THE END OF ZINN

BY TORI COSCAS | PHOTOGRAPHY BY HOLGER OBENAUS

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After 33 years in the Lowcountry, Zinn Rug Gallery in Mount Pleasant is closing its doors. A beloved fixture in Charleston’s Turkish community, owner Nese Zinn is both charming and formidable—traits that have served her well as one of the few women in the rug business. Zinn is transitioning to partial retirement where she plans to spend more time on her favorite hobby, photography, as well as sell rugs by appointment.

The silver lining? All rugs are reduced and everything must go. “We are really wheeling and dealing,” Zinn says, laughing. “I don’t want to have to move these rugs!” The gallery— known for its quality, one-of-akind, hand-knotted wool rugs from Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, China and the Caucasus—has slashed prices to empty the retail space.

Available rugs of all sizes are discounted from 20 percent to 75 percent. On a recent visit, a gorgeous muted floral hand handspun wool 10-by-13 Turkish rug, colored with vegetable dyes, had been reduced by well over half to $2,300. A 13’9” by 18’8” hand-knotted Egyptian rug was reduced from $18,000 to $6,000. Needlepoint rugs are priced at $500 for 8-by-10s; smaller ones start at $50. There are many flat-woven kilims to choose from as well.

“I handpicked every piece we have,” Zinn says proudly, with a look in her eye that hints at a lifetime of adventure in faraway lands. “We never raised our prices just to reduce them,” she adds, “so our 50 percent off is a lot better than some people’s 90 percent.”

Those looking for deals on exquisite rugs that will last for generations have until May 15 to make their move. After that, Zinn will be celebrating her demi-retirement with a cruise she received as the 2015 grand prize winner of the Grand Circle international travel photography contest. Zinn can’t quite bear to pull the rug out from under us entirely: She will continue to sell by appointment from storage locations on James Island.