Ripplefold Traverse Components are now in stock

Milan Finial Set CroppedOne of our favorite new products in the newly revamped Isabella line are the Ripplefold traverse components. Ripplefold continues to grow in popularity and and we are very happy to carry it for our customers.

Use Ruffino Track too

You can use the Ripplefold traverse components with the Isabella Wood traverse products or eliminate the wood and use the track alone. Or do both, with a wood track assembly in the front and a track in the back. Even better, the Ripplefold components also work with our Ruffino traverse track. Whether you want an iron rod or a wood rod, we’ve got you covered. And of course, our Ruffino track can be bowed for those beautiful curved spaces.

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Connie Krapfl of Befitting in Missouri recently installed custom curved Ruffino Tracks with Ripplefold traverse systems at the Union Station building in St. Louis.  We enjoyed working with her on this historic St. Louis treasure.

Ball Bearing Carriers glide smoothly

All of the individual Ripplefold traverse components are white, but we do offer brown track if you prefer. Our  wheeled connected snap carriers are available in four fullness options, 60%, 80%, 100% and 120%.  Ball bearing carriers guarantee smooth operation for extra large or heavy drapery panels. The carriers are actually two pieces. This allows you to snap the carriers onto the drapery header in the workroom. What a time (and thumb) saver on the install!

Ripplefold sets

We carry both the overlap and underlap master carriers, as well as the butt master carriers*.  All of the master carriers have an opening to attach a wand.  You can use either our clear acrylic, white fiberglass or painted iron wands with the master carriers.

* Butt Master Carriers do not work on our Ruffino tracks. Overlap Master carriers are used.

Buy snap tape as you need it

You don’t have to buy a whole roll of snap tape for one window anymore. We sell the tape by the snap so you can order just what you need when you need it. Our tape is very stable so it is easy to work with and it will not shrink with steaming.

Help when you need it

bigstock-Elegant-businesswoman-screamin-48403379We know planning for Ripplefold can be confusing. That’s why there are helpful charts and diagrams in our Isabella price list. We even included a Quick-Quote guide to make pricing super easy. Keep an eye out, we will be offering a Ripplefold webinar in early summer.

And as always, you get our fast 10 day turn around time and free shipping on orders over $100.00. Order your catalog today!

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Jackie Von Tobel Collection Wins a Gold Adex Award!

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We Won!

It’s official…our stunning Jackie Von Tobel Collection has received a 2014 Award for Design Excellence (ADEX) Gold Award.

About Adex

The prestigious Adex awards are given each year for the best product design of new furnishings for the design trade. For the past twenty years companies that earn this badge of honor are recognized by the design community as industry leaders. This year there were 2,852 entries from over 500 different companies.  We are delighted to find ourselves in such grand company for the fourth time in recent years.

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Congratulations Jackie!

Jackie’s vision is the inspiration for this line and her elegant, classic designs are truly timeless. Her creativity and talent are amazing. Working with Jackie on this signature collection has been a wonderful experience. She has remained a fantastic partner in this collaboration.

The Jackie Von Tobel Collection for Helser Brothers offers a broad selection of classic shapes with a very modern twist. Each piece in the collection was inspired by familiar shapes and classic motifs. The clean lines and strong angles give each design a rich simplicity and add dramatic character to any treatment.  Ground-breaking innovations in this line allow the designer maximum flexibility with adornments like medallions added to brackets or banded together as cornices, and elegant ornaments for finials, rings and fabrics.

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Triple Crown award winner!

The Jackie Von Tobel Collection is already a multiple award winning line. Our first award came from the Window Coverings Manufacturing Association (WCMA) for the Best New Style Concept in Drapery Hardware. We were honored again to receive an ASID Design Excellence Award from the Arizona North Chapter. The ADEX Gold Award joins the WCMA and ASID awards to make the Jackie Von Tobel Collection a Triple Crown design award winner.

If you haven’t seen the Jackie Von Tobel Collection, catalogs are available. Click on the link and we’ll get one right out to you!

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Grow Your Business With An Email List

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How do you tell your customers what’s going on  with your business?

Do you rely on Facebook? Do you send out a mailer? Or do you just hope that they find out by stopping by or asking a friend.

There’s an easy, inexpensive, and reliable way to reach the people who want to know about your business.

It’s an email list.

Just by collecting the email addresses of customers and potential customers, you have a way to let them know what’s going on. They give you permission to tell them these things.

One of the most important assets for any business is an email list of your customers. And yet, most small businesses don’t have an email list today.

Do you have an email list?

Here’s where I can help. In this one-hour webinar, you will learn:
* The big picture of how email lists work
* How to start collecting emails the right way
* Why you should use an email list service (hint: there are spam laws!)
* Why you should never purchase an email list
* Inexpensive email list services that are reliable
* What you should say (and how often) to your list members

You know me. You know my webinars are jam-packed with information, inspiration, and a dash of humor.

