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ARTO makes their ceramic and concrete products the traditional way with skilled human hands, local materials, and hard work. In today’s world where everything is automated and products all look the same or are printed out to trick your eye, ARTO makes truly unique handcrafted products. ARTO’s products attract customers who are indeed unique themselves and want that represented in the items they use to make their spaces distinctively their own.
Capturing the depth of life in a product takes years of experience, creativity, hard work, and sweat. All this was embodied in ARTO’s founder, Arto Alajian. Where did Arto Alajian get his experience, taste, creativity, and work ethic? For Arto it came from his unique life experiences and was stimulated by adversity.
Arto’s father was born in Armenia and was a child refugee of the Armenian Genocide. Born in Alexandria, Egypt, Arto Alajian was Arto (Second from left) and friends at the Pyramids - 1950 classically trained in the arts and was exposed to the ancient art and architecture of Egypt and the Middle East. In Egypt, he learned the art of designing and making handcrafted leather shoes in his father’s shoe factory. When the revolution came to Egypt, he fled to Beirut where he worked for British Airways. When turmoil began in Beirut, he set his eyes on North America. In 1962, Arto traveled through America visiting New York, Boston, Houston, and Vancouver, finally making his home in Venice, California. To support himself he took a job as a milkman at Adohr Farms. As a way to make additional income he made lightweight old world looking clay thin brick veneers and sold them to the customers on his milk route. The thin brick became so popular he quit his job and started ARTO Brick in 1966.
Over the years his many products have been used throughout the world in large commercial projects, restaurants, retail stores, hotels, resorts, mansions, and in the homes of movie and TV stars and regular hard working people like Arto. In 2014, after living his American dream, Arto Alajian passed away; but not before passing ARTO Brick on to his sons. His sons, Armen and Vod continue to keep their father’s legacy alive by offering customers handcrafted ceramic and rustically elegant concrete products still made in their father’s Southern California factory. To learn more about ARTO’s products go to ARTO.com.