Window Fashion VISION Magazine: March/April 2024 | Volume 46 Issue 2

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IWCE 2024

Rides into Dallas: Maximize Your Profits


How to Know You’re Ready to Open

Explore our motor range SMART WINDOW COVERINGS


Presenting the most comprehensive and connected motorization solution for interior window coverings with Eve Motionblinds. The allin-one motors with built-in technology Matterover-Thread can be very easily integrated into smart home and building platforms – all without the need for proprietary bridges, manufacturer apps, or remote controls. With a border router from any major smart home platform, like Apple Home, Google Home, Amazon Alexa or SmartThings, the setup is quick and hassle-free.



President/Publisher | Grace McNamara

Associate Publisher & VP | Ania Munzer

Contributing Editor | Maude Campbell

Art Director | Cat Kahnle

Copy Editor | Maude Campbell

Event Manager | Shannon Flaherty

Marketing Coordinator | Tracy Herold

Accounting | Heather Bradley


Sam Blair, Katie Creekmore, O’D McKewan, Kathy Cragg Pace, Oliver Schreiber, James Stryker, Linda Tully


651-330-0574 •


Photography: Hillary Joyce Photography

Project: Private Residence in Provo, UT

Installer: Uptown Drapes,

Designer: Geeta Buckley

Window Fashion VISION magazine makes every attempt to credit each person involved in the process of creating a window covering and will not be responsible for crediting any person whose name, company or participation did not surface during the information-gathering process. Crediting disputes between parties other than VISION magazine are solved at the discretion of those involved.

Window Fashion VISION (ISSN 08869669) (USPS 708930) published bi-monthly by AIM Communications LLC, 4707 Hwy 61 N #255, St Paul, MN 55110, Tel 651-330-0574. Visit our website at Periodicals postage paid at St Paul, MN. Postmaster: Send address changes to Window Fashion VISION, 4707 Hwy 61 N #255, St Paul, MN 55110. Allow 60 days for address change. Subscription rates: $22/yr. U.S. and possessions; $29/yr. Canada; $90/yr. Foreign (includes airmail postage). Copyright © 2024 by AIM Communications, LLC. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission prohibited. Canadian Publications Agreement Number: #40036514. Canadian Return Address: 4707 Hwy 61 N #255, St Paul, MN 55110 MARCH + APRIL 2024, VOLUME 46, ISSUE 2.

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MASTHEAD March + April 2024
MARCH + APRIL 2024 | 4
® SheerWeave is a registered trademark of PHIFER INCORPORATED. TM ECOLIBRIUM and the DOW Diamond are trademarks of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow SheerWeave® Privacy with DOW ECOLIBRIUMTM is a new woven fabric that still allows some light and illumination during the day while providing good privacy coverage. The SheerWeave app is available for free download to all mobile devices. Visit us at IWCE Booth #1013


As we ventured into the New Year, we enjoyed attending the esteemed R+T event in Stuttgart, Germany, in February. This gathering allowed us to reconnect with colleagues from across the globe. And so, in this new issue of VISION, we take you on a global voyage to bring you the latest from international design events that have been shaping our industry. Prepare to be transported to vibrant events such as Heimtextil in Paris, Déco Off and Maison&Objet, where we witnessed firsthand the creative renaissance sweeping the design world. These events served as compelling indicators that our industry is thriving and continuously evolving.

Mark your calendars because the pinnacle event on the horizon is none other than the International Window Coverings Expo (IWCE)—America’s premier platform for window covering professionals. Taking place from April 10 to 12 in the enchanting Grapevine, Texas, this expo promises to be an unmissable highlight of the year. In the March/April issue, we provide an in-depth preview of what to expect at IWCE, leaving no stone unturned. From exclusive insights into new product launches and exhibitor highlights to a comprehensive guide on seminars and special events, we ensure you have all the tools you need to maximize your experience at the expo.

But that’s not all. As always, we have a wealth of captivating content to share with you. Discover trending window secrets straight from the minds of nine renowned designers, and prepare to be wowed by extreme installations that push the boundaries of creativity. Additionally, we unveil the art of making relaxed roman shades with attached cornices and delve into the realm of showroom profitability. And if that’s not enough, we bring you an exclusive glimpse into the buzzing world of Bumble Bee Blinds.

If you haven’t done so already, we encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to preregister for IWCE 2024 on our website, By doing so, you’ll unlock exclusive savings that are available only until April 9. Don’t miss out on the best prices IWCE offers!

Now, sit back, relax and immerse yourself in this new issue, and we’ll see you in Grapevine!

Publisher’s Pick — Spring Selection

Romance Is Alive

Swoon over RM COCO’s new Gemstones II waterfall collection with us. Immersed in a world of beauty and elegance, the arrival of this exquisite collection showcases a romantic rendezvous with an alluring new six-hanger set and handpicked fabrics. More at

And Smart Can Be Sexy

Explore the smartest curtain solution on the market with Coulisse’s new curtain track and MotionBlinds smart motors. Suitable for waved and pleated curtains, the curtain track has a minimalistic and modular design for easier transportation. The smart curtain concept includes a wired motor and a battery motor, supported by the latest technologies, Thread and Matter. More at

Set the Mood

Lulu and Georgia x Élan Byrd announced another exclusive collection. Organic forms and earthy hues bring a grounding touch to modern design with rugs, wallpaper and, for the first time, lighting. Each piece evolves the brand’s texture-rich style with new graphic elements and eyecatching plays of contrast rooted in nature and our journey through it. More at

Viva Italia

“Made in Italy” is always music to my ears! This Julian three-drawer dresser is a captivating and unique design that stands on three legs of lacquered bronze; its overall design speaks of refined elegance and modern warmth. With three drawers encased in Canaletto walnut, Julian provides you with all the space you need to house. More at

ANIA NOTE From the Publishers
Chris, Ania and baby Ewalina celebrating her first birthday
MARCH + APRIL 2024 | 6

We asked four owners from across the United States for their advice on how to know when and if you’re ready to open a showroom.

It’s time for the International Window Coverings Expo (IWCE), this year in Grapevine, TX, on April 11-12! Come meet our experienced and talented speakers, network and discover the best and brightest in window coverings.


PUBLISHER’S NOTE Spring Forward By Ania Munzer



New & Noteworthy

All That’s Interesting


FULL FRAME: Installation

Determining the Best Motor Options for Your Clients By Roger Magalhaes



How to Create Relaxed Roman Shades with an Attached Cornice By Linda Tully


What's the Buzz All About?


Focus on Getting the Pitch Perfect By Kathy Cragg Pace



Mastering Retail Success: Elevating Revenue via Showrooms By Sam Blair


Don’t Shortchange Your Business by Ignoring the Pandemic’s End By Katie Creekmore


Put the Wheels of Training in Gear By James Stryker 56


Never Be Too Cool for School By Oliver Schreiber

disCOVER About the Cover
27 4 44 4 Open to Entering the Showroom Business?
Latest in Design Takes Flight Designers, dealers and professionals
January to view the latest
greatest interior design ideas. 6 10 12 16 22 24 42 60 66 68 72
2024 Show Brochure
flocked to Paris, France, and Frankfurt, Germany, in
MARCH + APRIL 2024 | 8
Visit us at booth 701


Featured in the Utah Parade of Homes three years ago, this Provo palace had a sweet secret inside: a crafts room. Uptown Drapes, founded by Geeta Buckley, installed the space’s window treatments alongside designer Chelsea Kasch. The crisp and clean aesthetic, which can be seen in every nook and cranny, provides a blank canvas for any creator.

For the annual Parade of Homes, Buckley said, “We usually work on about six homes each year and we get to be involved in some of the most beautiful homes in the state of Utah.” This project reunited Buckley with Kasch, who she’s worked with on many homes over 11 years, and custom home builder Shelby Homes.

On top of installation, Uptown Drapes offers its own drapery products. The roman shade featured Errington fabric in Sterling (currently available for purchase), while the roller shade used Dublin fabric in White. The roman and roller shades were fabricated by Horizons Window Fashions.

Keeping in line with local, the majority of the furniture and accessories were sourced from Gatehouse, a showroom and interior design studio in downtown Orem. Buckley has fostered a 13-year relationship with the business and taps into its talent to complement her own skills. “One of the best things about my job is building relationships with the wonderful people in this industry,” she said. This room proves the power of cultivating a great team!

MARCH + APRIL 2024 | 10 follow us: Booth # 521 Visit us at NEW RELEASES



To start off 2024, Hartmann&Forbes announced it partnered with One Tree Planted, a global reforestation nonprofit, to plant one tree for every order placed. The news came on the heels of the company being recognized for the third year in a row as one of the top 10 “100 Best Green Workplaces” in Oregon last year. This initiative helps Hartmann&Forbes maintain its commitment to leaving a smaller environmental footprint.


Set yourself up for a sweet summer with Danao’s Laurel lounge chair courtesy of Italian industrial designers Valerio Sommella and Simone Bonanni. The synthetic all-weather Russet-color weave and high-performance fabric pair perfectly with any palette and design scheme. Danao, a North Carolina company, is dedicated to creating collections that exhibit its engagement with color, style, timelessness and innovation.


Turn your home into the ultimate getaway with Thibaut’s new Sojourn collection of fabrics and wallcoverings themed around two words—fanciful and faraway. With a color palette ranging from earthy tones and blushes to blue and lavenders, prints highlight geometric lines, corals and trellises. Settle in with a piña colada and let yourself escape indoors!

POINT-OF-VIEW New & Noteworthy
MARCH + APRIL 2024 | 12

Back & Better Than Ever

Horizons Shades of Elegance Relaunches with New Fabrics and Familiar Favorites

With 8 brand new collections (including 89 new fabrics), there are plenty of fresh options to help you create the perfect look.

Still not feeling inspired? Browse our Inspirational Catalog, complete with new photography, as well as new coordinating light filtering and blackout options tailored to fit anywhere from sitting rooms and kitchens to bedrooms and bathrooms.

Order your sample book to start designing with endless elegant possibilities.

Updates to Design For: Soft & Naturals

Looking for something unique, perhaps a little je ne sais quoi? Browse the recently launched collection of exclusive natural fabrics featuring rich textures and colors courtesy of Mother Nature.

Subtle more your style? Explore the endless possibilities presented by 40 all new fabrics in Horizon’s Soft collection. Choose every detail from trims and tapes to top treatments and control options. Still can’t find the perfect fit? Use our Customer’s Own Material (C.O.M.) program and take customization to a whole new level.

Did You Know?

70% of all Horizons soft projects use C.O.M.

Call in to Customer Service at (800) 858-2352 to start designing today!

Come See Us at IWCE!

We’re looking forward to seeing and meeting all of you at IWCE. Bring your questions and chat with our experts in booth #601. View and touch the new Shades of Elegance sample book, as well as the Soft and Natural sampling updates. Scan the QR code to secure your tickets!

(01/24) 24-520300


For those always on the go, this trend is for you! Portable, cordless, rechargeable and/or batteryoperated lamps—previously found in restaurants— are quickly becoming a substitute for traditional lamps. Companies started producing affordable, home-friendly options, lifting limits designers previously had when creating. For flexible, functional and warm vibes, opt for little lamps.


Nate Berkus is back with another exclusive collection for The Shade Store, this time featuring grays, neutrals and inspired colors. Available for roller and roman shades, drapery, cornices and pillows, Berkus envisioned the 23 materials and 70-plus colors as breezy and effortlessly stylish—for any room.


