Today we’d like to introduce you to Deland Pelto.
Deland, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Window Dressers Custom Drapery Workroom was created by Deland & Fran Pelto. Window Dressers represents the second and third generation of our family-owned businesses in the window fashion industry.
When newly married, I asked my mother, a seamstress who made custom draperies, to make drapes for our first apartment, she said “no, but I’ll show you how”. At the time, I was employed at a luxury furniture and interior design firm, in Green Bay, Wisconsin, as a designer’s apprentice. When my mother gave my wife Fran and myself some lessons in “how to make a basic drape”, we apparently showed aptitude. After making the drapes for our first 2 apartments, I asked my boss, the owner of the firm at the time, if we could sew a small project for a client. He knew of my mother’s background and was aware that Fran & myself had now made some of our own drapery and gave me the green light. It was a success, as small as it was, but that was our first. We took on a few more projects for the firm’s clients and things seemed to progress favorably. Within a few short months, we were quite busy. Word got out and I started receiving requests from designers who were from other design firms. Within a year, we got so busy helping other designers, Fran and I decided I would quit my job as a designer’s apprentice and start our own drapery workroom service in 1978. The business blossomed from there.
For seven years we continued to grow in the Green Bay area. Sales reps from fabric companies started referring us to designers from as far away as Chicago. (where Fran is from). In 1985 we moved to Chicago seeking a broader designer audience. We already had previously worked with a very exclusive design firm in Barrington, IL which was referred to us when we were still in Green Bay, so we already had our foot in the door. . At the time, there was only “the yellow pages” so I sent out letters of introduction, and of course started with “A”, but I only got to the “C’s” and we were so overwhelmed with business that we simply could not take on any more. For the subsequent 6 years most of our designer accounts name started with either A, B, or C.
In 1991, after much prayer, we felt that we were being led to move to Arizona to further expand our business. I maintained our window treatment service in the Chicago location for the following 6 years while we began building and seeking designers in Scottsdale. In 1997 we closed the Chicago location and focused only on Arizona. By the fall of 1997 our business tripled. We focused on servicing luxury designers. I felt that my previous designer-related experience as well as an eye for luxury and meticulous detail helped earn their confidence. Additionally, my ability to do quick, on-the-spot renderings of window treatment ideas was very helpful, as well as the fact that our fabrication service included measure & installation service, and a written quote including labor, lining, hardware and installation costs, as well as specifying the yardage quantities they need to order.
What makes Window Dressers different is that we strive to make the process easy for designers. We can provide sketches and renderings to help both designer and their client visualize the proposed treatment, along with the discriminating level of custom work we provide, and the extraordinary standard of customer service and expertise. I have strived to earn the reputation from industry colleagues as being one of the best in the industry. As a window treatment professional, I have been collaborating with the finest of interior designers for over three decades. We’ve installed projects from Canada to Mexico as well as coast to coast in the lower 48.
In 2004, we moved to our present location, 7882 E. Gray Rd. Suite 2, in the Scottsdale Airpark. We started with 2700 square feet. A few years later we leased the adjacent suite to the East (suite 3) which doubled our square footage, but this space is solely to produce custom beds and headboards and is run by my son Jordan. In 2018 we leased the suite on the West side (suite 1) of the original suite for a total of 8100 square ft. This new addition is 100% showroom and is for the exclusive use of our interior design trade professionals where they can bring their clients to “experience” our displays, and explore our substantial sample library of fabrics, wallcoverings, blinds and shades. We have several conference table meeting areas as well as a private conference room for designers’ use. In recent years in addition to the fabrication of draperies, valances, cornices, bedding, pillows, headboards, Roman shades, blinds, shades and shutters, we’ve expanded our services to offer motorization technology, where you can operate your window treatments from your phone. We presently offer the greatest selection of custom drapery hardware in the state of Arizona. Our products and services are available “to-the-trade” at wholesale pricing.
We are blessed to have an amazing staff of professionals on our team to keep the wheels turning. Mary is our office manager and quote specialist. Tina is our project manager. Scott is our quality control specialist and installation supervisor. We also are privileged to employ 4 full-time exceedingly fine seamstresses as well as 2 in-house installers. My son Jordan and his staff create beautiful upholstered custom beds and headboards in suite 3. Fran, my wife, is the CFO and the voice of common sense. Everyone on our team respects and relies on Fran for keeping us all real and making good decisions.
We are all fueled by creative passion, customer service, and extensive experience in the window fashion industry.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Mostly smooth. The challenge is to help designers perceive the entire scope of the value Window Dressers provides. Occasionally, we will have a seemingly loyal designer “go missing” for a period of time. Then, anywhere from a few months to perhaps even a year or more will pass and, “behold” there they are again. Most times, we are told that they tried another workroom service because they were cheaper, but after experiencing a few projects, with the “other guys” they missed certain aspects of our service and came back to us because of that.
Another struggle is that some designers think they have a complete understanding of window treatments and don’t want to hear any advice or recommendations. We do our best to do what they want and then when all is said and done, they are victims of their own decisions and now want us to fix the situation.
Please tell us about your business.
This was covered earlier but to recap in brief, we are best known for our high level of customer service and expertise in the window treatment industry.
What sets us apart? First and foremost is our extraordinary level of customer service. Second, is that Window Dressers makes the window treatment process easy and straightforward for the designer, because of our leadership and guidance resulting from our industry expertise, and our ability to communicate & interact with interior designers on their level. Additionally, being “full service” translates to offering consultation service, measure service, in-house seamstresses, and in-house installers. Finally, the magnitude of fabrication services that we provide is exceedingly large and meets any designers workroom needs as well as our ability to accommodate out of state projects
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Our supporters have been the designers we’ve worked with through the years who have continued to support us and refer us to colleagues. The interior designers are our clients.
- Address: 7882 E. Gray Rd.
- Website: mywindowdressers.com
- Phone: 4803151500
- Email: email@example.com