Upgrades to Tamarian’s website

Greetings!

 

As many of you know we have been working on a major upgrade to our website (www.tamarian.com) over the last several weeks.  Aside from aesthetic improvements we have upgraded our catalogue, search, and user login features resulting in what we hope is a more user-friendly site that will be a useful tool in navigating our extensive collections of rugs and wide array of services.

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 Tamarian computer programmers working to improve performance of our massive super-server and remove squirrel nests.

 

As an avid user, there are necessary steps we need YOU, to take in order to  upgrade your computer’s browser to utilize the updated site and have it perform properly.  We are working to ensure most all popular internet browsers are optimized for our site, however, there is a short list of current browsers that we have found work best.  Most are free and commonly used so we hope this does not present too much of an inconvenience.  Plus, that IT person is DYING to upgrade you from Internet Explorer 97’, so this is a GREAT chance to join the new millennium!

 

Here is a list of the browsers we feel are best, in order:

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1st Google Chrome

2nd Mozilla Firefox

3rd Apple Safari

4th Opera

 

Also, some tips from our in-house nerds:

 

-      It’s a good idea to update to the latest version of your browser

 

-      The attached graph shows a performance comparison of the top browsers

 

-      And here is an article about browser security among the top three browsers  

 

Please let us know of any specific issues you may encounter after upgrading your computer and browser and any general feedback is always welcome so we may improve our services to you and yours!

 

Happy surfing,

 

Team Tamarian  

Tamarian Carpets Sponsors Clean Water Well in Nepal with charity:water™ Non-Profit

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June 7th 2012

Tamarian Carpets is proud to announce a sponsorship through the non-profit charity:water™ for a new clean drinking water well in Nepal. 100% of Tamarian’s donation will be used to secure a drilling permit, collect supplies, form a “water committee”, and deploy “hygiene trainers” to help inform the community about sanitation and maintenance. This will help ensure the sustainability of the project so that it will positively impact the community to many years to come.

Tamarian’s VP Ryan Higgins first became interested in the organization through its founder, an old schoolmate of Higgins’, and felt the sponsorship was a great way for Tamarian to continue its pledge to support the Nepali communities that do such amazing and vital work for the company.

Both Higgins and Tamarian founder/owner Steve Cibor see this as a simple way to transform a community by helping drastically decrease waterborne diseases, reducing time spent traveling to remote rivers, and increase the quality of life for so many with one project.

Higgins also remarks,

“Not only does 100% of the donation get used for the actual project, but charity:water™ provides complete accountability by providing satellite photos of the site and GPS coordinates for the finished well.  It helps drive home the fact we will make a real difference, in a real place, with real people…it’s a great feeling.”

Tamarian Carpets is committed to supporting the communities and protecting the natural resources that are the heart and soul of its operation.  The success of the company has been a direct result of the relationships forged with their Nepali partners and the positive impacts Tamarian has had on all those who work with them overseas.  Without this symbiotic relationship, Tamarian would never be able to achieve the high level of quality and service that has made them what they are today.

More info: http://www.charitywater.org/

Tamarian Carpets contact:

Ned Baker

Client Liaison

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circle_whywater

Steve Cibor announces Ryan Higgins as Partner in Tamarian Carpets

After 15 years of dedicated service, Ryan Higgins was officially made Partner in Tamarian Carpets. Higgins and Cibor have long been a stalwart pair, overseeing the steady growth of Tamarian to their status today as the top US importer of Tibetan rugs. Cibor long ago found a dedicated colleague in Higgins and has relied on his skills, hard work, and strong relationships with clients to help build business and manage an ever growing company that continues to dominate the market. By making this partnership “official”, Tamarian has insured the future and sowed the seeds of growth and continued success. Higgins writes,

“I thank Steve, all our employees, clients and industry friends. All of you have either been guiding forces, or the backs on which I stand. I truly am humbled by the trust put into my efforts, and look forward to the long term growth and stability of our company and relationships.”

A Word on Our Sheep

A happy, robust sheep makes for good wool. And not just “good”, but the BEST wool in the world. The amazing quality of the Himalayan wool used by Tamarian Carpets is no happy accident. Nor is it the result of just savvy shopping in the wool marketplace by a *Master Wool Shopper, who touches, smells, and may even taste the various wool lots like a fine wine producer buying grapes for the upcoming vintage. Tamarian Carpets circumvents the open market and procures its fine wool, the foundation of any good rug, directly from the people who care for these animals.

