Family brand expands business, student design initiatives.
By Andrea Zarczynski
What began in 1938 as the Carpet Dyeing Service Company grew during the 1940s into Hagopian & Sons Inc. Today it stands as a floor covering retail and service empire. Known as the largest business of its kind in Michigan and among the largest in the country, Hagopian celebrated its most successful business year in 2014.
“We love the fact that we offer both sales and services; it’s very holistic to our operation,” said Hagopian President Edmond Hagopian. “The business is growing, and it’s really exciting to be able to reinvest in the future of Detroit.”
Hagopian said that both service and retail departments evolved dramatically over the past year. A new state-of-the-art rug washing machine was installed and energy-efficient improvements were made to the brand’s 1968 cleaning facility. While the company’s rug sector continues to grow steadily, Hagopian said that customer demand for flooring also has increased, specifically wood and wall-to-wall carpet.
Six full-time restoration specialists handle handmade Oriental rug repairs on site, while major mends are sent oversees for more intense care.
Once thought of as purely a residential carpet cleaning company, Hagopian now has made a name in the commercial cleaning industry. Many Metro Detroit restaurants, medical facilities and similar businesses even consider the company affordable enough to retain on a regular cleaning schedule.
“We plan on growth, but sometimes it exceeds our expectations,” said Hagopian, also the owner of Roche
Bobois, a high-end contemporary furniture retailer that relocated this year from Troy’s Michigan Design Center to Old Woodward in Birmingham.
The Hagopian name reaches farther than Detroit homes and businesses. The company’s charitable initiatives over the past 26 years have included donations to local colleges and the formation of a Student Rug Design Competition.
Founded with a mission to foster educational excellence and inspire students to make real-life contributions to the design world, the scholarship competition has a long history in Metro Detroit.
Students from the College for Creative Studies (CCS) have participated by creating original rug renderings that, if chosen, transform into actual merchandise sold at Hagopian. Local design professionals and members of the Hagopian team serve as contest judges to select first- through third-place winners ($1,000, $500 and up to $250 respectively) as well as possible honorable mentions.
This year the rug competition carried a “Detroit Jewel” theme inspired by Belle Isle. Students explored associated history, architecture and modern-day events like the Detroit Grand Prix and reflected on the island’s revitalization and connections with life in Detroit and Michigan.
“This connects us deeper to the community and challenges students to learn more about the local area,” Hagopian said. “It gets them engaged in the history of Detroit, more than just design.”
The Hagopian team found CCS submissions so impressive that three honorable mentions were given to students Nadine Dupont, Mallory Waring and Rebecca Zimmerman. First place went to Casey Follen, who highlighted the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory. Second place was awarded to Katherine Chmielewski, who was inspired by beautiful glasswork in the Belle Isle Conservatory. Third-place winner Amy Ferguson presented a historical portrayal of the Belle Isle White Swan.
“Kids are so thrilled to see their work turned into actual product,” said Hagopian.
For the past two years, the company has donated winning rugs to contest theme-related local charities “We look forward to it every year. People are expecting it now, and it’s possible because of all the support we receive from CCS.”
Through the Ghiordes Knot at the Michigan Design Center in Troy, Hagopian hosts another challenge open to all design students, including those affiliated with the American Society of Interior Design. The Creative Space Competition awards a $400 first prize and $200 honorable mentions to winners who most expertly design a room based on a specific rug.
“If you don’t begin with the rug as a student, it becomes very difficult to achieve as [an interior design] practitioner,” Hagopian said. “The competition is great experience and helps students think creatively and avoid painting themselves into a corner.”
Other Hagopian cultural initiatives include hosting the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings Nightnotes concert series with live performances held at its Birmingham showroom. Since 2008, the Hagopian Foundation has funded an annual Armenian Genocide essay competition with awards for Michigan middle and high school students.
Every year, Hagopian companies donate more than $70,000 in goods and services to local charities.
A member of the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce, Hagopian has accepted many awards, including the Michigan Retailers Association Michigan’s Retailer of the Year. The company also carries a 2003 Detroit Free Press Best of Detroit distinction and is a major benefactor and fellow at the Detroit Institute of Arts. NS