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Lynda

About Lynda

In 2004, as I was starting graduate school, I decided to leave my highly stressful management position in higher education and take on a "low-key" job working for Sew What? Inc., a manufacturer of theatrical drapery. Little did I know that I would love the company, my co-workers, and our terrific customers so much that I would choose to stay here even after I was awarded a Masters Degree in Library and Information Science. What do I do here at Sew What? Inc? The question should probably be, what don't I do? I have done most of the jobs here, from purchasing to accounting to sales (though not sewing - I'm an OK home sewer, but that is it) at one time or another. Currently, my position is General Manager, and I function as an all-around trouble-shooter, computer guru, supervisor, writer, researcher and much more. One of the hats I wear here is as the resident Flame Retardancy expert. I am self-educated on the subject, having done tons of research and talked to dozens of industry professionals throughout the years to gain a solid understanding of flame retardancy requirements in the United States. I love to educate people and have written several articles on flame retardancy requirements for drapery used in public spaces. On a personal level, I love to cook (I studied to be a chef in my younger days, but decided I didn't want to work that hard for so little money). I am a big fan of classic rock and like to go to concerts. I don't get to as many as I'd like, but three that come to mind are Aerosmith with Lenny Kravitz at the Staples Center, the Van Halen Friends & Family Show at the Forum, and Tom Jones at the House of Blues. Well, enough about me for now. I hope you enjoy my blog, and please feel free to jump in with a comment or question. I'd love to hear from you. Lynda Vaughn
10 03, 2020

Looking for Inspiration? Check Out our Portfolios

By |March 10th, 2020|News, Products, Projects|0 Comments

If you haven’t checked out our portfolios on our website recently, I wanted to give you a little taste of what you will find in each of the portfolios. Here are just a few projects to inspire you – visit out Portfolios page to see many other featured projects that we are proud to have worked on.

ROCK AND ROLL PORTFOLIO

America – the home of legendary rock bands and so many of today’s pop stars. Madonna, Britney Spears, Don Henley, Sting; we have draped and masked stages for the best of them. While we tend to remember a concert in terms of the “set” and the “lighting and effects,” the draperies play an often invisible but integral role in how the show comes together. Giant painted stage backdrops set the scene, masking hides tech areas from the crowd, borders dress the floating trusses to hide the lighting instruments, and skirting surrounds the stage and band risers. Soft goods, as they are known to the “roadies,” are a major part of any touring set.

Project: Tenacious D
Fabric: Brillante

The design for Tenacious D focused on two elements, surface and shape. First, a fabric surface that would mimic a projection screen, and second, a precisely shaped projection proscenium to showcase carefully mapped out graphics. The designer, Dan Hadley, selected our 120 “Brillante,” which has a jet-black backside and a bright white semi-matte surface to take front projection. In order to keep all areas of the proscenium “seamless,” the design was developed so that no individual surface exceeded the 10-foot width of the cloth. The legs were sewn as separate pieces to the proscenium header, making the set three pieces for an easy install. As these photos demonstrate, the Tenacious D production team was able to create a variety of unique looks using the projection proscenium strategy.

DIGITAL PRINTING PORTFOLIO

If you can visualize it, we can print it.  As big or as wide as you want it.  Check out our show page of really impressive digitally printed backdrops and drapes for really impressive showbiz personalities such as Lady Gaga, Kenny Chesney and Brooks & Dunn.  And see what can be done to blow away the crowds at major public events and trade shows.  We can even combine digital printing with a whole host of special effects that will leave jaws on the floor. 

Project: Marc Anthony “Legacy Tour”
Fabric: Crystal Poplin

Sew What? Inc. created an extraordinary 46’h x 75’w digitally printed brail lift drape in just one week for Marc Anthony’s Legacy Tour. For this project, there were 16 vertical lift lines placed strategically on the back side of the drape. We craft these as near-invisible sewn vertical lines with O-rings running vertically to capture the aircraft cable that is used for lifting the drape. For durability and a gorgeous lighting surface, we chose to direct print onto our Crystal Poplin. In order to make sure that each printed segment is lined up perfectly, we used thousands of sewing pins to pre-pin by hand all the sections of cloth. This backdrop looked amazing on stage for the Legacy Tour!

THEATRE PORTFOLIO

Grand drape, tab curtain, austrian, theatrical backdrops, tabs, legs and borders…. These are all words that we associate with the stage and the wonderful world of theatre. Sew What? Inc specializes in theatrical drapery manufacturing, so your needs can all be filled with just one telephone call. Not only for professional theatres – don’t forget that schools, churches, universities and even cruise ships have stages!

