couristan, Inc. is celebrating its 95th year as a family-owned and operated company. As with most companies with a long history, Couristan has achieved some noteworthy milestones. However, with Couristan, these milestones have all been accomplished by one family. Currently, the business has a global presence as it continues to thrive under the creative vision and innovative leadership of brothers George G. Couri, Chairman and Ronald J. Couri, President and CEO.
Founded in 1926 by brothers Basil J. Couri and George J. Couri and appropriately named “Couri Brothers,” the company began its humble beginnings in New York City by importing fine handmade area rugs from Persia. According to Ron Couri, the CEO and President of Couristan, Inc., importing area rugs from Persia was a difficult task. As a child, he would listen to his father and uncle tell stories of their travel adventures. The journey began by ship to England, then a second vessel to the continent. Once in Europe, they would board the Orient Express and then drive through the desert to Persia. The entire trip took 32 days!
The first area rugs the company imported were Sparta Rugs from Smyrna, an ancient city that is now part of Turkey. Right from the start, the company began affixing “Couristan” trademark labels to the back of each and every rug it imported. This mark was composed of the family’s surname “Couri” and the frequently used suffix “stan,” referring to the region of small weaving villages from where the rugs were imported.
The trusted “Couristan” name and its high-end floor covering designs became widely popular and by 1927 the company began to broaden its horizons rapidly by importing handmade area rugs from India. Shortly thereafter, it incorporated under the name “Couristan, Inc.”
Despite the economic breakdown of the Great Depression, Couristan continued to expand as a global importer and in the 1930s the company began importing hand-hooked rugs from China and hand-braided rugs from Japan. According to Ron Couri, “From the 1930s through the 1960s, Couristan was regarded as one of the country’s largest importers of Japanese braided rugs. Our extensive design development created a substantial marketplace for handmade Oriental area rugs.”
In 1961 Couristan’s power-loomed area rug division made its debut with the introduction of the company’s most celebrated and best-selling area rug collection, Kashimar. Through the use of technological weaving advancements, the company was able to produce a power-loomed collection inspired by original handmade Oriental and Persian designs at a fraction of the cost. The result was a truly “affordable luxury” for consumers. Currently, Couristan boasts over 25 power-loomed area rug collections, imported from such countries as Belgium, China and Turkey. Woven from natural fibers like wool, cotton and viscose, as well as various synthetic blends, each collection offers a diverse selection of beautiful, distinctive designs and textures in today’s most sought-after color combinations. A full range of sizes provides consumers with endless decorating solutions for the entire home.
By the 1950s, Couristan, Inc. began importing quality residential broadloom products in addition to its wide assortment of area rugs, this decision proved to be pivotal in the ongoing and success of the company, with carpet sales becoming a major part of Couristan’s overall business. Presently, Couristan’s residential carpet assortment features over 200 products within its Premiere, Purity and Creations brands. Styles range from classic Oriental and Persian designs, casual-contemporary, indoor/outdoor, transitional, fashionable handmade and eco-friendly choices that offer distinctive textures. Construction offerings include but are not limited to Axminster, Wiltons, Hand-Loomed, Tufted and Structured Flatweaves with most available in multiple surface appearances, colors and textures.
“Consumers are no longer looking at carpet as a functional floor covering, but as a way to enhance the beauty of their home and to help communicate a unique sense of personality and style,” comments George Couri, Chairman of Couristan. “The unparalleled breadth of designs, colors and textures offered in our residential carpet assortment is a reflection of the importance we place on color forecasting, design and construction analysis, as well as our ability to globally source the best products at the best prices for the consumer,” stated Couri.
Seeing notable success with its residential carpet products eventually led to the foundation of Couristan’s Contract·Hospitality Custom Carpeting Division in the 1960s. Today, Couristan’s dominance of the contract marketplace has earned it the reputation of being the undisputed market leader serving both the contract and hospitality carpet industries with the experience, skills and production capability to handle even the most complex and demanding projects. The division has grown significantly since then with the capability of producing Custom Woven Electronic Jacquard Axminsters, Custom Woven Wiltons, Custom Hand-Tufted Rugs, High-Definition ColourOptics Injection Print and Custom Machine-Tufted Carpets.
Hilton Americas Houston Contract Carpeting by Couristan
“Our custom carpeting division has proven to be an incredibly valuable asset in recent years and has become the biggest part of our business. Our production capabilities combined with our expert staff of designers, technical and quality assurance teams, as well as senior management has enabled us to maintain the highest levels of design, value and customer service,” comments George Couri.
In 2003, the company introduced one of the most ground-breaking new products the floor covering industry had ever seen. Specifically designed to endure the “great outdoors”, Couristan’s award-winning Recife Collection helped revolutionize the area rug industry. Power-loomed of 100% Courtron™ polypropylene, UV stabilized, mold and mildew resistant, the introduction of Recife to the market was a major turning point for the company, setting Couristan apart from every competitor and opening new channels of distribution. Today, the company offers a vast assortment of cutting-edge indoor/outdoor area rug collections, representing over six dozen SKUs, and leads the industry as an innovator of this widely successful category.
Presently, the family-owned corporation consists of several operating entities. The North American sales and distribution corporation is comprised of two main divisions, with a nation-wide residential sales team focused on area rugs and residential carpeting and a contract·hospitality sales team spearheading the company’s specialized custom carpeting business. Manufacturing centers in China, Thailand and Germany, are managed by the company’s global manufacturing base in the United Kingdom. Offices and design studios are strategically located throughout the United States and Europe. The company’s warehouse located in Dalton, Georgia, is equipped with state-of-the-art material handling systems and is networked to the company’s global headquarters and showroom in Fort Lee, New Jersey.
Since its establishment over nine decades ago, Couristan and its entire team have dedicated themselves to a universal commitment to excellence. Weaving four key components into every product – Trust, Style, Quality and Innovation – Couristan has earned its place as one of the most highly regarded companies in the floor covering industry. This long-standing position of success is a direct result of providing customers with the highest levels of design, value and customer service. As a family-owned and operated company, Couristan has managed to keep a watchful eye on the past, while continuing to focus an intent eye on the future. 95-years young, Couristan is full of life, filled with inspired fashions and more vibrant and relevant than ever before.