Drapery & Window Covering Blog

The Star Window Shade Machine

Posted by Neil Gordon on Sat, Jun 12, 2010 @ 06:17 AM

I have often written about my first years in the business I spent cutting spring roller shades in my parents store. I learned this skill of trimming shades down to size on the Grand Concourse in the Bronx. This was a busy store and part of the job of cutting these in-stock roller shades was doing the task in front of the customer. Talk about pressure for a ten year old.

 Loews Paradise
Current photo of the Loew's Paradise Theatre
Directly across the street from Gaylin's in the Bronx in 1968

The tools we used to cut these vinyl and cloth shades were a pair of scissors to trim and the Star Window Shade Machine for the main cutting. It functioned very simply by inserting the roller shade (with the wood slat removed from the bottom) into the machine, tightening the clamp, spinning the crank by hand and slowly pushing the blade through the material. Here is a photo of that machine which I still have.

Roller Shade Machine
Star Window Shade Machine Model-B

It wasn't too long before my Dad purchased the electric version and my productivity soared. In 1968 my parents opened a new store in the suburban town of Nanuet, New York and cutting roller shades became a very large and profitable part of the business.

Electric Star Window Shade Machine

 New home owners moving to the suburbs needed there windows covered with reasonably priced shades and in-stock cut to size roller shades fit the bill. The basic options were shades that were translucent or blackout, and either plain bottom or with scallop and fringe. The plain bottom shades were quick and easy to cut, the scallop and fringe shades took the extra steps of cutting from both sides so the scallop was symmetrically cut.

While this part of the business doesn't exist for me anymore, it holds wonderful memories. Looking back it taught me a lesson of the concept of "adding value" to a product. First by educating the customer on the type of shade she should buy, then carefully cutting it down to the exact size to fit their window.



Tags: Architects & Designers, Decorating with Fabric, Product News

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I have worked in the field of Architecture for over 10 years and have attended many Lunch and Learns. Recently, I had the pleasure of attending the best Lunch and Learn program I have ever seen.  It was given by Neil Gordon of Decorating with Fabric. The subject was Engineered Shading Solutions. The presentation was entertaining and very informative.  I would highly recommend it.  Neil clearly knows his trade and is passionate about it. He is intelligent and articulate.  Since that time I have contacted Neil for input on details for my projects. His response was quick and very helpful.  He will definitely be my ‘go-to guy’ for window coverings from now on.

Kelly Harran

Austin Patterson Architects

What a great presentation! Informative and definitely a reflection of your excitement for your products. I especially liked the phrase"reducing stress from systems". Hope to work with you in the future.

Lori Jacobson

Interior Designer

Thank you for your wonderful and educational seminar; it’s been awhile since we had such engaging seminar. I hope BBB Architects will get a chance to work with you.

Jirina Orrico  

Beyer Blinder Belle