In 1978, Richard Habib leapt headlong into the rug business. Forty years later, the owner of Alexander’s Artisan Rugs in Mill Valley is ready to celebrate that anniversary, as well as the 2nd birthday of the latest incarnation of his multi-faceted rug shop along the landmark brick walkway at 1 El Paseo Lane.

“I can’t believe it’s been 40 years – it’s taken a lot of twists and turns, and I’m so grateful to my friends, family and customers for being with me through it all.”

On Saturday, July 28 from 12pm-5pm, Habib is hosting an Open House to celebrate that pair of anniversaries with snacks and refreshments on hand. From 6pm-9pm, he’s inviting friends and family to a VIP reception.

​Habib got his start in Southern California under the tutelage of the likes of John Iloulian, later co-owning a small chain of high-end custom flooring shops. In 1981, he moved to the Bay Area, first making a name for himself via his consulting business for estate sales and auctions, identifying and certifying the attributes of high-end rugs and carpets.

He then landed Habib a gig running a studio at the San Francisco Design Center, laying the foundation for Alexander’s Artisan Rugs, the business he’s owned for 27 years and brought back to Mill Valley in 2017.

Although Habib has remained deeply connected to the 94941 in a variety of ways – regularly running the Dipsea Race, fundraising for the new Mill Valley Community Center in the early 2000s, serving as an auctioneer at events for the likes of of the Rex Foundation, the Mountain Play and Blue Star Music Schools and DJing at benefits and events all over town – relocating his business last year back to the heart of Mill Valley brought him full circle.

“It has been amazing to be back here in Mill Valley,” Habib says of the town where he and his wife Sheila have lived for decades. “I always loved this space, and I’d walk by and fantasize about being here – just gorgeous architecturally with great ambiance.”

Whether it’s his expertise in the rug world or his seemingly ubiquitous presence at fundraisers and community events as an auctioneer or DJ – he serves on the board of Sara Wasserman’s Music Heals International and says “Music is just in my DNA” – Habib’s roots run deep in Mill Valley. He’s also hard to forget, draped in dapper threads that he accessorizes with hats and scarves.

“I’ve been dressing like this since I was a teenager,” he says with a laugh.

Habib’s shop was named Mill Valley Business of the Year by the Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce in 2000, and he often spearheaded local events and promotional campaigns. “I’m really excited to get back to that,” says Habib. “I’m thrilled to be in this space and have an opportunity to continue to give back to my community,” he says.

The 411: Richard Habib’s Alexander’s Artisan Rugs at 1 El Paseo Lane celebrates Habib’s 40 years in the rug business and the 2nd anniversary of his shop in Mill Valley with an open house on Saturday, July 28 from 12pm-5pm, followed by a VIP reception from 6pm-9pm. MORE INFO.

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