Everyone who registers will receive an email with the replay link.

Sign up now for this exciting one-hour webinar!

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After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with a personal link you will use to access the webinar.

Additional Info:

Can’t make it at that time?

Are you interested in this webinar but can’t attend the live session? No problem. Everyone who signs up for the webinar receives the replay link so you can listen to the recording at your convenience.

What is a webinar?

A webinar is a live training class that you attend on your computer. When you sign up, you receive an email with a special link. Before the webinar, you click on that link to visit the webinar training room. You watch the webinar on your computer and hear Anita speak through your computer speakers. You will not be speaking on the webinar. You don’t need any special equipment.

Is this your first webinar?

The webinar works by downloading a small file to your computer. We recommend that you arrive about 15 minutes early for your first webinar to make sure you are set up in time for the webinar start.

Having a technical problem with the webinar?

If you have any problems attending the webinar, contact the Go-To-Webinar support team by phone at 1.800.263.6317. There is no charge for this service.

Have more questions about webinars?

Learn more about how to take our webinar from this fact sheet that explains the webinar features.

Isabella Wood and Traversing Hardware is Brand New

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Our popular Isabella Wood Hardware line is brand new this spring! We have added several stylish new finials and a gorgeous array of fresh new finishes. All of the new finials will adapt to either the 2″ or 2-3/4″ rod sizes. We have added two exciting optional details for the Isabella line.  Hand Distressed texture can be added to any wood piece and with any finish. Our artists can also add additional highlights to your pieces in any color.

200310-2 in Louvre Bkt-3000X2400-300dpiOur beautiful new “Louvre” carved brackets will add old world elegance to your designs. The new brackets are available in both 2″ and 2-3/4″ sizes.

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Our unique Lucerne and Copenhagen Medallions are beautifully detailed. Adjustable matching bases make them a versatile choice for tiebacks as well as for top treatments and panels.

It’s time to dress up drab hardware and go bold!

Isabella is available in 2″ and 2-3/4″ diameter solid wood rods.  Add finials, brackets and rings to create your special design.  We love the way our new finishes can be mixed and matched together to create a dramatic whole.  We’re really excited about mixing iron and wood for a fresh new look.  Isabella has a hefty 72″ bracket to bracket  maximum so larger windows are no problem.

Thrace Finial SetRouted wood rods effectively disguise our traversing track assemblies for heavy duty action in an elegant package.  With or without rings, Isabella offers both style and value. Traversing track assemblies are available in white or brown, making the track less visible with darker finishes.  All of our parts for standard traversing assemblies are made with wheeled or ball bearing components for ease of use.

Ripplefold is NEW

Ripplefold sets

Also new, we’ve added the popular Ripplefold traversing assemblies to our line. You can purchase the wheeled connected carriers in any of four fullness factors, 60%, 80%, 100% and 120%.  Both Overlap and Butt Style Master Carriers are in stock. Best of all, you can order snap tape in any amount. Order by the roll or just enough for each project. We offer a complete set of charts and instructions to take the guess work out of specifying Ripplefold hardware.

Complete Guide to Tableaux Faux Wrought Iron

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Is the Tableaux® faux wrought iron product a mystery to you?

* What is Tableaux faux wrought iron and how can I use it?
* How do I price it?
* How do I install it?
* When do I need a template?

Join us for the Complete Guide to Tableaux

Learn the ins and outs of specifying, pricing and ordering Tableaux!

Take an in-depth look at this hot-selling and high-profit faux wrought iron product.

In this webinar you will learn:

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* All about the Tableaux faux wrought iron product.
* How to use the Order Form step-by-step,    including templates.
* Navigating the Price Guide, shipping and discounts.
* All of the options for installing Tableaux®.

In addition, you will learn how to maximize your sales for added discounts!

This webinar is perfect for anyone who wants to sell the Tableaux product. If you have never considered selling our signature faux wrought iron product, learn why Tableaux should be a part of your product mix.

Complete Guide to Tableaux Sign Up

Here are the webinar details:

Add Tableaux to your product mix!

Webinar Access and Support

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with a personal link you will use to access the webinar.

Can’t make it at that time?

Are you interested in this webinar but can’t attend the live session? No problem. Everyone who signs up for the webinar receives the replay link so you can listen to the recording at your convenience.

What is a webinar?

A webinar is a live training class that you attend on your computer. When you sign up, you receive an email with a special link. Before the webinar, you click on that link to visit the webinar training room. You watch the webinar on your computer and hear Anita speak through your computer speakers. You will not be speaking on the webinar. You don’t need any special equipment.

Is this your first webinar?

