The Afghan Rug Shop owner, James, spent 6 months in the Northern Provinces of Afghanistan in 2004 serving with the UK Provincial Reconstruction Team, and at the time bought several rugs to sell on to help pay for his wedding.
11 years on and after moving to West Yorkshire, James thought a rug shop might do well in Hebden Bridge. After 4 months of searching on social media James finally tracked down his Afghan friend ‘Rafi’ in Mazar-e-Sharif, who was safe and well, and still trading in rugs.
He and James chat regularly online and James chooses stock from emailed photos, which are then shipped direct to the shop. Rafi sources his rugs from the weaver’s houses and local markets in and around Mazar-e-Sharif, Andkhoy, Aqcha and Kunduz so the families directly benefit from the trade, and the UK prices remain very affordable.