Being able to spot trends early and educating oneself about the next hot treatment sets leaders apart from the herd. Being on the leading edge of a trend can afford the astute professional a one or two year window where she is selling a new product at full retail pricing because of little or no competition. Once the herd finally catches the scent and stampedes into the marketplace, competition becomes vicious, price-cutting becomes the order of the day and the herd fights over the scraps.
Once this feeding frenzy begins, the astute professional continues
to offer this product but has already spotted, educated herself
and begun to move on to the next trend. She made healthy profits
with the last trend and is positioned to do so with the next one.
We’ve all seen this before with draperies, vertical blinds,
shutters and now we will see it with soft, solar and roller shades.
Soft shades such as Roman shades and roller shades are not new trends.
They were trends 30 years ago, had their day and faded into nostalgia.
Just think back to your parents’ and grandparents’ homes
in the 1960s.
Everyone had roller shades. Nothing frustrated me more as a child
than trying to control a spring roller shade. When I think of a
roller shade, the image that comes to mind is a stark, mundane piece
of white room-darkening material on a plain roller with a pull tassel
at the bottom—very utilitarian.
A trend that has a revival comes back either as a retro type treatment
or is reinvented by blending modern technology and convenience with
nostalgia. Today’s roller shade is a far cry from the past.
Incorporating the convenience of modern lift systems and the beauty
and versatility of today’s textiles blends the old and the
new creating hybrids that satisfy our desire for nostalgia and convenience
that fit our lifestyles.
With a palette of colors and materials that range from the standards
to solar screen materials or beautiful fabrics that can be laminated,
there is something to suit just about every taste and need. Adding
clutches or motors makes for easy, convenient operation.
VERY MODERN TREATMENTS
Today’s roller shade can feature solar screen material to
preserve views while protecting from the sun, or can feature beautiful
fabrics laminated to the shade to express an individual’s
unique taste. Roller shades often are incorporated as dual shades
behind a soft Roman shade that allows for blackout benefits while
Soft Roman shades are enjoying resurgence from our past. The construction
is basically the same as before; however, by using today’s
fabrics along with modern hardware and techniques (such as using
white grommets and hobbling to linings rather than to tapes), they
reflect the warmth, luxury and functionality of our contemporary
As a manufacturer, we see the growth and strength of trends by the
increase in requests we receive from our designer clients around
the country. While our core business remains custom Roman shades,
Superior Roman Shades constantly repositions itself to remain attentive
and at the forefront of trends. In our new workroom and production
facility, we have positioned ourselves to produce custom solar screen
shades in both Roman shade styles as well as in the full panoply
of spring, clutch and motorized roller shade styles. We produce
roller shades in traditional materials or laminated with hundreds
of our own fabrics or virtually any COM. Our custom soft Roman shades
and natural woven shades remain the state-of-the-art in selection
and design. We even incorporate natural woven shade materials into
fabric Roman shades within the same treatment. As an example, we
have combined exotic grass valances with fabric Roman shades to
create very unique looks. Professionals that incorporate creative
design ideas into their offerings will further set themselves apart
from their competition.
These treatments, along with natural woven shades, address today’s
busy lifestyles and our desire to reduce bulk and to enjoy treatments
that are as practical as they were in the past but with better functionality
and aesthetics. These treatments are increasingly being used to
compliment or even supplant traditional draperies and other treatments
throughout the home. Being at the forefront of this trend can afford
you a great opportunity for profitability by separating yourself
from the herd.
Marco Bonilla is CEO of Superior Roman Shades, Burbank, CA;