The webinar works by downloading a small file to your computer. We recommend that you arrive about 15 minutes early for your first webinar to make sure you are set up in time for the webinar start.

Having a technical problem with the webinar?

If you have any problems attending the webinar, contact the Go-To-Webinar support team by phone at 1.800.263.6317. There is no charge for this service.

Have more questions about webinars?

Learn more about how to take our webinar from this fact sheet that explains the webinar features.

International Window Coverings Expo (IWCE) 2014

 

photo 3We just got back from the 2014 International Window Coverings Expo (IWCE) in Las Vegas. It was a great show and we were delighted to connect with so many new faces as well as meet up with our clients one on one.  We always have something new to share and talk about. For me particularly, it is always a time to put faces to names and really talk with our clients and other industry professionals. There were several key take-aways from the week in Las Vegas.

Networking Opportunities

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First and foremost, it is good for the members of the window treatment industry to get together periodically.  No man, or business, is an island. Being a part of a greater group is always enriching. Many attendees were brand new entrepreneurs looking for good sources and contacts. And frankly, who doesn’t think networking is a key part of building a successful business?

New Window Treatment Products

Jackie Book SigningOne of Helser Brothers’ great delights is to present new products at the IWCE show. We introduced our newly re-designed Isabella Wood line with new finials and an array of gorgeous finishes. Our sturdy and stylish new Brooklyn Brackets were a popular addition to our offerings too. A wine and chocolate Book Signing event with Jackie Von Tobel was the highlight of the week. We featured Our Jackie Von Tobel line along with the design awards it has garnered this year.

Especially for vendors, trade shows like the IWCE offer a great opportunity for feedback. And we LOVE feedback. We really want to know. How are we doing? Is there something we can do better? What do you need that we should offer? And, where else can you visit a booth and chat with current customers about the products and services each company offers?

Learn New Things

Continuing education is important. Trends change and techniques change. Technology and business management tools change. Forward thinking businesses benefit from learning new things. Especially now with the shift in marketing from print to web. Knowing how to manage the online aspects of your business is critical. Great opportunities for learning were offered in classes, demonstrations and forums. IWCE is offering ongoing classes throughout the year for certification. You can never learn too much.

Window Treatment Design Competition

PaIMG_3640rticipation in design competitions allows you to highlight your talent to a larger audience. You gain recognition for your designs and hard work, and you can capitalize on a great marketing opportunity for your business. There are many categories and levels in the IWCE awards including design and workroom. Keep an eye out for the deadlines for 2015 and strut your stuff!

Helser Brothers loves to participate in the vignettes for the Construction Zone. The talented people that compete to show off their ideas at the IWCE never fail to amaze us. This year we worked with Terri Booser of Studio of Drapery Fabrication & Arts in Houston for an outdoor vignette. We really love the way Terri uses our Compositions elements to add color and interest to her design.

Talk Back!

Feedback may be the most important thing we can share. What do you love about trade shows and what do you dislike? Why do you attend or why don’t you? What would you like to see? How can the organizers and vendors improve the experience for you? What classes do you need? Now is the time to share ideas and requests as plans begin very soon for the next year’s show.

Give us your feedback here and we’ll share your insights.

 

Swing Arm Drapery Hardware Solutions

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Every designer has faced at least one situation for which a swing arm treatment is the perfect answer.  Sometimes the placement of a door doesn’t allow room for the stack of the drapery if the door is to be operational. Sometimes a room divider is necessary to separate spaces. The swing arm treatment is commonly used to take the place of a door to an area.  And who doesn’t love the little individual café curtains that must mount on the window itself. Tres retro!

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Keep Your Eye on the Prize

bigstock-Upside-down-squirrel-7442796We’ve all heard the saying “There is more than one way to skin a cat.” Apologies for the gory reference, but the take away is true. Especially in design. We have to be flexible with budget, fabric, schedules and just about everything else.

Designers are masters of juggling all aspects of a project.

Workrooms are masters of meeting deadlines and creating something wonderful  from a roll of fabric.

And Installers are masters of getting it all put together for the final reveal.

I was reminded of that recently at my sister’s home in Indiana. She has a bird feeder. Or maybe it’s a squirrel feeder.  The discussion on keeping the squirrels out of the bird feeder comes up often. I mean these are seriously FAT squirrels. In the end, their antics are so entertaining that no one has the heart to end their raids.

The sheer force of their determination and acrobatic skills is astounding. They slither up the pole and over the arc of the hanger like well, squirrels up a tree. It’s what they do next that is amazing. They carefully lower one paw to the roof of the feeder, balance themselves and then lower the other paw. Now they are teetering, feet up, paws down. All this maneuvering still does not gain them the tasty prize which is still at the bottom of the feeder.

So finally they work their front paws down the sides of the feeder until they are completely stretched out, hanging on by the toes, balancing with the front paws and face down into the bird seed.  It is this image that stays with me.

