David Martinous Celebrates 50 Years at Martinous Oriental Rug Co.

Many of us may like to change out the décor in our houses every few years, or at least spice it up with some new accent pieces. But sometimes there’s just a staple that goes with everything.

For David Martinous, those staples are rugs — he still has two from 1939.

“We have one in our dining room and one in our study,” says Martinous. “You can tell they’ve got some age to them but they’re in pretty good shape. That’s the beauty of a nice rug. They’ll last a lifetime and then some.”

His father bought the rugs and passed them on — along with an entire business revolving around the hand woven, imported pieces.

Come June, Martinous will have been managing Martinous Oriental Rug Co. for 50 years. He has no plans to retire, after starting at age 21 before even graduating college.

Credit: Alexis Hosticka

Credit: Alexis Hosticka

The flourishing business sells hand woven rugs from around the world — India, Pakistan, China, Nepal, New Zealand and Turkey are where most of the merchandise comes from, but the store also sells some American machine made rugs.

“There are so many more rugs to choose from today,” Martinous said. “You used to just have your traditional rugs, now you’ve got your modern rugs, you’ve got your contemporary rugs, there’s a lot more to choose from than what there used to be.”

He said that right now, the trend is soft, more washed out colors and more open patterns.

But Martinous doesn’t just sell rugs — he also cleans them. His father learned the art of professional rug cleaning and passed it on. Handmade oriental rugs should be cleaned at least every five years, and at the store, they have a submersion pool for cleaning and also offer dry cleaning, shampooing and other methods.

Credit: Alexis Hosticka

Credit: Alexis Hosticka

Although the rug industry may not be glamorous, it is rewarding for Martinous.

“I’ve grown up in and been a part of it and always had a feel for it,” says Martinous. “I always felt like I had a calling for this and it was something I was just born to do. I was born to be in this business. The journey has been a joy. I enjoy what I do.”

Martinous Oriental Rug Co. has been in business since 1923 and moved to Little Rock in 1940. It is located at 1521 Macon Drive and more information is available on their website

Credit: Alexis Hosticka

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