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My name is Joby R Smith, the face behind Shai Abbassi. My business has constantly been evolving ever since I started trading straight from school.

I left school very young with no qualifications of any kind, except the mindset installed by my father that if you do something you are passionate about and love there is not much that can’t be achieved.

With this in mind I started buying and selling handmade rugs and textiles straight from leaving school at the grand old age of 14. School really didn’t suit me. As soon as I was old enough to travel alone I did, all around the world seeking out the rugs and textiles I was so in love with, then bringing them back to the UK.

I was mostly just a rug dealer between 16-24 years old then I did a A.S.M.U.S.F upholstery course to the standard of master upholsterer. This led to the next evolution of Shai Abbassi. I started making bespoke furniture and reupholstering antique furniture in the handmade textiles I have always loved.

We have evolved even more from that stage and now I have a team of experts that work with me, ranging from upholsterers, sewers rug restorers and blacksmiths plus many other traditional craftsmen from all around the world and UK.

With my eye for quality workmanship, I oversee everything I do not make personally. This means we now offer a multitude of services and a diverse range of stock. We can take on pretty much any project, i.e. upholstery, curtains, bespoke furniture, handmade rugs and textiles, handmade and hand crafted items made to order or sold from stock.

I hope you enjoy browsing my site – please feel free to contact me anytime. We work with private clients, trade, interior designers, film studios etc. always with a focus on traditional handcrafted pieces. The items we make and stock are continuously changing so please pop into my website from time to time or follow my Instagram @joby.r.smith for the latest stock and projects.



My First fair aged 16. My father visiting.

Wincanton street festival 1994

My First fair aged 16. My father visiting.