Oum Rugs Co. was founded by Ismail Tazi in Boston, Massachusetts, in March 2017. The company is the culmination of its founder's efforts to create a social enterprise offering high-quality Moroccan rugs to the world market while also donating a portion of its proceeds to the communities in which the artisans themselves live.
Ismail’s life experiences in the U.S. awoke within him with a fervent entrepreneurial spirit, which combined with his sincere passion for Moroccan ancestral handicraft savoir-faire, led him to create the company, in the tradition of a trade relationship that has existed between the U.S. and Morocco for centuries.
It all began with a wedding in Phoenix, Arizona. Some time ago, Ismail gifted his newlywed friends with a Moroccan Berber rug, handpicked by his mother, which was very well-received by the couple. This got him thinking: what if he could give the world access to the rugs so beloved over the years by renowned architects, artists and interior designers, such as Le Corbusier, Matisse, and Frank Lloyd Wright?
He then travelled extensively to the Atlas Mountains in Northwest Africa, staying multiple months in the villages where the rugs are made by the Berber women, to learn as much as he could, from dreaming up the design, to weaving the final thread. Speaking with the women who create these works of art, he also was made aware that they are often unfairly compensated for their artistry and labor.
With that, Oum’s mission became clear: to make authentic, one-of-a-kind, handwoven Moroccan rugs more accessible to the world market while also giving back to the local community.
Oum means mother in Arabic. It is the company’s intention to honor all of the women who weave these special rugs. As part of this mission, Oum donates a portion of its revenues to EFA Morocco, a NGO that provides girls from rural communities with access to secondary education.
Please visit our Education For All page to learn more.