Shaia Oriental Rugs In Williamsburg Celebrates Golden Anniversary With Move To New Location
May 15, 2023
JAMES CITY-After 50 years in business, Shaia Oriental Rugs is on the move.
The business relocated from Jamestown Road to a larger, more accessible space on Foundation Street in New Town at the end of April just a head of its golden anniversary celebration events the first weekend in May.
“We had a grand opening party and anniversary celebration with some of our best customers and others that have been important to us over the years,” said owner Frank Shaia. “It was a great time.”
Frank Shaia’s brother, Joseph Shaia, first started the business in January 1973 in Merchants Square in downtown Williamsburg. Frank Shaia joined him to help run the business a year later and has been at the helm as sole owner of the Williamsburg location since 1978. Through the years, Shaia Oriental Rugs has had other shops, locally in Virginia Beach, as well as in Nashville, TN, and in Dallas and Houston in Texas. Frank Shaia also travels to antique shows across the nation as part of the business.
Shaia Oriental Rugs specializes in the sales, cleaning, repair, and appraisal of new and antique rugs from around the world.
“Currently, our best rugs come from Afghanistan,” he said. “The greatest rugs are produced by the greatest overseers. Who produces the rug has so much to do with it. People ask me all the time what I look for when I am buying a rug. My answer is ‘pretty, pretty, harmony, pretty, and the final thing is condition.’ Our motto is art on the floor, rugs as art.”
Frank Shaia credits his faith for his success all these years.
“God and hard work, without a doubt,” he said. “Owning a business has plusses and minuses. We’ve been so blessed to have had some really good help. We’ve gone through four recessions, so sometimes it was really tough, but God gives me strength.”
Shaia Oriental Rugs had been located on Jamestown Road adjacent to La Tienda since 1989, but, seeking a change, Frank Shaia made the decision to purchase his own building at 5560 Foundation St. in New Town and relocate the business.
“This is the shop of my dreams,” Frank Shaia said. “This is a new beginning for me. I have a renewed vision for the business and I am more pumped than ever.”
Frank Shaia, who has four children and eight grandchildren with his wife of more than 50 years, Phoebe, also has plans for penning a book about his experiences in the oriental rug business.
“I have four chapters written and the introduction written,” he said. “My next major project is finishing the book. I also love spending time with my grandkids, and another goal of mine is to be able to see my great-grandkids and play with them.”
He also intends to continue on with the business for as long as possible. Retiring, he said, “is not in the plan right now.”