Call Us Today! 1.310.639.6000

Monthly Archives: September 2013

27 09, 2013

Article in Specialty Fabrics Review on Black Sabbath Metal Mesh Project

By |September 27th, 2013|Clients, News, Projects|0 Comments

You may recall a blog post that I wrote back in April regarding the extremely cool project we did for the Black Sabbath Tour, a mixed media piece that combined soft goods by Sew What (featuring Metal Mesh, Black Commando, and Black Sharkstooth Scrim) with LED walls.

Well – the project came to the attention of Specialty Fabrics Review, and they decided to write an article on it in the September 2013 (both print and online editions).  We were so excited to see the article in print, complete with photos!


Want to read the article?  It is available here on their website.

24 09, 2013

Beautiful Digitally Printed Globe Banners for ESRI

By |September 24th, 2013|Clients, Digital Printing, Projects|1 Comment

Just last week, Megan happened upon a photo of a previous project that we did back in 2010, that the client was gracious enough to share with us. The photo is so great that as soon as I saw it, I knew it was definitely “blog-worthy.”

WHO: The client was ESRI (Environmental Systems Research Institute). ESRI creates geographic information systems (GIS) to help companies and organizations develop responsible solutions to geo-global problems.

WHAT: A set of 8 digitally-printed double-sided circle banners. Sixteen circles, each 13 feet in diameter, were direct-printed onto 16 foot wide fabric. The circles were then sewn back to back, to create 8 banners. An interlining of White Blackout Lining ensures that the circles can be sewn back-to-back without the image showing through to the other side. The gorgeous artwork was provided by ESRI.

WHY WE LOVE IT: The vibrant colors of the globe glow and appear three dimensional in contrast to the white of the massive structure.  This was truly a unique project for Sew What? and one we are really proud of, as it shows the versatility of digitally printing with a grand format printer onto fabric.  Digitally printing is not just for scenic backdrops!


Copyright © 2010 Esri. All rights reserved. Photo credit Joel Beukelman, Esri.


20 09, 2013

Meet the Sew What? and Rent What? Staff, Part 15: Carrie

By |September 20th, 2013|Company, Rent What Team, Sew What Team|9 Comments

We at Rent What? are very proud and excited to introduce the newest member of our ever-growing staff to you. We were lucky enough to have Carrie Johns join our team, as she comes with decades of experience in the theatrical drapery rental/sales industry, and is proving to be an extremely valuable asset to our rental team. We love her upbeat personality, her boundless energy, and of course, her contagious laugh! Please read on to learn a little bit about this incredibly creative (and extremely fun) new member of our Rent What?/Sew What? Family!



When did you first start at Rent What? What were you originally hired to do, and how have your duties changed since working here?

I started in June of 2013, hired into the Rent What? Sales department with over 23 years of experience behind me.

If you could take a vacation to anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Paris, definitely Paris! I love its history, theatre, art culture, language and of course its food (pastries, cheese, and wine especially!). YUMM!

What kind of work did you do before coming to Rent What?

I worked as a Rental Sales Consultant at another company (similar to Rent What?) since 1991, and actually helped start that company’s rental department from scratch with the owners. I worked on a lot of local, national and international theatre shows, stage productions, and even trade shows (a LOT of traveller drapes, borders, and legs!).

Do you have a special talent?

Outside of work I’m a Graphic/Abstract Artist. Before working as a Rental Sales Consultant, I worked for a company that created graphic designs for a variety of large companies. Helping make designs for their locations, merchandise, and branding in general was very exciting, and I continue to do it on my own to this day. As far as my abstract artwork, I love to create and design my own CG and acrylic art for fun here in LA.

What is your favorite memory from being part of the Rent What? family?

Everyone is very cool and the atmosphere has a really great energy. I especially love our mascots Crispin and Sweetie–the cutest dogs that ever roamed an office!!

What is your favorite sports team/TV Show/Book/Movie?

Sports Team would have to be the Dodgers (GO DODGER BLUE!)

TV Show at the moment would be Master Chef, but my all-time favorite show would definitely be “Friends”!

Book – Anything about art or art history, especially abstract art

Movie – The 1998 version of “ELIZABETH”

What are some of your hobbies?

Softball, Biking, Bowling, River Rafting, Camping—basically anything outdoors! I also especially love being able to paint and do graphic design at home, too. And finding the best, freshest seafood in LA has also been fun (crab, lobster, shrimp, salmon and sushi especially).

What project have you worked on recently that was interesting or challenging?

I absolutely love working with all of the concert tours that do business with Rent What? year in and year out. They are a whole new clientele that I haven’t worked with much before, so there is definitely a learning curve, but I have a great teacher with company owner Megan Duckett!

Anything more about your time here at RW?

I really love and appreciate the fact that you can be yourself here and contribute your various talents to the company, and it’s wholeheartedly embraced!


17 09, 2013

AAA Sewing and Vacuum

By |September 17th, 2013|Authors, Company|2 Comments

I may have told the story about lining the Halloween coffins about a dozen times (or more) now. But for those that haven’t heard the story a summary might be in order.