And CARE they do!

It was unknown to scientists previously that sheep can actually coo like human babies when in a state of absolute bliss. This sound is also akin to a cat’s purr or the gentle humming of a very happy squirrel. When first present for this unorthodox noise, some people are shocked (photo inset) and even frightened by the alien noise that is immediately identifiable as “the sound of the happiest sheep I’ve ever heard.” It has been reported in multiple cases that people who spend time with these sheep actually feel a deepened sense of depression because they feel they will “NEVER be as happy as that (expletive) sheep!”

Is it because their luxurious coats are sheared by loving hands with pre-warmed shears? Is it because their minders typically sing 3-4 hours a day to them, most often selecting tracks from “The Bharal Band Greatest Hits”, a little known folk group whose members include the world’s most accomplished and celebrated nose flutist? Who also happens to be a sheep?

Perhaps. But most people who study these things are single….AND have another theory which states that the sheer bliss that these sheep experience is a product of their product becoming such an amazing product (we didn’t say these people were eloquent). In other words, happy sheep make good wool that ends up becoming the GREATEST carpets. Therefore it behooves us ALL to make sure these sheep live a healthy, long life in order to contribute their living couture to become FLOOR couture (a term that has maybe been used before but THIS author is SURE it was his first…plus it finishes the rhyme so deal with it.)

~ NB

* As far as this author knows, such a title does not exist per se, but oddly enough there is a whole magazine, Master Wool Shopper Illustrated, devoted to the profession I clearly made up.

Beauty as a Legacy

Handmade carpets may be considered one of the oldest sustainable luxury items, making them “green” long before the term was splashed on everything from organic foods to automobiles. The origins of hand knotted rugs and woven textiles harkens back to nomadic peoples who lived in closer harmony with their environment and natural resources.  These cultures sought “renewable” resources and practiced “sustainable” methods for producing carpets, not because it was vogue or people were demanding these attributes, but rather it was the logical way to survive and ensure resources were not wasted or polluted.

Sheep’s wool is harvested without harming the animal and is a sustainable and renewable resource that demands the animals be kept in good health and robust condition in order to grow quality coats of fine Himalayan wool.

The essence of Tamarian’s carpet production has not evolved much since this time, imploring the traditional methods of wool harvesting, material processing, knotting the carpets on wooden looms, and finishing the pieces by hand.

The greatest challenge to “green” carpet production are the dyes used to create the myriad of colors needed to create these magnificent pieces.

Originally, Tamarian used metal complex dyes (Chrome dyes), that produce small amounts of off-gases in the home. In 2007, Tamarian switched to a safe, metal free application called Nylosan/Optilan. These organic dyes offered by Clariant are solid, non-volatile materials, which emit no off-gases.

Tamarian’s commitment to producing their carpets with as little impact as possible to the environment continues to evolve as new technologies emerge. The introduction of Clariant dyes in 07’ represented a step forward in “clean” rug production and has inspired creative thinking and study into how all elements of rug production can be made “green”.

Tamarian’s Answers To “No Child Labor” Certification

Blog

n.) Short for Web log, a blog is a Web page that serves as a publicly accessible personal journal for an individual. Typically updated daily, blogs often reflect the personality of the author.

Preface: The Accusation

My name is Steve Cibor; I am the owner and founder of Tamarian Carpets. I am addressing you in response to a blog that was posted last week by a decorator named Shannon Del Vecchio, where she offers her opinion on my company, and a company in Nepal that we have contracted since January 2010 called Tibetian Rugs Labour Certification Private Limited (TLC). In the post, she made up quotes from me and makes a plug for Goodweave. Almost all of the information in her blog excluding her own opinion is incorrect or simply fabricated. Since I have never blogged or responded to a blog I thought I should first research what it meant (above).

 See shannon’s blog and my response (note: my responses to her are indented and in blue italics)

I would like to make one thing very clear, we have never used, nor will we ever tolerate any form of child labor in the production of our rugs. We have never been accused of using child labor, nor has anyone ever seen a child working in the production of our rugs. In Nepal, Tamarian Carpets has and always will be “devoted to helping the people of the country and especially the communities involved in the carpet production”. I used quotations because this is exactly what Nina Smith, the executive director of Goodweave USA, said in an e-mail dated 11-12-2009.

