"Take the fear out of closing the deal"
döfix Crash Effects
removing STAINS from your projects
INSTALLERS are worth their weight in gold
pleated draperies with ATTACHED VALANCE
sharing with the NEXT GENERATION
fishnet look with QUILTED VINYL
inspired by METAL ZIPPERS
busFIRST AID in the workroom
WCAA Southeastern PA Chapter presents: A Day with Bianca Henry
Friday, May 3
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Bianca Henry, owner of Impressions Drapery Designs, Inc. in Durham, NC, will be in the Philadelphia area for a special one-day event on Friday May 3rd, 2019, hosted by The Workroom Channel and organized by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Window Coverings Association of America (WCAA-SEPA). Bianca will be presenting two popular seminars.
Closing the Deal with On-site Quoting
This interactive class will take the fear out of closing the deal on the first appointment. Attendees will learn different tactics for getting to know their clients, making them comfortable, and getting the check on the first visit.
Hands-On Hand Sewing
Attendees will learn various hand stitches. We will discuss pros and cons to hand sewing versus machine sewing. They’ll learn about all the tools needed to make a professional product.
Registration includes one or both sessions, lunch, and a tour of Adaptive Textiles (home of The Workroom Channel) in their new 13,000 sq ft facility.
For More information contact Kathleen Patton
döfix Crash Effects
At the 2019 Artisan's Project Weekend, Beth Hodges demonstrated how to create a beautiful fabric using döfix Crash Effects. The crinkled fabric is featured in Missy Martin's winning design, "Tangerine Disco" which was displayed in the Construction Zone at 2019 VISION-IWCE in Nashville, TN.
Purchase döfix Crash Effects by calling 1-800-962-8983.
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Always test a stain treatment on scrap fabric or an inconspicuous spot first and place something absorbent under the area so it doesn’t bleed through unto your work table.
Here are a few solutions to different types of stains:
Hand stitching the side hems on that 6 width silk panel and you prick your finger with the needle. Stop to look and don’t see blood so you keep going. Heck, you even pressed that finger to push blood out: nothing. Finish the panel, step back and what do you see? Little red blood spots on the lead edge of that ivory silk panel. Apparently, the continued pressure on that finger got the blood moving and and left evenly spaced spots. Deep breaths. You know that panel is to be installed tomorrow. More deep breaths. Couple of options here: grab a white paper towel or small piece of white interlining - something absorbent and WHITE (you don’t want to add insult to injury by adding another stain to the blood) - dip it in water or saline solution or spit on it (take a drink of water first to clear the saliva of any dark colored foods or drinks you may have had recently) and dab, do not rub, the spot. It may take a few dabs, always using a new section of the paper towel, before the blood is removed. Wait for the area to dry.
Sometimes it’s on the fabric before you’ve cut it. Possibly a spot from somewhere along the cutting or rolling process. Sometimes it’s from your machine. I check my machines for oil near the needle shank and above, wiping off excess as I see it before using, but every now and then a drip shows up half way through a project. The more recent the stain, the easier it is to remove. Janie’s Stain Stick is great for new or recent spots. It’s a chalk stick that is rubbed on the stain, let set, the use the brush to remove excess chalk. If that doesn’t work, or you don’t have the product, add a drop of Dawn dish soap to a couple of tablespoons of water. Using a white towel, dab the soapy water onto the oil spot, blot up the excess with another paper towel.
Ball Point Ink
The only thing I know of that works the best is Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. I first discovered this when I wore a pair of pants that belonged to my sister without her permission. I must have sat on an ink pen which resulted in a large spot. In our laundry room, desperately searching for products to remove it, I came across a stain guide. The alcohol initially spread the stain, but as I kept blotting, it eventually went away and my sister, to this day, never knew about it.
Graphite (pencil lead)
Of all the fabric marking tools I have, I once chose pencil to mark a banding line on cornice boards as the fabrics were gray and the lines would be inconspicuous. Well, inconspicuous if I had marked the banding at the bottom rather than the top! Once again, dish soap saved the day. I was able to remove the pencil by dabbing it with a piece of white interlining (paper towel wasn’t as absorbent) dipped into a mix of one tablespoon dish soap and 2 cups of distilled water. Fortunately this worked and I didn’t have to remove the fabric, turn the top to the bottom and re-cover the boards.
Of course there are many other ways to take care of these stains; this is what has worked for me and they are products I have on hand.
Laura Nelson has over 20 years of experience as a professional workroom owner, specializing in soft and hard window treatments and slipcovers. She is a member of WCAA and is currently the Vice President of the Indiana Chapter. Sew Nice is a Certified Window Treatment Workroom and Woman Owned Business Entity with the State of Indiana.
They happen to all of us, no matter if we are green newbies, or seasoned long timers. Stains are the worst, whether you caused it or it was on the fabric and you didn’t notice it until you finish the project and see the offending spot. Blood, oil, ink, graphite (pencil) to name a few. What to do? First, walk away, take deep breaths, take a break if needed. Think before you act. You can make a stain worse by treating it incorrectly.
Stains are the worst!
by Laura Nelson
EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION IS OPEN NOW!
