Exciting Windows! hosted two conferences this summer for more than 100 of its members and guests. “Our meetings were held to educate, train and encourage growth for our licensed and franchised owners,” cited Steve Bursten, CEO. Exciting Windows is a branded, full-service national network of at-home window fashions professionals.
Experts Share Growth Strategies
In July, members gathered in Baltimore, MD, for the Freedom through Leadership development and management conference, which was highlighted by a panel of seasoned professionals who discussed strategies to grow and change small independent businesses into larger, managed ones.
Les Finkelstein, retired president of Sunshine Drapery, St. Louis, MO, cited hard work, stamina and constant mentoring by industry vendors. He said, “If I worked very hard for the first three years—seven days a week, four to five nightly appointments, traveled constantly and learned everything I could possibly learn—I’d be on Easy Street for the next 30 years!”
Scot Dietz, president, 3 Blind Mice Window Coverings, San Diego, CA, shared that lead generation continues to be the most important priority for growth. He cited the need to target the right demographics in an effort to survive and rise in these present economic conditions.
Industry veteran, Gordon Cremers, former director of design for Interiors by Decorating Den, Easton, MD, and retired owner of Cremers Interiors of Minneapolis, MN, stressed the importance of utilizing other talented decorators, area developers, canvassers, licensees, marketing and administrative specialists.
Right Designs, Right Clients
With a continued eye on expanding design services, Exciting Windows! members attending the Improve Your Outlook Mid-Year Conference held in August in Ontario, CA, focused on drapery and soft treatment education and training.
Jackie Von Tobel, author and designer, taught a workshop on advanced window treatment design demonstrating creative ways to dress challenging windows with layering, trim detailing and interesting hardware selections.
Interior designer Michael Payne, company spokesperson and the original host of HGTV’s “Designing for the Sexes,” provided an update on trends. He cited window fashion motorization and the use of sustainable fabrics as continuing to be priorities when working with the younger generation of American consumers who utilize the services of high-end designers.
In addition, members participated in trunk shows with Kathy Cragg, EW vice president. They also learned how to sketch window fashions with fellow member Lynn Ellen Braley. Marketing consultant Linda Burzynski ended the conference with a motivational program called “Dare to Dream Big—In Your Life and in Your Business.” Burzynski offered encouraging words of strength to all who attended.
Aim at the Right Target
Steve Bursten summed up both conferences by reiterating the importance of selling to upscale homeowners who are proud of their property and value beautiful, creative interiors. “There are 50 percent more millionaires in the United States than just five years ago. This is a fabulous, growing market and through Exciting Windows’ target neighborhood development program, we constantly teach our members specific ways to access it and sell directly to this audience.”