We had the good fortune of connecting with Jaime Odabashian and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jaime, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Our success is based on a very long standing attachment to classical traditions and values. While we engage projects and clients with a very open and inquisitive mind and are not afraid of bold or daring projects, we always approach them with the same foundations of maintaining integral values with our weavers, our creators, and our clients. This is in the tradition of Armenian commercial traditions and legacy across history.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Odabashian has operated since 1921 when Khoren Odabachian, my grandfather, founded it initially as a retail business. When I joined the company around 12 years ago myself and my father shifted the focus to optimising the value of the multi-generational relationships we have with the best weavers across the Middle East and Asia. Rug making and rug design is one of humanity’s oldest artistic expressions. We are proud to be custodians of this trade and are active participants in propelling it towards the future. Our founder’s logo has the specific motto “Our work is art”. Today we offer ancestral techniques to professionals creatives across the hospitality and fine art fields. Our approach to new ideas and circumstances is base on a culture of openness and inquisitiveness. A testament to this can be seen and appreciated in the cultural projects we have sponsored in the last ten years. For example, we have worked with Trenton Doyle Hancock, the American artist who has a unique storytelling methodology that deals with sensitive cultural topics unique to the USA. Or our 2018 exhibition that illustrated contemporary design elements that arrived in the Americas via the Silk Road.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would recommend they visit the Wolfsonian Museum, Locust Projects, the Bass Museum, and the Rubell Collection… those are a must for Miami Culture. The drinks at the Broken Shaker in the Freehand Hotel and the Betsy Hotel lobby are some of the best in town. Via Emilia for hand made pasta, Kalamata for excellent Turkish, Doner at Mr. Mandolin, and Sottosale for an all-around spectacular meal.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Definitely two persons… my grandfather Khoren Odabachian, for having the courage to escape Constantinople during the Armenian Genocide and having the fortitude to always work with integrity and transparency in his business. And to my father, Jaime (Sr), who innovated the business by establishing direct relationships with the weaving centers in India, Iran, China, and Pakistan, and who was able to firmly establish the Odabashian brand in Boca Raton and the United States in 1979.