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  • Cecile Corral

Mat the Basics Gets Footing

Ridgecrest, Calif. — Mat the Basics — an Indian rug manufacturer owned and operated for three generations by Mat International Inc. — is already grabbing a strong footing in the American market, less than two years after it established a U.S. branch here.

It just opened a permanent, 2,200-square-foot showroom at Atlanta's AmericasMart, and is getting ready to move late this month into a new corporate headquarters, warehouse and distribution facility that measures 20,000 square feet, or 10 times the size of its current site, said Mary Lattig, spokesperson.

“We are growing rapidly and the response from retailers, as well as the interior design trade, has been incredible,” she continued.

Mat the Basics' product line comprises only 100 percent wool handmade rugs that are hand-knotted, hand-woven or hand-tufted. Its design team is based in Sweden. Rug sizes range from 3-by-5 through 9-by-12 and five- , six- , and eight-foot rounds. Its most popular size in the U.S. market is 5'6”-by-7'10”, which retails on average for $600.

Over its 60 years in existence, parent company Mat International Inc. has distributed its offerings in Europe and Asia. But the company's owner and CEO Shakeel Ansari didn't make a move into the U.S. market until last year, when he created the Mat the Basics division and set up a small office, warehouse and distribution facility here.

Lattig said Mat the Basics will open its second permanent showroom in October in High Point, N.C., adding, “We are currently negotiating for space at the Las Vegas World Market to open in 2007.”

Because it offers a one-rug minimum to customers, Mat the Basics has built up a growing customer base of interior designers and architects.

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