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23 10, 2018

Vibrant Colors Completely Brighten Up Sewing Room

By |October 23rd, 2018|Products, Projects|1 Comment

I love having a window that leads directly into our warehouse QC Area, as I never know what I’m going to spot the hard-working SW? crew diligently constructing out there for our wonderful clients’ upcoming events. Looking out there, it’s never the same view two days in a row! These past few days I kept noticing the most spectacularly gorgeous colors flashing in my peripheral vision and couldn’t contain my curiosity anymore—so I had to go investigate for myself what I was seeing.

It seems as it one of our clients was having us build for them numerous panels of breathtaking Poly Charmeuse Drapery for an upcoming special event they were having here in Southern California. This fabric is an extremely festive and popular substrate for special events especially, in that it has a lustrous, reflective finish, is super lightweight to hang, and is topically treated for Flame Retardancy so it’s well tested by fire marshals across the country.

In absolutely vivid, striking shades of purple, pink, and orange, our warehouse sewing department looked even more vibrant than it normally does. Watching our amazing team work on this job all the way from cutting, to sewing, to inspecting, and to packaging for shipping was a truly impressive sight to behold.

We love helping to provide our super-creative clientele with fabulous custom stage drapes for all of their special events, concert tours, stage productions, church services, trade shows, and everything in between. Contact one of our sales reps today so that we can help you to also construct the most breathtaking design imaginable—either with custom built curtains, rental stage drapes, or a combination of both!

17 10, 2018

Meet the Staff–UPDATES! Shane Nelsen

By |October 17th, 2018|Company, Rent What Team, Sew What Team|1 Comment

Next in our Meet The Staff–UPDATES! Blog series is sales rep extraordinaire, Shane Nelsen. Being the sales staff member who’s been a “Whatter” the longest, he has practically seen it all, done it all, and made it all. But that doesn’t stop him from still having a blast, and learning from all of his innovative clients’ unique drapery requests. Take a moment to read a little bit more about our very own “design force of nature”, Shane!

What were you originally hired to do, and how have your duties/job descriptions changed since working here? (even if your job title hasn’t changed) Please explain…

I was hired back in 2006 as a Sales Staff person, and I still remain in that position to this day. And as of the past few years, I can also assist my clients with requests of our rental inventory, too. However, due to my decades of work in the decorating/design/theater industry, and now with my many years here at SW? Inc., I am referred to as “Senior Sales Representative”. I enjoy offering my clients AND training colleagues assistance with questions that they might have regarding custom drapery options, various fabrics and substrates, and overall design concepts.

What are some favorite memories/circumstances/events from being part of the Sew What? family?

Although I truly enjoy our potlucks and special events here on-site, I always especially enjoy our SW outings OUTSIDE the office, too. Years ago a bunch of us went to see Billy Idol live in concert in Palm Springs, and we had such a blast. I also had a lot of fun going to a local concert with some of my co-workers here to see Aerosmith, too. Both shows had our drapes being showcased on-stage, which was exciting to see live and in person…But more than that it was really great getting to socialize with my colleagues outside of our regular work environment.

What project have you worked on recently that was interesting or challenging? What did you learn from it?

Working from design concept to completion on a Black Sabbath mixed media backdrop was definitely one of my personally most challenging projects ever. Mixing commando cloth, aluminum metal mesh, and black sharkstooth scrim together on one drape–and the painstaking measurements that needed to be calculated to ensure everything was exactly how the client envisioned–was genuinely one of the toughest jobs I’ve ever coordinated here at SW. But it was all worth it because the outcome was absolutely spectacular.

Anything more you would like to add about the development and evolution of RW/SW? Inc.?

I’ve enjoyed the progress that both Sew What? and Rent What? have made over the last 13 years. I really like working with the expanded sales team and warehouse staff, too, and seeing what new and interesting drapery projects come through our sewing room every single day.  

24 09, 2018

Meet the Sew What? and Rent What? Staff, Part 22: Kim

By |September 24th, 2018|Company, Rent What Team, Sew What Team|1 Comment

For our next installment of “Meet The Staff”, I am very happy to be able to officially introduce you to an incredibly important—and very much appreciated—member of our Sew What? / Rent What? family, Kim Curran. We’ve been extremely lucky to add Kim to the “Whatter Family” a few years ago as our Senior Purchasing Agent, and it’s been a perfect match ever since. Her diverse background as a buyer has immensely helped with her transition into this slightly different field of “theatrical fabric purchasing”, giving her an invaluable insight and perspective on successful vendor relations, and in turn, what we need to help make this company run smoothly—fabric! Please take a moment to read a little more about Kim, and learn why we are so thrilled to have her as an absolutely vital member of the SW team. 😊

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

I started in May of 2015 as the Sew What Purchasing Agent, and have remained in that position ever since.

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

It would definitely be Italy—I love the food……All of the food! Pasta, fish, desserts, and everything in between. 😉

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

I was a sporting goods buyer for a major national sporting goods chain—mostly focusing on fitness products of all kinds.

Do you have a special talent?

I love to dabble in baking and cooking of all varieties—and I try to use my powers for good and not evil. (my colleagues seem happy to take on my baking experiments) 😉

What is your favorite memory/circumstance/event from being part of the Sew What? family?

