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The Artists Behind the Artistry | Custom Printed Shades

Brooke Cleaver     February 23, 2024

In our fast-paced world, with all its modern conveniences, it can be easy to forget the people behind some of our favorite products. Behind every next-day-air or two-day-shipment is the lifelong journey of an artist, untold. Which is why we're taking a moment to lift the curtain on one of our favorite products: our custom-printed shades.

So sit back, relax, and allow us to introduce you to the artists behind the artistry.

The Concertmaster | Customer Service

Like with most products, the journey of a custom-printed shade begins with one of our dedicated customer service agents. If you were to drive through West Lafayette, Indiana, and make your way to our headquarters, you'd be greeted by a modest brick building with a deceptively large workroom. Through the main doors on the left, you'd discover a vast room filled with carefully curated cubicles – each as unique as the person inhabiting it. That is where our journey begins: That is where customer service lies. 


Much like the first violinist in a symphony, our dedicated agents serve as a sort of liaison between the conductor and the orchestra or between the customer and production. Communication is their art form, and order entry is their craft. Upon calling the Lafayette office, you'll be greeted by the phrase, "Thank you for choosing Lafayette; how may I help you?". That is where the journey of a printed shade begins. It's where we learn a shade's size, pattern, color, and method of operation. It's where the proverbial composition is selected.

The Producer | Jennifer Boss

Once an order has been placed, it enters the printed shade queue, where it awaits the watchful eyes of our talented in-house designer, Jennifer Boss. Armed with over fifteen years of experience in the design sector, Jennifer effortlessly sizes, centers, and color balances perspective shades for print, all while simultaneously running our social media efforts. Much like how a music producer collaborates with artists to conceptualize a project's overall sound and direction, Jennifer collaborates with customers to ensure their needs are met­ and that the image quality, color, and size of a print are executed precisely as envisioned. It's with her help and expertise that a mere file is transformed into a beautiful shade.



The Conductor | Joe Massey

Finally, once complete, the file re-enters the queue where it awaits the conductor of our proverbial orchestra: Joe Massey. Backed by over 20 years of experience in the custom shade industry, Joe pairs his deep wealth of knowledge with his newfound love of printing to produce unique and visually stunning shades. Joe spends his day in a temperature-controlled breakroom, refurbished to accommodate a large-scale print operation. In the center of the room sits an industrial-sized printer that communicates with his PC and Linux System to produce high-quality prints that rival that of a mill. The soft hum of the printer can be heard through all hours of the day as he rotates from one task to another.




But what happens after Joe receives a file from Jennifer? Joe starts every project with a test strip to ensure that the color and image quality match expectations. If all goes well, he'll make preparations for the actual shade. On a typical day, an average shade can take anywhere from one to two hours to print, depending on the width and length of the shade. Once complete, Joe will do one of two things: He'll either cut the shade by hand or release it back into production for them to crop. Shades featuring a bold or intricate pattern usually remain with him for extra care and attention. Once cut, the shade is then assembled and fitted with its operating system to prepare it for inspection. 


What truly sets Joe apart is his unwavering commitment to crafting something meaningful – something that will leave a lasting impression. "You know, before I moved into this position [of being a print operations supervisor], I used to say that I liked my job. But now I love it. The things we're able to create are truly incredible. It's a lot like how a chef operates. When you present someone with that final product and their face lights up – there's no better feeling. It's what drives me".



The Composer | You

Since its inception in 2018, Lafayette's print room has continuously produced exceptional prints for its Artist Portfolio; however, as of late, Lafayette has broadened its horizons through the introduction of its custom print program. Whether you seek to captivate attention with striking business graphics, transform windows into artistic canvases, or convey messages in commercial environments, our in-house team is here to help bring your unique designs to life. At Lafayette, we believe that everyone is an artist, and our state-of-the-art technology puts the power of creation in your hands. Which begs the question. What will you create?


Lafayette Interior Fashions is a family-owned, to-the-trade manufacturer of blinds, shades, shutters, draperies, and other custom-crafted interior fashion products. To learn more about our products, Find a local dealer near you.

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