In keeping with the tech times, Rowley Company’s new R-TEC Basics Motor features accessible and essential motorization perfect for any project. The sleek design of the product’s remote and li-ion rechargeable battery place the control solely in the user’s hands. This motor can be used for narrowwidth applications and is the narrowest in R-TEC’s portfolio.

POINT-OF-VIEW New & Noteworthy
MARCH + APRIL 2024 | 14

DRAPERY MOTORIZATION IS SIMPLE WITH THE FOREST SHUTTLE & BOND BRIDGE PRO: Start by simply pairing your remote with the app. Then you are ready to experience the convenience of smartphone control, scheduling, and integration with today’s voice-assistants & home automation systems. All shuttle drapery motors include a 10-year warranty whether you choose a plug and play motor or our battery powered option.

FULL FRAME Smart Shades Determining the Motor Options for Your Clients
BEST MARCH + APRIL 2024 | 16

As I’m sure many of you are noticing, there are more and more motor options available for you to offer to your clients. Some window covering manufacturers are even offering multiple motor manufacturers and multiple versions of motor options. So, with all of these new choices, how do you know what motor is best for your client?

It can be a daunting task, but if you take the time to ask your clients a few questions, you can help whittle it down to more specific options to offer them. Although most clients still consider adding motors to their window coverings as a luxury upgrade, you as the designer/salesperson need to look at it as just another standard choice of window coverings, just as you would offer the difference between a light-filtering or a roomdarkening fabric. One of the common questions I ask my clients is, “How do you want to operate these shades? Do you want to walk over to each shade and pull the cord or do you want to press a button on a remote, use your phone or just ask your Alexa to open the shades?” Their response to this question will allow me to ask follow-up questions that will guide us to the best motor options within their budget.

To be able to do this effectively, you first need to know the differences between the motor options that you can offer them. I’m a strong believer that the more you know, the more you can sell. If you aren’t familiar with the motor options available, you should consider taking one of my motorization courses and learning what is available in the motorization market. You can also contact your manufacturer and ask them to explain the differences, but for the sake of this article, I’m going to try and help you understand the three basic options you should be discussing with your clients.

The first is the control option. How would they like to operate the motors? The basic method is an attached power wand. The standard is a handheld remote. The advanced is with some form of automation including a mobile app, voice control or a home automation system. The second option to discuss is how to power the motors. The basic method is a rechargeable motor. The standard is a battery-powered motor (which can be plugged in as well). The advanced option is the hardwired power supply. The third option to discuss is price. This is usually predetermined by their choice of basic, standard or advanced. Depending on your sales process, you can choose which option to discuss in whichever order you feel comfortable with.

I find that there are typically three kinds of motorization clients in the market. The first is the client that didn’t ask about motorization and I introduce it in my conversation with them per the question above. The second is the client that asks me about motorization but doesn’t know the cost or what options are available. The third is the client that has already done research or has preplanned for motorization and is expecting it to be part of their project. With all three, you should be able to quickly determine what it is that will best suit their needs.

Let’s start with the advanced client, since they probably already have a good idea of what they want. These clients generally have either some functions and options that they are expecting to have met. You simply have to ask them what that is and they are usually eager to tell you. For this type of client, you will need to make sure you offer them motors that are compatible with their power supplies and that work with their automation systems. They’re typically looking for the best motor options including ultra-quiet motors, speed adjustments and those

with premium features such as communication protocols that work with their predetermined automation systems. They want motors that will be long-lasting, forward-compatible, reliable and easily integrated into their systems. They’re looking for motors that will last 10 to 20 years. They not so worried about price as much as making sure that the motors fit their specific needs. If you don’t know if your products can meet those specific needs, make sure to get the exact details from your client and then contact your supplier and discuss the project with them to see what they have to offer that will satisfy the requests.

The second and most common client that I deal with is the client that’s interested in motorization but doesn’t really know exactly what they want. They would just prefer to use motorization over manually operating the window coverings for a variety of reasons. Finding out the reasons will allow you to concentrate on the features and options that best suit their needs. Once you determine what it is they expect, you can discuss the power and control options available, which will automatically lead you to the cost options. Working with your client, you can select the options that will meet their needs and their budget. These clients are looking for motors that will last five to 10 years and are not anticipating the highest-end options, but they will be willing to upgrade certain aspects to fulfill their expectations. They tend to like the idea of operating the motors from their phone, using timers or perhaps the voice control option. This client is where you have the most flexibility to offer options and upgrades. They already know that they’re going to be spending more money for the motors, it just depends on at what level.

Lastly, we have the client that wasn’t looking for motorization. As a professional window covering representative in the 21st century, I feel it’s your responsibility to offer them the option of motorizing their window coverings. You can start with the basic power-wand options or rechargeable motors. You should look for opportunities to offer these simple upgrades. These type of clients will appreciate the offer and will be quick to ask about the price. These clients aren’t looking for high-end options, just simple alternatives to manually operated systems. You can assure them of the ease of use and that the motors are covered under warranty. They aren’t looking for long-term solutions, but they’re just trying out the option of motorization. Once you educate the clients on what’s available, let them decide whether it is worth it to them or not. Ease them into it and you’ll find that when it comes to their next purchase, they’ll be more willing and eager to try better systems.

As you become more competent and comfortable selling motorized window coverings, it will become much simpler to offer the options that will work best for your clients’ needs. You’ll be able to determine if your clients are interested in shortterm results or long-term investments. You as a business person can also decide on whether creating smaller repeat business with cheaper, replaceable motors or creating a reputation as a custom motorized expert is in your own best interest. I find that a mixture of both is a prosperous middle ground V
O’D McKewan is the product coach for Window Covering World, an expert on motorization and an industry leader in the field of motorized window coverings. He has extensive hands-on experience with motorized window coverings, including fabrication, installation and selling. »



LOCATION: Greenwich, CT

DESIGNER: Blindtek Designer Systems, a specialty fabricator of interior and exterior shading systems first established in 1983


Specialized shading systems and custom motorized roman shades.


DEALER/INSTALLER: Paulo Zangiacomi

PROJECT GOAL: Create a skylight system to provide sun protection in a conservatory.

CHALLENGE: Devise a motorized solution using natural materials that wouldn’t quickly deteriorate and a system without any visible cords or supporting cables, which have been used for many years on similar installations.

SOLUTION: We developed a system with custom-colored rails and battens for support and invisible cords running inside of the rails for the motorization of the shades. To avoid deterioration, the natural material was custom-weaved in Asia. Powered by Somfy motors and controlled via ESI keypads and motor controllers, the synchronicity of the installations enhances the space’s architecture. V

FULL FRAME Installation
MARCH + APRIL 2024 | 18
This massive glass roof was outfitted without a single cable.
Contact us to learn more about our Interior, Exterior, and Specialt y Shades 877-324-2511 • •


Relaxed Roman Shades with an Attached Cornice

You can choose either functional or stationary— whichever best fits your style

With this quick and easy tutorial, constructing relaxed roman shades with an attached cornice has never been more attainable. Follow along with Linda Tully’s stepby-step how-to and stop by her seminar “Reverse Engineering Patterns” at the International Window Coverings Expo for more details on the process.


Step 1. Plan the treatment’s proportions by sketching out the details.

Step 2a. Build mini cornices.

Step 2b. Pre-upholster the cornices with batting and interlining.

Step 3. Cut white fabric: 1 cornice cut and 1 roman cut with allowance for side hems, corner pleats, and bottom fullness and 1 cut for the roman bottom hem (facing).bottom fullness and 1 cut for the roman bottom hem (facing).

Step 4. Cut brown fabric: 3 welts and 3 mini bands.

Step 5a. Make the welt.

Step 5b. Prepare bands with 3/8-inch Döfix tape.

Step 6. Using Döfix tape, tape the mini bands onto the cornice piece, making sure they are spaced according to your design.

Step 7. Sew brown welt onto the bottom of the roman cut and add a white facing for the bottom hem.

Step 8. Table the relaxed roman. Finish the bottom and side hems, but leave the top raw, then add rings. Pin the corner pleats into place.

Step 9. Sew another brown welt to the top of the roman, then add the cornice piece, making sure to center the brown bands.

Step 10. Pin this to the cornice, making sure the bands are centered. Carefully place seam allowances that connect the welt to the relaxed roman under the bottom edge of the cornice frame. Staple this into place, then add the top welt.

Step 11. Starting on the bottom edge, line the back of the cornice with tack strip to hide any and all staples.

Step 12. String the roman shade and connect it to back of cornice.

Step 13. Add clavos/nailheads to complete the project.

Step by step guide

Located in Temple, Texas, Linda Tully creates bespoke window treatments and bedding specifically designed and fabricated for every project through her workroom Tully Drapery Shop. She first started in the business with Custom Coverings drapery workroom in 2000. She is a former IWCE speaker and has won many awards. Many of her award-winning rooms have been published in books and magazines. Linda is accomplished at designing, selling and fabricating all styles of window treatments. She has lived and worked in the interior design industry in nine states in the U.S., giving her valuable knowledge about regional styles and architecture.


1 2a 2b 3 5a 5b 6 10 13 7 8 2024 SPEAKER VISION 23

What’s the

BUZZ All About?

Bumble Bee Blinds is a hive of activity—see what’s got all the worker bees lining up to open their own franchises

Luke Schwartz found gold at the bottom of his honey pot with Bumble Bee Blinds (BBB), a franchise system that provides a chance for individuals to become business owners in the window covering industry.

BBB’s goal is to make the custom window covering experience easy for each customer. It aims to hit their own version of a sales trifecta: 1. Let customers try before they buy. 2. Provide precise real-time quotes by utilizing laser measurement and custom pricing software. 3. Offer on-the-spot financing.

After a career in corporate finance, in August 2018, he was introduced to the window covering industry through his role as an executive director of Window Wares Inc., a wholesale distributor in Omaha, Nebraska. One of the perks of the job was that the company placed an emphasis on education, making sure everyone in the business knew window coverings from top to bottom. He learned how the industry operated, who the major players were and how distribution and service worked, just to name a few. “While I didn’t realize it at the time, this experience laid the groundwork for developing and building Bumble Bee Blinds,” Schwartz said.

Run by HorsePower Brands, started in 2019 to disrupt the franchise industry, he transitioned from working as the parent company’s director of finance to president of BBB. “We started Bumble Bee Blinds with a blank sheet of paper,” said Schwartz. “We asked ourselves, ‘If the goal was to build a new-age window covering company that utilized tools and technology to make the experience easy for the customer, what would it look like?’”

BBB partners with several franchise broker networks and taps into their own internal development team to locate the right people to take on the company name. After these parties meet, qualify and educate candidates, the final step in the decision-making process is to attend a two-day event in Omaha. Many meetings, presentations and one-on-one sessions ensure those interested fully understand the brand and its strategy.

Before the doors open, franchisees must complete an eightweek training program, which culminates with an on-site visit to the company’s headquarters. “Our franchisees and employees have been through the sales process, CRM workflow, order

management process and other key processes many times before they ever step foot in their first customer’s home,” said Schwartz.

Luis and Kim Ferioli decided to move out of their corporate offices and into a storefront last September when they opened up BBB of the Lowcountry in the greater Charleston, South Carolina, area. The couple knew they wanted to start a franchise that was the right fit for their family, but when it came down to it, the personal connection Schwartz forged with them tipped the scales in BBB’s

FULL FRAME Retailer Spotlight
MARCH + APRIL 2024 | 24
A golden example of what Bumble Bee Blinds franchisees can do for their customers.

favor. On top of this, the Feriolis felt that HorsePower Brands had developed all the support they would need to quickly scale a business and turn a profit within their first year of operations.

