Peace Industry shut down by the U.S. government?

If you know Peace Industry and its hands-on owners Melina and Dodd Raissnia, you know how absurd this sounds. Peace Industry is one of Robin and my favorite “designer-maker” businesses and the reality of their fate is really a bad/sad story. We simply can’t believe they are closing because of our governments increased sanctions against Iran. This business, with a store front in Hayes Valley, designs beautiful original and modern rugs that are produced using traditional Iranian felted rug-making techniques. They have spent the past 10 years reviving and evolving this almost extinct craft with their workshop in Iran. Their rugs are a beautiful merger of design and craft, where the design is directly tied to and inspired by the materials used. Until now, rugs were excluded and allowed to be imported into the US. I can’t imagine what goal is achieved by changing sanctions in Iran to include rugs. This directly affects the jobs of over 50 craftsman in Peace Industry’s Iranian workshop. To me, Dodd and Melina have a model business. They care about the cultural craft of manufacturing, they keep their scale small to ensure sustainability and quality in their product, and they bring together two communities that are worlds apart.

Dodd and Melina (the owners) disagree with theses new sanctions not only because it personally will shut down their business but because ” business relationships between Americans and Iranians encourages cooperation and ensures that we hold mutual interests of maintaining peace.”

If you also don’t believe that this is good policy please contact your political leader. Here is a sample letter you can cut and paste. To determine the best way to reach Nancy Pelosi with this information, begin by entering your zip code here.


This is a picture Dodd took of their workshop on a recent trip to Iran.

Some Peace Industry Designs

Peace Industry rugs in my home.