For designers and workrooms in the window coverings and interior decorating field, this balancing act often is internalized. We sometimes refer to it as left brain versus right brain. The creative, free-spirited side must be balanced by the calculating, orderly side. This balance is necessary when it comes to designing a beautiful and unique window treatment that still must be accurately measured, ordered and installed to meet the practical needs of a customer. Perhaps most importantly, it comes into play in owning and operating a business. All too often, a person who loves to create, design or sew doesn't have enough experience or knowledge about managing a business to stay solvent. Talented designers need to know about measuring, calculating yardage and installing their designs in order to please their customers. Workrooms -- often owned and operated by one person -- need the business savvy to market their skills and operate efficiently to remain profitable.
The solution is education, and there are several ways to get it. In a guest editorial, Diane Darvas, owner of a residential and commercial design service in Highland Park, IL, discusses the importance of mentoring as a way for someone to learn the full range of skills required to run a successful business. "Someone who is studying and trying to develop a career deserves to know everything they will have to face," she says. In our cover story, Kitty Stein offers a personal illustration of the importance for workrooms to know how to sew and run a business. You also will find a host of Interior Fashions University seminars that will be available in San Diego, CA, next month. The sessions are led by experts recognized throughout the industry, and in the pages of Draperies & Window Coverings, who know the value of a well-balanced education.
Whether you learn from someone else's experiences or by teaching someone your design, business or workroom skills, you begin the process of restoring equilibrium. Success lies in the balance.