“The brand is fun and catchy—and, as one of the first owners, we’re part of building something special,” said the duo. “The leadership team is always open to hear our feedback and act quickly on our needs. You don’t always get those interactions with longestablished brands.”

Because the brand has the systems and processes in place, the Feriolis are able to focus on developing the business—including their employees—and, in their words, “delighting our customers.”

For Tony and Marsha Russo, the shift to owning their own franchise wasn’t as much of a left turn. Together, they’ve owned and operated Russo Stone Design for almost 16 years, which has allowed them to work with custom home builders, remodelers and interior designers. “Between the connections we had in play from our other business and the support offered by the corporate office, the opportunity just made sense,” said the Russos.

They officially opened their doors in West St. Louis, Missouri, the week before Thanksgiving last year and their enthusiasm for the business continues to build. “Every project is unique and it’s always so exciting to see the finished installed project, how it transforms the space and to see how clients respond to the change,” the couple shared.

With a sales plan in place to (hopefully) hit $1.5 million in revenue this year, the Feriolis shared that referral partnerships and customer referrals, including reviews, play a significant role in their business. The Russos set a goal to reach the $100,000 mark consistently each month in 2024, with the idea to grow to $3.5 million annual sales volume by the time the business hits 60 months.

Beyond financial success, what BBB offers franchisees is a shot at building a scalable business that delivers freedom. Freedom

from a traditional 9-to-5, constant travel and working for someone else. “Our franchisees must commit their time and involvement to building their business,” explained Schwartz.

For BBB, the next two to five years hold much in store. While they already offer Graber, Alta Window Fashions, Universal Screens and Horizons Window Fashions products, March marks the launch of their own private-label product line called LuxeHive Fashions, which is exclusive to franchisees.

Currently with 26 open locations, there’s plans to open an additional 20 locations in the next six months. The company’s fiveyear goal is to reach 200-plus open locations across the country. “This significant growth is made possible by the investment our ownership has made into the brand in the form of financial and human capital,” said Schwartz. “We are prepared to scale with our franchisees.” V

Tony and Marsha Russo, franchisees in West St. Louis, Missouri
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IWCE 2024!

Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center 1501 Gaylord Trail, Grapevine, TX 76051

Wednesday, April 10

Seminars Only: 9:00 AM-5:30 PM

Denim & Diamonds Welcome Party: 5:30 PM-8:00 PM

Thursday, April 11

Seminars: 9:00 AM-12:00 PM

Exhibit Hall: 10:00 AM-5:00 PM

Grace Awards Gala: 5:30 PM-7:00 PM

Friday, April 12

Seminars: 9:00 AM-12:00 PM

Exhibit Hall: 10:00 AM-4:00 PM

Welcome to
Locked & Loaded With Linings, Interlinings, Blackouts, Sheers, Pillow Inserts, Supplies Locked & Loaded With Sheers, Pillow & Offering Quality In All Products Service That Answers Too Fast Concealing Yummy Tootsie Pops in Lining Bolts Order Turn-Around Faster Than A Speeding Bullet Too Reasonably Priced Call: 1-800-450-9368 Email: Visit: MARCH + APRIL 2024 | 28

Texas here we come!

Welcome to our first IWCE in the Lone Star State! We chose the Texas location to make it more convenient for everyone to get to the world’s greatest window covering event. This year will be epic!

New this year:

• The Outdoor Oasis Pavilion: a “must-visit” interactive space with the latest innovations in outdoor furnishings, appliances and, of course, window coverings—both inside and out!

• A record sold-out show floor with thousands of new products to discover

• The Grace Awards: a star-studded event announcing this year’s window luminaries!

• More advanced training courses than ever—for every window professional

Once a year, we have the opportunity to get together to share experiences, network with industry leaders and meet new friends. The Gaylord offers many superb dining and resort experiences for you to recharge and refresh—and the adorable town of Grapevine is just a complimentary shuttle away.

I can’t wait to see everyone and have a good ole Texas adventure!




Wednesday, April 10, 2024 TIME CATEGORY SESSION SPEAKER(S) CODE LOCATION 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Motorization WFCP Motorization Certification O’D McKewan 1WEC Appaloosa 4 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Installation WFCP Installation Certification Roger Magalhaes 2WEC Palomino 1 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Design WFCP Design Certification Cheryl Meiklejohn 3WEC Palomino 2 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM Business/Finance SUPER SESSION: Financial Goals: From Modeling to KPI Creation Michele Williams 4WESS Grapevine 6 9:00 AM - 10:15 AM Design Behind the Curtain: Insider Info on How to Build a Soft Window Covering Business Deb Barrett 5WE Grapevine 2/3 9:00 AM - 10:15 AM Business/Motivation 3 Secret Strategies of Success Madeleine MacRae 6WE Grapevine 1 9:00 AM - 10:15 AM Marketing/SEO Unlocking Lead Generation Success: SEO Strategies for Dealers, Designers and Retailers Katie Creekmore 7WE Ft. Worth 1/2 9:00 AM - 10:15 AM Design/Workroom Roman Shade Motorization Made Easy Sandra VanSickle 8WE Ft. Worth 3/4 10:30 AM - 11:45 AM Business/HR Expediting Training for Fast Track Results Jessica Harling 9WE Ft. Worth 5/6 10:30 AM - 11:45 AM Business/Sales Sell Transformations: Not Window Treatments Kathy Cragg Pace 10WE Grapevine 1
AM - 11:45 AM Design/Color The Textile Eye: A Look at the Spring Report Covering Paris Déco Off/Maison&Objet 2024 Saana Baker 11WE Ft. Worth 3/4 10:30 AM - 11:45 AM Marketing/Social Media Digital Trust 101: Curating and Capitalizing on Online Reviews Katie Creekmore 12WE Ft. Worth 1/2 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM Motivation/ KEYNOTE LUNCHEON: Business Breakthroughs – Else Johnson 13WE Grapevine 4/5 Personal Development Identifying and Eliminating 5 Hidden Blocks Toward True Success 1:30 PM - 5:00 PM Guided Tour Designer Day Dallas Market Experience David Santiago Dallas Market Center 1:30 PM - 4:00 PM Marketing/Design SUPER SESSION: Crafting Powerful Presentations: Mood Boards and Lookbooks Deb Barrett 14WESS Grapevine 2/3 1:30 PM - 2:45 PM Business/HR Bridging the Skills Gap Jessica Harling 15WE Ft. Worth 5/6 1:30 PM - 2:45 PM Marketing/SEO Beyond the Pane: Email Marketing Strategies for Window Decor Professionals Masha Koyen 16WE Ft. Worth 1/2 1:30 PM - 2:45 PM Workroom/Design Creative Solutions for Workroom Challenges Ann Johnson 17WE Ft. Worth 3/4 3:00 PM - 4:15 PM Sales Implementing Profit First into Your Business Michele Williams 18WE Grapevine 6 3:00 PM - 4:15 PM Design/Color Designing Tomorrow: Emerging Color and Construction Trends in Window Textiles Saana Baker 19WE Ft. Worth 5/6 3:00 PM - 4:15 PM Marketing/SEO Website Copy That Sells: Maximizing Your Website Masha Koyen 20WE Ft. Worth 1/2 for Conversions 3:00 PM - 4:15 PM Workroom Workroom Processes for Profitability and Success Linda Tully 21WE Ft. Worth 7 3:00 PM - 4:15 PM Business/Sales Leverage the Power of Story Kathy Cragg 22WE Grapevine 1 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM Pre-Reception & Book Signing KEYNOTE: Where Do You Go Madeleine MacRae & When Success Is Not Enough Thomas MacDonald 23WE Grapevine 4/5 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM Welcome Reception Denim & Diamonds Party Grapevine Ballroom C & D
April 11, 2024 TIME CATEGORY SESSION SPEAKER(S) CODE LOCATION 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM Special Event Made in the Shade Annual Conference Grapevine Ballroom D 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM Special Event WCMA Meeting Appaloosa 4 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM Sales/Motivation Vision Boards That Work: Accelerate Toward Madeleine MacRae Your Dreams & Else Johnson 1THSS Ft. Worth 5/6 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM Installation Mastering Soft Treatments: Measurements and Installation Roger Magalhaes 2THSS Grapevine 6 9:00 AM - 10:15 AM Business/Finance Financial Basics: Understanding GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) Michele Williams 3TH Ft. Worth 3/4 9:00 AM - 10:15 AM Design/Workroom Future Views: Meet Your Window Covering Client –Part 1 Deb Barrett 4TH Grapevine 2/3 9:00 AM - 10:15 AM Business/HR Identifying People vs. Process Problems Jessica Harling 5TH Grapevine 1 9:00 AM - 10:15 AM Workroom/Design/ Reverse-Engineering Patterns Linda Tully 6TH Ft. Worth 7 Motorization 9:00 AM - 10:15 AM Design/Workroom Selecting the Right Fabrics for Your Designs Cheryl Meiklejohn 7TH Ft. Worth 1/2 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM Workroom Artisan Atelier (Formerly Workroom Central) Booth #1025 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM Design/Trend The Outdoor Oasis: A Lone Star Retreat Designer Trend Pavillion Booth #719 10:30 AM - 11:45 AM Business/Finance Generating Leads in a Down Economy Oliver Schreiber 8TH Ft. Worth 3/4 10:30 AM - 11:45 AM Marketing/SEO Converting Clicks to Clients: Navigating Google AdWords and PPC Katie Creekmore 9TH Ft. Worth 1/2 MARCH + APRIL 2024 | 30


2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

AM - 11:45 AM Design/Color Future Views: Color Design Trends 2024 and Beyond – Part 2 Deb Barrett 10TH Grapevine 2/3 10:30 AM - 11:45 AM Design/Workroom Best Workroom Techniques for 2024 Ann Johnson 11TH Ft. Worth 7
AM - 11:45
Business/Sales Close a Sale or Open a Relationship for Life Kathy Cragg Pace 12TH Grapevine 4/5
AM - 11:45 AM Motorization Introduction to Motorization O’D McKewan 13TH Grapevine 1
Mastering the National Workroom: Horizons Window A Dialogue on Growth and Efficiency Fashions Darlene M. Bruns 17TH Grapevine 1
PM - 2:30 PM
The State of Child Safety Derick Marsh
Rollease Acmeda in the Shading Industry   Anthony Russo 15TH Grapevine 2/3
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
18TH Ft. Worth 1/2
PM - 3:30
Draper Inc. Selling Exterior Shading: Explore the Possibilities Draper Inc. 16TH Ft. Worth 5/6
PM Special Event WCMA Product Innovation Awards Grapevine 4/5
PM - 7:00 PM Special Event The 2024 Grace Awards Gala –Window Fashion Design and Artisan Awards Ceremony Tickets Sold Separately Grapevine Ballroom C Friday, April 12, 2024 TIME CATEGORY SESSION/EVENT SPEAKER CODE LOCATION 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM Made in the Shade Annual Conference Ft. Worth 5-7 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM Exciting Windows! 20th Annual Conference Grapevine B 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM Motorization Mastering Motorization O’D McKewan 1FRSS Grapevine 6 9:00 AM - 10:15 AM Design/Business Delivering the Luxury Custom Window Covering Experience Deb Barrett 2FR Grapevine 2/3 9:00 AM - 10:15 AM Business Finance Winning the Race to Wealth Vince Nigara 3FR Ft. Worth 1/2 9:00 AM - 10:15 AM Social Media Master Social Media Marketing to Reach More Ideal Clients Sara Lynn Brennan 4FR Grapevine 1 9:00 AM - 10:15 AM Business/Motivation The Art of Getting Lucky: 5 Steps Madeleine MacRae 5FR Ft. Worth 3/4 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM Workroom Artisan Atelier (Formerly Workroom Central) Booth #1025 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM Design/Trend The Outdoor Oasis: A Lone Star Retreat Designer Trend Pavillion Booth #719 10:30 AM - 11:45 AM Business Finance Benchmark Numbers for a Profitable Business Vince Nigara 6FR Ft. Worth 1/2 10:30 AM - 11:45 AM Business Secrets from a Designer: Mastering the Relationship Between Workrooms and Interior Designers Sara Brennan 7FR Grapevine 1 10:30 AM - 11:45 AM Marketing/Sales 10 Steps to Closing the Sale: Using a Sales Methodology Oliver Schreiber 8FR Ft. Worth 3/4 10:30 AM - 11:45 AM Workroom PANEL: Workrooms on the Rise: Conversations with Experienced Workroom Owners Sandra VanSickle 9FR Grapevine 2/3 10:30 AM - 11:45 AM Design The Importance of Uniting Drapery Styles with Appropriate Drapery Hardware Cheryl Meiklejohn 10FR Appaloosa 4 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM Special Event PANEL: Fireside Chat 100 Best Takeaways Show Floor Stage 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Special Event 20 Under 40: Class of 2023 Awards Toast Private Event Outdoor Oasis Booth #719 3:30 PM Special Event Rowley Company Dallas Tour and Celebration Tickets Sold Separately VISION 31
Shading Ecosystem Somfy Systems
Zigbee 3.0 Technology Amit Parpani, Senior Product Marketing Manager;
De Encio, Project Services Specialist; Brent Holup, Interior Wire-Free and Drapery Products Manager
4:30 PM


