With Kendra Roy living in Denver and Courtney Astranti living in Lake Highlands, the sisters wanted to start a business together to stay connected even when they were 800 miles apart.
Rugs came up as a business idea while the sisters celebrated Christmas in Lake Highlands in 2019. LHHS graduates Astranti and Roy have each purchased and remodeled three homes, and rugs were always a go-to when it was time to decorate.
“We just love the rugs in our house, and we want people to feel the same love and passion in their own home,” Roy said.
Astranti and Roy spent the next few months looking into how to start a business. Last August, the sisters pulled the trigger on what became Two Sisters Vintage Rugs.
“If we don’t dive in, this is never going to happen,” Roy said. “And no lie, within like a week’s time we started up a business.”
Two Sisters Vintage Rugs offers Turkish and Persian rugs in a range of sizes, color palettes and styles from its online store. Courtney’s husband is from Italy and was able to connect the sisters to reliable rug suppliers. After initially working with several suppliers, the sisters now routinely work with two Turkish and Persian suppliers that offer the best rugs for the best prices.
“Since we’re buying in bulk, we’re able to decrease the price that people can have these beautiful, affordable, one-of-a-kind, super durable rugs that we don’t offer here in the United States,” she said.
Smaller rugs average from $120 to $150 and large to medium rugs range from $300 to $500. Oversized area rugs can range from $1,200 to $3,000.
After the sisters pick out new rugs for the week, their suppliers take care of cleaning, packaging and shipping the rugs from Turkey to the US. Courtney and Kendra house the rugs themselves.
“We have been incredibly lucky to sell a lot of our rugs on a weekly basis, so we haven’t had the need to rent out more space,” Astranti says.
The suppliers work as part of a family business. The parents and grandparents of the suppliers have have long passed the trade.
The sisters say each rug comes with its own story. Some rugs come with symbols woven into them from Turkish culture, such as small animals and floral motifs.
“Animal motifs are a symbol of power, courage and strength, where as floral motifs are typically telling a story of life and growth,“ Astranti says. “It’s like a piece of art on the floor.”
The rugs’ foundational material are woven with wool or the more economical cotton. The sisters say their rugs can last a lifetime and are kid- and pet-proof.
Rug cleaning simply involves clear laundry soap, water and a little sunshine. Roy suggests using soft bristle brush to scrub in clear laundry soap, hosing the rug down with water and leaving it to dry in the sun for a few days.
The rugs can fit into any style, from Old World to contemporary modern. Astranti has more eclectic taste while Roy has enjoys more contemporary style, but both sisters have Persian Heriz rugs in their own bedrooms and living areas and Turkish rugs in their bathrooms.
“It can be molded into anything you want, which is what is so fun about it,” Roy said. “If it speaks to you, you can find a place for it in your house.”
Designing around a rug can be one approach for a room. The sisters say, at times, a rug is simply the missing component to an already designed space.
“I feel like a rug just really hones in on a space and that detail makes it homey and brings it alive,” Astranti said.
For those working to incorporate more rugs into a home, the sisters recommend starting with mini or runner rugs underneath the kitchen sink, in the laundry room and in the bathroom.
For rugs that might not measure up exactly with a space, layering rugs are a good option.
“I like to use IKEA’s jute rugs, and then I’ll put one of our Turkish or Persian rugs on top of it and put them in a bedroom, a living room, dining room,” she said.
It is common to see homes with layered runners in the living room in front of the couch with a big jute that covers the entire room. The sisters have also seen runners stapled all the way down a flight of stairs.
“We always say, if you can see your floor, you need more rugs,” the sisters said in unison.
When Astranti and Roy aren’t managing Two Sisters Rugs, they are likely working part-time as nurses or tending to their toddlers. But they say managing their toddlers is more challenging than balancing time at the hospital.
“Naptime has been key,” Roy says. “We know that we get at least two to three hours and our kids nap at the exact same time. It is head on the pillow and then we talk or we source or we get back to customers.”
In December, Astranti’s family packed up their lives in Dallas and moved to Denver to be closer to Roy’s family. While the sisters miss the Lake Highlands community, Friday night football games and fond memories at Mi Cocina, they are excited to continue their business together.
“We’re still all smiles,” Roy says.