By Cathy Wharton
For Hometown News
When it comes to enhancing windows, there's one local company that has seen the trends and stayed with them all -- Textile Values Draperies & Blinds.
The business started in the early 1970s when Carol Smith opened a drapery shop in Masonova Plaza. In 1974, her brother, Bill Fosmer, joined the business and began learning the intricate details of custom-made draperies. Not only did he help his sister make draperies, but over time, he learned every aspect of the business -- including installation and sales.
As the business grew, it became clear more space would be needed. In order to meet the needs of retail customers (homeowners) and decorators, a custom-designed, two-story facility was built on west Mason Avenue in Daytona Beach.
According to owner specifications, the building has two workrooms -- one upstairs, one downstairs -- plus a showroom on the first floor that features a host of sample fabric books, all conveniently categorized, and readily available to customers.
Now in its 23rd year at the same "new" location, Textile Values has undergone a number of changes. First, the popular look of custom-made draperies began to give way to a different style of window furnishing -- vertical blinds. Textile Values was the first such business in the area to make vertical blinds. In order to meet the demand, the company added extra help. As the popularity of verticals grew, the concept of "esthetic value" expanded. While verticals are still around and still popular, verticals today, including valances and cornices, are mostly fabric-covered, thus blending easily with any décor.
Other innovative window treatments, such as shutters, louvers and shades, came in to vogue as well over the past several years. "We've had to adapt to different styles, find a way to embellish the window," Mr. Fosmer said.
Customers have ordered all kinds of hard and soft window coverings. Bamboo is but one example.
Textile Values offers only the best names in the industry, including Hunter Douglas and Kirsch, and other high-end brands.
But Textile Values doesn't stop there. In addition to window enhancements, the company makes bedspreads and pillow shams, tablecloths with matching placemats and napkins, plus throw pillows, and indoor or outdoor chair cushions. Everything is custom-made, on premises.
One of the most significant changes in the business occurred in 2007. When Carol Smith decided to retire, Mr. Fosmer took the helm. Under his leadership and direction, Textile Values has continued to prosper.
Just around the corner, however, was what few people saw coming -- an economic slow-down of major proportions. When the nation's economy began to falter in 2009, so did a lot of companies -- including this sister-brother team who had worked so long and tirelessly to build a lasting enterprise. In 2010, the "trickle-down effect" had reached into every corner of the nation's housing market, affecting every aspect of the industry. Home owners, contractors, builders, suppliers, decorators, even the textile industry, were in deep trouble. For many small businesses, it was devastating. Some simply could not survive.
"It was a rough three or four years," Mr. Fosmer said. "We were almost out of business."
Though times were hard, Textile Values managed to stay afloat and see things through.
Today, Mr. Fosmer is seeing a resurgence in orders. "Business has picked up," he said.
And Ms. Smith has re-joined the business. In addition to himself, Mr. Fosmer now has another installer, whose wife is employed as a seamstress for the company.
After nearly 40 years in the textile and drapery business, Mr. Fosmer is not slowing down. He continues to offer his customers the best in quality, service and installation. "We also give free estimates," he said. And by all estimates, Textile Values will be around for many years to come.
Textile Values is at 1649 Mason Avenue, Daytona Beach. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Phone: (386) 274-3269.