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Archive for September 2011

In my last post, I mentioned the Temporary Shade as a great “fix” for on-the-market homes.

Then I went to lunch…

                                     …And started thinking…

…About homeowners who have told me that having cellular window shades in their home was a GREAT SELLING POINT.

Let us count the ways:

(1) Custom-made blinds look great because they fit the space they were intended to occupy. No gaps at the sides, no overlapping.

(2) Custom-made blinds don’t have easy portability — although wide (or long) shades can be cut down, it’s quite probably as cost-effective to start anew (new shades=new place) than tote the old around, send them in for a cut-down, etc etc.

(3) Wouldn’t YOU like to come into a new home with nice blinds already in the windows?!?

Nowadays, when you’ve got hardwood floors, or original molding, or all-stainless steel appliances to tout, wouldn’t it be wonderful to also point out the privacy-factor and energy-efficiency of cellular blinds to potential buyers?

Cold days of winter will soon be upon us – then
formerly sunny windows invite in winter’s chill

I had a friend who waited until she was READY to put her home on the market to change out wall-to-wall carpeting for hardwood flooring. She got to enjoy the flooring for maybe six months — after all that wear-and-tear of tearing out the old…

One CWS customer “Down Under” — who lives in a BEAUTIFUL home (we’ve seen pictures)! — has had the house on the market, but decided to enjoy their shades while they were still living there. They purchased for the entire house. Now they get the benefits of the shades in lower energy costs (winter and summer), and possess an unusual selling point–

These owners also now know how well the shades have worked (versus nothing in the windows before) and can communicate those thoughts to potential buyers. A real “Win-Win”! Team member Michelle (pictured below with her prize!) has been tweeting Made in America products for some time now, and recently entered a contest sponsored by Draper Therapies of Canton, Mass.

  • Find Draper Therapies at their website:

From their press release:

“Through the month of August, Draper Therapies will be giving away American Flag Blankets in celebration of our heritage and our 100% USA made product line. All of our followers on Twitter and Facebook will be eligible. These snuggly throws are made by our parent company, Draper Knitting, in Massachusetts .”

“Followers” who answered the weekly question “correctly or creatively” were entered into a drawing. And here’s our Week #6 Winner:

Draper Knitting has a long family-owned history: The Drapers have operated a textile mill in Canton since 1856. Draper Therapies began in 2003.

Draper Therapies even has products for your canine and equine friends!

You can read all of August’s Q&As online at Draper’s WordPress Blog.

Fascinating story on ABC World News last night (20 Sept 2011):

Having worked at a local college, and having seen a local Pepsi bottler given up in favor of a Coca-Cola supplier with deeper pockets, I was unsurprised that campuses across the US had helpfully supplied catalogues to Dorm-living students in a bid at easing their room decorating. The scheme is known as On Campus Marketing. I intentionally do not supply you with their website URL.

SMU – Southern Methodist University – is estimated to be among 850 colleges/universities in the US dealing with this Residence Hall source catalogue. NO American-made goods on offer!

Of course, the main thrust of the report was How Many American Jobs might dorm “supplies” orders provide. The surprising conclusion follows, as an example, the thinking of a North Carolina company:

World News introduced On Campus Marketing to Celia Rachel in Mohican Mills, N.C., a company that makes bedding at the same price as its foreign competitors. Celia Rachel boasts that its sheets are not only the same price, but last three times as long as the ones On Campus Marketing is selling right now.”

 Celia Rachel claims that college/university dorm orders would add 1300 new employees. Thirteen hundred

And the cost to students:

A similarly decorated half-a-dorm-room actually cost the student LESS than the catalogue offer! Congratulations SMU for opening the eyes of administrators.

If you’re like me, you love to see how other people decorate their homes, what furniture makes them happy and comfortable, … and whether you’d like to live there — or not!

So here is a *fun* “voyeuristic” website, just filled with “before & after” shots of Home Renovations. It seems to toggle “Montreal” properties for me (undoubtedly, given my geographic location in northern Vermont), but you can choose from many many US cities, as well as Canadian provinces.