Join us at the Workroom for a LIVE hands-on experience!

Artisan Atelier is the place that brings the industry full circle. Annually, designers, fabricators, installers and upholsters gravitate toward the booth to be inspired by the creative aspects of vignettes, gain valuable information from instructional presentations and learn new skills during hands-on demonstrations. This is also where beautiful fabrics, trims, hardware, and supplies our vendors so generously donate are brought to life by the artisans and showcased in their final form.

Over the years, due to the visual and interactive aspects of the booth, it has become a gathering place to meet new friends, reminisce with old ones, and share our knowledge and vision of what’s to come. Learn more at

Thursday, April 11

3:30 PM Social Proof-Marketing for the Workroom:

Panel Discussion

Friday, April 12

10:00 AM

1:00 PM

Artisan Meets the Apprentice Series – Session

Moderator: Elizabeth Gerdes

Panelists: Ronica VanGelder, Jill Ballew, Linda Tully and Mark Perel

2:30 PM

3:00 PM

3:30 PM

Time Seminar Title Speaker Type of Presentation
10:00 AM Business Growth: 10 Lessons Learned Donna Cash 30-Minute Eyes & Ears
Class 11:30 AM Taking the Guesswork Out of Mock Roman Valances Kristen Vince 30-Minute Eyes & Ears 12:00 PM Smocking Technique Cathy Tucker 30-Minute Hands-on 12:30 PM Embellishing with Embroidery Donna Scott Johnson 30-Minute Eyes & Ears
Mastering French Blackout Panels with Hand-Stitched Pleats and Contrast Lining Sandra VanSickle 2-Hour
Class 2:00 PM Sewing Shade Rings with a Sewing Machine Joann Wieberdink 30-Minute Eyes & Ears
PM The Shilly-Shally Shade Nina Zheleva 1-Hour Hands-on
10:30 AM Artisan Meets the Apprentice Series –
One: No
Ripplefold Draperies
Booser and Rachel Lusk
Artisan Meets the Apprentice – Session Two:
4:30 PM Double Your Revenue in 2024! Hope Arbery 30-Minute Eyes & Ears
Panel Discussion
Three: Crafting a Custom Skeleton Cornice Linda
Five Steps to Programming Success Donna Cash 30-Minute Eyes & Ears
Secrets to Bay, Bow and Corner Windows Donna Skufis 30-Minute Eyes & Ears
Embellishing with Leather Donna Scott Johnson 30-Minute Hands-on
Artisan Meets the Apprentice Series – Session
Artisan Class 11:00 AM
11:30 AM
12:30 PM
Four: Style My Ottoman Slipcover Karly
Style My Fabrics Kelli Vitari 30-Minute Eyes & Ears
Artisan Class 2:00 PM
No-Fail Faux Banding Donna Skufis 30-Minute Hands-on
Wall Anchors and Screws Ken VanSickle 30-Minute Eyes & Ears
Tools to Square Up Fabric Cathy Tucker 30-Minute Workroom Table
MARCH + APRIL 2024 | 32

Leafy Windoware is a prominent company that designs and manufactures cordless mechanisms for blinds and shades With a focus on innovation, functionality, and aesthetic appeal, Leafy Windoware has successfully established itself as a trusted name in the window treatment industry.

We offer a full range of cordless mechanisms for blinds and shades, including Venetian blinds, Roller shades, Zebra shades, Roman shades, and Honeycomb blinds. From different designs to various materials, Leafy Windoware ensures that customers can find the perfect cordless mechanism solution to complement their special needs |

+86-18653236039 ( WeChat

Visit Us Booth #211
Spring Motor & Tension Adjustable Transmitter debuting at IWCE!
Leafy is Cordless


ABO Window Fashion

Booth 539

Introducing our newly designed Panel Track Vertical Blinds, a modern approach to window covering and space division. Use as a space partition, temporary wall, storage cover, closet door, photo or video backdrop and even as a unique art installation. Its wall- or ceilingmounted function allows for a wide variety of uses and is available in width up to 22 feet. Visit us in Booth 539 to observe it in action!

Horizons Window Fashions

Booth 601

Illinois-based National Workroom offers a full spectrum of soft products, including draperies, side panels, roman shades, soft roller shades, upholstered cornices, casual valances, pillows and premium top treatments. We also offer a full range natural woven wood products, as well as our Shades of Elegance solar/roller portfolio.

A Plus Manufactory, LLC

Booth 1034

The shutter retrofit motor is a versatile, eco-friendly solution for automating existing shutters. Compatible with 2.5", 3.5" and 4.5" slats, it can be seamlessly integrated into various shutter sizes. This compact motor is designed for easy installation and can be powered by solar panels, ensuring an efficient, sustainable operation. It offers smooth, quiet control over light and privacy, enhancing convenience while reducing energy consumption.

Lantex USA

Booth 901

Lantex USA specializes in elegant window treatments, elevating the comfort and aesthetics of any space with our range of lush fabrics. Enjoy the look and convenience of our cordless lift options. Available on our entire line of shades and blinds, a cordless lift system eliminates the danger of exposed cords, which can pose strangulation hazards to infants and young children. Upgrade your window coverings today with Lantex cordless shades!


Booth 112

Cronopower has developed the world’s first intelligent charging system for rechargeable battery motors, and with it, a new way to wire for motorized shades. Dealers can provide batterypowered shades as a hardwired system using a simple CAT5based Power Bus. The compact and inexpensive PowerHub can charge up to 40 motors on a daisy-chained bus and works with nearly every motor manufacturer. Save wire, labor and cost with Cronopower.

Hanes Fabrics

Booth 119

Nightfall is a lining blackout fabric produced with new technology that reduces black pull-through that can occur when pairing traditional blackout fabric with a light-color face fabric. Nightfall is 25% lighter weight than traditional blackout, which fabricators and installers appreciate, and may reduce costs of drapery hardware.

Leafy Windoware

Booth 211

With the newly developed Tension Adjustable Transmitter, installers can adjust the tension on the job site in case tension has somehow been changed during transportations. NO NEED TO RETURN THE BLIND FOR REPAIR. Also, people on the factory floor can quickly assemble the roller shade and adjust the tension upon inspection. Production efficiency will be improved dramatically.

Metrique Solutions

Booth 1431

Metrique offers a straightforward, user-friendly display of your financial performance. With Metrique, you can distill complex financial statements into a few key numbers and performance indicators. This means that anyone, regardless of their financial background, can easily gain deep insights into their finances and make informed decisions. With Metrique, becoming a financial expert is within reach for everyone. Stop by Booth 1413 to meet our founder, Michele Williams, and grab a free demo of Metrique today.

Panel Track Vertical Blinds Cronopower Intelligent Nightfall National Workroom –Soft Product Line Window Fashions Tension Adjustable Transmiter Metrique Solutions
Retrofit Shutter Motor

Orion Ornamental Iron, Inc.

Booth 315

All NEW! Orion introduces 10 new finials, available in both the Iron Art Collection and Xpress Your Way quick ship program. Six new finials bridge looks from modern to classic. The exterior fit metal finials are available in our hand-painted finishes. Four contemporary finials crafted from solid rodding play off geometrics. The new interior fit finials can be plated or painted in most of our Italian or Iron Art finishes.

Sunburst Shutters & Window Fashions

Booth 1434

Polywood Shutters are not just pretty; they are a powerhouse of energy efficiency, custommade in the U.S. and durable. See how these top-of-the-line shutters can bring the smart engineering of durability, energy efficiency and expert design to any home. Approved dealers receive a FREE sample bag and 50 square feet FREE!

Twitchell Technical Products, LLC

Booth 1309

Blur the line between interior and exterior! Bring on the aesthetic drama with Twitchell’s latest decor versatile shade fabric. Shadeview design defines contemporary neutrals with pattern depth and tonal textures. Elevate interior form, function or enhance traditional exterior spaces to foster superluxe themes. Lightweight with Textilene UV stability and performance backed by Twitchell’s leading 15-year warranty.


US Custom Shades is proud to be the largest Coulisse roller & honeycomb shade fabricator in the US. We ship nationwide from our facitlity located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida within 7 business days.

1201 N.W. 65th place, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 954-388-5014

New Iron Art Finials Polywood Shutters Shadeview Design

Show Your Badge IN GRAPEVINE!

Welcome to Grapevine! Home to hospitality since 1844, we are truly excited to host IWCE 2024 in such a historic and hospitable location. Be sure to enjoy offers through Grapevine’s “Show Your Badge” program! This program, exclusive to you as an attendee, is designed to bring you a memorable experience during your stay. Once you arrive, you will wonder what took you so long to discover Grapevine.


215 E. Dallas Rd.

Journey with us through the sensual palate and flavors of the Mediterranean at Bacchus Kitchen + Bar. Named for the Roman god of wine, Bacchus is a food experience like no other. In tribute to the ancient Roman tradition of feasting and celebration, the restaurant defies stereotypes and genres with its elevated yet approachable Mediterranean-inspired cuisine.


520 S. Main St. #207

Mix and match unique Texas truffles or truffle bar flavors, choose from 16-plus flavors of spirit-filled chocolates, try creamy smooth fudge that is made with all-natural ingredients or indulge in any other of the awesome chocolate offerings!


620 S. Main St.

Since 1992, Cliff and his wife, Betty, have served as pioneers in the Texas organic cotton and peanut markets

Create your own unique glass art! Vetro (which is Italian for “glass”) is a nationally recognized, active glassblowing studio and fine art gallery. It offers extensive professionally crafted glass art, ranging from handmade sculptures to small glass art gifts. Come by and enjoy being in the presence of artists as they create and practice the ancient art of glassblowing!