When looking back at the history of our business and the influencing events in the early days – the opportunity to line 10 “gently used” ex-mortuary caskets for a Halloween event back in the early 90’s was indeed a turning point.

No – I did not know how to sew – but figured that since I was a girl I ought to be able to figure it out.

NO – I did not have a sewing machine or any craft supplies

YES – I was determined to do it and cash in on the “horror” of it all. $100 per coffin was offered – I needed to pay for all materials and supplies myself however – so I had to do it smart.

And here is where my reminiscing actually starts for this post – because a brand new sewing machine to purchase was going to be several hundred dollars…. and I wasn’t up for investing so much of the potential return into a machine and so I got out the yellow pages (yes – this is pre internet in my world) and I found the closest sewing machine store…….. A locals store by the name of AAA Sewing and Vacuum. Back then they were on Sepulveda Blvd near Warehouse Records (anyone remember them???)

In I went – and a gentleman assisted me with selecting a rental machine. Just a little table top unit in a plastic case. It would rent for $45.00 per month – and I would need to know how to use it. They offered a free lesson with the rental – and so I took them up on it. During a friendly 30 minute one-on-one I learned how to thread the machine, to correct the tension and to change the needle. Stepping out of the store with my tool of choice I had exactly 30 days to get the job done.

And indeed I did get the job done – and the machine served me very well.

But it isn’t about the machine – it is about the store; the people there and their passion for not only what they did and loved but that I might too succeed and become a crafter, like them, too. Now as I drive up and down my local strip malls, I have watched businesses come and go. It seems lucky these days if someone that was about 10 years ago can still be found. The internet has changed everything, and the way we buy has become so disconnected that we don’t feel the need to meet and greet and connect personally any more when we are buying (or even selling at times).

So firstly this is a shout out – to their success. To congratulate them on being a part of what inspired me to start my business, and also that they have done such a bang-up job of it that they are indeed still in business. Recently they moved into a nice new location, in Lomita, and when I drove by the other afternoon I snapped a photo out my car window. How cool to see them move into a nice bright and shiny location – and very sentimental for me. Onward and upward for each of us you might say.

So – what might have happened if I had walked in the store that day and the salesman had blown me off (for pulling up in a rattling and sputtering 71′ black beetle that needed a coat of paint) or if he had rented me a machine and then pushed me out the door with no instruction. In hindsight I can’t thank him enough for not just “making the sale” but for actually proactively helping me find my way.

So – here is my shout out to a local business!

AAA Sewing & Vacuum Center

2365 Pacific Coast Hwy, Lomita, CA

(310) 791-1190



13 09, 2013

Pipe and Drape Isn’t Just for Trade Shows Anymore!

By |September 13th, 2013|Products, Projects|1 Comment

We here at Rent What? Inc. are quickly realizing that Pipe and Drape systems are not just for trade shows and conventions anymore. Recently we’ve noticed a huge spike in concert tours and large-scale productions using them for everything from helping “mask” the walls of a venue to be more neutral in design, to helping shape their stage space to fit their artist’s specific look, to creating their own portable and flexible “dressing room space” when they need something larger than our 8′ x 8′ Pop Up Dressing Rooms. Rent What? Inc. carries a wide variety of sizes and colors to choose from, as well as completely adjustable hardware to fit each customer’s individual dimensions and needs.


I think one of the main reasons our Rental P&B Systems are so popular for all sorts of events and concert tours is that we have drapery ranging from 3’h to 20’h, in either convenient 5’w single width, seamless panels and/or 15′ w seamed panels. They are all sewn flat with pipe pocket tops, which helps create a beautiful, flawless look once installed on our versatile P&B hardware. Having our rental P&B drapes available in a myriad of colors (black, white, red, burgundy, royal blue, grey, pewter, and gold) and fabrics (15 oz Encore Velour, Super-Vel, and Voile) also helps our clients create the exact look and feel they are going for, whether backstage on a major concert tour or front and center for a high-profile convention.


Another reason our rental PB Systems are so popular is because of the sheer convenience of our huge inventory of adjustable and static uprights, drape supports, bases, and pins. With uprights available from 3’h to 20’h, drape supports ranging from 2’w to 16’w, and bases ranging from 13’ lbs to 62 lbs, we have the variety of sizes and weights available to help our customers create the exact set-up they need. As well, we also have innovative base carts and carry boxes to help ease our clients with any transportation issues they may have, which is an important consideration especially when travelling from venue to venue on tour.


These are just a few of the reasons why internationally renowned artists like Beyonce, Wiz Khalifa, Justin Timberlake, and many more have utilized our beautiful and dependable Pipe and Drape Systems for their summer tours and shows this year. Complete ease of use + huge assortment of available rental inventory = a winning combination for a concert tour or special event!

Pipe & Drape Questions? See our whitepaper, “Pipe and Drape Systems – Demystifying Exhibit Booths