The internet and eCommerce have literally transformed the way we buy everything today. Who would have considered buy appliances, clothing, even food through a website just ten short years ago. Today we have such amazing resources at our finger-tips. Sites like Houzz and Pinterest give us the ability to drool over images of things we want, need and most of the time can’t afford.
The Custom Drapery Industry, no exception. For good or for bad, the days of heading downtown to the local drapery store are over. Most of the main street storefronts have either migrated to the web or are about too.
As a Consumer we now have more information, more options and better resources than ever before. We’ve been in the Custom Drapery Business for a very long time and we thought we would give you as much information as we possibly can. Even if you end up buying your draperies elsewhere, we hope you appreciate the information.
Chapter I: My Sister Bought her Drapes from Restoration Hardware. Yes. It is true, and now the whole world will know. My Wife and I own a Custom Drapery Company and my little sister bought her drapes from Restoration Hardware. Now, a little background. We are from New Jersey. Working Class New Jersey where most of my Family still lives. My Sister and her husband bought a new home in a brand new upscale community in southwest New Jersey. They love it. Big beautiful new homes averaging over 4000 square feet each. These are the McMansions that became popular in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Really huge tall windows with great views and vaulted ceilings. Stainless steel kitchens with two dishwashers.
So Lori buys this new home and all of her new friends in the neighborhood are hiring Interior Designers / Decorators to help them all deck the places out. Lori calls me and asks what I think and I tell her to go ahead and hire this Decorator that she was referred too. You know, got to keep up with the Jones’. Well, a few months later and I get the call. “Ron”, her Decorator has suggested that she buy new drapes at Restoration Hardware. He does it all of the time she tells me. Now, they wont be wide enough but Ron has a resource where they are going to buy two pair of drapes and then sew them together. Oh boy.
Flash forward 2 years. Now, my Parents buy a house about two miles away from my Sister, also in a new development. This one though, no McMansions. These homes are, well, single level. No stairs. Wide hallways and a lot of hand-rails. You got me, right? But these houses are nice, I mean, really nice. And, Like Lori, all of these Ladies are hiring Decorators too!
So now I get the call from my Mother and I brace myself. If she tells me that she is buying Restoration Hardware Drapes I am going to have a brain freeze. Turns out that her Decorator suggested that you buy her drapes from a place called DrapeStyle! An “Online Company” she says. My Mom could not have been more tickled.
Now the best part. My Mom has DrapeStyle and she is 78. My Sister has Restoration Hardware and she is 44. My Sister goes to my Mom’s house and sees her drapes. Now the calls are really coming…
“How could you have let me buy that c…p, from Restoration Hardware!”, “Moms drapes are so much better!”
Sometimes “kids” just have to learn for themselves.
Here is the real deal. The Thai Silk Drapes from Restoration Hardware were really not all “that bad”, but they weren’t DrapeStyle. They were lined but not interlined, the fabrics were thin. The hems were short and cheap. They just weren’t “custom”. And the reality is that they didn’t cost much less than DrapeStyle and by the time she paid the tailor to sew the two panels together, they really were about the same price as DrapeStyle 100% Custom. Lori spent a lot of time and a lot of money on those drapes and now we are making her new ones. She gets the “Family Discount” but she would have been much happier if she would have just ordered from DrapeStyle to begin with.