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Monthly Archives: October 2013

29 10, 2013

Great Event for Local Entrepreneurs

By |October 29th, 2013|Company, News|1 Comment

About a month or so ago, Megan was contacted by folks over at Inc Magazine (you know, the terrific mag for business that sponsors the “Inc 500/5000” awards each year).  They were partnering with Cox Business on an event series called Get Started.  The first two events were held earlier in the year (Oklahoma City and Connecticut).  The next would be here in Southern California (in Orange County, as it happens), and they asked Megan if she would participate.

In times past, Megan has been a speaker at a variety of events for Inc Magazine and other organizations, but this gig had a twist.  “Get Started O.C.” would take the form of a “pitch” session, in which representatives from five local small businesses would “pitch” their product / company to four judges, with an audience composed of local business people. After all the pitches, the judges would vote, and the winner would receive a $10,000 prize package from Cox Business. Megan agreed to be a judge, and she suggested that I might want to attend the event as well.

The event was this past Tuesday Oct 22, and it was both fun and inspiring.  The venue for the event was the Marconi Automotive Museum.  What a cool venue, and how great that it was created to fund a charitable foundation to help at-risk kids!

Inc OC Poster

The four judges included Megan, Lindsay Blakely (Inc Magazine editor), Mari Smith (author and social media coach), and Dave Berkus (investment “angel”).   Each person pitching was giving about 2 minutes to tell the judges (and audience) about themselves, their company, and their product.  The judges then had 5 minutes to question that person for further clarification, before time was up and it was the next person’s turn.

Inc OC Stage

Photo Courtesy Justin DeFreece, Inc. Magazine

It was quite interesting to hear each person’s pitch, but it was also fascinating to hear the questions and comments from the judges.  Mari Smith focused on questions related to social media marketing, Dave Berkus asked the “hard hitting” financial questions, Megan’s questions tended to lead toward manufacturing logistics, and Lindsay asked more general business-related questions.  Quite fascinating to hear the different perspectives.

Inc OC  Judges

Photo Courtesy Justin DeFreece, Inc. Magazine

Once all five candidates had “pitched,” the judges votes were tallied, and the winner was announced –  Post Op Tops, a company that makes comfortable apparel for post-operative breast cancer survivors.

This really was a fun and informative event – a bit like television’s “Shark Tank,” but much more supportive in tone!  If you are interested in attending a Get Started event and live in the Providence Rhode Island area, there is an one coming up there next week – Get Started R.I.

25 10, 2013

Mix of Delightably White Rental Drapes Delights the Crowd!

By |October 25th, 2013|Clients, Products, Projects|0 Comments

Rent What? Inc. was extremely proud and honored to be a part of an exceptionally important event here in Southern California this past month. Our client LG Productions combined some of our stunning theatrical rental stage drapes together to be used as a luxurious stage design for a charity fundraiser that brought about awareness and funding to help provide long-term, sustainable solutions to homelessness for children and families. Taking place in a magnificent ballroom in the impressive La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, this annual fundraiser for the charity Solutions For Change works to gain the funding necessary to help provide skills, knowledge, and resources so that families living in homelessness can permanently break the cycle of poverty. Called “An Evening to Remember,” this year’s charity fundraiser was a huge success, raising over $1.3 million for this worthy cause. Working with event planners from Pantherella Specialty Events, the event’s gorgeous stage design was led by Luke Gulley, who did an incredible job providing overall lighting, audio visual support, set design, and production for this remarkable gala.

DW_LG Prod White Aust 3
 Photo Courtesy of Luke Gulley

With former First Lady Laura Bush and 49th District Congressman Darrell Issa as keynote speakers for this fundraiser, and offering the guests a five-star menu, outstanding entertainment, and silent and live auctions, our client needed to have a backdrop for this event that would be versatile enough to change looks between speakers and various activities throughout the evening, but of course still have a lavish and decadent feel coinciding with the event’s overall motif.

DW_LG Prod White Aust 1

Photo Courtesy of Luke Gulley

Using our magnificent and light-reflective 28’h x 50’w White China Poly Silk Austrian drape as the main feature of the set design, along with some of our exquisite White Voile Swags and Legs, and sided with some of our opulent White Supervel panels (all from our Delightably White Series), they were able to create a memorable background suitable for the important theme being discussed by their honorable guest speakers, and also still be fitting for the auctions, speakers, entertainment, and everything else in between. You can see from these beautiful photographs taken by Luke Gulley, that by changing the lighting in subtle, yet dramatic, ways, our client was able to help keep each aspect of the event looking unique and appealing to their captivated audience. Mixing and matching different drapes from our collection really helped create a truly exclusive look for their stage design, too. We absolutely love seeing how our drapes look mixed and matched together—either as the main focus of a production’s stage design, or even as part of a special event’s overall look—and felt privileged that our drapes were such a dazzling part of this truly meaningful event.

DW_LG Prod White Aust 4

Photo Courtesy of Luke Gulley
22 10, 2013

Linked In, a great way to keep up with Rent What? and Sew What?

By |October 22nd, 2013|Company, News|1 Comment

Over the last several years, Rent What? and Sew What? have focused on expanding our online presence in new and innovative ways. From the informative websites, and then to recently adding expansive Flickr photo streams and an exciting YouTube channel, and even to our exceptional blog, it has been a longstanding goal for the company to provide user-friendly online content on custom and rental theatrical drapery and other related topics. We aim to inform, educate, and entertain clients and consumers on all aspects of our business and everything our company has to offer to our invaluable customers.

