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Preserving the Precious

Keljik Oriental Rugs Specializes in Caring for the Classics

Article by Courtney Reed

Photography by Lucy Hawthorne

Originally published in Edina Lifestyle

Rugs have long represented a worldwide tradition and history.  Hand woven, flat woven, pile woven, and using various materials such as silk, wool, and cotton, these textiles can be utilitarian or symbolic carrying popularity since the Middle Ages.  China, India, Pakistan, and other Persian countries have continued to provide timeless works of rug art to collectors all over the world. Keljik Oriental Rugs of Minnesota is part of that precious past.  Over 120 years have passed since Bedros Keljik opened the doors in 1899 to service the families living on Summit Avenue in St. Paul. Today, grandson Mark Keljik remains part of operations, but transferred ownership in 2016 to longtime family friend, Jim Grenander.  A former neighbor, Jim has known the Keljik family since he was just seven years old; working on and off for Mark at Keljik’s throughout high school and college until finally becoming full-time in 1995.  Jim describes himself as “a people person” and after a short career as a computer programmer at a large corporation, he realized his love for retail was drawing him back to the small, family-owned business.  The transition was a natural fit.   

Today, Keljik’s calls 43rd and Bryant home and Jim attributes the long-term success of the business to remaining small, outstanding customer service, and filling a real niche.  Jim comments, “Some people think of us as carpet cleaning, but it is cleaning oriental rugs, and we are very specialized.”

Keljik’s remains full service and carries a wide variety and selection of new, pre-owned, and collectible rugs ranging in size and price.  Jim mentions they “have one of the better selections of older or antique rugs” which can be aged at 75-120 years old, while newer rugs are usually only 30 years old. Their rug selection originates from different countries all over the world, some from estate sales, and a few from rug dealers, but all are sourced carefully based upon material, design, craftmanship, and quality.

Since the investment in a rug can be a large one, Jim doesn’t believe in “high pressure sales,” and “likes to educate buyers.” Shopping in person to see and feel the quality can bring the best results.  If you have already invested in rugs for your home, Keljik’s can assist with the upkeep and offers cleaning, washing, deodorizing, repairs, re-fringing, serging and hand edging.  Reweaving, re-tufting, and color touch ups can also be accommodated. Every rug is done individually while paying close attention to any spots or problems that might need special care.  If you are looking to appraise or sell, the knowledgeable Keljik staff can help, but maintaining the rug after purchase is key to protecting its value. Every rug is assessed and cleaned on an individual basis, not fed into a machine and cleaned as every other rug. Different rugs need different care, to be as close to hand cleaning as possible.

Most true Oriental rugs are one of a kind and made of wool, and tend to outlast other types of floor coverings used in the home. Since wool is a natural fiber, it is a much healthier choice than carpet which oftentimes contains synthetic materials and chemicals. Cleaning is recommended every 2-4 years depending on colors and traffic. This maintenance can extend the longevity of your rug for generations.

Before you shop, consider these helpful tips:

Get the rug first! Paint and wallpaper are then easier to match.

Measure for the largest and smallest size that will fit in your room.

Take note of any obstacles in the way, such as floor vents, radiators, and steps.

Think about the desired effect - formal or casual.

Have a basic color scheme that you like.

Understand the type of lighting and whether it’s natural or artificial.

Accommodate for the colors of your floors – light wood vs. dark wood

If the rug will be used in a dining room, it should be large enough so that the chairs can be pulled away from the table while still on the rug.

Keljik’s welcomes emails and phone calls for any questions. 4255 Bryant Ave S. Minneapolis. Call 612-823-6338 or visit for more information.