Wednesday, October 28, 2009

NeoConEast Seminars Inspire and Motivate

Today's keynote speaker was the charismatic Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes in Baltimore, perhaps better known from his TV show Ace of Cakes. He entertained and inspired with his frank and humorous speaking style and stories. It was easy to see why his show is such a hit!

The afternoon was crowned by the seminar led by Deb Barrett and Susan Schultz. They were familiar faces to me, as I had met them last year at IWCE Vision09. This time again they inspired and motivated with their seminar Future Vision: Interior Design in 2019. As leading edge designers and speakers, they focussed on the changing face of design and how that would impact our industries. Evidence based design is coming to the forefront; Deb and Susan spoke of the idea that "design is emotion" - people buy design because it moves them. "Design locavores" are increasingly conscious about origins, and demand traceability, accountability, design transparency. And as we move from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0, this will impact the way we deal with clients. As Paige Rense of Architectural Digest said, “It’s a whole new world and you ignore it at your own risk”. Once again, these two talented speakers challenged and encouraged the listeners to grow, improve, change and embrace the new realities.

NeoConEast A Feast for the Senses

Day One of NeoConEast - what could I expect? Heavy Baltimore traffic delayed my arrival but when I did enter the Convention Center, I was thronged by fellow attendees, all eager to view the show floor and hear a wide range of speakers on a variety of topics.

NeoConEast bills itself as "the premier design exposition and conference for commercial interiors with a focus on the federal government." The first seminar I attended gave good specifics regarding obtaining government contracts. Then it was time to walk the show floor, a real treat for the senses. Bright colors, contoured shapes, intricate designs all tantalized the eyes. One of my favorite booths was trendgreen, with a wide assortment of machine washable fabrics made in the USA of 100% Post Consumer Recycled Polyester by Reid Witlin.

Lutron amazed with its brand-new line: the motorized Kirbe vertical drapery system, in a wide variety of fabrics. Draperies are lifted up and out of the way while retaining their pleats, completely eliminating stack-back.

The other products that impressed me were the seamless leather Tubular Wovens from Garrett Leather, which could be used for drapery rods or tiebacks, in three sizes. They also carry pre-made leather welt cord in the leather and color of your choice. What a beautiful accent for pillows!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I'm a Certified Hunter Douglas Professional Dealer!

I finally completed all of the webinars to receive certification as a Hunter Douglas Professional Dealer! I made it my goal this month to complete the course and last evening polished off the last one.

What's so special about that? Why am I excited? I've been selling Hunter Douglas products like the Silhouette and Pirouette window shadings for quite a few years already. But now I've taken it to a whole other level. Lifting systems, size maximums, fabric choices, vane sizes - the course covered so many of the million details that accompany Hunter Douglas products.

There are very few Certified HD Professional Dealers in this area, dealers who have decided to take those extra steps in order to benefit clients. It is of utmost importance to me to increase my knowledge of the window fashions industry through education, by attending trade shows, seminars, webinars, and by reading trade publications and blogs. I've made it my on-going mission to be up-to-date and very knowledgeable about the products I sell so that I can provide the best possible choices and information to my clients.

And now, off to Baltimore to experience NeoConEast; the abundance of seminars and myriad of exhibits are sure to be educational and stimulating!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Beautiful Drapery Hardware - Ado, Helser & Brimar

I just received a brochure today for a new line of drapery hardware by Ado. I've always loved Ado's gorgeous and innovative fabrics; I'm excited about this addition to their product line-up. My sales rep, Lisa, is always very good about coming to visit in this far corner of creation and keeping me up to date; she had shown me this hardware line a few months ago and I was eagerly awaiting the product roll-out. Ado is offering a wide range of smooth, reeded and fluted poles, cast resin and metal finishes, traverse rods and many different finials, all at a cost effective price. With the renewed interest in draperies that I've been noticing, it's great to have one more option for clients, to complement the creative window fashions they are looking for.

Of course, there are so many other beautiful options to choose from. To mention but a few, check out Helser's stunning offerings. Their Artefice line of minimalist textured metal would look wonderful in any home. The Helser brothers pride themselves on their customer service; no wonder Jay and Mark received the 2009 Client and Customer Service Company of the Year award.

More drapery hardware - Brimar this time. Brimar's wide selection of trims have provided the finishing touch to a number of my creations. They also supply textiles and wonderful drapery hardware. Definitely worth a look as well!

So much great drapery hardware, for every taste and style, from cost-effective to out-of-this-world expensive! Paired with some of today's amazing fabrics, it'll create a look that is truly gorgeous and uniquely yours.