Friendship and Inspiration at the IWCE

Friendship and fashion; inspiration and trends—Brenda Baxter, owner and principal designer of Custom Drapery Designs, looks forward to these benefits each time she attends the International Window Coverings Expo.

Brenda, Lori Carpenter and Marcia Boatwright comprise a trio of design trendsetters who have made the IWCE an annual meeting point.

Brenda shared, “For years I have travelled with two industry friends, Lori and Marcia, to the IWCE. We have so much fun sharing ideas and inspiration. One evening after a full day of seminars and trade show events, I laughed at the sight of the three of us, energetically sitting shoulder to shoulder, sharing our notes. This friendship and mentor-ship is extremely special, and I am very thankful for their friendship and for the IWCE.”

Lori, an Authorized Hunter Douglas Dealer, owns The Grapevine Home in Ash Flat, Arkansas, a full interior design studio that she started in 1996. Marcia comes from Ada, Oklahoma, where she operates Blinds, Drapery, & Design, a Hunter Douglas Showcase Dealer and full service interior design business.

Friends since 2009, the business owners traveled from their respective states to the 2019 trade show and conference in Nashville. Spring’s soft blossoms balanced the sharper lights of the city’s nightlife to provide endless inspiration for the thousands of designers in attendance. Brenda coupled the sights with topics from each of the panels and discussions to bring back a renewed excitement and the latest trends to share with her clients in Texas.

Jana Phipps was brilliant when educating on trends within embellishments and how fashion translates into design. I started my education and career in fashion and have always been fascinated with how the two so closely relate,” Brenda said. 

Jana certainly brings the two together, utilizing trimmings and vintage jewelry to produce something extraordinary in her technique of Trim Alchemy. The “Trim Queen,” as most people in the industry know Jana, shared tips of how to embellish a design with various types of trimming in order to add pattern, contrast, self-expression, color and an artisanal feel to any design.

Trends of special interest to Brenda include the “floating” look achieved with acrylics, wider tapes and braids accented with pearl embellishments, mini tassels and a window pane effect on upholstery created by inset grosgrain ribbon. She found further inspiration in the use of leather in drapery through the Bespoke Leather Collection by Sarkis Studio.

Another highlight for Brenda came during her one-on-one chat with Grace McNamara, president of Window Fashion Vision Magazine and IWCE, and friend of CDD since 2009.

Brenda thanked Grace for another incredible year of industry trends, connections and inspiration.

Taking honorable mention in the boot contest rounded out Brenda’s experience with a fun and fabulous finish of which any Texan would be proud.

We’d love to share some of these new inspirations in your home. Contact us today to set up your in-home consultation! In the meantime, scroll down for more photos from our wonderful trip to Nashville.

Photo Credit for the above two images goes to Kerry Woo Photography.