have you got business TRACTION?
drapery pleats with HIDDEN TACKS
developing the SEAMLESS WORKROOM
guide to ROMAN SHADE MECHANISMS
workroom tool GIVEAWAY
"that light bulb moment"
Click through the slide show above to learn how to make this gorgeous silk shirred banding.
Love the woven trim?
It can be found on the D'Kei website within the Wide Woven Tape Book, G0220PX.
Jill Ragan Scully
Working as an interior designer, drapery workroom, and upholsterer for over 20 years, Jill has a strong passion for the soft furnishings industry. This diverse skill set is apparent in each room she designs for her clients. Recognizing a need for increased accessibility to a wider variety of products and services for her colleagues, Jill recently founded My Designer Concierge, a virtual design showroom and social media management company to the trade.
What does it look like when a business is making forward progress and on the right track? Can you quantify this or is it just a feeling? Could it be both?
Having traction requires forward motion with a clear destination identified (Vision). It is impossible to have forward motion in one direction if team members are pulling in a multitude of directions. Here are some areas of your business to evaluate to see if you have traction towards your vision:
Is the vision of the company clear and can every team member define it?
Are all team members committed to the vision as stated? Are they all moving in the same direction?
Does each team member understand how their job and responsibilities fit in to achieving the vision?
Does each person hold themselves and the rest of the team accountable for attaining agreed upon milestones that are tied to the company vision?
Do the internal processes of the company (marketing, financial, staff, etc.) support the vision and team members doing the work?
Are issues identified quickly and a plan put in place to resolve?
Ask yourself these questions about your company – even if you are a one-person wonder! If you are in a group the same considerations apply. If you don’t like the answers you are seeing, reach out to Michele. She can help you craft a plan to move your company forward with a clear vision and a team that works together.
Michele is the owner of The Scarlet Thread, LLC and is a strategic business coach focusing on profitability for her clients. She is the past president of the national WCAA and a member of the Atlanta and Virtual chapters of WCAA. Michele is also a member of WFCP, Design Collective, and Designers’ Workroom Council. Michele is fiercely committed to guiding creative business owners in the understanding of complex business concepts and processes in a simplified way. She strives to help them be profitable which allows for a healthier work-life balance.
Have You Got Business Traction?
blog post from Scarlet Thread Consulting
Photo by Martins Zemlickis on Unsplash
"Are all team members moving in the same direction?"
Pleats with Hidden Tacks
Susan Woodcock / Home Dec Gal
Watch this TWC Method Share to see Susan using her method to create Hidden Tack Pleat Panels at her machine.
Susan Woodcock has been a workroom professional for over 25 years, offering sewing and design expertise to-the-trade, sharing her passion through HomeDecGal.com. She's the author of Singer® Sewing Custom Curtains, Shades and Top Treatments and an instructor on Craftsy.com. Together with her husband,Rodger Walker, Susan co-produces the Custom Workroom Conference, an annual educational event and trade show. Her latest venture is Custom Workroom Technical Center, a hands-on training facility in Tryon, North Carolina.
Traditionally, drapery pleats are tacked by machine, or hand stitching after the pleat has been sewn vertically in the top heading. I have developed a new method where the pleat is tacked first, to the inside with machine stitching, before the vertical seam is sewn. This works especially well for two-finger or double pleats that are formed with two folds of fabric. You can adapt this method for three-finger or triple pleats, but it can be more difficult to pleat with accuracy. It might not be the best method for some projects.
The drapery for this instruction was made using a double fold of face fabric with buckram and a single fold of interlining in the top heading. After trial-and-error I have found that using a low-bulk heading is best for this pleating method, especially when using heavier fabrics. I hope you will be inspired to try this new method on your drapery projects!
Click HERE for PDF DOWNLOAD of
complete step-by-step instructions.
“Amanda and I are thrilled to present our productivity package to fellow workroom professionals. We know that it will make your businesses more efficient, just as it has for us.”
– ROSE MARY LEBLANC
Developing the SEAMLESS WORKROOM
Amanda and Rose Mary met when Amanda joined the WCAA Charlotte Chapter in 2009 and soon became friends. Collaboration comes easy for them and their best ideas happen when they are both in their separate workrooms fabricating simply because they tend to work and think alike. A lot of their workroom processes are the same too which made it easy to develop Seamless. They both know that in order to have an efficient workroom you need to have a system that works.
