ORIENTAL WEAVERS CEO AHMED SALAMA PASSES AWAY AT 62

After a prolonged battle with cancer, Ahmed Salama passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on June 4, 2022. He was 62 years old. Salama was born in Cairo, Egypt, where he also attended Helwan University. Shortly after his graduation, he began his career at Oriental Weavers in a sales role for the local Egyptian market. At this time, Oriental Weavers was still in its infancy as a company that had only opened four years prior. However, the company’s founder, Mohamed Farid Khamis, immediately recognized Salama’s potential as a central part of Oriental Weavers’ future growth and success. He quickly moved through the company’s ranks and was named Export Manager for the company’s largest export market, the United States. Then, in 1989, Khamis asked him to move to the “Carpet Capitol of the World” and establish the company’s distribution and manufacturing presence in the United States. He and his wife moved to Dalton, GA, and has served as CEO of Oriental Weavers USA. Over his 39-year career with Oriental Weavers, Salama was a success in business, but he was equally known as a teacher and mentor who led by example. All who worked with him speak of their admiration for his strengths as a dedicated, loyal and caring soul. He not only taught us much about the industry and our business but most importantly, his actions and example taught us so much about ourselves and the greater good. Salama is survived by his wife, Mona; sons, Hussein, Bassem and Hazem; two brothers; and his extended family. A funeral service was held at the Dalton Islamic Center in Dalton, GA on June 4,...

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Industry Mourns Passing Of Oriental Weavers’ Blake Ryan Hill

Mr. Blake Ryan Hill, 47, of Dalton, GA, passed away Saturday, March 6, 2021. Hill had a distinguished career at Oriental Weavers for more than 22 years, where he was currently serving as Vice President of Sales, National Accounts. He had a passion for area rugs and a wealth of industry knowledge, but ultimately his dedication to his colleagues and customers helped grow and shape Oriental Weavers into the company it is today. Whether at work, on the tennis court or at a University of Georgia football game, he will always be remembered for his infectious smile, sense of humor and boundless energy.  While he brought happiness into so many lives, everyone knew that his daughters, Avery and Presley, brought him the most joy and a special glimmer to his eyes when he spoke about them. Blake was adored and cherished by his family, friends and co-workers. The Oriental Weavers family will never be the same without him. Hill is survived by the mother of his children, Mandi Albertson Hill; daughters, Avery and Presley Hill; parents, Steed Hill and Suzanne Hill; and sister, Holly...

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Oriental Weavers Releases 2016-2017 Catalog

Oriental Weavers has announced the release of its 2016-2017 Rug Catalog. Inside consumers will find over 500 pages of the industry’s most sought-after area rugs incorporating more than 150 new introductions debuting in the catalog for the first time.  Included is the Tommy Bahama Palace Collection; a beautiful, hand-knotted wool collection of modern and traditional patterns in updated colors and the groundbreaking innovation of the Andorra Collection; an assortment of shiny and matte lusters which culminate in a dramatic palette of over 200 luminous colors. The catalog also features information on the latest color and design trends, merchandising displays for rugs and rug pad, as well as summaries of the company’s top selling designs in the more than 80 collections showcased. The catalog features a “Drawn to Inspire” theme using a clean layout with artistically hand sketched room scenes that let the rug be the inspiration in creating a fashionable room. “Drawn to Inspire” marketing campaign will be emphasized across all channels with themed marketing and social media tools made available to the company’s retail partners. The catalog is available in print form and can be accessed digitally at www.owrugs.com by clicking...

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OW Expands Production And Facilities In US

Oriental Weavers, the world’s largest manufacturer of machine-woven rugs, announces significant capital investments in its Dalton, Georgia manufacturing facility. The company just completed installation in March of an exclusive five-meter loom, which is the fastest and most technologically advanced loom in North America. The investment comes on the heels of a similar prominent 5-meter loom installation that occurred during the fourth quarter of 2014 that increased domestic capacity twenty-seven percent in 2015 over the previous year. The new loom is the fastest machine on the market today and will help the company continue its commitment to growth of its Made in the USA products. The new equipment, thirty-five percent faster than a traditional four-meter loom, gives Oriental Weavers the exclusive ability to more efficiently and rapidly produce domestically made products, all while diminishing waste, eliminating excessive inventory and reducing the amount of energy needed to weave each rug. The growth in domestic weaving production also requires an expansion to the company’s yarn production capacity. In order to increase yarn production and promote energy savings, Oriental Weavers is completing the installation of a new Superba heat-setting yarn line. Using the latest technology, the machine can produce fifty percent more yarn each year than the company’s previous equipment. The new technology is also very environmentally friendly; this state of the art heat-set machine reduces energy consumption by thirty percent. These significant investments in production capabilities over the course of 18 months reinforces Oriental Weavers’ dedication to its superior inventory levels that have become synonymous with the brand as well as the company’s ability to quickly adapt to business trends and conditions. It is also important to note, consumers have become more in tune with where products are made and the desire for American-made goods has increased considerably. This new machinery allows for an additional seventeen percent increase in domestically made products over 2015. Because of the exceptional increase in production in 2015 and planned for 2016 and beyond, the company is putting the finishing touches on a more than 200,000 square foot expansion to its Dalton, Georgia distribution center. The addition will accommodate the increased production as well as provide jobs for skilled workers living in the Northwest Georgia area. The distribution center expansion is expected to be fully operational by June 2016. “Our customers’ needs come first at Oriental Weavers,” said Jonathan Witt, senior vice president. “Open floor plans that have become increasingly popular over the last decade and more and more of today’s consumers demand larger sized rugs. Our new five-meter looms allow us to accommodate that trend with much less waste that was created when producing room sized...

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Oriental Weavers Names Susan Holley VP Nat’l Accounts

Oriental Weavers has tapped seasoned sales professional, Susan Holley, as its new Vice President, National Accounts. In her new role, Holley will be responsible for overseeing and managing the growth of key national accounts for the company. Prior to joining OW, Holley served as Key Account Manager with rug and accessory distributor, Surya. Before then, she held sales leadership positions in two large and well-known consumer product companies in the food and beverage industry. Holley brings over 20 years of consumer product sales leadership to Oriental Weavers’ national accounts team. Although heavily experienced and knowledgeable in the rug and textile industries, Holley’s breadth of professional sales involvement is vast and spans across several industries, allowing her to bring a fresh approach and invaluable insight of best practices utilized by other consumer product leaders. Holley has enjoyed tremendous success throughout her career, earning many company awards for outstanding sales performance, account growth and management. “We are thrilled to have Susan bring her talents and fresh perspective to our national accounts team,” said Jonathan Witt, Senior Vice President of Oriental Weavers. “Susan’s rug experience obviously speaks volumes and affords her the ability to dive in and make a considerable impact immediately. Additionally, the fact that we will be able to tap into her expansive sales knowledge and best practice expertise in general is even that much more exciting. I am confident Susan will prove to be an incredible addition to our team and we look forward to further enhancing our retail partnerships through her efforts.” “I am excited to join the Oriental Weavers team,” added Holley. “Not only have they been a proven industry leader for decades, they are truly customer focused and do what it takes to put their retailer partners’ and consumers’ needs first. That is a special quality and I’m eager to put that to work for my customers.” Holley will be based in the company’s Dalton, Georgia...

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