Monday, December 15, 2008

It's almost Christmas

And I am desperately trying to get my newsletter and calendar out before then. I have to say - they look great! I am still doing a double sided one page newsletter for now, in color. I always include a coupon, and try to keep it upbeat and informative. This year my calendar features beautiful homes. They're provided by a company called trueIMAGE Publishing, a local company who specializes in calendars with unique photography. One thing that struck me as I paged through though, is that most of the homes have naked windows!! That's been an ongoing discussion in our drapery world - how so few of the beautifully photographed homes have window coverings. So many could be enhanced by the addition of gorgeous drapes, roman shades, valances, or any of a wide variety of soft window coverings. We have work to do! and lots of it, even in an economy that is faltering.
So as we enter this holiday season, I wish you all a blessed Christmas and a joyous New Year. May you receive all you need once again in the New Year, that you may prosper and live long.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

More Beauty in Bellingham

But this time of a different kind... the drapery kind. Think bronze silk interlined draperies held back by a large black and bronze tasseled tieback with beads, overlaying softly pleated embroidered sheers with a slight metallic sheen. In sunlight, candlelight, at night with the chandelier lit, the draperies glow and sparkle, to highlight the depth and richness of the silk fabric. A stunning finishing touch to an elegant dining room - the beauty within this home matches the beauty of the landscaping and view without!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bellingham beauty

I've had the opportunity to travel this week, and it's given me a bit of time for reflection. What a beautiful autumn we have experienced in Whatcom County! The colors have been gorgeous, more radiant than I've seen in years, mornings have been crisp warming to pleasant sunny days... This is the first soccer season we've experienced that every Saturday - game day - has been dry. There are so many interesting places to explore too, whether in Bellingham itself or around the county in hidden areas near Glacier, or the beaches of Birch Bay. It's sometimes hard to balance the demands of work with time out to enjoy the wonders of creation. I'm thankful that in an economy in flux I've stayed busier than ever. Yep, Thanksgiving must be around the corner....

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Onward automation!

Yes, I am continuing in my quest to automate my processes at a client's home or business. I purchased a wireless printer a few weeks ago. My 5 pound wonder connects to my tablet PC using Bluetooth technology, and is cordless and very portable.
Now I can take a digital photo, transfer it to my tablet PC, and then begin designing on that photo using DreamDraper software. Preliminary designs can be printed out at the client's home at the first sales call already if I so desire. Once I get back to the office I can scan the chosen fabric into my PC and import it into the designs, then continue working with the software to complete the finished designs.
Hard window coverings - even easier! Quickbooks estimates and invoices are printed at the client's home immediately, along with receipts for payment. I am trying to eliminate paperwork and processes; no more handwritten quotes. I can even link wirelessly to various suppliers and use their sites to provide the quote; ordering then is one-click to change a quote to an order.
And what will I do with all the time I free up? Hmm, more time to sell, more time to play... Because don't we all want to work smarter, not harder?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Week's end

It's a glorious Saturday morning, and here I am in front of the computer again. I guess I shouldn't complain, since I am entering orders and visa charges, but this would not top my list of favorite things to do on a Saturday. It is amazing just how much paperwork a small business generates and how detail oriented you have to be in this business. All the more reason to eliminate steps by purchasing that wireless printer and generating Quickbooks invoices at the client's already.
Today I am tasking myself to read some of my favorite business publications though - the Bellingham Business Journal and Window Fashions magazine. And maybe a little online perusing to see what's new in the trade.... until the kids and grandkids come over! And then it's playtime!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I'm in love with trim

I have to admit, here in the Pacific Northwest I have not designed many window fashions with trim. My rationale was that PNW home design just doesn't lend itself to adding bullion, tassels and expensive tiebacks. Plus I live in a corner of the country filled with staunch pennysavers, where price is often an issue. Adding trim adds to cost... so no trim.
I'm changing my tune, thanks to one set of clients in particular. They believe the more trim the better, and as a result I've designed some delightful cornices bedecked with scallops and gorgeous Fabricut beaded trims, braids and medallions.
That led me onward to designing drapes, valances and cornices for a show display and then, my own home, using Ado's new line of coordinating fabrics and trim, which are showstopping but really reasonably priced.
I love trim, and I really like clients who love trim!

Web 2.0 for window fashions

Hard to believe two years have passed almost to the day since I first conceived of blogging. And then did nothing. Since then, I've continued on my merry window covering ways, designing, selling and installing more blinds, shades, drapes, valances and cornices.... but not blogging. And what have I been missing? It's a whole new world out here. Two years ago I wrote about the technophobia in our industry. Well, I haven't contributed much to advancing the cause. I've been designing on my tablet at client's homes, but I haven't linked my Listo laser measure (a Godsend!) to the tablet.... Time to get serious. Eliminate the paper, automate processes, blog more...
Truly, Edwards Drapery & Interiors is a work in process. And I'm thankful for it!