Every time I turn on the news, I hear about another American manufacturing company that is sending jobs outside the United States. Unfortunately, the window treatment industry is no exception. Many of our competitors have moved manufacturing out of the country, joining the trend of sending production to Asia or Mexico. Recently a major competitor replaced the US-woven fabrics in their product line with fabrics woven in Asia.
Draper will not be joining that trend. We’ve been manufacturing window shades in Spiceland, Indiana, for 115 years. And, we hope to be here for 115 more—or even longer! While we support the right of people everywhere to earn a living and have good jobs, it’s also important to recognize that there’s more to doing business than simply taking the cheapest route. We are committed to our community and to our customers. Our quality and service are known throughout the industry, and have helped support the company’s growth. Draper now has over 600 locally-based employees, and we are continuing to hire more people and invest in new technology to meet the needs of our customers. We recently added five new manufacturing cells, and will add at least three more yet this year. We’ve also expanded our production space, and invested more than $2,000,000 in advanced equipment.
Our customers expect us to deliver high-quality products in a reasonable amount of time. We make sure that happens by making our products here in Spiceland, and by using quality American-made fabrics to lead our product offering.
The Phifer SheerWeave® line of fiberglass and polyester mesh fabrics is woven by Phifer in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Draper has a lot in common with Phifer. We are both family-run companies, and we share a commitment to producing fine products in the United States. We are expanding our inventory of Phifer materials; at least three truckloads of fabric per week travel from Phifer directly to our Spiceland factory.
Another key Draper partner, Mermet USA, weaves a range of quality fabrics in Cowpens, South Carolina. Mermet also ships fabric to us on a regular weekly schedule, so we can manufacture custom window shades with your choice of a wide range of fabrics woven in the USA.
While our competitors increasingly rely on weavers in Asia and fabrication outside the U.S., Draper continues to partner with Phifer and Mermet to provide innovative and technically superior fabrics, manufactured into the finest quality window shades, with the best personal service, and reliable delivery. We are convinced that custom window shades cannot effectively be delivered as a commodity, and our record sales year after year tell us our customers feel the same way.