We were recently interviewed about our relocation by Ann Arbor Business Monthly for their July issue. For ease of reading, we’ve added the transcript below. The section about DreamMaker is in bold. Click here to see the article as is appeared in the print edition.
Two local businesses, Delux Drapery & Shade Company and DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen, are relocating to larger facilities in Ann Arbor to keep up with their expanding business.
Delux Drapery is closing its current location at 624 South Main Street July 1 and reopening in its new home at 2215 West Stadium on July 9. The business will offer free refreshments and snacks and drawings for drapery and window treatment products for people who come to their opening, said owner Steve Blunk.
“We invite people to come and see our new showroom that will be expanded from 2,400 to 3,400 square feet,” Blunk said.
The new home of Delux Drapery & Shade will open in the former Arbor Farms Market on Stadium near Liberty between KeyBank and Kentucky Fried Chicken. There is plenty of parking for patrons on the property, Blunk said.
Delux Drapery needed to move from its South Main Street location due to the impending sale of that property for redevelopment by Dave Fox, owner of the former Fox Tent & Awning which closed earlier this year.
Delux Drapery is a family owned and operated business that was opened by Lawrence Blunk in 1942 on South Fourth Street. His son, Marvin, eventually took over the business and in 1986 moved it to 221 East Washington where the Blue Nile is now located.
His son, Steve, helped them make the move and got involved in the family business. They moved it to South Main Street in 1994 and now to the Stadium address.
Steve said his father Marvin is now retired.
“We plan on being there at least until our 80th anniversary since we signed a 10-year lease,” Steve said.
The main considerations for finding a new location were visibility and parking and it has both, said Blunk.
He reported that they looked at the space at 2333 East Stadium near Trader Joe’s but DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen had already committed to moving into that space.
They decided on their new location due to the large showroom and back room for a total of nearly 6,000 square feet, an increase from his current 4,800 square feet. It also has a full basement available for storage.
Delux Drapery is leasing the space from Neil Fox, who owns the building as well as Arbor Farms which was once located there. Blunk said he was pleased to find a landlord he could work with.
Blunk also credited Bart Wise, the listing agent from Swisher Commercial, with helping to make it happen.
“Bart helped us out with a lot of things. It’s a win-win situation for both parties,” Blunk said.
Wise said the goal was to find someone who would occupy the entire building as one business.
“We did not want to sub- divide the space so we wanted a single tenant for the building. We found a good long-term tenant connecting a long-time local business with a long-time local businessman,” he said.
The interior design company specializes in window fashions, bedding, wallpaper and other home accessories, according to Blunk.
“Most people have some general idea of what they want,” Blunk said. “We have designers that work with the clients to determine exactly what they want with no design fees.”
Blunk said most people remodel one room at a time or have blinds installed in the whole house and then do draperies. He reported that about 85 percent of their business involves home remodeling for consumers.
“We do all our own installations with our certified installers. We guarantee complete satisfaction and will do everything we can, even changing colors or products, to satisfy the customer,” Blunk said.
DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen opened for business at 2333 East Stadium on April 1 and held a grand opening preview party for 100 to 115 clients May 17. The business moved from its previous location on South Industrial.
Two couples operate the full-service interior remodeling business as the local DreamMaker franchise for Washtenaw and Livingston counties. Bob and Jennifer Ender with Lee and Brenda Willwerth operate the franchise doing business as Black Swan Properties.
Bob Ender said the two couples “got together from a business standpoint first and then became good friends.” They have operated DreamMaker Bath and Kitchen for eight years.
“Although our former location served us well, we just needed more space to display a wider variety of interior remodeling options for our clients,” said Lee Willwerth.
The new location provides more than 8,000 square feet where six bathroom and four full kitchen displays are featured. They have two design rooms equipped with computers and large screens to review plans with clients.
“The new space features complete interior designs for kitchens and baths with a greater range of styles and products,” said Brenda Willwerth.
“We’re excited about the improved visibility and more accessible location for our clients,” said Jennifer Ender.
Bob said that most of their businessinvolveshomeremodeling projects for consumers, including basements, home offices, stairways and theaters. They have designed some light commercial spaces for doctors, dentists, insurance and other offices.
He explained that they meet with the clients to discuss their remodeling needs and provide an accurate estimate for every project. Once a contract is signed, Ender said it usually takes five to 10 weeks to complete each project with two to four weeks to do the actual work.
“We continue to create a vast array of products for budgets of all levels to turn kitchens, bathrooms and other interior spaces into personal reflections of the owners,” Ender said.
He reported that DreamMaker does about 80 projects each year. About 50 percent of their revenue comes from repeat and referral business which allows room for new clients.
They have five lead carpenters on their staff who are each responsible for supervising a project so they usually don’t have more than five going at one time. Ender said they have seen an increase in traffic at their new location where there is plenty of parking.
“We’re a marketing company and remodeling is our commodity. The work is out there, you just have to go after it and increase your marketing accordingly,” he said.
They recently hired two new carpenters and are looking to hire another one soon along with two people to work in the office. They have seven company vehicles with the DreamMaker design displayed on them and are adding two more to their fleet.
“We offer incentive-based compensation to our employees with open financial reviews weekly and an annual profit- sharing program,” Ender said.
“We designed the new space to allow us to hold special events for our clients, as well as host events for local community organizations,” said Jennifer Ender.
They are working on a charity event and have already hosted meetings of professional organizations there.
If you haven’t visited our new showroom yet, call us, or fill out our contact form and get a FREE showroom consultation!