Despite the obvious parallels to our intrepid installers, designers and workrooms also have to stretch and reach to accomplish success. Sometimes it does feel like we are upside down and hanging on by our toes. And sometimes we fall. But I think the lesson here is to keep our eyes on the prize and and to keep trying. Eventually we’ll find our noses in the bird seed and then…bliss.

Build Your Online Business Presence

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Helser Brothers Business School

Thanks to everyone who has joined us for the Helser Brothers social media business school series. We learned all about Facebook and LinkedIn with Charlene Kingston of the Social Media DIY Workshop.

Maybe it’s time to look at the big picture!

Build Your Online Business Presence

The yellow pages are dead. The main ways strangers find your business today is by word-of-mouth or an online search.

What You Will Learn

In this webinar, Charlene will explain what it takes to get your business online. You’ll get a blueprint for the big picture and how the pieces fit together. Then, she will give you a strategy to get from where you are to where you want to be.

What To Expect

We’ll start off the webinar with Anita Boetsma, Director of Social Media and Education. We’ll jump right into the social media segment with Charlene Kingston. You’ll be able to ask questions and get answers to your challenges in this webinar.

All this information is geared for people who are in our industry. We’ll be talking about building your online business presence for interior designers, workrooms, installers, and other creative professionals in the Helser Brothers family.

Build Your Online Business Presence Sign Up

Here are the webinar details:

Webinar Access and Support: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with a personal link you will use to access the webinar.

Can’t make it at that time? Are you interested in this webinar but can’t attend the live session? No problem. Everyone who signs up for the webinar receives the replay link so you can listen to the recording at your convenience.

What is a webinar? A webinar is a live training class that you attend on your computer. When you sign up, you receive an email with a special link. Before the webinar, you click on that link to visit the webinar training room. You watch the webinar on your computer and hear Anita speak through your computer speakers. You will not be speaking on the webinar. You don’t need any special equipment.

 Is this your first webinar? The webinar works by downloading a small file to your computer. We recommend that you arrive about 15 minutes early for your first webinar to make sure you are set up in time for the webinar start.

 Having a technical problem with the webinar? If you have any problems attending the webinar, contact the Go-To-Webinar support team by phone at 1.800.263.6317. There is no charge for this service.

Have more questions about webinars? Learn more about how to take our webinar from this fact sheet that explains the webinar features.

We look forward to seeing you on November 20th!

Helser Brothers 101 Webinar

Helser Brothers 101 - Learn about our drapery hardware

Is this you?

* Spend too much time figuring out who has the drapery hardware you need?
* Worry about getting all the funky little drapery hardware details right?
* Dread challenging windows like bows and bays?
* Juggle multiple  drapery hardware vendors for a single project?

Stop struggling to put together everything you need for your drapery hardware orders!

Let Anita Boetsma guide you into the world of Helser Brothers. We want to be your custom drapery hardware supplier.

What You Will Learn

* The benefits of working with Helser Brothers.
* How our drapery hardware designs save you time and money.
* Our customer-centered culture and philosophy.
* The secret sauce of the Helser difference.

In addition Anita will spill the beans on some new products coming soon.

This webinar is perfect for everyone in the interior design and window treatment business. It doesn’t matter if you are an experienced  drapery hardware specifier or are just placing your first Helser Brothers order.

Helser Brothers 101 Sign Up

We will offer this free webinar several times each year. We would love for you to join us for the first one.

Welcome to the Helser Brothers family!

Webinar Access and Support

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with a personal link you will use to access the webinar.

Can’t make it at that time?

Are you interested in this webinar but can’t attend the live session? No problem. Everyone who signs up for the webinar receives the replay link so you can listen to the recording at your convenience.

What is a webinar?

A webinar is a live training class that you attend on your computer. When you sign up, you receive an email with a special link. Before the webinar, you click on that link to visit the webinar training room. You watch the webinar on your computer and hear Anita speak through your computer speakers. You will not be speaking on the webinar. You don’t need any special equipment.

Is this your first webinar?

The webinar works by downloading a small file to your computer. We recommend that you arrive about 15 minutes early for your first webinar to make sure you are set up in time for the webinar start.

Having a technical problem with the webinar?

If you have any problems attending the webinar, contact the Go-To-Webinar support team by phone at 1.800.263.6317. There is no charge for this service.

Have more questions about webinars?

Learn more about how to take our webinar from this fact sheet that explains the webinar features.

Let’s Talk About Customer Service

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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

On a recent morning as I scrolled down through my e-mails I found an interesting discussion on one of my groups on LinkedIn. It was all about industry suppliers, the GOOD, the BAD, and the UGLY, and wow was it lively! People had a lot to say about what they didn’t like. So let’s look at the customer service subject from the other side: What DO you like?

