- THE MAGAZINE
Emmanuel’s Rug & Upholstery in Seattle is one of the oldest and most respected rug-cleaning companies in the country. It is a fourth-generation family owned and operated business, with the fifth generation now working there as well. It is also one of the few companies with women owners active in the business from the beginning.
The story of company founder John Manoug Emmanuel is a familiar one. Born in a small village in what is now Turkey, Emmanuel was driven from that country during the Armenian genocide. He immigrated to the United States at Ellis Island in 1904, and moved to Seattle, where he began selling Oriental rugs. In 1907, he founded Emmanuel’s Inc., specializing in selling, cleaning and repairing oriental rugs, working well into his 80s. His wife Mary was also an expert in rug re-weaving.
In 1970, D.A. Burns & Sons, Inc. merged with Emmanuel’s, Inc., bringing to together two of the oldest and largest rug-cleaning firms in the northwest under the name Burns & Emmanuel’s.
“Thank God for our employees!” Sand said. “Emmanuel’s wouldn’t be where we are today without our amazingly dedicated family of staff. Barry Weir, our plant manager, has been there since 1978. Lochio Saephanh, our repair department manager, has been with us since 1982. Ying Chang since the late 1980s. Bob Snell, on-location since the early 1990s and Ket Hornthoum on the wash floor. They are our backbone.
“The future has so much in store! There’s a new generation of rug and carpet consumers to educate as materials and the markets change. There’s amazing new ‘green’; technology that will affect in-plant carpet cleaning like water recycling systems and so on. More things for us to learn about what we do. Very exciting times are ahead.”