707 S. Main St.

All aboard the historic Grapevine Vintage Railroad in the heart of Grapevine. The vintage railroad is an excursion and special event railroad that runs from the Main Street station in Grapevine to the Fort Worth Stockyards. Visit

to learn more.
MARCH + APRIL 2024 | 36
Visit us at Booth #1237 Class Leading Motors for Interior Applications Designed and engineered in Melbourne, Australia Customize hardware, features, or performance to your needs Battery motor with RF and manual pull switch control $22 VISION 37


This free app will keep you notified and connected.

• Create a daily schedule of exhibitors, seminars and events

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• Get real-time show news and alerts

• View show maps and products to easily navigate IWCE

• Cast your vote for the People’s Choice Awards for a chance to win $500

• Join our show scavenger hunt and win big prizes!

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VAKO Motorization

An extensive curtain track range compatible with top motor brands

Discover the elegance and flexibility of VAKO’s Decorative Motorized Curtain Tracks. Available in round and rectangular designs, compatible with a broad range of motors from top brands, thanks to a universal design featuring one master pulley with interchangeable motor plates.

Crafted from premium aluminum and available in 9 stunning colors, the Vako systems offer a perfect blend of style and functionality for every project.



Open to Entering Showroomthe Business?


We asked four owners from across the United States for their advice on this delicate decision

Has the thought of operating out of your home become less and less appealing? While the convenience of working from home is tempting, it’s normal for growing pains to develop as your business does. The natural next step for most might be opening a showroom, but that comes with its own set of triumphs and tribulations. A physical location provides a unique way to engage with potential and existing clients, but it also introduces new elements into your business’ equation.

Caryn O’Sullivan, who opened Drapery Street’s first Indiana showroom in 2006, thinks of it this way: “If you’re changing from stay-at-home to showroom, you should see it in larger ticket sizes because clients feel more comfortable making larger purchases.” She’s found it “reduces the risk of our clients not being able to envision the finished/full-size product.”

For Park City Blind & Design’s Clint Olson, having a storefront gives his Utah business “more legitimacy, professionalism and better service for our clients— and a great work environment for our employees.” Clients are able to demo products they’re interested in, generate ideas and stay up to date with the latest in window treatments. An added benefit? Interior designers and builders can bring their customers into the space to make more informed selections.

The major deciding factor for New York City’s Glamour Decorating, run by Abraham, Shaun and Jon Yehuda, was once it “started selling more to retail customers and designers.” Opening a showroom furthered the company’s goal to “connect with and build our luxury clientele on a greater scale,” which “will allow us to take on more jobs and higher-value projects.”

O’Sullivan considers herself a visual person and “couldn’t envision a way to tell a whole home window

treatment story through small samples and books.” She took inspiration from handbag designer 1154 Lill Studio and BuildA-Bear Workshop, where, she said, “you could see the full vision of what you wanted and make your own customizable choices along the way.”

According to Elizabeth Gerdes, founder of Georgia’s Stitch Above the Rest, the startup costs of opening—and maintaining—a showroom will always be more than you expect. “The beginning stages are a huge investment. Not just financially, but physically and emotionally … This is not something you give half your effort to and have it turn out perfectly,” she said. “You have to show up for everyone, from your designers to your builders and to your family and friends.”

One of the initial costs is a space’s down payment, but monthly expenses will come to include rent/mortage payment, utilities, payroll, cleaning and maintenance, insurance, inventory and marketing. “It’s an ongoing investment,” said Olson, as Park City is always updating, adding to and expanding its offerings. O’Sullivan shared the same sentiment, saying, “We are very conscious of building something we can edit because the industry is rapidly changing.”

On top of the employees you’ll hire to work in the showroom, what about those you’ll have to hire to prepare the space?

First, a real estate agent or broker can help you find the perfect location, then a contractor can make your dreams into a reality. An interior designer will be able to help you infuse your brand identity throughout the space and add the finishing touches.

Remember that this transition doesn’t come quickly. Time is a huge consideration. Finding the right place is just the beginning. When everything is said and done, you have to take the time to put business practices in place to set yourself up for success from the get-go. While Yehuda said opening a showroom was the best investment Glamour Decorating ever made, “It was a substantial monetary investment … It was also a time investment, taking almost 10 months to build.”

Once the showroom is open for business, how do you get the word out? Social media is great, but it can only take your business as far as you’re willing to take it. To prepare, reach out to your local Chamber of Commerce, send invites to existing customers (and suggest they bring a friend) or circulate a press release to local publications.

For Drapery Street’s second showroom opening last year, the festivities started with a soft opening followed by a larger grand opening. On top of those events, the team chose to host a VIP event for designers, builders and other industry professionals to familiarize themselves with the new space. About six months after the grand opening, O’Sullivan said, “Traffic started picking up as folks got to know and recognize our brand.”

If you’re still on the fence, try reaching out to industry professionals in your area and visiting their properties. It

MARCH + APRIL 2024 | 40


Elizabeth Gerdes

Stitch Above the Rest, Woodstock, Georgia @stitchabovetherest

Jonathan Yehuda

Glamour Decorating, New York, New York @glamourdecorating

Clint Olson

Park City Blind & Design, Park City and St. George, Utah @parkcityblindanddesign

doesn’t hurt to check out the competition and see some of your potential ideas in practice. O’Sullivan traveled the country to explore different showrooms that inspired her and really thought about the experience a client will have when they visit a Drapery Street showroom.

In most cases, the rewards outweigh the repercussions. Gerdes said, “Though this is one of the toughest things I’ve ever taken on, I am so happy I did it. After years of dreaming about it, I wish I had done it sooner. The pressure it takes off of me trying to do everything myself, having people help me, having a place for my clients to come visit, all of it … I know with a little more time and energy, we will have this place running smoothly for years to come.” V

Caryn O’Sullivan

Drapery Street, Carmel and Fishers, Indiana @draperystreet


Focus on Getting the

Pitch Perfect

Putting in the work to tell your story in a relatable way will lead to the sales you seek.

In the dimly lit room of a bustling conference center, John felt a knot forming in his stomach as he looked around at the sea of faces. He came to the networking event to meet and learn from others who might be able to help him and his business grow, but now that he’s here, he’s having second thoughts.

We can relate to John and the knot in his stomach. The prospect of networking can be daunting for many; however, it’s an essential skill for professional growth and business success. Early in my career, you’d find me at networking events trying hard to disappear. Decades later, I’ve learned a thing or two and I have valuable tips to share about modern networking that will help you make the most of every opportunity.


Networking in business has significantly changed, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual meetings and online events have become the norm, opening up many opportunities and challenging traditional notions of face-to-face events. However, as in-person conferences and gatherings like the upcoming International Window Coverings Expo are returning stronger than ever, networking is evolving once again. Today, it involves a blend of virtual and physical engagements, creating unique and dynamic opportunities.


Memorable for the right reasons. We’ve all seen those gogetters who “work the room,” shaking hands and telling stories, introducing their profession with clever one-liners and quips. Then, they quickly exchange contact information and move on. Next! It’s apparent they’ve rehearsed and delivered their elevator speech many times. Success to them is leaving the event with 10 or 15 business cards.

The problem is, we don’t remember those people. And, if we do, it’s not for positive reasons. And then there’s the introverts, the wallflowers, those who are too shy to say hello. We don’t remember them either because we weren’t given the chance to meet them.


There is a modern way to network. Thankfully, how we prepare today to meet others and introduce our business is much more genuine than how we were taught in business training in the past. Let’s start with this announcement: The elevator speech is dead. You know what I’m talking about, and you probably have one for your business. Today, the elevator pitch has been replaced with a more elevated approach that I call a Be Memorable PITCH, but let’s be clear here. PITCH is an acronym—and I’m not proposing a sales-y pitch.

A Be Memorable PITCH translate to a Personal Introduction That Creates a Hook. And I’m happy to say it isn’t just for business events. Because it’s genuine, it works just as well on the soccer field, at the next barbeque gathering and anywhere you find yourself with the opportunity to talk with someone you don’t know. Here’s how to set yourself up for success.

First, start small. Set a goal for one new connection a week, and then get out of your comfort zone and put yourself in places where others are. A small number each month will add up. Remember that a few meaningful interactions with people who remember you and want to help you are worth much more than a stack of business cards in a drawer or hundreds of likes and followers who know nothing about the real you.

Next, aim for a relationship, not a transactional exchange. Look for conversation starters and points of commonality. At a

FULL FRAME Transformations
MARCH + APRIL 2024 | 42

business event, you might begin by admitting that you were a little nervous coming here because you don’t know anyone, and then ask what brought them to the event. Being real goes a long way. Once the conversation starts, tune everything else out, actively listen to the other person, ask thoughtful questions and show genuine interest.

Eventually, the question “What do you do?” comes up. You can ensure it does by asking it first. Then, when it’s your turn to answer, be prepared. This is where your PITCH comes into play. Rather than state what you do in terms of the functional problem you solve, start by inviting the listener into a compelling story. Done well, it hooks them every time because no one can walk away from a good story.


Here’s an example using a tale of two professional chefs and, spoiler alert, only one of them can cook and deliver a PITCH with a HOOK! The first chef introduces himself by saying, “I’m Jim, and I’m a home chef. I go to people’s homes and cook for them.” Yes, it was short, to the point and said exactly what he does, but unless you were thinking, “I need someone to cook for me,” you will probably ask a few questions and then move on.

Now, imagine you meet Jen. She’s also a home chef, but when asked what she does, she has prepared a question that draws you in. “Well, you know how families seldom ever eat together anymore, and when they do, it’s not healthy food? I’m a home chef. I come to people’s homes and cook for them so they can enjoy delicious, healthy meals together.” Jen’s pitch captures attention because we can relate to the bigger problem she solves. We’re drawn in and want to know more because Jen went deeper with a philosophical problem everyone can relate to.

If you prepare and practice your story hook in advance, you can do that too. As window treatment professionals, you do more than just sell products that solve light-control and privacy problems. You sell transformations, meaning you turn uncomfortable houses into comfortable and inviting havens. There is a philosophical problem when someone’s home doesn’t feel comfortable and inviting. Your PITCH might say something like: “Well, you know how when you don’t feel good about how your home looks or feels, you aren’t excited about hosting family and friends? I’m a window treatment designer and too many people look at their windows and don’t like what they see. I transform homes into havens: comfortable, inviting places where everyone wants to be.”


The last pointer for networking success is to practice gratitude. Express sincere thanks to those who offer insights, share experiences or provide valuable referrals to others. A thank-you text or email cements the contact and makes your new friend feel valued.

When you decide in advance how you’ll communicate the deeper, more philosophical problem you solve and then use your PITCH in a genuine way to draw people in, you’ll be memorable. You’ll also be surprised how much easier networking and growing your business—one relationship at a time— will be. V

is currently director of sales for 3 Blind Mice in California. »

Kathy Cragg Pace teaches modern sales for people who hate “salesy” people. Her specialty is elevated design sales for individuals and teams, empowering them to provide an irresistible selling experience. Throughout her decadeslong career, she had led her own award-winning design franchise, real estate and custom home-building companies, a network of large and small independent window covering business owners and a nationwide retail team of in-home design professionals. She Ruthie Staalsen Featured Speakers, Success Panels, Roundtable Discussions, and More!
Michelle Williams Jessica Harling LuAnn Nigara Vin Nigara Eddie Maestri
April 12-14, 2024 • Grapevine, TX Immediately Following the IWCE! JOIN US FOR THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY Exciting Windows!Conference And visit us at the IWCE! Booth #526 REGISTER NOW 2024 SPEAKER
Melanie Rosenburg


We trotted around the globe to uncover the hottest trends

Designers, dealers and professionals flocked to Paris and Frankfurt in January to view the latest and greatest interior design ideas. At trade shows like Heimtextil, Paris Déco Off and Maison&Objet, they discovered trends with strong staying power and emerging ideas that are shaping the future of home design and impacting the direction of the window covering field.