Our latest venture is with LinkedIn, and we are extremely excited to be able to share it with you now! While Company President Megan Duckett has maintained a personal Linked In account for years, we recently launched an official company page for our clients to read and enjoy.




We know that people access information on the web in many different ways, and so we wanted to offer one more channel to those looking for information on theatrical and special event drapery. LinkedIn is a great way to keep up with the happenings at Sew What? and Rent What?, our blog, and the companies in general.

By simply clicking on the “Follow” button on the upper right-hand corner, you will quickly and easily be able to keep up with all the news on Rent What? theatrical rental stage curtains, solenoids, traveller track, lift systems, pop-up dressing rooms, and everything else that our company has to offer!

18 10, 2013

Understanding the Effects of UV Painting on Scenic Backdrops

By |October 18th, 2013|Digital Printing, Education, Projects|1 Comment

Not surprisingly, there are “hot” trends in the world of custom stage curtains and scenic backdrops, just as there are trends in fashion. Some years, it seems that everyone wants the romance of Austrian drapes and dramatic swags. Another year, mixed media backdrops are the “in” thing. This year, adding UV paint over scenic backdrops (both hand-painted backdrops and digitally-printed backdrops) has been extremely popular. With that in mind, we thought we would give our readers a little more technical information to assist when considering adding UV painting to a scenic backdrop.

UV Paint

Typically, UV Invisible Clear Coat paint is used. This allows the painter to paint over an existing image (digitally printed or painted). Under standard lighting, the underlying images are visible. Under UV lighting, a different image (the image painted with UV Invisible Clear Coat paint) becomes visible and the underlying image disappears. UV Invisible Clear Coat paint is available in several different colors, allowing the UV visible images to be a single color (such as blue, red, yellow or black) or in several colors.

UV Lamps

Ultraviolet (UV) lamps emit long wave (UV-A) ultraviolet light. The lamp has a dark purple filter which blocks most visible light but allows through ultraviolet light. These lamps are often called “black lights.” UV lamps are available as fluorescent, LED, and incandescent lamps.

Lighting the Backdrop

A number of factors can affect how the UV painted images show up under UV lighting.  These factors include: substrate fabric, undercoat, brand of paint used, number of coats of paint, the type of UV light fixture being used, distance and angle from the light source to the backdrop, and much more.

Substrate & Undercoat: Different substrates (fabrics) can react differently to UV painting and lighting. A polyester fabric, for example, may display UV-painted images differently than a cotton fabric does. Whether the underlying backdrop is digitally printed or hand-painted can lead to differing UV effects. Even the specific inks or paints used on the underlying backdrop can have an impact on the UV effect.

Brand of Paint & Number of Coats: There are several brands of UV paint available, and so the choice of brand can be a factor. The number of coats of UB paint can also affect the UV image.

UV Light Fixture (Lamp) Used: How a UV-painted image appears under an LED UV light fixture may be different from how the same image appears under a fluorescent UV light fixture. Not every LED light fixture gives off the same light, as the wave length varies.

Distance and Angle of Lights: If the UV light is too far away from the backdrop, the effectiveness may be lessened and so the UV images may not display as vividly as desired. This may also occur if the angle of lights is too sharp.

Recent Projects

Little Big Town and the Zac Brown Band are just two recent projects that we worked on recently that included UV paint. Both backdrops were painted with UV Invisible Clear Coat in Blue, but the underlying substrates and undercoats were different.

Who: Little Big Town

Substrate: Cotton Canvas (coated for printing)

Undercoat: Direct print image


Who: Zac Brown Band

Substrate: Cotton Muslin (uncoated)

Undercoat: Hand painted

15 10, 2013

Silver Satin Swags Are a Beautiful Backdrop for Dance

By |October 15th, 2013|Clients, News, Projects|1 Comment

A really exciting demographic that Rent What? is beginning to work with more and more lately are dance and performance troupes, either going on tour across the country or having one spectacular show locally. An incredible dance group we were honored to work with recently is the Revolution Dance Company, who just put on a scintillating and dazzling show at the El Portal Theatre right here in Los Angeles. Called “Choosing Sin”, this amazing show was created and presented by innovative choreographer Kristin McQuaid, who has been an award-winning force in the entertainment industry for over 15 years.

McQuaid needed to have a backdrop for her dancers which would be easy to install, dramatic in its design, and accommodating enough to be used for their entire performance. Our IFR Silver Satin Drape Collection offers one of the most reflective and striking materials imaginable, and adding or changing the colors of the lights being splashed onto them can give them incredible versatility. This can help stage designers everywhere create stunning and distinctive looks for their shows that are completely unique and unparalleled.

 SS_Kristi McQuaid dance collage 2

Photo Courtesy © Kristin McQuaid

They started out by using our gorgeous 28’h x 14’w Silver Satin pleated drapes as their opulent main backdrop, and then enhanced them with some of our breathtaking swag drapes.  After starting with a large 22’h x 40’w Silver Satin Swag, and then adding a 16’h x 30’w Silver Satin Swag, they were able to layer these drapes to create an incredible and luxurious look for their show. By changing the lighting scheme between each performance with sensational colors patterns and intensities, they were able to create an exceptionable look to their show that was one-of-a-kind.

SS_Kristi McQuaid dance collage 1

Photo Courtesy © Kristen McQuaid

We were absolutely thrilled to work with Revolution Dance Company, and are excited to be working with more dance and theatrical groups in the near future, too.