My husband and I had the most wonderful time attending a company dinner at the Bull Pen last year. It was a sit-down dinner at a spectacular steak house with much of the company there, and their spouses and significant others. And it was such a blast!

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

I am not too die-hard of a fan for any particular sports team…. But I AM a huge fan of all kinds of cooking programs—especially the reality competition cooking shows. Give me some Chopped, Iron Chef, Hell’s Kitchen, or any baking contest on TV and I’m there!

What are some of your hobbies?

I love to cook—if you haven’t been able to tell by now! Main courses, desserts, snacks, and anything else that sounds yummy. My husband and I have newly started experimenting with Blue Apron (home delivered ingredients and recipes) which has really gotten me to wear my “chef hat” more than ever. It’s been a fun way for us to try out interesting new styles of food and cooking that we normally probably never would have done on our own.

Plus—more importantly–this summer we also added a new member to our family…our new puppy Stella! She’s a 7-month-old Chiweenie puppy (Chihuahua and Dachshund mix), and she has been the light of our life since we brought her home to be our furr-ever little girl. She has so much contagious energy, so much excitement over everything, and gives so much love to us both–and everyone she meets. It has been so much fun adding her to our family! 😊

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

The most challenging aspect of my job is the short turnaround time we have for some of the orders for our clients—the tours especially. Many things can “go wrong” when it comes to procuring the exact right substrates that our clients are requesting, such as material availability, damages to the fabrics we receive, delays in shipping, size inaccuracies, etc. Thankfully, we have an amazing team here that will do everything they can to find a way to work through any issues that might come up in order to be able to get our clients the beautiful custom theatrical stage draperies that they are requesting — how they want them, and on time.

Anything more about your time here at SW?

There is a strong feeling of having a second family here at Sew What, Inc., which is just so nice to experience every day!

1 08, 2018

Custom Mixed Media Drapes Energize Crowds On Rock Tour

By |August 1st, 2018|Products, Projects|1 Comment

A fantastic way to construct something genuinely one-of-a-kind for your production, concert, or trade show is to have our skilled sewing staff custom sew a mixed media piece that comes directly from your own original vision. Layering different substrates on top of one another can create a completely unique appearance for your backdrops and other theatrical soft goods. Recently Megan Duckett worked with the tremendously creative Paul Guthrie with the Nine Inch Nails current “Cold and Black and Infinite” World Tour, to help fashion a distinctive look for the band’s concert tour.

The design called for a specific hand-painted pattern on the drapes to showcase during parts of the performances, so we started with a Heavy Weight Cotton Muslin as the base fabric for this textured 40’w drape and its corresponding 12’w drapery legs. This material is quite popular for our clients as the wrinkles tend to “fall right out” once hung up at each venue, and the open weave structure of the fabric allows for paint to adhere nicely to it, too. Sharkstooth Scrim was then layered on top of the painted muslin, giving the curtains a textured, almost “coarse” quality to them. The scrim layer was also scenically painted, enhancing the dramatic effect even more. The tour lighting design, which called for the use of a variety of colored lighting schemes and creative image shadows, definitely gave the overall presence of these edgy drapes a truly extraordinary look. Check out more photos of this undeniably exceptional backdrop here on our Flickr page, too.

Contact us to get insightful information, suggestions, and options to better design the stage for your upcoming special event or concert tour. We have so much fun helping our client’s magnificent ideas become a reality in the most breathtaking ways possible, and having us build you a mixed media custom drape is definitely a sure-fire way to wow your audiences each and every time!

3 04, 2018

Inspiration Is Truly In The Eye Of The Beholder

By |April 3rd, 2018|Clients, Company, Education, links, News, Products, Projects|1 Comment

Inspiration — it helps motivate us to be our best, do our best, act our best, and put forth the very best that we each have to offer the world. The definition of inspiration is “the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something; particularly to do something creative.” But what inspires you may not inspire the next individual…. It is probably one of the most subjective concepts you can think of, and yet–in this industry especially—it is definitely one of the most important, too.

This is why we here at Sew What?/Rent What? Inc. offer a variety of ways to help spark our clients’ imaginations. Some stage and event designers like to look at photos of theatrical draperies out in “real world” situations, which is why we have some fabulous examples of our drapes in a ton of Flickr photo albums and galleries to meet their every drapery desire. They can also explore our company Pinterest and Instagram pages to see some great examples of event and stage designs, and learn about some ingenious ways for us to help them create a similar look for their own special events.

Others may do better by seeing video of the drapes and designs moving across their screen, as it helps them better imagine how the drapery and stage embellishments might look for their own creative projects. Therefore we offer a variety of different videos showcasing our rental and custom curtains on our very own YouTube channel.

Some may prefer to see simple swatches of fabric or written data on their computer screen, and let their imagination run wild with that information. If so, they can check out our e-swatches and white papers on our website (and read this blog, of course) to gain valuable information and insight as to what type of fabric, cut, style, and substrate might work best to create the right look at their own unique event, venue, or production.

And sometimes it’s as simple as being a little “social” and going to one of our many social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. These sites are a fantastic way to easily gather information about some of our recent projects, converse with employees and other clients regarding ideas for original stage designs, and read helpful advice, suggestions, and ideas on how to they can better work within their budget, actual space dimensions, or possible time limitations. We are here in a myriad of ways for our clients—just let us know how we can better help to inspire YOU, too!