Against the backdrop of extreme weather and climate change mandates, the design industry is clearly making it a priority to improve sustainability. And this season’s design shows proved there is no shortage of innovative ideas for achieving that goal with textiles. In fact, Heimtextil’s theme—New Sensitivity— reflected a greater awareness of the environmental impact of textile materials and production methods.

“The fair has increasingly focused on sustainability as the urgency of every aspect—from circularity to innovative materials to fair trade practices—has come to the forefront,” noted Saana Baker, textile designer and editor-in-chief of The Textile Eye

On the ingredients side, manufacturers are moving beyond the ordinary and employing novel materials in creative ways. Among the many options on display were Bananatex (a Cradle to Cradle

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Certified Gold fabric made from Abacá banana plants) and Persiskin’s new vegan leather alternative made from the waste products of persimmon production.

When it comes to eco-friendly production techniques, the winter design shows highlighted the fact that the possibilities now abound. Beyond recycling and upcycling, manufacturers are turning to increasingly novel approaches to create sustainable textiles.

Exhibitors displayed techniques like 3D knitting that generates less fabric waste than weaving, along with bioengineered textiles—materials made from living organisms like bacteria, animal cells, fungi and yeast. With polyesters and other synthetics still a mainstay of the textile industry, it was no surprise to find several companies touting solutions to improve polyester biodegradability. CiCLO featured unique technology that embeds biodegradable pieces into synthetics during manufacturing, allowing microbes naturally existing in certain environments to break down the material once it’s disposed.

Perhaps the most encouraging sustainability trend is the growing feasibility of eco-friendly production. As Baker noted, “Some of these technologies are in nascent stages; but some, like cactus leather, are already used at scale.”



Though the winter weather might have been dreary, the showrooms in Paris were awash in color during Paris Déco Off and Maison&Objet. Color options for fabrics and wallcoverings ran the gamut—from hues of green intended to calm and soothe to vibrant and sunny yellows that energize and uplift, as well as statement-making browns, rusts and gold metallics. Earth tones and neutrals remained popular, though they were often paired with bolder shades for a pop of color. And vibrant animal prints showed up on a wide range of furnishings and wallcoverings.

Elaborate, tactile embellishments and finishing features were also in abundance. For example, Harlequin displayed fabrics adorned with felt appliqués, creating an interesting 3D texture on window shades and furnishings. Samuel & Sons showcased its Oceanside Collection (replete with colorful tassels that add just the right touch on indoor or outdoor furnishings) and the new Bagatelle collection of fabric borders, tassels and fringes by celebrated interior designer Timothy Corrigan. But, of course, no Paris show would be complete without a nod to haute couture. That’s just what exhibitors like Arte International served up, including wallcoverings that feature hand-embroidered designs, jacquard prints and loose threads.

The use of texture was equally prominent in the many unique wallcoverings on display at these popular design shows. From wood veneer and inlaid rattan to latticed designs made from mulberry, designers and manufacturers showcased creative ways to add natural, organic materials and tactile touches to the coverings that adorn our walls.

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More broadly, there was a noticeable shift away from the minimalism that once dominated design. Instead, patterns were awash in florals and medallions, interiors sported more artistic layouts and a touch of whimsy was evident in textiles featuring animals and illustrated scenery.


As technology continues to advance and the development of generative artificial intelligence (AI) marches forward, no industry will be left untouched, including interior design. The influence of AI was particularly evident at Heimtextil, where various exhibitors displayed products and services that leverage this burgeoning technology. Show visitors could try their hand at using AI to create textile images (courtesy of MANND, a Denmark virtual and augmented reality company) or use the AI-powered FabricGenie tool to create custom fabric designs for window coverings and other applications.

Meanwhile, Maison&Objet’s Rising Talent Awards took a slight shift this year, honoring young designers that fuse traditional craftsmanship with digital innovation. Given technology’s pervasiveness across the design field, it wasn’t surprising to find an entire award category dedicated to Tech Talents—including winners that leveraged techniques like robotics and 3D printing.


From colors to materials, from furnishings to accessories and from high tech to high touch, the winter design shows provided a window into what our industry can expect in 2024. As the newest design trends start to take hold, we’ll see the effects across the trade.

Some designers walked away from the experience sensing that window treatments will begin to reflect an increased interest in formality, incorporating detailed embellishments and special passementeries.

“We’ll also see items that look heavy (mimicking the bouclé you might see on a sofa) but are actually quite light and doublewidth,” Baker suggested. And with science, technology and design intersecting, expect to see more tools that help designers visualize and specify window treatment textiles, more window covering fabrics made from novel materials and more emerging concepts that require a strong understanding of the science behind the product and perhaps new certifications. V

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from around the world

As Told by 9 Designers

Uncover the latest window treatment trends as designers share their expertise as to what’s selling at the window for 2024



The Keeping Room, San Antonio, Texas @thekeepingroominteriors

“My favorite new trend is adding a half-inch of coordinating solid color banding to the top and leading edge of drapery panels. It really makes the pleats look fantastic and, when we pair it with a leading-edge tape, the panels look beautiful. It’s a customization that makes the treatments clearly one of a kind.”

WHAT’S IN: Layering drapery with woven grass shades


Grommet top, tab top, rod pockets and any unpleated drapery

TOP FABRICS: Small florals and block prints Small florals and block prints

KEY COLORS: Deep teal

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WHAT’S IN: Simple, clean and structured soft window treatments

WHAT’S OUT: Plantation shutters

TOP FABRICS: Linen, cotton and bamboo

KEY COLORS: Brown, oatmeal, brownish green and camel


Uptown Blinds & Drapes, Lindon, Utah @uptowndrapes

“Some of our biggest trends for 2024 are café curtains and stationary roman shades over roller shades. Our café curtains are nothing like the café curtains in years past. Gone are the ruffles and rod pockets. Today’s café curtains are structured with pleats and paired with custom iron rods and rings. They are light and airy and breezy but look simple, high-end and custom.”



Warm neutrals


Cool neutrals


Easy clean and linen blend

KEY COLORS: Brown and green


Custom Drapes, Texas and Tennessee @customdrapesllc

“Window treatments are evolving into conversation starters, reflecting individual flair and imagination. Clients are embracing bold and vibrant drapery as a form of artistic expression, infusing spaces with playfulness and daring creativity. Amid these trends, the emphasis on individuality and customization remains paramount. Clients seek unique and personalized window treatments that mirror their distinct style and preferences, from bespoke patterns and designs to artisanal hardware and embellishments.”

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Shades By Design, Miami, Florida @shadesbydesign

“Sustainability and a love for nature are big trends for us. We’re all about promoting eco-friendly products that leave a minimal environmental footprint. Our clients are starting to notice the impact we’re having on the environment, and they’re on board with making more environmentally conscious choices.”


Concealed roller shades and drapery hardware


Manual window treatments


Woven linens


Dark grays and bronze aluminum paired with earthy fabrics



Avant-Garde Designs, Bucks County, Pennsylvania



Natural materials, motorized blinds and shades, bold colors and eclectic patterns


Heavy drapes and ornate valances




Deep blues, golden yellows, warm beige and sandy browns

“In the ever-evolving world of interior design, the window treatment trends for 2024 are set to make a bold statement by embracing vibrant colors. Gone are the days of neutrals and subtle hues; homeowners and designers are now seeking to infuse their living spaces with a burst of energy and personality through their window coverings. Among my top choices are deep greens, exuding a sense of tranquility and connection to nature; bold maroons, evoking a timeless elegance and sophistication; and deep purples, adding a touch of regal charm and mystery.”


Timothy Corrigan, Inc., Los Angeles, California, and Paris, France


“The biggest trends for my clientele in 2024 are a big use of tassel fringe, tape trim at leading edges and tiebacks. I also see people gravitating toward soft roman shades with tape trim for added customization, along with Italian stringing drapes. In my opinion, jabots, smocking tape and goblet pleats are poised for a comeback this year!”


Quiet luxury, soft valances and bump inner lining


Gray linen, ripplefold and metal hardware


Light silk damask


Light blue, white, yellow and lettuce green

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Wood poles


Beautiful patterns and textures bursting with colors




Klara Stanbridge Limited, Hertfordshire, England @klara.stanbridge

“Simple works best. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel. There are so many options and variants of curtains and blinds; however, it’s quite often the simple option that both looks the best and is the most practical.”



“I wouldn’t say there’s a specific trend that I hope makes a comeback because, just like in fashion, styles have a way of reappearing—usually with a new name and a twist. Over the past 24 years of business, I’ve enjoyed watching trends cycle through and change. Being presented with the challenge of something new or the return of something I haven’t fabricated in a while keeps things interesting.”


Euro- and pinch-pleat drapes and faux roman shades and cornices


Ripplefold, puddling and heavy, interlined drapes and swags


Natural fibers and bold prints


Blue, black and red/rust

Daisy Chain, Mt. Prospect, Illinois @daisychainllc
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Neutrals rich in textures and clean designs

WHAT’S OUT: Heavy window coverings




Sage, olive, emerald and hunter green


Solé Shades, Fountain Valley, California @soleshades

“The biggest trends we’re seeing and designing this year in the roman shade realm are more relaxed shades rather than the super-straight romans. Its more flowy and not so tailored. In the drapery end, we’re seeing a lot more ripplefold drapery and beautiful track systems and less rod and rings. A classic pinch pleat will never go out of style in my opinion!”


All NEW! Orion introduces 10 new finials, available in both Iron Art Collection and Xpress Your Way quick ship program. Four contemporary finials crafted from solid rodding plays off geometrics. The new interior fit finials can be plated or painted in most of our Italian or Iron Art finishes. If plated, the finials are available on 3/4”, 1”, 1-1/4” poles. If painted, available in all sizes from 1/2” to 1-1/2”. Six new finials bridge looks from Modern to Classic. The exterior fit metal finials are available in our hand painted finishes and available on 1” and 1 1/2” poles. Contact our sales team for all the details. Stop by Orion’s booth 315 at IWCE to see them up close!

MARCH + APRIL 2024 | 58 | | 877.476.6278 ORION ORNAMENTAL IRON, INC. 40 Years Years CELEBRATING CELEBRATING Donate to our sponsored organization, SEE International, to help provide free sight-restoring surgeries to underserved communities worldwide!

Mastering Retail Success: Elevating Revenue via Showrooms

Maximize your showroom’s potential by utilizing these strategies

As a seasoned window covering expert with nearly two decades of experience across various levels of market penetration, I’ve witnessed the transformative power of effective showroom strategies in driving retail success. Showrooms aren’t merely spaces to display products; they are dynamic environments that can be optimized to create immersive experiences, strategically showcase products, design eye-catching displays and ultimately boost revenue. But just how can you get to that finish line?

in customers. Lighting, music and even scent can play significant roles in creating a memorable experience. In fact, scent and lighting make a huge impact. As people walk into your showroom for the first time, this will create a physiological connection with how they view your services before you even speak to them.

3. Personalized Service

Create Immersive Showroom Experiences

The showroom experience is pivotal in capturing customers’ attention and fostering a connection with your brand. To create an immersive experience, consider the following areas of effect.

1. Engaging Displays

Utilize interactive displays that allow customers to touch, feel and experience the products firsthand. Incorporate technology where possible—such as virtual reality or interactive screens—to enhance engagement. The more senses you can engage, the better the experience for your clients. It will also help set you apart from your competition.