I will inform you to the best of my ability about TLC, and how and why TLC was formed.  It all started with a memorandum dated 9-30-2009 that I received from the Oriental Rug Importers Association. This would involve leading rug importers into the USA, Rug Mark India, Goodweave (and staff), a professor of economics, 13 US Senators (and staff), The Department of Labor (and staff), The Secretary of Labor, The Speaker of the House, The Vice President,  and The President. And now it also involves Shannon Del Vecchio, a concerned decorator from San Francisco.

1. Child Labor in Nepal 

Regarding the memorandum dated 9-30-2009: The contents were in regards to the 9-11-2009 publication of the proposal by the U.S. Department of Labor to include carpets made in Nepal on its list of products that would be effectively barred from the government procurement due to the belief they may have been made with forced or indentured child labor. This began with the Executive Order that was issued in 1999, under Executive Order 13126. It also involved a reference to a 9-25-2009 letter to President Obama, which was signed by 13 Senators. I also received two letters from the Secretary of Labor, one to the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, and the other to Vice President Biden. These reference a report titled The Department of Labor’s List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor. This all hit me pretty hard; I started doing all sorts of research, calling all the different offices involved to find out more information.

I questioned why have I never seen child labor in the rug industry in Nepal after dozens of visits spread over fifteen years? Am I missing something? 

 While I have been involved in many projects in Nepal over the years involving hospitals, schools, orphanages, and a handful of others–I felt that I needed to play a bigger role in the targeted area of child labor. I had contacted many of my fellow importers to discuss, and some of us filed our response to the office of Child Labor which was due by 10-12-2009, outlining our first hand experiences.

I then contacted the only organization that I could find which dealt with the issue of child labor in Nepal, Rugmark. I wanted to learn as much as I could about Rugmark which involved many emails, meetings and phone calls. I should point out that they were in the process of rebranding to Goodweave USA. I concurrently received information that they may be doing this illegally.  Here is one of the two documents that led to my concern: (Rugmark letter).

From what I saw, this was an organization that covered it all, including but not limited to: the inspection of looms for child labor, certification, schools, and environmental/social programs. At the time, we talked about membership. However, I felt that because I was already involved in many projects in Nepal, I only wanted to participate in their certification process. The last thing I wanted was to switch money I was sending to Nepal for Tamarian-sponsored projects to Goodweave-sponsored projects. Unfortunately, they were not able to allow me to participate in just the certification process; it was all or nothing, a stale mate. Since then, we continued to meet and discuss the possibilities.

During this time, Nina introduced me a person doing onsite research in Nepal in regards to child labor, a man in the trenches. We spoke a few times about on the topic and I gathered as much info as he was willing to give. Since his research would end up being submitted to the US Government he had to be careful with what he said. Fine, I just wanted to be pointed in the right direction. Even though I chose not to work with Rugmark/Goodweave, I still needed to see how I could ensure that there was absolutely no child labor being used in the production of our rugs. He suggested that a third party company should be inspecting the factories, and we both agreed that the third party should not be connected to an NGO.

2. Full Disclosure Regarding the Conception of TLC

Was I involved with the conception of TLC? Yes.

Was I the first importer to sign up and fill out an application and to contract their services? Yes.

Did I have a pre-determined agenda when I went to Nepal to find a third party inspector? Yes.

Was my goal to do something that would help put an end to child labor in Nepal? Yes.

Did I want to prove to my clients that I am doing everything in my power to show to them we do not use child labor? Yes.

Did I feel that our industry needed other options for a no-child-labor certification? Yes.

Did I think that that it may cause waves with some NGO’s or individuals?  NO.

I thought that doing anything was better than doing nothing at all. I thought doing something to help put an end to child labor was a good thing.

The conception of TLC took place while I was in Nepal during late November of 2009. I met with many NGO’s, exporters, manufactures and suppliers to discuss child labor. A few of us gathered many times, with the goal to find a local businessperson who might be well suited to start a company whose sole purpose was to check factories–a true third party with no other agenda than to check looms and factories for evidence of child labor. It was expected they would charge a fee for their service. The name at the top of the list was Tenzing Wangdu, a young Tibetan man who is well connected in Nepal. He has over ten years of experience in the manufacturing of Tibetan Rugs as an overseas production manager. He left in 2007 to go onto other ventures, and has since worked for the United States Embassy in Nepal (for over two years), opened a café, and works with Tibetan youth (18-25) to find employment. We approached him and told him about our ideas. We were excited to hear he would love the opportunity to not only help wipe out any form of child labor, but to start another business that would give him a venue to put more local Tibetans to work.

