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Company in-Depth: BellaTEX Stage Curtains

Stage Directions • Company 411June 2021 • May 25, 2021


This story can be read by clicking the image above, or reading below, or in our June 2021 digitial edition

BellaTEX, Inc., a nationwide provider of theatrical drapes, hardware, and accessories, is celebrating ten years in business this year. The company, based in Jackson, TN, has 35,000-sq.-ft. of shops, which include areas for sewing, metalwork, screenprinting, and fabric manipulation. We spoke with Ty Prewitt, founder and President of BellaTEX, about this dynamic company and what it offers to theatres across the United States. BellaTEX’s motto is ‘Pretty Tough’, and that is exactly what they make—beautiful products that will withstand continuous use for many, many years.

Congratulations on your decade in business. How did BellaTEX come about?
I was working for a theatrical dealer and knew that I wanted to manufacture drapes and sell through dealers. I have always believed that in the process of theatrical sales, there should be someone in place who is knowledgeable about drapes. Many times when assisting people who need drapes, we learn that it is the first time they’ve ever bought them. When it comes to theatrical drapes, people want to buy them and then be able to forget about them for the next thirty years. There are many small details which are helpful to understand when purchasing drapes, and it is helpful to the customer to work with a dealer who knows about drapes and can bring their knowledge.

We understand and are committed to producing a product to a high quality standard; a product that meets all the specifications that an informed buyer will be comfortable putting their name on, because we put our dealers’ name on the finished drapes. To ensure that our dealers, and their customers, always get this high level of quality, we have made the manufacturing process more efficient wherever we could. We’ve put in automation to deal with those processes where we do the same thing over and over. We have strict process management. Turnaround times are quicker and the whole process is more efficient. We use fabric feeders and other machines. We use CNC technology such as plasma and laser cutters for fabric and making metal brackets and hanging hardware, as well as CNC machining for wood structures. Anything we can automate, either through process, standards, or machinery, allows us to offer a higher quality product. For ten years our focus has been and will continue to be building products that are both aesthetically attractive, but also very, very durable. That is what we mean by Pretty Tough.

You have an extremely useful and in-depth website with a lot of good information about drapes, curtains, and hardware. I am sure dealers appreciate that.  Also, tell us about your automated quoting system for your dealers.
The automated quoting system is something that we’ve had in place for years so our dealers can get quotes instantly. There are many, many options with drapes that aren’t necessarily common knowledge among buyers; whether it’s dust ruffles or paging handles; all the various fabrics and various fullness; custom applique work, etc.. The dealer is in the best position to figure out where that cost benefit analysis is, but that means that they might need to quote several different options to arrive at a final decision. Our quoting system allows dealers to do that so they can confidentially discuss options with their customers.

Our website allows the dealer to create a quote for a customer and then start changing things to balance out the best fabric options and ultimate value for this customer. The dealer has been to that customer’s facility and understands what it is the customer intends to do, and what factors are important to the customer. With different fabrics, different finishes, and add different options, we know the dealer needs to be able to easily and quickly find the right combination, and that process is best done through using the automated quote process on our website.

What are some of the types of drapes, decorative touches, and utilitarian add-ons that you provide?
We create a wide variety of types of drapes. We can produce anything from plain rectangular box-pleated drapes, to Austrian or waterfall drapes, to tableaus – anything you can imagine, we can probably make it. We can also add a range of decorative finishes on drapes. We can create applique work, stripes or designs on front drapes, and letters and logos, whether those are appliqued or inlaid with fabric. We can create an inlay structure of different colored fabrics to create designs, and we can add fringe or screen printing. Just about any way that you can decorate a drape, we can do it. 

We also offer a number of different utilitarian add-ons such as dust ruffles, so the audience doesn’t see the light and feet underneath the front drape. We can add paging handles to page back the curtain without damaging the drape. Also, we can provide flame test swatches so that customers have a more sizable piece of fabric to sample from for flame testing, and do not need to cut pieces off the drapes. 

By BellaTEX working closely with your dealers you are actually ensuring a high level of customer service to the end-users, correct?
Yes, we’re dealer-focused rather than trying to sell a product directly to end-users. But that is because we want it to be the exact right product for the customer rather than a cookie-cutter solution. By working with dealers and having somebody knowledgeable in the process—a dealer who goes to the customer’s facility, who really learns exactly what the customer needs—we create for the customer a drape with exactly the right fabric, the right finishes, the right embellishments. They get the product that best fits their need. And if we don’t have that, then we get them to the person who does. Our focus at BellaTEX, and of our dealers, is all about getting it just right. We want the drapes, tracks, and products we supply to look beautiful and to do what the products are supposed to do—for decades to come. 

You can learn more about BellaTEX at www.bellatex.com 

 

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