2. Mood Setting

Set the ambience of your showroom to align with your brand identity and the emotions you want to evoke

Train your staff to provide personalized assistance and product recommendations tailored to each customer’s needs and preferences. Building rapport and offering expert advice can significantly enhance the overall showroom experience. They need to do this in a non-pushy way and provide support as a “trail guide” to finding the right solution, not just “selling” the client on a solution.

Strategically Place Products

The placement of products within your showroom can greatly influence customer behavior and purchasing decisions. Consider the following strategies.

1. Traffic Flow

Analyze the flow of customer traffic within your showroom and strategically position high-demand products along the natural pathways. This ensures maximum exposure and increases the likelihood of impulse purchases.

2. Product Grouping

Group complementary products together to encourage upselling and cross-selling opportunities. For example,

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display window coverings alongside matching hardware or accessories to showcase complete solutions. Do this by incorporating other elements that would appear alongside the window coverings so that your clients can get a better idea of how the whole-room design comes together.

Highlight Featured Items

Designate prominent display areas for featured or new products to capture customers’ attention as soon as they enter the showroom. Use signage and creative displays to highlight these items effectively.

Design Eye-Catching Displays to Attract and Convert Customers

Striking displays are essential for capturing customers’ attention and driving conversions. Here are some tips for designing compelling displays.

1. Visual Hierarchy

Arrange products in a visually appealing manner, paying attention to height, color and contrast to create a sense of visual hierarchy. This guides customers’ eyes toward key focal points and encourages exploration.


Storytelling through Merchandising

Tell a compelling story through your displays by showcasing products in real-life settings or scenarios. This helps customers visualize how the products could enhance their own spaces, making them more likely to make a purchase.

3. Rotating Displays

Keep your showroom fresh and exciting by regularly rotating displays and updating product arrangements. This encourages repeat visits from customers and creates a sense of novelty and excitement.

Driving Retail Success

Ultimately, the goal of effective showroom strategies is to drive retail success by maximizing revenue and fostering long-term customer relationships. To achieve this, retailers must do the following.

1. Analyze Performance Metrics

Regularly track and analyze key performance metrics, such as sales conversions, average transaction value and customer feedback. Use this data to identify areas for improvement and refine your showroom strategies accordingly.

2. Adapt to Customer Preferences

Stay attuned to changing customer preferences and market trends and be willing to adapt your showroom strategies accordingly. Flexibility and responsiveness are key to staying competitive in the retail landscape.

3. Foster a Culture of Innovation

Encourage creativity and innovation within your team to continually evolve and enhance the showroom experience. Experiment with new technologies, design concepts and merchandising techniques to stay ahead of the curve.

Exploring Product Traction and Growth Opportunities

1. Evaluate Data

Analyze sales data to identify which products have the best traction statistically. These high-performing products should be prominently featured within your showroom and given special attention in your marketing efforts.

2. Fan the Flames

Pay attention to products that spark conversations and create opportunities for continued sales growth. These products may not always be the top sellers, but they have the potential to generate buzz and draw customers into your showroom. Invest in showcasing and promoting these products to capitalize on their potential.

In conclusion, mastering retail success through showroom strategies requires a combination of creativity, strategic planning and a deep understanding of customer behavior. By creating immersive experiences, strategically placing products, designing eye-catching displays and continually adapting to customer preferences, retailers can elevate their showroom operations and drive sustainable revenue growth. By implementing these strategies, retailers can unlock the full potential of their showrooms and position themselves for long-term success in the competitive retail landscape. V

Passionate about business development and window covering solutions since 2005, Sam Blair excels in crafting strategic revenuegenerating pathways and fostering cross-functional team synergy. His extensive industry journey has equipped him with a holistic perspective to create comprehensive window covering solutions. With a background in direct leadership roles, Blair is dedicated to sharing invaluable leadership insights and helping you achieve your goals, whether you seek enhanced leadership skills or innovative window covering solutions.

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Booth 301




Just in time for the start of spring, Vesta Drapery Hardware presents a new catalog with many proven highlights and intelligent new products. The carefully selected collection includes window decorations for various tastes: classic and suitable for traditional interiors, modern and unseen designs for design-oriented design concepts or motorized track systems for intelligent living. The Vesta collection consists of products curated internationally and with the highest standards of design and quality. These include products from BÜSCHE, a renowned German manufacturer, whose designs have won a wide variety of awards and have been distributed by Vesta in the USA for more than 40 years.

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Our favorite: the MOTOPIA collection

The round profile is a Vesta classic thanks to its simplicity, which can be integrated into any interior. It is suitable for wall and ceiling mounting and can be customized with a wide selection of end caps. Only the purest materials have been used for the precisionextruded curtain rail, which is made of genuine aluminum and finished with the highest-quality alloy. The manufacturer, BÜSCHE, relies exclusively on raw materials from Germany and ensures that environmental standards are meticulously adhered to. Longevity and perfect function are guaranteed!

A new gliding property takes MOTOPIA and other Vesta collections to the next level in terms of gliding properties. GliTec promises consistent and constant gliding, making additional PTFE or silicone spray unnecessary. This innovation also comes from BÜSCHE and was derived from the aerospace industry. Thanks to this highlight, even heavy curtains can be moved as light as a feather and almost silently.

As the name suggests, MOTOPIA is a motorized curtain set for which motors from several manufacturers are available. Thanks to a precision-machined motor housing, the drive belt is diverted to position the motor housing behind the rail and is invisible from the front. We are paying particular attention to this collection because it is now available with new, innovative and currently the most userfriendly motors: the MotionBlinds and Eve MotionBlinds.

Through a Wi-Fi bridge, the MotionBlinds Bluetooth motors become part of the smart home cosmos of Apple Home, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Samsung SmartThings and other smart devices. Developed by smart home specialist Coulisse, Eve MotionBlinds motors are currently the most innovative technology for motorized curtain sets. They are the first motors on the market to support Matter and Thread, the smart home technology of the future.

Always one step ahead

With BÜSCHE as a partner, Vesta has a pioneer in the field of engine technology at its side. For over 15 years, the brand has been a driver of ideas regarding motorization and works closely with established motor manufacturers. Right from the design and production stages, care is taken to ensure that the curtain sets work perfectly with motors from a wide range of suppliers and that every detail is 100% perfect. Not only MOTOPIA but also the PURTEC collection originates from this collaboration. BÜSCHE can look back on more than 150 years of successful company history and contribute the experience and expertise of several generations.

Convenient operation

This latest generation of motors brings unprecedented simplicity of use and contributes to a more energy-efficient home. Intelligent window decorations can positively impact the indoor climate, keeping out winter cold and summer heat. This way, you can enjoy the comfort of your home while being environmentally responsible.

Available soon

Look forward to a varied and extensive selection of window decorations that leaves nothing to be desired. The new catalog will be available in spring and present the most innovative and beautiful products from the world’s leading manufacturers.



Don’t Shortchange Your Business by Ignoring the Pandemic’s End

The home improvement sector experienced a unique journey during the pandemic, standing out as a thriving industry where many others faced more immediate challenges. However, as we’ve transitioned out of those remarkable times, the industry has witnessed—and continues to experience—significant shifts and new challenges that demand our attention.

In the aftermath of the global pandemic, both interior designers and window treatment dealers, whether adopting shop-at-home models or traditional retail approaches, find themselves navigating changes that require a good understanding of evolving buying patterns. Addressing these shifts becomes not only crucial for sustained success but also an opportunity to foster growth and resilience in a post-pandemic landscape.

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Shifting Dynamics of Post-Pandemic Buying Behavior

The pandemic brought about a notable transformation in how consumers engaged with interior design and window treatment purchases. The shift from conventional in-person consultations to virtual interactions was unmistakable, accompanied by a rise in online shopping preferences.


Rise of Online Shopping

With restrictions on physical interactions, consumers increasingly turned to online channels for interior design research and window treatment purchases. Moving forward, a strong online presence becomes imperative for both interior designers and window treatment dealers. Investing time in optimizing online platforms is a foundational step that significantly impacts business reach and potential.

2. Virtual Consultations

Today, homeowners show a stronger preference for virtual consultations, favoring the convenience of making purchasing decisions from the comfort of their homes. For interior designers, adapting to virtual consultations is essential and can be done by utilizing advanced tools to convey design concepts efficiently. Providing online options not only caters to changing consumer behaviors but also enhances time efficiency, allowing business owners to provide a higher quality of service for more clients in less time.

Adapting Strategies and Seizing Opportunities

In the face of these challenges, opportunities abound for interior designers and window treatment dealers to not only survive but thrive in a post-pandemic market. Recognizing pain points and embracing strategic adaptations can pave the way for success.

1. Invest in Online Presence

Both designers and dealers should prioritize user-friendly websites, virtual design tools and seamless e-commerce platforms. A strong online presence is crucial to cater to the rising trend of online shopping.

2. Enhance Virtual Consultations

Mastering virtual consultations is pivotal to the success of window treatment dealers and interior designers. Designers can leverage advanced virtual tools to provide a comprehensive understanding of design concepts, while dealers can offer virtual assistance in product selection. This not only aligns with changing consumer preferences but also maximizes efficiency.


Embrace Customization


Customization as a Priority

Modern consumers seek personalized solutions for their homes, driving an increased demand for customized window treatments. The challenge lies in effectively communicating design concepts, material details and overall aesthetics through digital platforms during the transition to virtual design.


Sustainability Matters

There’s a growing awareness and preference for sustainable and eco-friendly choices. Incorporating environmentally conscious options into one’s portfolio of offerings is essential for meeting consumer demands for more sustainable living. Educating consumers on the long-term benefits of ecofriendly products positions businesses as forward-thinking and value-driven, an important factor in a market where people are purchasing with their ideals in mind—not just their wallets.


Competition with Online Giants

Independent window treatment dealers face the challenge of competing with large online marketplaces. Differentiation becomes a key strategy to stand out in a crowded digital space. This involves creating a visually appealing and userfriendly online brand, innovating in e-commerce, specializing in niches like “eco-friendly” and employing digital marketing tactics such as SEO, social media, advertising, email marketing and leveraging customer reviews and testimonials.

Responding to the demand for customization presents an opportunity for designers and dealers to differentiate themselves from their growing local and national competition. Offering personalized options and unique solutions resonates with individual client preferences creating a competitive edge. For example, retailers can offer customizable fabric choices, window treatment styles and installation options. Designers can excel by offering personalized design consultations and creating innovative solutions tailored to the client’s lifestyle.

4. Sustainable Offerings

Integrating sustainable and eco-friendly options into products aligns with the growing consumer consciousness toward environmental responsibility. It’s important to communicate the benefits of these choices, despite their potential upfront costs. Consumers are happy to invest when the purchase leads to long-term savings and increased home value

Navigating the changing dynamics of post-pandemic buying behavior requires a proactive and strategic approach from interior designers and window treatment dealers. Understanding new consumer pain points and seizing these opportunities positions window treatment professionals not just to endure but to flourish in a market shaped by virtual interactions and evolving preferences. Adapting strategies, investing in technology and staying attuned to consumer needs are pivotal steps in shaping a successful future for the interior design and window treatment industries, regardless of whether they operate in a shop-at-home model or as traditional retailers. V

Katie Creekmore is the brand director at Creekmore Marketing. Her professional journey commenced as an account manager, transitioning swiftly into a business development manager role before stepping up as a director. Throughout her tenure, she’s had the privilege of evolving alongside Creekmore, creating tailor-made marketing strategies that empower businesses to flourish. The process of engaging with businesses, identifying their unique needs and fostering their growth trajectory brings her immense satisfaction.