It’s a great discussion point.  As a part of the team at Helser Brothers, I can assure you that we are extremely interested in the reputation of our company and our products.  I believe that the majority of suppliers do care about their customers and are sensitive about their image.

It is easy to give good customer service when everything is going smoothly. However, as long as human beings are involved in the ordering/manufacturing/shipping process, there will be a certain level of error. We firmly believe that what sets apart the great companies is how they react to a problem.

Problems Cost Money

Another thing we can all agree on is that everyone’s paycheck is affected adversely when there is a problem. No one wants to pay for an unfinished job. Delays may mean that an important deadline is missed. Installers have to reschedule their appointments and trip charges are incurred. And frankly, one unhappy client at the retail level has a ripple effect that ends up affecting the suppliers, whether we like to think about it or not.

How do your favorite suppliers handle problems?

  • Are they more concerned about fixing the problem or playing the blame game?
  • How fast do they move to solved the problem?
  • What about trip charges?

Take It To The Top

I do have one final suggestion regarding this type of customer service discussion. Before giving up on a problem situation and ending a relationship with a company, take your issue up the chain of command. As a customer, you have the right to make your opinion heard at the highest levels. Believe me, they are listening.

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We’d like to hear from you on what you consider great customer service. Tell us what you think!

Why You Need LinkedIn!

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Helser Brothers Business School

Thanks to everyone who joined us for Helser Brothers social media summer school. We learned all about Facebook with Charlene Kingston of Social Media DIY Workshop.

You asked for a webinar on LinkedIn and we loved that idea too!

Join Us For Why You Need LinkIn!

social-media-diy-workshop-logoMaybe you’re like most people. You don’t think LinkedIn is important for anyone who is self-employed. But Charlene believes that LinkedIn is the single most important social media site for self-employed people.

So let’s find out why LinkedIn is so important!

If you have ever wondered if participation in LinkedIn can make a difference for you, join us to learn the insider secrets that will make your LinkedIn experience the best it can be.

Knowing how to maximized LinkedIn’s benefits is a must have in today’s competitive environment.

What you will learn

In this one hour webinar you will learn:

  • Why LinkedIn is important for you.
  • Which LinkedIn profile components help self-employed people.
  • How to reach out to more people on LinkedIn.
  • How to get the most benefit from the least amount of time.

LinkedIn may be the secret ingredient that takes your business to the next level!

What to Expect

We’ll start off the webinar with Anita Boetsma, our Director of Education. We’ll jump right in to the social media segment with Charlene Kingston. You’ll be able to ask questions and get answers to your LinkedIn challenges in this webinar.

Why You Need LinkedIn | Sign Up

Here are the webinar details:

When: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 1 pm EDT | 12 Noon CDT | 11 am MDT | 10 am PDT (and Phoenix)

Topic: Why You Need LinkedIn

Length: 1 Hour

Cost: Free

Link: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/653512142

Hashtag: #HBLinkedIn

Want to attend but can’t make it at that time? No problem! Everyone who signs up for the webinar receives the replay link so you can listen to the recording at your convenience. In Fact, you can download the webinar recording to your computer and keep it to replay at your convenience forever.

To sign up, just click the link above, type your name and email address, and you are in! You’ll receive a confirmation email with a personal link you will use to access the webinar.

Is this your first webinar? The webinar works by downloading a small file to your computer. We recommend that you arrive about 15 minutes early for your first webinar to make sure you are set up in time for the webinar start.

Have a technical problem with the webinar? If you have any problems attending the webinar, contact the Go-To-Webinar support team by phone at 1-800-263-6317. There is no charge for this service.

Have more questions about webinars? Here’s a webinar fact sheet that explains how to use the webinar features.

You can attend this webinar on your PC or Mac computer, or you can use your mobile device. The Go-To-Webinar app is available for your iPhone, iPad, Android Phone and Android tablet. So, you can attend while you wait for your oil change! Could we make it any easier?

We look forward to seeing you on October 23rd!

 

Easy Halloween Decoration: Spooky Ghosts

Dian Garbarini of Designs by Dian and Drapery Pro in California came up with the perfect  and easy Halloween decoration many years ago. Simple to make and install, these ghosts will become perennial favorites for you too.

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Dian’s Easy Halloween Decorations

Dian says “Our family loves these ghosts. They’ve been our Halloween favorites for over 20 years. We use the same ones each year. If you have some leftover ivory or white voile, you too can have ghosts in less than 15 minutes!”

Here’s all you need:

  • Sheer ivory or white voile, each ghost is cut from a rectangle 24″ X 36″
  • Scissors
  • Thumb tacks and a small hammer, or
  • Binder clips

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Using the basic ghost shape shown in the drawing, free form cut to shape. The cuts should not be precise! Imagine you have been told to cut each ghost in 2 to 5 minutes tops. Boom. Done.

