The journey to the idea
After training in Graz to become a carpet dealer, Harald Geba went to London and began working in the branch, learned English, and spent his free time in galleries and auction houses such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s. He bought oriental carpets at these auctions, which he turned into the financial capital for his own business. Contemporary art, which he studied extensively in London, gave Harald the idea of combining the traditional art of carpet weaving with his own modern carpet designs.
Off to Anatolia
His luggage filled with carpet designs, he set out for the highlands of Anatolia to find rug-making families willing to realize his ideas. Sneered at by many for his strange patterns, he finally managed to find the right people, and enduring partnerships —sometimes even friendships—emerged. He founded the Geba Carpet Gallery in Graz in 1987. The daily routine: Monday to Friday in the gallery. From Friday to Sunday: By plane, bus, and jeep to the workshops and back again. As the gallery became increasingly successful, the Anatolian families reached their limits: Farming in the summer, making carpets in the winter—it just wasn’t meeting the carpet gallery’s needs. But a solution was found in Nepal.
On to Nepal
Harald found Tibetan families who had been forced to flee to Nepal in the 1950s and 1960s with little more in their luggage than their Tibetan weaving traditions.
They have been knotting rugs for Geba as an association of families for many years now. Men, women, and children live together in small apartments next to the looms. Children, of course, are not permitted to work. All Geba products are Fairtrade certified. The children go to schools that are co-financed by Geba.
The present and the future
We travel through the world of design, tradition, and lifestyle on these carpets, and don’t know where they will take us next. What we do know is that new discoveries await around every corner, and we will adopt them according to our company standards of quality and authenticity.