For Andrea Hedquist, it’s exciting when she takes a client’s idea for window coverings from start to finish.
“To formulate the design, choose fabrics with my clients and install the finished product in their home is very rewarding,” Hedquist said. “My clients love that their draperies, valances and cornices are made right here in Madison. I also make custom bedding and pillows to coordinate with the window coverings.”
Hedquist, 41, began planning her drapery workroom business in 2010 when she was expecting her first child.
She established a small wholesale-only business which she marketed to interior designers. Last July, she branched out into retail to become Exciting Windows! by Andrea Hedquist.
Hedquist has never made the same product twice.
“I take the design idea from what the homeowner would like to see in their space and create it in my fabric workroom,” she said. She invites clients to visit her workroom to see where their window treatments are being made.
Hedquist suggests that clients gather ideas of styles, patterns and colors that they like before they meet as a starting point. She brings a wide selection of samples to clients’ homes to see how they blend with the home furnishings and decor.
A lifelong love of sewing, fostered in her native Chesterfield, England, and a career working for drapery businesses in both sales and manufacturing, gave Hedquist the expertise to start her own business. But being able to translate clients’ ideas into a product and understanding the type of fabric that would work best for the project are also critical skills.
“The art of making truly custom window treatments is more than just hanging long drapery panels or a shade, which are readily available,” Hedquist said. “I like to bring the process to a very personal level to match the personality of the homeowner so that they really love their space.”
Prior to her new career, Hedquist worked in a human resources position in Jacksonville, Fla.
“In an economy where many products are imported and jobs outsourced, it’s wonderful to know I can build a local business using the skills I have, doing something I love to do and be home-based enough to raise a family,” she said.