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November 12, 2018 4 min read

Our relationship with Josh Guzman began like all the good ones do these days- on Instagram. Say what you will about it’s creepy algorithms and money making motives, it sure has led us to connect with some pretty awesome people all over the world, Josh being one.

Josh founded Kazimah Carpets, a boutique carpet shop providing one of a kind carpets, textiles and decor after recently moving back to California from Kuwait City. He and his wife primarily source our carpets from local Kuwaiti markets which sell eclectic carpets, textiles and home decor from Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Kuwait.  

We were so inspired by his background, past work and transition back to the US that we asked him if we could do a mini interview.

Josh Guzmán (@kazimahcarpets) • Instagram photos and videos 2018-10-11 12-41-31.png

1.     In what ways do you think we can all contribute on a daily basis to a better world?

I believe that getting into the habit of shopping ethically is a huge help to making the world a better place!  In this I mean not just buying mass produced home décor items just because of their low price.  Instead opting for higher quality pieces that last a lifetime instead of just a season.  Also buying vintage is a great way to reduce waste.  I am a huge advocate for handmade items! I love knowing that someone put their time and hard work into a piece and it wasn’t made by a machine.   

 

2.     What other words would you use or connect to the word “artisan” that have meaning to you? 

Handmade, ethical, human, authentic, thoughtful, hard-working, love, tradition.  

 

3.     What’s your favorite country to travel to?

 India!  I visited India twice when I was living in Kuwait.  I love how real and down to earth the place is.  I feel like in the US people value lives and environments that have the appearance of perfection on the outside.  I love how in India people are just themselves without the need for perfectly manicured lawns and HOA enforced stucco colors!

 

4.     What’s your favorite place (neighborhood, coffee shop, corner, restaurant, whatever!) in Anaheim?

My favorite place in Anaheim aside from my thrift stores is the Anaheim Packing District.  It’s an amazing collaborative restaurant space a block from my house! It has tons of awesome restaurants, a coffee shop and my favorite: BOBA!

 

5.     What do you miss about living in Kuwait?

Everything! I miss having access to a billion handmade carpets in styles that I have never seen before.  I miss my students and the relationships I built with them.  I miss the food!  I miss the freedom to travel the world.

 

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6.     What’s the next adventure you have planned? 

Having a baby in February! I wish we had travel plans in the works, but at this point the baby is our next step! We are going to move abroad again in the next few years, but we aren’t exactly sure where or when. 

 

7.     Top 3 favorite instagram accounts to follow? 

I have tons of favorites, but the accounts I like to follow the most for home inspiration are:@atlantishome,@carlaypage,@thejungalow.

 

8.     Where should OM go next?

Check out Kuwait’s traditional Sadu weaving!  They make amazing bags and textiles in a thousand-year old weaving style!  I am also a huge fan of Mexican handcrafts!  I am half Mexican and love the crafts of my father’s home country. If you follow me for more than a couple weeks you will know I am obsessed with Tonalá pottery!

Josh Guzmán (@kazimahcarpets) • Instagram photos and videos 2018-10-11 12-41-50.png

 

9.     If you could have breakfast with anyone in the world, who would it be?

If I could have breakfast with my top three Instagram account ladies, I would be incredibly happy!  Judy, Carlay and Justina.  I’m not really into hanging with celebrities.  I would rather hang with people who love what I love!

 

10.  What is a common misconception about Kuwait (if there are any?!) 

That it’s a dangerous place!  Every time I told people we lived there everyone would ask me why I would live in such a dangerous place! That’s hysterical because it is not dangerous at all.  People think of the Gulf War when they think of Kuwait, but that was in the early 90s! It’s an amazingly peaceful place and we were very seldom concerned for our safety.  It isn’t war-torn, its fabulous! 

 

11.  What is your favorite type/style of rug (Afghan, runner, etc)?

This is a hard question.  I would say my current favorite style of carpets are Iraqi Shawi runners. I discovered these while living in Kuwait and I have been hooked ever since!  They have a shaggy pile and kilim ends.  The ones I love usually have bright colors and often pink!

 

12.  If time could stand still for a day, what would you do? 

I feel like I should ideally have a romantic response to this question.  However, I would probably either try and photograph my massive inventory or sleep.  These are the two things I think about all the time because I don’t have enough time to do them!

Josh Guzmán (@kazimahcarpets) • Instagram photos and videos 2018-10-11 12-52-56.png

 

13.  Is there a one that got away?  Not in your personal life but in the design world.  A rug you saw that you parted with reluctantly? A chair you saw in a market that you still think about?

If I find something at a thrift store or flea market that I love, I literally don’t pass it up!  I have this thing about knowing what I like and going for it.  It makes my friends completely uncomfortable! I did have a carpet that I sold last year that I was completely obsessed with.  The person who bought the carpet didn’t like it and it literally broke my heart to know that she didn’t love it!

 

14.  How would you describe your aesthetic?

Global eclectic + plants!


Know someone else who would be a good fit for a feature on our journal? Reach out to us at hello@ocelotmarket.com!


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