Photo By George Davidson

Project: GRIDWORKS for Princess Cruises / Ruby Princess
Fabric: IFR 26oz Velour / Custom Dye

Once again we had the privilege of working with Gridworks, one of the premier providers servicing the audio/video needs of the cruise line industry. This project was for Princess Cruise’s Ruby Princess while in dry dock. Gridworks team of installation experts had visited the ship some months prior to dry dock, and were armed with the measurements for a fast changeover and successful replacement of the drapery elements in both the Princess Theatre and Explorers Lounge.  All elements were sewn from Inherently Flame Retardant velour. Aside from the obvious and most featured Austrian Drape there were over 20 other items dressing the stage – including several scrims, a leno, a muslin cyclorama and plenty of masking drapes, legs and borders.

SPECIAL EVENT PORTFOLIO

Grammy Awards, SAG Awards, Golden Globe Awards; you name them and we have draped them! Tents in tennis courts and 5 course dinners in stadiums – the special events industry is all about transformation. Watch while designers transform the ordinary special event into the extraordinary. Custom trade show displays rely on the many effects that drapery can provide. Our in-stock inventory of pipe and drape has been an instant solution for many special event planners with a sudden on-site masking issue. Designers and special event planners alike can benefit from our services and fast turnarounds.

Project: Indiana Conference for Women
Fabric: Silver Textura and Pewter Textura

For the Indiana Conference for Women, we used a mixture of drapes from our Silver Satin Rental Drapery Collection. This stage included a row of complementary 30’h Silver Satin, Silver Textura, and Pewter Textura drapery legs with 16’h-22’h Crushed Silver Satin Swags. These drapes covered the entire wall of the ballroom, giving the event a clean, timeless appearance. These curtains light up beautifully, reflecting the colorful light splashed onto them. By using this mix of our rental drapes, they were able to have their own unique vision become a stunning reality.

RENT WHAT? RENTAL PORTFOLIO

Our rental drapery team has performed for many of the biggest names in entertainment, so we know the realities of dressing up a major venue and dancing around all the surprises that can pop up at the last second. It’s not just about having the right products, but having the experience and service our customers will remember when it comes to booking each new tour.

Project: Jonathan Antoine
Fabric: Pewter Textura

For Jonathan Antoine’s first solo performance in the United States, his team was looking for stage curtains that would be easy to work with, light up beautifully, and give the stage a timeless look. Antoine’s team decided to use a variety of our Pewter Textura rental drapes from our Timeless and Traditional Rental Drapery Collection. The stage was set using a mixture of pre-pleated legs and swagettes in various sizes. These rental drapes, along with a creative lighting design, resulted in a stunning stage design that gave the show a modern, yet timeless look.

Pretty impressive, don’t you think? There is so much more on our Portfolios page, including links to more content on Flickr and YouTube. So, make sure to head over to our Portfolios page today, and feel free to contact us for help with your next project!

27 03, 2019

Celebrating 10 years of “It’s All Sew Biz”

By |March 27th, 2019|Company, News|3 Comments

It seems like only yesterday that I published the very first post on our company’s brand new blog, but amazingly enough, it was ten years ago, on March 24, 2009. In the beginning, I was not only the blog administrator, but also the primary author of posts, with Megan contributing as well. I was learning as I went along, so the early posts were mainly text with the occasional photo.

As the years went on, this blog evolved. As I became more comfortable with the WordPress platform and other platforms like Flickr and YouTube, we began to include more embedded content – including YouTube videos and Flickr photos of our custom stage drapes and rental stage curtains out on tour.

Over the years, the voice of the blog has become more diverse, as a variety of staff members have contributed posts. Some have contributed just one or two posts, while others have became regular and frequent authors. Today, blog posts are primarily written by Marianne, Megan and me (though my focus these days is more on administering the blog rather than writing posts).

It is just so amazing and gratifying to see how this blog has evolved and improved over the years. Whow would have imagined when we launched this new unfamiliar format ten years ago that the blog would still be going strong in 2019! Thank you to all of our readers and contributors – here’s to another ten years!

14 11, 2018

Old Dominion “Nashville Night in Buchanan” Silver Satin Drapes

By |November 14th, 2018|Clients, Products, Projects|1 Comment

This October, Old Dominion’s Matthew Ramsey brought a night of country music back to his hometown of Buchanan, Virginia. Along with Ramsey, this year’s “Nashville Night in Buchanan” also included bandmate Trevor Rosen and three of their songwriting partners, Josh Osborne, Matt Jenkins, and Shane McAnally. They were able to bring in 5,172 people to raise money for the local food bank, Buchanan Area Ministerial Association Food Pantry. Rent What? Inc. was so happy to be asked to work with Old Dominion again with our Silver Satin rental drapery.

