After a lifetime of sewing and 16 years of making the most out of a cramped workshop, Annette Kreck of Southern Shades has opened a new space.
Kreck recently purchased a new permanent workspace and showroom in Moncks Corner, giving her and her staff the room they need to ensure that all their clients’ needs and styles are met with perfection every time.
“We always like to keep quick deadlines,” Kreck says. “We don’t want clients waiting around for a long time for their rooms to get finished. Working out of this new building allows us to meet with our clients from design and fabrication to installation, making everything easier and more efficient.”
Although the space is new for Southern Shades, the company’s commitment to quality is relentless. Kreck and her team have long been the go-to for high-end designers in the Lowcountry. They’ve worked with clients from Kiawah Island, Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island to Mount Pleasant and the Peninsula. And they’ve even completed projects for award-winning restaurants in the Charleston area, all from the bottom floor of Kreck’s home. With the new building she intends to extend her commitment to quality to even more people who want window treatments, fabrics or upholsteries for their home or business.
Kreck says that Southern Shades has been successful for so long because the company stands behind its work.
“When we finish a job, we will still be there for our clients five years down the road,” she says. “If there’s ever a problem, we’ll do everything we can to fix that problem and make sure they always have exactly what they want.”
Southern Shades is a “to the trade” manufacturer and designer, meaning that it works with interior designers and contract companies. This also means that the showroom and her products aren’t intended for people to walk in off the streets and browse. Rather, Kreck works closely with design professionals, who will then order from her company what their clients want. She hopes that the new building will make it even easier for designers to find just what their clients are looking for.
The workspace at Southern Shades is huge and filled with sewing machines as well as colorful fabrics and threads. In the showroom next to it, Kreck shows off her fabric choices, design elements and all the services Southern Shades offers.
One of the services that Kreck is most excited about is home automation. With the rise of the “smart home,” Kreck expects more and more people to opt for automatic window treatments that open and close with the touch of a button. Southern Shades works closely with Somfy, a Swiss company that has been manufacturing mechanical products since the 1700s, to give clients the latest in automated technology. “We really like to show clients our automated services. It’s so nice to be able to let light in or shut light out without having to get out of bed,” she says.
Kreck demands that only the highest quality bolts of cloth be used in her products. She offers smooth linens as well as finished wools and cashmeres—all from the best manufacturers in the country—for products such as duvets, coverlets, pillows, shams and even shower curtains.
Southern Shades also offers blinds, shades, shutters and woven woods from various manufacturers to complete window treatment designs. The company designs and fabricates all products in-house, which affords clients every opportunity to find the perfect style they need to finish a space.
“We consider ourselves manufacturers,” Kreck says. “Because of this, we can create nearly anything that a client may want and we can make it perfectly for them every time. We’re not happy unless our clients are happy.”
M. Luke Yoder is a freelance writer who lives in the Charleston area. Learn more at mlukeyoder.com.