The system evolved over time. Rose Mary started drawing her own window measuring diagrams 8 or 9 years ago. She started out with 4 basic windows and made copies on the printer on different color paper. After working on little yellow note pads she realized that was not an efficient system. About 4 or 5 years ago she began working on developing her own work order forms for panels by drawing out boxes on paper and filling them in with pertinent job info and pricing. When she had a work order that made sense she shared it with Amanda who used it and thought that it worked great. Amanda made the pivotal suggestion to turn it into an Excel Workbook and to make the measuring sheets fillable. At that point they were off and running! The window measuring sheets were a logical addition to the Workbooks. They found that it was too easy to go out on a measure and not get all the information that we needed. From there Rose Mary polished up her first window sketches and started drawing the most common windows that window treatment fabricators and installers encountered. She would then send them to Amanda to add text and fillable spaces. From there Seamless Workroom was born.
They had that light bulb moment about 2 years ago when they realized that since the system was improving their productivity it could also benefit others in the industry. There are so many details in our day to day businesses that keeping track of it all is like herding cats through an airport! Their goal was to have a workroom management system that is efficient, concise, easy to use and eliminates paper. It seamlessly keeps track of fabrication details from beginning to end.
Rose Mary LeBlanc
Rose Mary LeBlanc started her business in Louisiana in 1992 fabricating window treatments, slipcovers, bedding and pillows. She moved to North Carolina in 2006 after Hurricane Katrina. RML Custom Home Creations is a ‘to the trade workroom’ offering a wide range of services to designers including measuring and collaboration on design and hardware. She specializes in high end fabrication techniques including hand sewing and is compliant with roman shade safety standards. Having been a member of WCAA since 2007 when the Charlotte Chapter began, Rose Mary has served as Vice President, President and Past President. She continues to serve the fabrication community by teaching for the WCAA Charlotte Chapter, Custom Workroom Weekend, the IWCE Construction Zone and has instructional videos available on her company website.
Amanda Deal Smith
SewUnordinary is a to the trade custom window treatment design and fabrication studio serving the Charlotte and Lake Norman Areas for more than 16 years. This is a second career for Amanda which came about after seeing the custom window treatments a friend had recently purchased. Although she was busy raising 3 year old twin boys, she also needed something for herself and to supplement the family income and since she had sewn since the age of 12 it seemed like a logical choice. What started out as sewing for friends quickly turned into a full-time career and now serves interior designers as a full service custom workroom. Amanda joined the Charlotte Chapter of the WCAA in 2009 and has had her work published in several print and online magazines.
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For 110 years, Kirsch has set the standard for style and design in drapery hardware, combining colors and materials to highlight and accentuate any window. The new Buckingham® Collection builds on this tradition and expands the offering to give designers, decorators, and consumers even more choices to make the perfect complement to their soft treatments.
New program highlights include:
New 1 3/8” Finials – 16 new finials at a smaller diameter to better fit medium-sized windows.
Three new 1 3/8” end caps – additional choices for finishing poles in corners or tight spaces.
Two new finishes – Ash and Cottage White. Ash brings out the finer points of the finial with a beautiful taupe glaze, while Cottage White has a gorgeous gray wash to highlight the details in each style. These new colors are available in all Buckingham® products.
Three new 3” finials – new selections in our largest size.
·Three new 3” end caps – to give more options in this very popular style.
The Buckingham® Collection now has a complete line of 1 3/8”, 2”, and 3” finials and end caps. Each size comes with coordinating poles, rings, brackets and accessories. As you may know, the Buckingham® Collection is hand crafted in High Point, North Carolina. Our launch kit pays homage to this heritage as we highlight the effort of American workers to imagine, design, and develop the next generation of this collection. The process starts with skilled professionals hand carving wood models for each individual part. When models are complete and approved, the mold is created and first articles are made. Then the process of hand finishing begins to get the perfect combination of colors to accentuate the details in each piece. We hope you enjoy the new additions to The Buckingham® Collection from Kirsch!
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Click HERE to apply for an account
Anderson Fabric Workroom is a leader among COM CUSTOM WORKROOMS. We fabricate bedding, draperies, top treatments, shades, swags & cascades, pillows, cushions and much more! With over 35 years in the industry, we pride ourselves by not limiting your creativity.
Ordering, estimating, information on hardware, Graber blinds, and our complete retail labor catalog are all conveniently available on our website.
Contact us today for more information at 800-328-1791 or firstname.lastname@example.org
October 2017 photo credits
Rose Mary LeBlanc and Amanda Deal Smith , Seamless Workroom (cover)
Jill Ragan Scully, Impressive Windows
Susan Woodcock, Custom Workroom Technical Center
Martins Zemlickis on Unsplash
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My Designer Concierge
The Drapery & Design Digital Digest is a collaborative effort between the Curtains & Soft Furnishings Resource Library and My Designer Concierge. Together, our mission is to showcase the outstanding work of custom home furnishings professionals, spotlight quality products, and share educational resources.
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