Emphasis on 'Etc.'

Verticals Etc. offers a wide variety of new looks for your windows at a price which won't blind you

By Amy Kane

Atlatic News, February 22, 2001

[The following article is courtesy of the Atlatic News
GREAT THINGS COME IN SMALL PACKAGES -- Why wander around for hours in a big warehouse store when you can get polite personal service from Wayne Ruesswyck (above) and his friendly staff at Verticals Etc. at 822 Lafayette Road, Route 1, in Hampton.
[Atlantic News Photo by Amy Kane]

HAMPTON — Verticals, Etc. is the name of the Wayne Ruesswyck's window treatment business — with the emphasis on "Etc."

"We do have vertical blinds, but we also have everything else you would put in a window," said Ruesswyck.

That includes wood blinds, mini-blinds, shutters, roller shades, pleated and duette shades, toppers, skylites and all manner of fabric treatments. Brand names include Hunter Douglas, Grabber, Comforted and Lafayette.

Ruesswyck bought Verticals, Etc. last April and has been working hard to satisfy repeat customers and attract new business.

"Referrals and repeat customers are my most valuable asset. I try to take good care of them," said Ruesswyck.

During our interview, he was in perpetual motion, checking orders that had come in, organizing paperwork, and receiving phone messages from his new sales associate, Tanya Russell.

This whirlwind of energy is clearly striving to make his small business a success.

Ruesswyck's background is in the construction industry. He was a custom mill worker, working on hughes new construction and restorations like the Fuller Mansion. He regularly dealt with architects and interior designers, which helped him develop a sense for appropriate window treatments.

Ruesswyck bought Verticals, Etc. because he was ready for a change. It was difficult to find reliable woodworking employees and the hours were very long. He has a wife and two young daughters he would like to spend more time with.

Owning a business like Verticals, Etc. means hard work and long hours, but Ruesswyck says, "it's all relative."

He still works long hours, but not quite as long as before. He does the measuring and installation work himself, and does not have to coordinate with other workers who may or may not show up on time.

Efficiency is increased and costs reduced!

"We're small enough to give you the time and energy. We focus on quality, we have great service, and we'll help pick the right product for your application," said Ruesswyck.

What should customers expect who walk into the Verticals showroom the first time? Lots of options!

Ruesswyck or his sales associate will present customers with a huge variety of window treatments, and ask about customers' priorities.

Ruesswyck will then visit a customer's home to measure windows, look for possible problems and suggest design solutions. He brings color and sample books with him, and the customer makes a final choice. Ruesswyck prices the job, then the window treatments are delivered and installed usually in two to three weeks.

Some customers would like more interior design assistance, and more options in fabrics than the 3000 carried by Verticals, Etc. In that case, Ruesswyck enlists the aid of Gladys Metcalfe. She has over 10,000 fabrics in her workroom and will also come to customers' houses to solve design problems.

"She has a great eye for it," said Ruesswyck.

Ruesswyck has installed window treatments in houses ranging from mobile homes to million dollar mansions. About 10% of his business is commercial. He has installed window treatments on just one window, all the way up to a whole house.

Honeycomb shades are popular right now, said Ruesswyck.

Duette is the Hunter Douglas brand name of these soft shades that allow some light to enter but provide privacy. Hardware options allow the shades to be lowered or raised from the top or bottom. There is even an option to go cordless, which is great for a home with children or pets.

"They serve a lot of needs in a single product," said Ruesswyck. Plantation shutters are also hot right now. Louvers range from 1 and 114 to more than 4 inches. "The larger louvers work well in a nautical look, or a contemporary," said Ruesswyck. "The smaller louvers look great with the colonial or traditional look."

Wood blinds are also in the spotlight.

"They give you the look of plantation without the expense," said Ruesswyck.

Silhouettes are a brand name of a product that combines the best of shades and blinds. They can be opened and closed like shades, but they are made of a soft, sheer material. They filter light beautifully, providing for partial of complete privacy.

Ruesswyck picked up a remote control and pressed a button. The silhouette shades across the room tilted open to show the sheer fabric between the louvers.

"Almost everything we have can be motorized," Ruesswyck said. This is useful for inaccessible windows, or if you have a lot of treatments you want to open all at once.

And what about those verticals?

Ruesswyck said that people remember the shiny metal or vinyl verticals that used to be popular. In addition to fabric verticals, new embossing techniques make vinyl look more textured like fabric, with the same great maintenance and washability of vinyl.

If you're looking for a huge range of window treatment options, with great personal service and prices, stop by Verticals, Etc. at 822 Lafayette Road, Route 1 in Hampton.

Hours of operation are Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, please call: 926-7282.

Verticals Etc. is located at 822 Lafayette Road, Route 1, in Hampton. [Atlantic News Photo by Nancy Rineman]