The Custom Workroom Conference is an event created by and for workroom owners, to provide the very best in education and resources unique to our profession. Join together with others just like you, who have turned a love of creating window treatments, upholstered furniture and soft furnishings into successful businesses.
This event is produced by Susan Woodcock and Rodger Walker, owners of Home Dec Gal and Workroom Tech; sponsored by Hanes Fabrics, the leading supplier of premium lining material for the workroom industry; and Window Coverings Association of America is a supporting organization and host of the popular CWC social event.
Early bird registration is open from April 25 to May16, 2019! Learn more here.
Sept 16-18, 2019
At the 2019 Artisan's Project Weekend in Houston, TX, Kevin Kise created a shaped cornice by marking his cherry red vinyl with a cool silver pen and stitching along the lines to achieve a quilted, fishnet look. Kevin's winning design, "Ruby Loves Rock 'n Roll" was displayed in the Construction Zone at 2019 VISION-IWCE in Nashville, TN.
Want to be featured in a future issue? Use #csfrl to make sure you get noticed.
MARCH-APRIL 2019 Photo credits:
Patti Ayers @pillowsandpleats
Karen Barnes @the_elegant_window
Amanda Smith @sewunordinarydrapery
Susan Woodcock @homedecgal
Donna Hovis Interiors @dbhovis
AZ Draperies and Pillows @azdraperies
Rose Marie LeBlanc @rmlcustomhome
Note: using #csfrl implies permission to use your image in the Drapery & Design Digital Digest with photo credit and Instagram link.
Installers: Worth their weight in GOLD!
by Rose Mary LeBlanc and Amanda Deal Smith
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This article first appeared in the Seamless Newsletter. Subscribe here.
Whether you are an installer yourself or you hire/employ installers for your design or workroom business, you already know the magnitude of the importance of a good installer. Both Rose Mary and I have installed our own drapery in the past and we both now use professional installers for our workrooms. We agree that hiring an installer was the best decision we have ever made! Not only do we feel more confident in the overall installation process but it also relieves the stress that can go along with installing window treatments and frees us up to interact with the homeowner while the installation is in progress. When we were both looking for installers it seemed at times it was difficult to find someone who met the criteria we felt was important for them to have...insurance, trained, professional attitude, knowledgeable in various types of hardware and hard treatments, and a friendly attitude. In order to get a perspective of what to look for in an installer, we asked two well know professionals for some advice and tips. We appreciate them taking the time to share with us their extensive knowledge!
Robert Cardona, The NY Drapery Guy, has more than 20 years of experience in the installation business and services New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Robert's tips for hiring a qualified installer are:
1st thing – make sure the installer has liability insurance
Communication is very important – the installer will usually have contact with the customer – they should always be positive and reassure the customer that everything is going to be great. (even when its not)
Its good to have the installer who will do the installation – take the measurements for the job
A good installer will always wear shoe covers and the first thing into the home are the drop cloths. When a customer sees that it puts them at ease. (* note an installer should never wear booties on a ladder – its actually against NYS labor law
A good installer will always go back at no charge if there is any issue – Unless its something really out of the ordinary
A designer or workroom can check references – things like Linkedin – Youtube – Instagram can give a lot of information about them
Robert can be contacted through his web site www.nydraperyguy.com.
He is also on the following social media platforms:
Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube
John Nader O'Brien of ProShading, LLC in Brisbane,Califorinia offers consulting, measuring, installation, fine interior sewing and specializes in automated & manual window treatments. We had the pleasure to meet and get to know John at the IWCE conference in Tampa, Florida last year and are so happy he agreed to provide us with the following recommendations for hiring an installer.
Years in business
Do they have the proper licenses.
Are they insured & bonded based on your areas requirements or where work is going to be performed.
Request to see the installers equipment and work vehicle. This will give a good idea if they are setup to provide the service being requested.
Interview them in person. If they have good communication skills and product knowledge It will help provide that extra security.
Share your requirements of an installer with them and see what they share. For example:
Call clients 30 minutes before arriving.
Greet the costumer or clients representative with moving blankets and booties before entering residence
Walk job site and answer any questions before setting up
If client is available always do a walk through once install is completed. Answer any questions they may have. Demonstrate how to properly operate all window treatments. This will also show that all window treatments work properly.
Collect a sign-off if required.
Last but not least attend a number of jobs with them before ever sending them out alone. This will allow you to provide the customer service and project management your clients are use to.
You can reach John via email at email@example.com and follow him on his Instagram site.
Rose Mary LeBlanc has owned and operated a custom window treatment workroom since 1992 and for many years used her own measuring diagrams and work orders. After drafting and discarding many versions over the years, it all came together in 2013 when she had an extensive series of measurement diagrams and work orders that enabled her to improve her workroom procedures. To keep pace with technology she envisioned adapting the whole workroom efficiency package for tablets and iPads. Rose Mary shared her concept with best friend and fellow workroom owner Amanda D. Smith. Amanda quickly grasped the significance of the diagrams and work orders and the two began developing the package for technology. A light bulb moment went off for them when the idea of converting everything to fillable forms dawned on them.