Additional Tips

Hacked cuts? No biggy. Cut the face any way you want. You can fold the fabric in half and cut half a circle, or cut any other shape you like. The idea is that no two ghosts should look the same.

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The edges will fray but don’t worry about it! The frays actually serve to make the ghostly form look more ethereal. Pin them up to the side of a beam or soffit with the tacks and hammer, or clip them to a gutter with binder clips. When packing them away for next year, just wad them up and throw them in a box. Iron them each year before you put them up.

Dian says “We’ve been using the same ghosts for a decade, frayed and all. Everyone loves them.”

Show Us Your Projects!

If you decide to make some ghosts, be sure to post a photo at Helser Brothers Facebook page. And if you are a member, post your pictures on the Drapery Pro Facebook page.

We would really love to see your version of our easy Halloween decoration idea!

French Pole Fantasies

We like to shake things up a bit here at HB now and then, and when our design crew starts pitching ideas around there’s no stopping us. Recently we began noodling on some new variations of our popular French Pole and we think you will love our new line-up!

We’d like to introduce a classy and sleek version of the French Pole that showcases the minimalist aesthetic of our award winning Artefice line. Square back plates are shown here in the Luna texture but can be ordered in Linea and Lava also.  The open square rings from this unique collection finish the look with style. If the square rod isn’t your style, this is available in the 7/8″ solid round Artefice rod also.

Switching things up, we used our exclusive Plateau Tab Post Medallion as a base for this solid hammered rod. Perfect for any casual environment, the earthy provincial vibe of this version of our French Pole has a magic of its own. Remember you can pick almost any medallion and create your very own variation.

You asked for a bigger french pole with a longer reach and here you have it.  This is our heavier duty French Pole. Available with either the traditional Artigiani shaped mounting plate or the round option, this pole will go 78″ without a center support!  This one is perfect for larger scale jobs and heavier treatments.

Last but by no means least, this flirty little French Pole has all the charm we love about “la vie parisienne.” Simple but luscious, this version marries our ¾” twisted rod with our popular Picardie base. Add some little bitty rings and Ooh La La!

So tell us, which version do you prefer? Let us know…we’d love to hear from you.

Avoiding Installation Nightmares

We’ve all had them…the installation where everything goes wrong. It is demoralizing and frustrating and enough to make you cry in public. If you have ever scurried to your car, praying that the draperies stay on the wall, pay attention. Help is here.

Because decorative drapery hardware options are virtually unlimited, specifying and ordering hardware can be a daunting challenge to even the most experienced window treatment professional. Most hardware problems actually start before the hardware is ordered. Taking a few precautions at each step along the way will assure a perfect fit with every order.

In designing the overall treatment, always select your hardware for its functionality first. A beautiful treatment that is a problem to operate loses much of its appeal. For example, a tab top panel is not the best choice if it is to be opened and closed frequently.

Make stack decisions while you are in the room where you can envision the actual impact of the treatment on the room as a whole. Knowing the stack space involved also allows you to plan your drapery design accordingly. For example, several small panels stacked at regular intervals can actually be better balanced and allow more view than one or two larger panels with a wide stack.

Pay attention to the condition of the wall. If there is existing hardware in place, is it loose or wobbly? Drywall that has ever been wet will always be soft and unsuitable for most drapery installations so proceed with caution on water damaged areas. Carry a stud finder and mark the studs on your measurement form. This will save a lot of time later in plotting brackets and potential splice points.

If the space is tight, take more detailed measurements so you can discuss your specific needs with our Drapery Hardware Specialists. There are many simple modifications that can be made in advance.  In the photo above, the woodwork left no place to mount the hardware. Ceiling mount brackets with a very small drop were perfect for this situation.

A picture is worth a thousand words! If you do not already have a digital camera, make the investment. An image of a trouble spot will save you the price of the camera many times over in re-makes and trip fees. It may seem like overkill to share your drawings and pictures with us, but our trained Drapery Hardware Specialists can spot potential problems for you. Photos are also passed along to our production team to give them as much information as we can as they create your order.

Talk to your installer. He may have a solution for a tough installation situation. Installers can be a vast source of good knowledge on what works and what does not. Most are more than willing to share that knowledge, especially if it can streamline an installation.

Make it a habit to take these things into consideration when you design your treatments and you should never have a nightmare installation again!

Tableaux® on Parade

One of the great things about Tableaux is the incredible versatility of the product itself. With an unlimited array of designs to choose from, Tableaux can be fashioned to fit perfectly within any decor, on any surface and in an incredible array of ways. The creativity of our customers is amazing when it comes to finding interesting ways to use this product.  We thought we’d share some of our favorite designs and tricky installations.