This job’s “story” concerns MORE LIGHT FOR SMALLER ROOM:

The “categories” selection allows you to see renovation jobs that include, say, glass, windows & doors, or window coverings.

Having passed through the Montreal neighborhood of Westmount (wonderful bookstore there: Nicholas Hoare), I wanted to look more closely at this particular project:

This family does seem to have achieved the “warmth and character” they sought in their remodel:

News came today (13 September 2011) of the death of the “Father of Pop Art”, Richard Hamilton (see Wiki’s bio). You might remember this icon image:

Hamilton grew up in Pimlico, and attended St Martin’s School of Art and eventually entered the Royal Academy. He spent two years at the Slade School of Art. This image dates to the 1950s, and currently resides in the Kunsthalle Tübingen.

“What has this to do with window blinds ?”, you might ask. Well, look at the full title of this Pop Art piece: Just What Is It that Makes Today’s Homes So Different, So Appealing?

All in the accessories…

MOTHER EARTH NEWS features in their August/September issue a story on starting your own Self-Sufficient Homestead. With talk of dividing land for livestock and crops, it’s hard not to zoom back in time to 1975 and The Good Neighbors:

Don’t remember this show? Never saw the show? Tom and Barbara Good (played by Richard Briers and Felicity Kendal) decide to ditch their lives in the rat-race in order to set up their suburban home for self-sufficiency! An idea certainly “before its time” — which has come around again!

In fact, the self-sufficiency article (now a 400-page, illustrated book) which Mother Earth News promotes was first written by John Seymour in 1976! They call it “the ultimate practical guide for realists and dreamers alike.”

In the same issue, some 1930 “memories” of growing up self-sufficient.

Grab a coffee, settle in a comfy chair next to a window with some sunshine streaming thru it, and enjoy the reading!

Happy Day after Labor Day!

We at have had a productive (if slight wet… Tropical Storm Lee!) long weekend, and are busy getting shade orders to our Production Team.

The first order processed was for three shades — all part of our Small Shade Sale — which saved the homeowner $187! Wow!!

You might ask, What IS a “small shade sale???

If you have a window shade that measures less than 24-inches wide OR less than 30-inches in length, the following prices kick in (depending only on fabric, not on actual shade size):

Light Filtering Double Cell Fabrics: just $47.99*
Light Filtering Double Cell Florals, StainAways and Linens: $53.99*
Black Out Double Cell Fabrics: $56.99*

(*shade prices for Standard Cord Lock; upgrade pricing: add $30 for Continuous Cord Loop or $58/$78.30 for Cordless. Side tracks upgrade depends on length of shade).

As our advertising states right at the top of the page: We’ve got a BIG sale for you!

So: If you have clerestory windows, side lites, basement windows, bathroom, kitchen-over-sink windows or other applications where a shade is either narrow and long, or wide and short, you might be surprised at your savings!

Even Frank Lloyd Wright would welcome these shades into his homes (Zimmerman House, above), don’t you think?

And the savings would continue: in terms of your home heating and cooling bills. So check out the savings for yourself.

A few weeks ago, when out grocery shopping, I spotted TWO AISLES of Halloween candy; sorry, but “groan!”

My coworker, a few days ago, mentioned she’d seen Christmas items out on display. I rather hated to burst her bubble — but the Xmas was already spotted as creeping up on the Halloween stuff…

I know shopkeepers can’t wait for “holiday shoppers” – but why can nothing be savored in the moment? So on this Labor Day 2011, let’s think cool summer thoughts and let “the holidays” take care of themselves.

Last weekend southern Vermont was inundated with flood-waters in the passing of hurricane Irene; but the Champlain Valley, where operates from, experienced rain without the flooding. We had a business to come to work to on MONDAY morning. Others, south of us, were not so lucky; take a look at Quechee, for instance. The good news today, more households have their electricity back. LOTS of labor will be happening to get communities back on their feet.

The first Labor Day was celebrated in 1882. It was a labor union parade:

The Labor Day Weekend is traditionally seen as the “end” of summer — so while summer weather may prevail, there are also the warm days/crisp nights combos that signal FALL.

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