Saturday, September 09, 2006

Know any good window covering suppliers?

I have been fortunate in the last four years to have good relationships with my window covering suppliers. My biggest problem has been getting good discounts from some of the bigger companies because I am a relatively small volume business. Should that disqualify me from better discounts? Other companies don't think so and charge me the same as their big accounts. How have other companies dealt with this problem? I would like to buy more from one of the big brand names but don't for that very reason.


Why are window covering professionals such technophobes? Shortly after I entered this profession I attended a seminar put on by a great group of people, Grace McNamara Inc. They do the largest window fashions Expo in the U.S. and do a great job of it. However, while attending, I snapped pix with my digital camera and downloaded them immediately into the notes I was taking on my laptop. I could not believe the amount of interest/unbelief I encountered. By the following year I was using DreamDraper, a drapery design program which enables me to use digital photography at the client's home and incorporate design on top of the photos - virtually no one else at the conference was. There are great options out there now, tablet PCs, laser measuring tools, small printers, that can bring this industry into a brave new era. Which brings me to a new question - how can I capitalize on being "cutting edge" in a hidebound industry?

Friday, September 08, 2006

First post

A first post is somewhat intimidating, like a huge wall of bare windows and a client who stares at you blankly saying, "I don't know what to do." So jump in feet first... introductions are in order.
I'm a purveyor of eye candy for windows - in plain English, I design and sell window coverings. They can be as prosaic as white aluminum miniblinds (yes, they are still around!) to custom Roman shades to betasseled and swagged silken draperies and valances.
It's been an interesting journey getting to a point where I feel comfortable in my designer skin. Please share with me your thoughts and comments as I post about my experiences as a window coverings professional.