Put the Wheels of Training in Gear

Look back to the past to educate your employees on the future

Step into the training rooms of 2024, where we’re sprinting past myths as if outrunning zombies in a horror flick and the chant of Ben Stein’s “Anyone? Anyone?” is put to rest. At Galaxy Draperies, we’re moving beyond educational relics to embrace vibrant, evidence-based strategies that resonate, excite and inspire. Join us for a look at the method behind our training madness.

Learning Styles: Education’s Zombie

What do zombies and “learning styles” have in common? More than you might expect! Both seized the public’s attention in the disco-drenched 1970s. Foundationally, both concepts fall

apart when held up to scientific scrutiny. And, like pop culture zombies, “learning styles” simply refuse to die.

If I could collect a nickel for every time I’ve heard, “I’m a handson learner,” I’d be swimming in coins. The “learning styles'” concept has a grip on public belief, with surveys indicating that as many as 90% of us subscribe to the idea. Yet, here’s the truth: Rigorous research has revealed that these so-called “learning styles” are just that—preferences—and have little effect on learning success. Adhering to “learning styles” is a detour that wastes resources while pushing us into a fixed mindset.

Rather than pigeonholing learners by their supposed styles, effective training aligns with content needs. Visual aids, auditory explanations, reading materials and kinesthetic engagement are

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tools that should suit the material, not personal preferences. We must strive to match modality and content, utilizing multimodal approaches whenever possible.

The key takeaways start when designing training. Set clear learning objectives. Choose experiences, activities, tools and challenges that align with these objectives. Incorporate diverse methods, ensuring no learning “lane” is untraveled. With this strategy, the only thing we’re reviving—unlike the fictional undead—is the dynamic nature of learning itself.

Beyond the Desk:

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Your training should not resemble high school. Remember those days? Perhaps the droning monotone of Ferris Bueller’s economics teacher comes to mind. Training should ignite the spark that was missing from high school. Enter Bloom’s Taxonomy, an evidence-based framework that guides the journey from basic knowledge to creative application, ensuring that learning is not a leap but a series of deliberate, incremental steps.

Scaffolding through Bloom’s Taxonomy involves support structures at each stage of the learning process, allowing learners to build on what they know and advance to new levels of understanding. Think about your learning objectives at each stage:

• Remember: Are you providing the necessary knowledge in a way that sticks beyond repetition?

• Understand: Can they grasp the different options and explain these to customers?

• Apply: Are there role-playing exercises where they practice or real-life scenarios to navigate?

• Analyze: Is there an opportunity for them to dissect interactions, understand what works and adapt their strategy?

• Evaluate: Can they critique different approaches and understand the nuances of customer preferences?

• Create: Finally, are they encouraged to combine all these skills to innovate their techniques?

If your approach leans toward lectures, it may transform learning into something as passive as a never-ending economics class. Similarly, if an employee is just thrown into the field, you’re skipping crucial, structured stages of learning that precede hands-on experience, cutting corners and slowing their progression toward the Create stage.

From Ben Stein to Brain Science

Every piece of information we encounter teeters on the edge of oblivion within 15 to 30 seconds unless actively transferred to

our hippocampus. We’ve all felt the panic of trying to remember a phone number, repeating it to ourselves in a bid to prevent forgetting it.

When we design training, before attempting to elevate employees to the Create stage, we must ensure they can Remember. Yet, cementing memory goes beyond repetition. Let’s consider why that “Anyone? Anyone?” scene with Ben Stein’s monotonous delivery lingers in our minds, even when we can’t remember where we put our car keys:

1. Attention: Engaging with the movie originally, your undivided attention anchored this memory.

2. Visual Impact: The scene’s visual elements, alongside auditory cues, enhanced its memorability.

3. Personal Connection: Its humor and relatability to tedious classroom experiences made it resonate, tapping into our brain’s affinity for emotional narratives.

4. Repetition: Repeated exposure through various mediums (the movie itself, memes, social media) has reinforced the associated neural pathways.

5. Variety of Contexts: Seeing the scene in different forms—whether parodied by a friend or referenced online— enriched the memory.

While you may not connect with each aspect, the more of these elements involved, the more robust the memory. Striving to incorporate as many of these methods as possible will enhance the effectiveness of your training content.

One final aspect not exemplified by the Ben Stein moment: testing. At Galaxy, I’m known for creating challenging knowledge checks alongside training. To the grumblers, testing is a powerful tool for reinforcing memory. Studies have shown that testing can improve recall by up to 50% compared to additional study time. Testing actively engages the learner in recalling information, doubling down on memory retention. Although not a fan favorite, testing is research-backed and should play a part in training strategy.

With the ghosts of educational myths busted and perhaps an urge to stream Ferris Bueller’s Day Off taking hold, we’re stepping into a future where training is not a task but an adventure. Here’s to the next chapter in learning—where inspiration meets innovation and the only thing we’re chasing is greatness. V

James Stryker, director of human resources at Galaxy Draperies, has over 15 years in management and human resources, combining extensive academic knowledge, including a master’s in industrial/organizational psychology and a doctorate in educational leadership, with practical industry experience. As an SHRM Senior-Certified Professional, he has honed his expertise through tenure at Springs Window Fashions and now leads strategic HR and training strategies at Galaxy Draperies. His specialty is applying theoretical HR principles to real-world, industry-specific challenges, driving effective strategies and leadership.




The source for custom-made drapery hardware. From contemporary to traditional, we offer an extensive selection of styles and finishes. We manufacture every rod set to order using only premium heavy-gauge steel, wrought iron, crystal and more. Custom curving is also available for all rod profiles. Be sure to look at our new acrylic rods, art glass finials and polished chrome finishes, in addition to our popular French rods and ONAVERSE™ Iron Cord Traverse Rods. We pride ourselves on quality workmanship, timely delivery and customer satisfaction. For a free catalog, please call 800-231-4025 or visit


Surewin has quality components at competitive prices from its Florida warehouse, with custom sourcing available. Plastic bead chain-in-rolls or continuous loops; numerous colors in all lengths, nickel-plated and stainless chain- in-rolls and continuous loops in all lengths, stop balls, connectors, safety devices, c-clips, alligator clips, tassels, lift cord, vertical components, cord locks and the easy-to-fabricate, low-profile Sure-Lift® Roman Headrail System for shades up to 50 pounds. Learn more at or call 239-362-3342.


Discover the CM-06E-R, an ultra-powerful smart motor designed for large-size roller shades with heavy fabrics like screens. Featuring an impressive 6Nm torque, built-in USB-C rechargeable battery and manual pull control, it delivers powerful performance. Compatible with Matter technology, it seamlessly integrates into smart ecosystems for enhanced connectivity and automation. Learn more at

FLAIR March + April 2024
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The new Zoomtech® anti-deflection technology allows us to offer extra-large shades in small pockets, as well as large blackout shades in ultra-compact, discrete cassettes. These cutting-edge, innovative shades are engineered to save energy and provide privacy.


Designers love their creative freedom! That’s why Orion offers a Custom Palette Program for the Iron Art and Design Art collections. It’s easy: Choose the perfect color for your drapery hardware from Benjamin Moore or Sherwin-Williams or let us match your fabric! Choose your topcoat sheen from glossy, semi-gloss or matte. Orion will send you a strike-off for approval before it goes into production. All their paint finishes are done by hand, and all the components are painted together. See Orion’s striking hardware sets at IWCE.


COMING SOON! Forest Drapery’s NEW 2024 Catalog is coming this April. This catalog will include double French returns, a new square pole collection, updated roller shade fabrics, innovations in motorized hardware and much more! Stop by booth #809 at IWCE to grab your copy!




A very good window treatment retailer told a story of how he got started in this business. This gentleman had just been hired by a franchisee of a national brand and he was being trained by one of their existing sales reps, mostly going into the home with this representative on sales calls. After just a few meetings with clients, the trainee realized that this rep went into every single home carrying faux wood samples. He would immediately start talking about faux wood and showing the samples to the clients and pricing them up very quickly without asking if they were interested in any other styles or options. When the trainee asked why, he told him that most people wanted the cheapest things, so he didn’t like wasting his time showing them other products. Get in and get out … quick! The trainee went on to quickly become the No. 1 rep for the franchise he worked for and soon opened his own window treatment business. Did he do this by selling more faux wood blinds than anyone else in the company? Absolutely not. He did this by following three very important lessons he had learned earlier in his sales career, lessons he learned long before meeting Mr. Faux Wood.


We should never assume what our potential clients might want or what type of products they want or need for their home. You cannot look at someone’s home and determine how much money they

do or don’t have. Often, people living in the largest homes with the fanciest cars have the least amount of money, while the family with a modest home in a modest neighborhood and two 10-year-old cars in the driveway are the “millionaire next door.” And no matter the budget or the income, people want what they want, and our clients are the ones that choose where they put their hard-earned dollars. I’ve had clients who I never would have guessed tell me they have been saving for 25 years to purchase plantation shutters. Our clients do not want the cheapest things. They want good products that fit their lifestyle and decor.


One thing that helped the trainee become a great sales representative was all the questions he asked. Starting early, he would ask open-ended, information-gathering questions, with the goal of helping his clients down the path that would make the most sense for them, considering their style and practical preferences, as well as their budgetary concerns. Asking open-ended questions gets the clients to open up and shows that you really cared about doing a good job for them. Asking questions also gets your clients talking. The more talking they do—and the less telling you do—the better chance there is for the conclusion of the visit to end with you both being happy because the client got something amazing and you closed another sale.


People struggle making choices and decisions. Help them! This retailer’s favorite shade for years was the TriLight shade from Alta Window Fashions. It’s a cellular shade that when you pull the top down, the top has a sheer that comes down with it. No matter what his customers wanted to see, he would always bring in a hand sample of the TriLight. Every single time. He did not sell them every time, but many, many sales were made specifically of these shades because of his passion and personal enthusiasm for them.

Try adding these techniques to your sales calls over the next few weeks. Don’t prejudge, ask a lot of questions and choose your favorite product to get passionate about on every visit. Do these things consistently and you may just find you can put another checkmark in the SOLD column! V

Oliver Schreiber began his sales career over 30 years ago and is CEO of Beltway Blinds in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. He leads a team that generated more than $11 million in sales last year. He has been a speaker at the International Window Coverings Expo, has received awards for being the largest-volume dealer with Alta Window Fashions for four years running and sits on the National Advisory Committee for a window covering group, Exciting Windows!. He can be reached at

2024 SPEAKER MARCH + APRIL 2024 | 72

Block the Sun, Not the View

with Insolroll’s Oasis® Patio Shades & Retractable Insect Screens

Block glare, heat, insects, and golf balls in custom sizes up to 19 feet wide.

Oasis 2700 & 2800 Patio Sun Shades

Side track OR cable guide system

Welded fabric edges for fabric durability

Motorization Systems to meet your project needs

Oasis 2900 Retractable Insect Shades 4-sided seal keeps bugs OUT SHY® Zip zipper retention system

Oasis Patio Shades Driven by Lutron™ for integrated Lutron® Projects

Oasis Patio Shades with Somfy Radio Control or RS485 projects

Standard 5-day production lead-time. Low-cost freight program nationwide.

Large in-stock Solar, Insect, Privacy, and Blackout Shade fabric inventory Award-winning customer service Fabricated in Louisville, Colorado USA

637 S. Pierce Ave., Louisville, CO 80027 | TEL 303.665.1207 |
Visit with us at Booth #615

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