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Asian Art for Your Great Walls
Asian travel Becomes an inspiration
Provocative interview with Benjamin noriega-Ortiz
52 HomE & DEsiGN piTTsBuRGH
Journalism, Business, Biology Degrees
upper st. clair
married with six children
ranging in age from 3-12
spends his free time enjoying the family,
the children’s school activities, and
T H E p R o F i l E
H&D: How did you get into the business of selling oriental Rugs?
chris: After graduating with my first degree, i worked in st. louis
for an oriental Rug import company. i came back to pittsburgh for
graduate school, and started work at Allegheny General Hospital,
thinking i was headed for a career in the medical field. i found a
second job with a local rug dealer, got married, and decided to
start a rug import business, paramount imports.
H&D: Did that business turn into london oriental Rug company?
chris: Actually, i sold paramount and started london oriental
Rug company, a “to the trade” rug dealer. i also had a retail home
accessory boutique called Willowbrook that i sold in 2005.
H&D: Was the design center (pittsburgh Design center [pDc])
always a goal of yours?
chris: i have always believed that pittsburgh could be as
cosmopolitan a city as say Atlanta or miami. We no longer have
a primarily blue collar workforce and we have strong growth in
the medical industry. it didn’t make sense to me that retail, in
the mid-90s, was running away from high-quality products and
services. That thought is what made me decide to find like-minded
entrepreneurs in the home products industry and put them under
one roof to cater to the upscale clients, designers, and architects.
H&D: Does the pDc have a mission statement?
chris: Actually it’s more of a mission. We will never be New York,
los Angeles, or chicago… you pay a premium to buy in those
places and what is the purpose of going there when your designer
can find it