Case Studies

Custom Decorators Inc.

The whole package, not just window-dressing

With every window, there’s an opportunity.

An opportunity to save on heat and air conditioning. To enhance the aesthetics of the house, apartment, condo or commercial building. To let the sunshine in or to keep the drafts out. Even to control that window’s covering from afar using an app.

And there’s an opportunity for someone with the eyes and temperament for interior decorating to cross into what could be a rewarding and flexible career with one of North America’s premier in-home design and installation services for major retailers.

Custom Decorators Inc.

Based in Portland, Oregon, and active throughout the United States and Canada, Custom Decorators Inc. is looking for more full- and part-timers to expand its design, decorating and installation teams to meet the demand for window covering expertise.

While experience in sales and customer interaction—particularly in home furnishings—is welcome though not necessary, prospective associates won’t have to chase down their own customers or be weighed down in paperwork.

The most mundane tasks—including lead generation, order processing and payment tracking—will be handled by the company, leaving the new hires free to concentrate on their passion for window design and fashion, and earn a competitive commission on sales that average over $2,400.

Custom Decorators’ commitment to continuing education keeps the designers current on the latest industry information, innovations and design trends. The scheduling team acts more like a designer assistant than a dispatcher, and even pre-qualifies leads before scheduling. This ensures that only the best quality leads are booked. Designers can largely arrange their own schedules, opting either for a career or a means of supplemental income.

“We take all the headaches away,” says Kim Rush, vice president of sales and merchandising.

Right at home

Window treatment design is challenging for many homeowners and  Custom Decorators has been filling a niche for over 25 years. Working with window-treatment heavyweight Hunter Douglas and partnering with some of North America’s biggest retailers—among them Macy’s, Costco Canada and Home Depot—Custom Decorators guides the customer through what can be a complex selection process of blinds, shades, draperies and shutters. If the windows are uniquely shaped, a custom solution is the only option as most retailers only stock coverings for standard window shapes and sizes.

“We hear from our customers that it can be very challenging for them to make decisions in a vacuum,” Rush says. “They may think they know the colors and patterns, but it’s not the same without the materials being there. You can’t bring a house to the store, so we bring the store to the house.”

“We manage all aspects of our clients’ projects, from the creative concept through the ordering process and installation.”

Upon completing training—which is done remotely—Custom Decorators’ designers provide their customers with a free initial design consultation. Taking into account a customer’s budget and taste, they’ll display the myriad choices in shades, draperies, blinds and shutters. Equipped with the latest technology for customer service, they’ll take measurements, place orders, arrange installations with licensed and bonded installers and, once the work is done, provide limited lifetime warranty support.

In the rare locales where Custom Decorators doesn’t have a designer supported by a partnering retailer, the design and selection process can be handled via virtual visit.

A quality partnership

When it comes to the art of window dressing, Hunter Douglas is known for innovation, and its child- and pet-safe, custom-made products comprise most of Custom Decorators’ product offerings.

Aside from the many varieties that absorb sound, control light, provide privacy and increase energy efficiency, Custom Decorators also offers the most advanced operating solution on the market—PowerView® Motorization. This innovative system will automatically move shades and blinds throughout the day and even allows homeowners to operate window treatments from outside the home.

Using the PowerView App, the system connects to a Wi-Fi router and communicates with Hunter Douglas window coverings that feature PowerView Motorization, storing user-defined data such as shade position and schedule information. No wiring is necessary, as options include battery and plug-in power supplies to fit any application.

The system, which is compatible with most home automation systems, was the recipient of the 2016 Red Dot Design Award, which Hunter Douglas refers to as “the most coveted and prestigious designation in the world of design.”

Brushing up a new niche

Custom Decorators started in 1992 as an offshoot from the Pacific Northwest’s largest paint manufacturer, the Rodda Paint Company. Ever ambitious and eager to diversify, the newly-minted company offered in-home design services for carpeting and window treatments on behalf of major retailers looking to enter a new product category with little to no investment.

That business model—partnering with top retailers—remains the modus operandi under Steve Brown, an Oxford University doctorate holder who bought Custom Decorators in 2014. The company also operates its own sales channel, Decorview.

“And as the company continues to grow, so does its need for more designers who can offer customers a complete shop-at-home experience,” adds Rush.

“We manage all aspects of our clients’ projects, from the creative concept through the ordering process and installation,” she says, adding that Custom Decorators crews have serviced over 1 million customers. “And we need more good people.”

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Spring 2018



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