Denton Drapes Open Day

After several weeks planning and lots of nervous preparation we opened the workroom doors  for our open day on Saturday  6th March and waited to see if anyone would turn up.  We had written to all of our old customers as well as those with work already in the pipeline. We also invited local interior designers, leafleted the village and advertised in our usual local media. Several people had told us they were coming but with the nibbles all laid out and the champagne ready to pour I was really worried that nobody would show.

Enjoying a chat with some loyal customers

Of course, there was no need to worry; our first visitors arrived in the first few minutes. They were a local couple who had seen our ad in their village newsletter and were very keen to take a look around.  The trickle became a flood and we had a steady flow of visitors all afternoon. Most of the team had volunteered to give up their Saturday afternoons to help out and everyone was kept busy answering questions and showing our visitors the mysteries of curtain making.

Showing some pictures on the laptop

Of course, our doors are actually open every day but I was surprised how many people said they were intimidated by the idea of visiting a commercial unit on a site like Water Hall Farm. They said they were never sure if such units were trade only and whether the public would be welcome and they really appreciated the open invitation.

Some of our guests enjoying the afternoon

We had made a lot of new displays in readiness for the open day including some lovely Harlequin fabrics and James Hare silks and we did our best to make the place look its best. The reaction of our guests was terrific but they seemed most interested in the work in progress around the room. One lady, who we had made a blind for last year, said how surprised she was by how much work went into everything.

Some of our items for sale on the day

Some visitors bought our handmade scatter cushions and other items that the girls had made in the weeks running up to the open day; Others sat and asked technical questions about how we make the things we do; While others just leafed through fabric books from suppliers like Villa Nova and Swaffer while drinking our champagne and enjoying the company. I spent my time rushing around trying to spend a bit of time with everyone.

Fabric books for happy browsing

Finally it was all over and we were able to relax and get things straight again. I’m delighted that we have found some new clients as a result of the day and am very pleased to have renewed friendships with a number of previous customers. I think that the Open Day will become an annual event  but it was nice to get things back to normal on the Monday!

12 thoughts on “Denton Drapes Open Day

  1. Glad your open day went so well – it must have been like hosting a party at home, only even more nerve wracking! Interesting to hear that clients became aware of how much work goes in to high quality handmade furnishings.

  2. Thank Louise, yes it was quite never wracking however it was a really good thing to do as it lets people know we are here and gets my “brand” known a bit more.

    Penny

  3. Hi Penny!
    I read this the day you posted it but have been so swamped I didn’t have time to leave a note.
    What a great occasion- an open house! I’ve often thought of doing that but it seems so overwhelming. You all did a great job of dressing up the workroom and entertaining your guests.
    I hope you reap great benefits from your efforts- perhaps some new clients, or some existing clients who left your event with fresh inspiration.

  4. Penny, I was delighted to find your curtain blog! I thought i was alone in this world of curtain blogging! Fabulous work, great blog.
    Hope to see more of your fabulous work ongoing!

    Ravi!

    • Ravi
      Thank you for your kind words.
      There are a few other curtain blogs out there that I enjoy reading.
      Yours included! Keep it up
      Best regards
      Penny

  5. What a fabulous idea, hosting an open house! I agree wholeheartedly; clients have NO IDEA how much skill, talent, and creativity, let alone how much time, goes into custom drapery treatments. I would love to see a reality show on one of the design channels, maybe HGTV, that showed behind-the-scenes in a drapery workroom. When clients begin to understand what goes into those beautiful draperies, they feel better about the price point. It’s not really about cost, after all — it’s about the value of a one-of-a-kind, handmade drapery treatment fabricated to exacting couture standards.

    • Thanks Rebecca. We really enjoyed the day and got great feedback from our visitors. It can be difficult to get the “value” message across to some people but we also have some great customers who really get it!

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