We were honored when we were asked to be a part of another event with Old Dominion to help raise money for charity. We donated our stunning Silver Satin Drapes from our Rental Drapery Collection to create a beautiful backdrop for these performers. These drapes are some of the most reflective and striking materials imaginable and can change colors by splashing light onto them. Since they reflect light beautifully, they were able to create sensational color patterns and intensities for the event. With various drapery options from swags to Austrians to legs (and more), it lends itself to many different stage designs. This gave them the opportunity to create a distinctive look for the “Nashville Night in Buchanan.”

On top of raising money for the Buchanan Area Ministerial Association Food Pantry, Ramsey also announced that he has started a fund called My Hometown Fund, which gives directly back to the community. They have already raised around $50,000 for My Hometown Fund with the “Nashville Night in Buchanan.”

Our drapes from our Silver Satin Rental Drapery Collection looked amazing on stage for this event and they also layer beautifully with drapes from all of our dynamic drapery collections. Our Specialty Drapery Series’ make it easy to create dynamic look for any booth, show or exhibit by packaging an entire complement of matched drapery components in a single fabric theme. Each series contains a varied collection of drape sizes and styles that work together beautifully to create a fully designed scene. Contact our sales team today so we can help you get the perfect rental for your next show or event!

6 11, 2018

Old Dominion “An Evening With Friends” Benefit Concert

By |November 6th, 2018|Clients, Projects|2 Comments

Last month, Sew What? Inc. had the opportunity to be a part of a huge fundraising event with Old Dominion. Old Dominion set out to raise money for the Opry Trust Fund and Ryan Seacrest Foundation with their “Evening with Friends” concert at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. We were able to donate these beautiful drapes from our silver satin rental collection for the concert.

The Opry Trust Fund’s mission is to help those in the country music industry by offering financial aid during their time of need. The Opry Trust fund has been able to donate more than $2 million to those that need it the most. The Ryan Seacrest Foundation is a non-profit organization that strives to inspire today’s youth through entertainment and education focused initiatives. The Ryan Seacrest Foundation’s  first mission is to build broadcast media centers within pediatric hospitals to give patients the opportunity to explore the creative outlets of radio, television and new media.

“An Evening with Friends” even featured surprise guest performances from Kenny Chesney, Sam Hunt, Kelsea Ballerini, and Michael Ray. Our silver satin rental drapes looked beautiful behind the talented performers, and we are so honored to have been a part of this event. Old Dominion was able to raise $40,000 for these amazing charities, making this a truly unforgettable night.

3 10, 2018

Sew What? and Rent What? Sales Reps Go From Office to Sewing Room

By |October 3rd, 2018|Company, Rent What Team, Sew What Team|2 Comments

Recently, the office staff had the opportunity to work with our talented staff in the sewing room. We each spent 5 hours in the sewing room on the cutting table, the pinning table or at QC. This gave the sales staff the opportunity to not only learn the product better, but also have a clear understanding of how the sales process connects with the sewing process and gain insight into the skills and time needed to complete these projects.

I started at the cutting table with Jorge, who has been with the company for over 21 years. We began by analyzing the cut list that was given to us by the sales person and checking to make sure that the fabric was completely clean and intact. After that, we measured out the correct amount of fabric. Once it was measured, we smoothed out the fabric, cut it into pieces and folded up each piece to give to the pinning table. Jorge is incredible at his job and patiently waited for me to slowly catch up to him. He made sure that every cut was measured correctly and that each piece was folded meticulously.

Next, I worked at the pinning table with Sara, Gloria, and Maria. Again, we started by checking the cut list that was passed down from the cutting table. We were working with a 22oz Encore, which is much harder to push a pin through than you would think, and we began by folding and pinning around the edges. The fabric was so thick that I bent most of my pins and poked myself almost every single time trying to push them through. Sara, Gloria and Maria made the pinning look completely effortless and I could barely put two pins in before they finished the entire piece of fabric.

Lastly, I worked in QC. Miguel showed me how they add ties onto the sewn drapes and push a tie through the top hem. We took a long, skinny pole with string attached to push through the top of the drape. This was not an easy task; I was using all the muscle in my arms to get that pole to the end. Not only did we have to push the string through, but we had to tie tight knots through every grommet along the top of the drape. After finishing all the ties, we checked that the measurements were correct and attached it to the truss to be lifted and checked one last time. Once it was brought back down, we folded the finished product and placed it into a Sew What? bag. Miguel was incredibly careful that the drape was the correct size and that it was all input correctly for the customer.

This experience has taught me a lot about how much effort and detail is put into every single drape that we make. Everyone in the sewing room is amazing at their job and has such incredible skill that is unmatchable. I feel so lucky that I get to be apart of such a hard-working team that truly cares about the quality of their product.