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Thanks to the 381 participants, this inaugural survey provided a foundational basis for discussions of business profitability among Custom Soft Furnishings Professionals. The simple goal of answering Vita Vygovska's question of a "financial ceiling" with limited hours and no employees was answered. The data shows that an Adjusted Net Income (which was a combination of owner's pay and business profit) of greater than $200K is perhaps not achievable without increasing staff and working more than 32 hours per week.
Future surveys will allow for more depth of understanding. For example, a necessary improvement would be to ask the number of owners making up businesses structured as Partnerships, C-Corps, and S-Corps. Also, adding metrics relating to how much income is derived from each income category would be helpful. You may have questions to add. In any case, we encourage you to continue the discussion as a PRO member of the Curtains & Soft Furnishings Resource Library.
Did you miss the survey?
You can purchase the 2018 report here.
Published June 8, 2018, this 24-page report summarizes the inaugural survey of custom soft furnishings professionals.
Would you like to help develop the survey for the 2020 report? Please shoot an email to Jeanelle Dech and share your thoughts. Survey development sessions will begin this Fall.
What's next with the TRANSPARENCY INITIATIVE?
Pleated Drapery with an Attached Valance
by Susan Woodcock
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Draperies are more popular than ever. This style stays on-trend by combining a Euro-pleated drapery with an attached valance.
The valance proportions depend on your window. Generally the valance should be about 1/5th the length of the drapery. But it's custom! A scale drawing will help you to decide what the length of the valance should be. The valance can be made for a matching or contrast fabric. Imagine two colors, or a sheer valance over a solid linen or silk drapery. The valance can be outlined with welt cord as shown here, or you could add an inset tape, or fringe.
Feeling creative? The valance can be shaped to create an angled bottom edge which would be gorgeous on a pair of draperies! I would suggest adding a contrast lining if cutting on an angle (like a cascade or jabot), because the reverse side may show.
To reduce bulk, the valance can be lined in a different fashion than the drapery. For example; if the drapery has blackout lining the valance would not require blackout.
Download the instructions here: Pleated Drapery with Attached Valance Instructions
Susan Woodcock owns Home Dec Gal, a how-to sewing and decorating resource and custom workroom in western North Carolina, and is a Craftsy.com instructor and international speaker. She co-produces the Custom Workroom Conference, a professional trade show and educational event, with her husband, Rodger Walker. Susan’s publishing credits include Singer® Sewing Custom Curtains, Shades and Top Treatments (Creative Publishing International, 2016). In 2017 Susan and Rodger founded Custom Workroom Technical Center, a hands-on training facility for the workroom industry. She is a member of the WCAA.
Do you want to author your own book?
Circle Time at the Library
with Ann K. Johnson and Susan Woodcock
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On Tuesday, April 16, 2019, Ann K. Johnson and Susan Woodcock shared their experiences writing books. Do you want to author your own book? Do you want to hear more about how Ann and Susan did it? Do you just love their books and want to hear more about how they managed to write their books while still running their businesses?
Join the Library today as a PRO Plus Member to view past and future CIRCLE TIME events, on demand.
From the heart-
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Jean Lawes shared her love of sewing as a guest lecturer in an apparel design class at Virginia Tech.
A few months later, she invited two lucky students to join her for a three-day immersion into the custom home furnishings industry.
Jean welcomed the students into her workroom and packed each day with joy and inspiration. From knife-edge pillows to roman shades, the students learned basic fabrication techniques, used professional equipment, and experienced the taste of owning and managing a small business.
The final day included a field trip to West Chester, PA, where they were joined by friends, Cindi Gray and Ceil DiGuglielmo, to tour Adaptive Textiles and Main Line Decor.
Click here to learn more about the WCAA Young Professionals Initiative.
Jean Lawes is the owner of HomeStyle, LLC, a custom to-the-trade workroom.
First class craftsmanship, careful attention to detail, personal integrity, and superior customer service are the cornerstone values of HomeStyle.
The WCAA has brought considerable significance to Jean’s business by way of wonderful friendships and colleagues, valuable resources and industry partners, as well as substantial educational opportunities. Jean was greatly honored to be the 2017 recipient of the Jill Robson Memorial Scholarship awarded by the National Window Coverings Association of America.
Jean is proud to be an entrepreneur with a growing Workroom business, and she is thrilled to be working with outstanding Interior Designers in Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
You can find Jean on Facebook and Instagram.
20% OFF METAL ZIPPERS
thru May 10
enter coupon code: ZIPPERS20
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The Drapery & Design Digital Digest is the result of the collaborative efforts of The Workroom Channel and the Curtains & Soft Furnishings Resource Library. Our mission is to showcase the outstanding work of custom home furnishings professionals, spotlight quality products, and share educational resources.
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March-April 2019 photo credits:
Liz Kelly, The Workroom Channel
Laura Nelson, Sew Nice
Robert Cardona, The NY Drapery Guy
John Nader O'Brien, ProShading, LLC
Susan Woodcock, Home Dec Gal
Jean Lawes, HomeStyle