Networking, apparently, is as much a part of Wilke's working style as coordinating fabrics. She is a board member of the newly formed northeast Ohio chapter of the Window Coverings Association of America (WCAA). As a home-based retailer of custom widow treatments and interior décor items, much of Wilkes' time is spent in her customers' homes doing consultations and window treatment design. "My work," she says, "is complemented by Cindy, my 'industry partner,'" Wilkes says. "Working as a team has been crucial to the success of our businesses during the last few years," she adds.
Many of the residential projects Wilkes and Bailey work on are tackled as a team. C.W. Bailey will handle the fabric, paint and wallpaper selection as well as furnishings, flooring and accessories for the home. While the custom window treatment design, coordinating fabrication and installation is handled by Designing Windows Concepts.
"It's really a match made in heaven, because each of us can focus on the areas in which we specialize and are most interested," Wilkes says.
Wilkes and Bailey also share a high level of enthusiasm, which they bring to each project and is a big part of their success. "This enthusiasm—for the fabric we find, or for the window treatment that is designed—is contagious for our customers," Wilkes says. In the end, it's a win/win situation because customers benefit from each woman's specific expertise and C.W. Bailey and Designing Windows Concepts benefits from each other's referrals.
"Usually, wherever Cindy goes I go, and vice versa," Wilkes says. "Cindy has a great eye for color, insight and pulling it all together. With that in mind, I come in at the window, so to speak. I know what fabrics will work best with what treatments and can make the appropriate recommendations. We work off of each other's particular strengths."