Hayk Oltaci – Hayko, as he prefers to be called – was born in Istanbul to Armenian parents. He came to New York City in 1988 with his wife; their two daughters were born here.With more than 35 years experience gained in the leading ateliers of Istanbul, Strasbourg, Paris and New York, Hayko is one of the most genuinely knowledgeable experts in fine oriental rugs and tapestries in the world. Hayko understands the subject down to the last knot. Widely respected both for his personal integrity and for the quality of his rugs and tapestries, Hayko works closely with museums and serious collectors, many of whom return to him again and again. But he especially enjoys helping new collectors find their first one-of-a-kind rug, and cherishes the chance to educate and advise people new to the art of appreciating fine rugs and tapestries.
"You can buy a rug simply because you feel a special connection with it," Hayko says. "Fine rugs and tapestries are works of art; no two are alike. Each is as individual as a beautiful painting or sculpture. When you find the right one for you, it's almost like falling in love."Today, Hayko's shop at 9-20 35th Avenue (at Long Island City) in Astoria is easily the most welcoming place of its kind in New York – you can browse, ask any question, and get a lot of interesting information as you look around in an easy, stress-free environment.Hayko encourages you to come by for a homemade cup of Turkish Coffee and a look around his showroom. You can learn more about Hayko in this interview.
What Hayko's clients say: Hayko's loyal clients – some bought their first rug or tapestry more than two decades ago from him – say that Hayko is greatly distinguished by his absolute integrity and honest dealings with everyone.
As I became able to afford more expensive pieces, I have always returned to Hayko. I wouldn't think of going to anyone else. Hayko is a true gentleman, and absolutely honest. He once actually told me not to pay as much as I was prepared to pay for a rug because it wasn't as good an example of its kind as I wanted. I have become what you might call a serious collector, and Hayko has guided me every step of the way."
Another client, who just bought her first oriental rug last year, said "I have a very small budget. Hayko helped me find a stunningly beautiful small rug that has transformed my studio apartment. It only cost me what going out to dinner a few times would cost, and now I've got this gorgeous oriental rug to look at every day.