Business news

íZORA Cosmetic Ink & Academy owners Tiffany Fluhme, center, and Domonique Bechtold, right, with Carly Farquhar, a co-owner of íZORA Academy. (Photo: Kaela Speicher)

íZORA opens on Washington Road

in the heart of Mt. Lebanon’s Washington Road business district, a chic new business opened its doors as a destination for folks from across the country—and, in a few instances, world—seeking semi-permanent cosmetic makeup.

íZORA Cosmetic Ink & Academy, 660 Washington Road, owned by Domonique Bechtold and Tiffany Fluhme, features a variety of offerings, from microblading to lip blushing and eyeliner services. íZORA  also includes a training academy.

“Our goal is to do beautiful, natural services that just enhance the client’s beauty,” Bechtold said.

Microblading is a semi-permanent form of makeup that uses hairlike strokes to make the brows look fuller.

The owners got their start in brows and microblading at Fluhme Glam Bar—just up the street at 607 Washington Road—a salon, makeup and skincare center owned by Tiffany and her husband, Derrick Fluhme.

As their brow services took off, Fluhme and Bechtold partnered to open íZORA and take their offerings to the next level. íZORA features six artists, who offer services from six treatment rooms in the rear of the trendy space.

“We want (our clients) to feel welcome. We want them to feel like they are in a very comfortable space where they’re safe with the procedure they’re about to have,” Fluhme said. “We want them to have a luxurious experience from start to finish.”

Both Fluhme and Bechtold have extensive training in semi-permanent makeup, and have traveled the country and Europe to teach the art. Clients have traveled from as far as Saudi Arabia and Los Angeles to have their brows done by the íZORA owners.

The academy, along with a newly launching distribution company, is owned by Bechtold, Fluhme and Carly Farquhar.

Farquhar was a student in Bechtold and Fluhme’s first brow class five years ago. Today, she’s building the academy alongside them.

“We created our own academy because we really want to help other people who are interested in microblading and doing permanent cosmetics find a course that is in-depth. It’s really hard to find one that gives you all of the theory and background knowledge, as well as hands-on practices,” Bechtold said.

They can teach as many as 10 students at a time in their Washington Road space.

They’ve also been working to launch a distribution company which features íZORA branded products. They plan to sell the products on their website,

The ladies love being based in Mt. Lebanon, with its small-town feel and the family-oriented neighborhood.

“It reminds me, kind of, in a way of Stars Hollow in Gilmore Girls, where everyone walks to school,” Bechtold said.

For more information on íZORA, check-out their Instagram pages at @izorastudio and @izorabrand, or call 412-892-8691.

Ken Ashtari has expanded his Castle Shannon Boulevard business, Northside Carpet & Oriental Rugs, to over 5000 sq. ft. of showroom space. Besides exotic rugs, the new space also offers unique furtiture to decorate your home. (Photo: John Schisler)

Northside Carpet expands

Ken Ashtari never sits still. He’s always thinking of the next big project that he can tackle. He loves the challenge.

“I like to expand. I like to create,” said Ashtari, who owns Northside Carpet & Oriental Rugs on Castle Shannon Boulevard.

In March, Northside Carpet’s Mt. Lebanon location moved one storefront over from the space it held for the last four years to take over the previous home of Schafer Interiors & Fine Art Gallery at 320 Castle Shannon Boulevard. The 5,500-square-foot showroom, with large corner windows, is three times the size of Northside Carpet’s previous space. With the expansion, Ashtari added a wide array of high-end furniture and accessories.

“This is going to be our main home furnishing showroom,” he said.

In 2013, Ashtari bought the century-old Northside Carpet, which features a cleaning, repair and restoration center on Pittsburgh’s North Side, and added a retail space on Murray Avenue in 2014 that sells everything from rugs to accessories and paintings. Four years ago, Northside Carpet expanded again, this time to Mt. Lebanon, with a retail space for rugs that also served as a dropoff site for folks in the South Hills looking to have their rugs cleaned or repaired.

When Schafer Interiors closed its doors several months ago, Ashtari saw this as an opportunity for another expansion. The biggest draw was the parking lot that came with the new space. He also wanted a space where he could sell high-end furniture.

Ashtari added a selection of furniture, including book stands, tables and lamps, in a medium- to high-end category. For example, he sells end tables that range from $600 to $2,500, while the shop also has bookcases that cost as much as $18,000. The tables come from the U.S. and Italy, and some are antiques.

Ashtari focuses on quality. “These are solid wood. People are keeping it forever. There’s a reason they’re expensive,” he said.

The furniture he sells is often handed down from generation to generation.

With the new space, he was able to increase his inventory of Persian and contemporary rugs from across the world. The shop now features as many as 600 rugs of all sizes, with the option for special orders.

The expanded Mt. Lebanon space will serve as an interior design hub for Northside Carpet. The staff can do everything from creating a floor plan and designing a space, to picking out the furniture that best meets the client’s style, to overseeing installation of painting and wall-to-wall carpet.

“We start from the floor. We do everything,” Ashtari said. “I love the challenging part of it. When you finish a room and it goes from empty then you make it look good with rugs, accessories, lamps and chandeliers and the customer is happy, that gives me the energy for the next project.”

While Ashtari stops by all three locations almost daily, his son, Kiean, manages the Squirrel Hill store, and Liz Campbell and Michael Panos oversee the Mt. Lebanon location.

For more on Northside Carpet, visit, or call 412-344-3740. The Mt. Lebanon location is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., although they take appointments for outside of those times.


DOT AND LINE, BRICKS AND MORTAR Last September we told you about Dot and Line, a pop-up art studio making the rounds of farmers’ markets and other outdoor events. Now you can find Dot and Line at 311A Beverly Road. Dot and Line offers classes for all ages, and is taking registration now for several summer camps for kids age 5 to 10.