At the time we felt his mission should be:

  • Randomly inspect factories for child labor for children under the age of 16.
  • Ensure there was no forced or bonded labor.
  • Ensure workers were being paid a fair wage, and had safe and healthy working conditions.
  • Each factory or location should be inspected at least once a month and report any violation to the manufacture as well as the importer.
  • Remove the child from the factory and try to get them to go to school.
  • Hold the manufacture and importer responsible and charge a hefty fine and have the rug destroyed.
  • To have no bias or connection to any NGO or non-profit and to charge a basic fee for inspections just like a building inspector.

Tenzing went to work on this. He filed for papers with the Government of Nepal Ministry of Finance inland Revenue Department and with the Ministry of Industries Office of the Company of Registrar. Any of us that has had any workings with the Nepal Government knows its not like it is here, you can’t just go down and file a form and become a legitimate company like you can in the U.S., this process took him until January 2010. But he did it, and we signed a contract, paid our fees and he started inspecting each and every loom. For the record no evidence of child labor has yet to be found.

3. Responding to Shannon’s Concerns

Current facts: Nepal has a total of eight inspectors for child labor and two of them are designated to the carpet industry, Rugmark has three and we just added one more. That’s a good thing, right?

Is there more work to be done in Nepal? Yes, and the ball is in motion. We are moving in the right direction.

Americans want to make sure that when we buy a product that it is made responsibly. We are known for aggressively voicing our American opinions, morals and ideals on other countries–mostly Third World (which Nepal is). If we expect other countries to conform to our standards, we should also let them go after the American Dream. You should be able to start a company for the right reasons and not be cut off at the knees when you are in the start-up phase.

Shannon the decorator, you feel that because TLC is a young company that has no web site or brochures it is not a reputable company. I would like to inform you that when I started working with the manufacturer of my rugs over ten years ago, he was just starting a business. He had no clients, and little experience. He was formerly a monk, and a thangka painter.  I liked him, and took his word that he was going to do what he said he would (just the same way TLC started). Last year he received an award from the government of Nepal and was the third largest single manufacture in the country. He still has no web site, no brochure, no other client but Tamarian. Would you say the same of him? Would you have written the same about him ten years ago when he was starting out? Would you have written the same of me because I was using this no name manufacturer?   

When I spoke with you on the phone you requested documentation from my company about another independent company (located in the Third World on the opposite side of the globe). You said if you did not have it in 24 hours you would post a negative blog.  You also sent me an e-mail dated 3-30-11, which I responded to the same day, and then with the proof you requested within 48 hours.  Here it is again in case you misplaced it. Sorry for the delay, Nepal had power outages. Its very common there. After I responded to your request, you responded with an odd email.  You stated “I appreciate you sending over these documents but they still don’t answer my primary question, which is this: What exactly does the TLC label mean for consumers?”
It’s odd only because you never asked me in our original conversations, and after reading your e-mail, I was told about your blog. I read it, and there you questioned us to the world.  But you were not concerned with my response. Also, at no time did you disclose the address of your blog. So here it is, the answer you were looking for:

The label means that this rug has been manufactured in a factory/loom that is inspected for child labor. And it certifies that the rug was made CHILD LABOR FREE.

Conclusion *For Shannon* but Open to the Public:

If you would like detailed answers to the questions from your second e-mail, see my answers. You also might like to revisit our email chain.Since I cannot publicly respond to your blog on your site *um, convenient*, you can see my remarks which address the erroneous information you posted.

I want to thank anybody that has taken the time to read this as I felt it was necessary to set the record straight. I also wanted to share with everyone a report funded by the United States Department of Labor, Independent Final Evaluation of the Brighter Futures Program Combating Child Labor Through Education in Nepal, Phase II. Note: Page 9 states “Sectors experiencing the greatest reduction are the carpet factories (child labor is said to be minimal).

Respectfully,
Steven T. Cibor

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