Updates from DDA’s local Chapters.

National Capital Region

The annual DDA National Capital Chapter professional development day was held November 25 at the Cedarhill Golf Club in Ottawa. In addition to presentations, some of which earned participating members CEUs, the Annual General Meeting was held as well as a vendor fair.

The first presentation of the day was provided by Marilyn Benn, owner of The Drapery Den, who discussed the benefits of custom bedding. She explained that online shops keep costs down by selling overstock, end of the line, seconds and clones. She demystified the thread count debate and explained why more is not better as well as the fact that bedding sizes (and beds for that matter!) are not standard. The bedding size descriptions are provided in words not measurements which is very inaccurate – that explains why comforters and bed skirts sometimes just don’t work and aren’t at all like the pictures in the virtual catalogue! In addition to inaccurate sizing information, the colours and patterns are photo-shopped and distorted on line which leads to further disappointment. With this background, we were easily able to understand the value we could bring to our clientele through providing custom solutions. Marilyn also reviewed types of fabrics and fabrication, product ranges, trends, local suppliers, and provided an impressive array of samples for us to peruse, and valuable handouts for our ongoing reference.

Board Member Stacey Price delivered a presentation by Linda Kafka of highlights from the Fall 2019 High Point Market. Four chapter members were among a group of about 12 DDA colleagues from across the country that kept connected during market, allowing for separate interests in attending seminars, visiting showrooms and meeting with vendors, while allowing us to catch up socially at breakfast or day’s end at the wonderful cocktail and supper offerings. We extend special thanks to former and current national Board Members Linda Kafka and Glen Peloso, for keeping our schedule full of options, and enhancing our market experience with their personal connections and depth of knowledge.

Linda’s presentation covered market facts, reasons why as design pros we should attend market, and trends to watch for in 2020. Mark your calendars now for 2020 – Spring: April 25-29, Fall: Oct 17-21.

Rob Purvis of Stone City Woodworks spoke to us about the benefits of working with artisans to created custom pieces for our clients. Rob who uses domestic hardwood, explained how he uses urban salvaged trees and the process for preparing the wood for crafting into furniture. With this knowledge, we could certainly appreciate the benefits to us of working with a custom woodworker and the benefits to the client of having handcrafted wood furniture.

The final presentation focused on health and wellness. Jenn Bushell, Managing Partner of 360Centre 360 and Staff Physiotherapist Isabelle McLean-Smith spoke to us about the importance of stress management and exercise for our health and wellness and shared some tips for new habits that will enhance our physical, mental and emotional health. They described the stress continuum as well as the physical symptoms of stress, commonplace injuries caused by the desk and the results of a sedentary lifestyle, but happily also gave us tips and exercises to start making improvements to our habits. Particularly helpful were the stretches they demonstrated and recommended; doing these several times throughout the workday will provide relief and minimize the impact of sitting at the desk working.

Participants at the NCR Chapter Professional Development Day also had an opportunity meet several industry vendors at the event to learn more their products and services. The vendors included Affiliate Members Marchand Electric, Benjamin Moore, and European Glass; together with MydomaStudio, the Drapery Den, L’il Stoolhouse and Ottawa’s Best Tech Support. There was plenty of time to interact with the vendors, to look at their displays, and to obtain answers to any questions the participants might have had concerning the vendors’ various offerings. Of course, everyone enjoyed receiving the free samples and literature and a chance to win the Passport Draw which was kindly sponsored by Our Homes Ottawa. We appreciated also the generous draw prizes provided by vendors and sponsors for our raffle ticket draws which helped to raise money for a local charity, Helping With Furniture!

And finally, the day provided an opportunity to review the Chapter’s past year and to elect our Board for 2020. The retirement of Alex Ramos was acknowledged with thanks for her past service and we welcomed new Board Members Tamara Black of Affiliate Member European Glass and Rana Kalamouni of Kalmoni Design. The NCR Chapter Board members for 2020 are:

  • Janet Armstrong
  • Tamara Black
  • Deborah Casey
  • Sandra DeMoura
  • Christina Flynn
  • Pamela Harrod
  • Rana Kalamouni
  • Stacey Price
  • Margaret Struthers.

We look forward to working together on programmes of interest to the membership in the coming year and wish all members the happiest of holidays and health and prosperity for 2020.

Submitted by Deborah Casey, with content contributions by Janet Armstrong and Pamela Harrod.