One of the most interesting uses for Tableaux came from Hanan Suwwan of Free Style Interiors in Arizona. Hanan used the San Gimignano design to create parallelogram shaped inserts for this dramatic staircase.  She also carried through with the same design in the window at the landing and what could have been a rather large boring span of staircase wall has been completely transformed. It should be noted though, that Tableaux is not for structural use and should not be used for safety, only for design.

This gorgeous bedroom belongs to Michael Payne, famous for hosting the “Designing for the Sexes” home improvement show. Dian Garbarini of Designs by Dian worked with Michael on the fabric treatments for his home. She also took the opportunity to introduce him to the Tableaux product. Michael sketched the design he envisioned and here is the final product. As you can see, the versatility of Tableaux allows the designer to scale the project perfectly to the space. Installation to the wall is a snap with direct set screws and matching plugs.

Ronda Ferguson of Smart Selections in Texas designed this stunning ceiling medallion for an elegant two story entry area. Ronda specified the popular Firenze design to beautifully complement both the finish and the graceful lines of the chandelier.

With the popularity of high ceilings and large expanses of wall in today’s homes, Tableaux is the perfect product to pull it all together and draw the eye upward.

Ceiling medallions like this one can be ordered in one large piece or in sections. Because you have the option to split a larger design into more manageable pieces, the installation is made so much simpler. Shipping costs can sometimes be lowered by splitting a design. And of course, the motif can be installed without the need to involve an electrician to remove and rehang the chandelier.

Best of all, wall or ceiling mounted pieces do not require a template, just specify the size opening you need for the base of your light fixture.

Stay tuned. We will have more great ideas to share!

Double French Pole Treatment Dazzles

We recently worked with Mott Gammon, of Windows of the World in Chattanooga, TN. Her project included an octagonal sitting area at the end of the client’s master bedroom. The woodwork was an integral part of the design with intricate lanterns hanging between some sections. Her client wanted both sheers and black-out draperies. Since we could not treat the area as a bay window because of the lanterns, we needed a solution that would fit within the glossy white pillars.

Our first thought was of the French Pole. It is petite and will mount beautifully in a small space. The drapery curves around to the wall, creating the light block then client requested. Each pole needed to fit precisely inside the space to allow for the maximum stack back we could muster. We decided that the Picardie base was perfect for the design and would fit our space constraints as well. So much for the drapery, but what about the sheer?

We decided on a 5/8″ rod with small arm-at-top brackets to be mounted behind the french pole. We adjusted the width of the 5/8″ rod to fit within the curve of the French Pole. We also deepened the return on the French Pole to accommodate the sheer behind the drapery. We noodled and doodled back and forth until we were both convinced that our dimensions were perfect and sent the order into production.

Fast forward to the install…everything went well and the client is delighted.  The pictures of the finished treatment simply blew us away. It was stunning! Mott created magic with gorgeous fabrics and detailed workmanship. It was exciting to see our hardware holding it all up.

Mott sent the pictures with a sweet note:

“I’ve enclosed some photos of the finished window treatments using the Artigiani 7/8” French pole and 5/8” pole for the sheers.  This master bedroom sitting area turned out just beautiful  –  and now the clients have some privacy in their bedroom!!  Thanks so much for all of your help in figuring out the measurements of these poles.  It was such a challenging job, and no room for error.  I could not have done this without you!”

And we certainly could not do it without great clients like you Mott.

Nifty New Product Alert

We are always looking for ways to improve our products.  As the demand for outdoor hardware has grown, we decided to make a change in our inside mount brackets.  Traditionally, the rods were held in place with a self-tapping screw that actually penetrated the rod.  This design has been an effective and unobtrusive way to secure the rod to the bracket.

But we got to thinking about how people in some areas of the country have to take their outside decor inside for the winter.  Repeated removal and replacement of the set screw has a tendency to make the hole in the rod larger.  Eventually it will strip out.  When that happens, the rod is no longer so secure in the bracket.  We needed a bracket that kept the rod secure and that would allow unlimited removal and replacement of the rod.

Mark went to work on it and we are pleased to show off the latest addition to our iron product lines.  The Enclosed Inside Mount Brackets are now available in the 5/8″, 7/8″, 1-1/4″ and 1-3/4″ sizes.

The new brackets are available in our Artigiani, Compositions and Jackie Von Tobel lines, and in every one of our twenty six luscious iron finishes.   Sleeker and easier to install, the sleeve and set screw completely eliminate the need to use self tapping screws to hold the rod safely in the saddle.  And as planned, for outdoor applications, the set screw and sleeve will make seasonal removal and replacement a snap.

The good news is that the Enclosed Inside Mount Brackets will not cost a penny more than the open versions.  We still have some stock in the old design, but we will discontinue them as the stock is depleted.  In the mean time, we will be asking you which version you prefer as you place your orders.

