Our Story

The Beginning

Established by Yosi Barzilai & Sara Penn in SoHo in 1989, Sarajo has been a destination for those in search of exquisite antique textiles and other items.  Culled from the four corners of the earth, the gallery showcased an assortment of over 1,500 one-of-a-kind items.  Over the course of nearly three decades, Sarajo established itself as a treasured source for designers, collectors and museums.

In the mid-2000s, Sarajo relocated to Portland, Maine. It was while living in Portland that Barzilai realized a passion for antique textiles and began immersing himself in study and research.  Subsequently its these textiles that have emerged as the primary of focus of his business.  Having become an expert in the field, he is frequently consulted for his authoritative opinion.

2015 saw a return to New York for Yosi Barzilai, and in mid-2016, after nearly 10 years away, Sarajo re-opened in NYC at 31 Howard Street — a location only blocks away from its original SoHo gallery.


After over 30 years of owning Sarajo, Yosi has decided to pass the business on to Jess Petino.  Jess Petino has worked at Sarajo for five years, and has learned everything she knows about antique textiles under Yosi’s mentorship.  While the business may be older than she is, Jess is highly skilled and knowledgeable in all areas of Sarajo - she was first hired as a Gallery Assistant and Restoration Artist in 2018, and has served as the Manager of Sarajo since December 2019. Jess is a lifelong New Yorker with a background in fine arts and theatrical design.  As an artist herself, Jess has a keen eye for finding gorgeous pieces, and is thrilled to see her vision for Sarajo, which includes sustainability and accessibility, come to life.