We know you will love the new design and look forward to your feedback.   And of course we always want to know where we can improve our products to meet your needs!

We’re Back With Facebook 103!


Helser Brothers Facebook 103 Webinar

Helser Brothers Business School

Thanks to everyone who joined us in July and August for Helser Brothers social media summer school. We had so much fun that we are going to keep offering business technology webinars.

Maybe it was all of those years of school, but when the air turns crisp and the calendar flips to September, it just feels like the right time to learn something new.

So let’s keep the momentum rolling!

Facebook 103

In July and August, we learned Facebook fundamentals from Charlene Kingston of Social Media DIY Workshop. This month, we will learn even more about how to use Facebook for business.

There are some hidden truths about how Facebook really works. These are things that no one (especially not Facebook!) will tell you. Normally, you have to learn these things the hard way–through experience. We’re going to tell you the straight story.

Now that you understand why Facebook is important, how to set up your page, and how to do the basic page administration tasks, you’re ready to learn the insider secrets that will make your Facebook experience the best it can be.

What You Will Learn

In the September one-hour webinar, you will learn:

  • How the Facebook Pages Manager app helps you run your page
  • The hidden truths about Facebook that will keep you from getting frustrated.
  • How Facebook decides who sees your posts.
  • How to reach out to more people on Facebook.

We are building on the last webinar and your current Facebook experience to help your business reach the next level. We want you to have a strong online business presence, and Facebook is an important part of that.

What To Expect

We’ll start off the webinar with Anita Boetsma, our Director of Education. We’ll jump right into the social media segment with Charlene Kingston. You’ll be able to ask questions and get answers to your Facebook challenges in this webinar.

All of this information is geared for people who are in our industry. We’ll be talking about building your Facebook business presence for interior designers, workrooms, installers, and other creative professionals in the Helser Brothers family.

Did you miss Facebook 101 or 102? No problem! Sign up for Facebook 103. When you get the replay for Facebook 103, we’ll include a link to the replay for Facebook 101 & 102. We don’t want anyone to be left out.

Facebook 103 Sign Up

Here are the webinar details:

Want to attend but can’t make it at that time? No problem! Everyone who signs up for the webinar receives the replay link so you can listen to the recording at your convenience. In fact, you can download the webinar recording to your computer and keep it to replay at your convenience forever.

To sign up, just click the link above, type your name and email address, and you are in! You’ll receive a confirmation email with a personal link you will use to access the webinar.

Is this your first webinar? The webinar works by downloading a small file to your computer. We recommend that you arrive about 15 minutes early for your first webinar to make sure you are set up in time for the webinar start.

Have a technical problem with the webinar? If you have any problems attending the webinar, contact the Go-To-Webinar support team by phone at 1-800-263-6317. There is no charge for this service.

Have more questions about webinars? Here’s a webinar fact sheet that explains how to use the webinar features.

You can attend the webinar on your PC or Mac computer, or you can use your mobile device. The GoToWebinar app is available for your iPhone, iPad, Android phone, and Android tablet. So you can attend while you are waiting for your oil change! Could we make it any easier?

We look forward to seeing you on September 18!

Las Vegas Market Recap

The Las Vegas Market is becoming a major event in the Interior Design Industry. The elegant and airy buildings are state of the art and the common areas are staged brilliantly for the crowds that descend upon the city for the Winter and Summer Markets.  Open seating and conversation groupings create a perfect place to rest and network between buildings.

We spent market week with LouAnn Sanoff and the fabulous folks at our Las Vegas showroom, LMS Design Group, and our own favorite designer, Jackie Von Tobel. From our home perch at LMS, Jackie and I forayed into a sampling of the exciting showrooms.  Summer Market 2013 was all about the vibrant mix that is design today.

Re-purposed items are still very strong and headlined in several showrooms. Luna Bella took “Steam Punk” to a new level of sophistication and imagination with the debut of their new showroom.

Upholstered pieces sporting nail head trim were everywhere in neutrals, leathers and linen-y fabrics.  Punches of color tended toward intense dramatic shades like indigo, teal and dark magenta. Stylized frame shapes and imaginative nail designs were key to the style on the upholstery.

Outside of upholstery, color was everywhere in very rich and bright tones.  Feizy rugs celebrated their 40th anniversary with a collection filled with gorgeous, vivid color.

Some of the greens, oranges and golds are trending deeper and more autumnal, while others stayed the course in the fresh, pure shades of spring and summer.

We heard it was coming and it is indeed true. Gold is back in a big way.  We saw gold almost everywhere in accessories and on surfaces.

It was a terrific week and we loved being there to meet with clients and do a little trend spotting. We hope you can make the Las Vegas Market a part of your yearly plan. You won’t be sorry.