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Work experience


Write a monthly column, TrendSpot for WF Vision magazine. Author of Tools of the Trade and Soft Furnishings Sketchbook. Recently edited the Window Fashions Certification Correspondence Course.  Work has appeared in the media including Windows and Walls and Decorating Ideas and Inspired House. Currently a design blogger and contributor on several design blogs including Plinth and Chintz, Tend spot and Design Confidential.


Guest and keynote speaker for a variety of manufacturers, dealers, design associations, professionals and trade shows including Springs Window Fashions, WCAA , ASID,  Showtime, INTERIORS by Decorating Den and NeoCon. Consistently sold out presentations.

  • Created IACET CEU accredited seminar programs using Powerpoint and Flash including learning outcomes and handouts on a variety of current design and trend topics.
  • Collaborated with peers and industry colleagues to develop a broad range of successful panel discussions and conferences.
  • Developed and launched WFCP Regional Education program-first two day educational conference of its kind geared to designers, workrooms and installers regarding all aspects of design process. Successful 10 year run accounted  for over 50% of revenues for Grace McNamara, Inc. education and events department.

Trend Strategist

Regularly worked with design industry partners, consumers and professionals to impart trend insights through presentations, white papers and products.

  • Monitored and reported on global trends and compiled research to develop interior trend forecasts including color directions 1-2 years out
  • Researched trends in historical context; positioned trends and products on trend cycle; translated and offered valid real life examples to spark ideas and strategies.
  • Produced customized reports on markets, interior trends and consumer behaviors detailing and visualizing key market changes using research methodologies such as peer surveys, focus groups, internet and phone interviews
  • Analyzed, monitored and forecast consumer behaviors
  • Produced consumer behavior summary along with style sheets and trend primer including overview, subtheme directions, elements and materials, visual references and graphics/art direction and color palettes.
  • Attended design shows worldwide reporting, observing and spotting current and emerging trend directions
  • Executed Interiors: design intelligence educational conferences geared to designers in all aspects of the design process and trendspotting.
  • Collaborated with industry peers in developing curriculum, graphics and marketing campaign for conference.


Window Dressings

Founded Window Dressings, Kaneville, IL  a custom soft furnishings business located in Chicago's Western suburbs. Built a national reputation for cutting edge couture window treatments and soft furnishings whose specialty is finding creative solutions for challenging design problems.  As an entrepreneur executed all functions of the business- marketing, sales, project management, financials, as well as acting as project manager, client liaison and specifier to high end interior designers. Ability to conceptualize project from very beginning and to turn into reality on time and on budget. Exceptional understanding of all aspects of on the design process with  expertise in specifying concise purchase orders, work orders, and change orders.

  • Managed design, marketing, production, sales and distribution
  • Developed brand from start-up stage and create brand vision
  • Analyzed sales and develop appropriate product and service strategies
  • Earned positive reputation for meeting time lines and specific goals for each design project
  • Secured client's design approval by evaluating existing layouts, understanding and generating aesthetic ideas based on diverse  client's needs ; discussing requirements in detail with clients, and setting project schedules; sketching/presenting  appropriate product selections
  • Consistently prepared clear and concise material lists and specifications
  • Negotiated project fees
  • Researching, recording and analysing information\
  • Collaborated with other designers regarding project needs such as specifications and contract documents.

Market Intelligence and Design Consultant

Grace McNamara, Inc.
  • Handled a broad range of special projects reporting directly to the Executive Team and provided information on all areas of business performance, forecasting  and future goals and objectives
  • Developed strong relationships with vendors through creating, developing and executing Vignette program at IWCE trade show; coordinating volunteers, manufacturers and marketing in- kind sponsorships showing value in promotional mention, sampling and third party validation
  • Developed marketing strategies and plans for GMI's WFCP and continuing education programs. 
  • Developed, executed and presented highly interactive continuing education curriculum to design professionals in WFCP Regional Educational conference
  • Organized, categorized, researched, and integrated a more efficient  list management system and email marketing data base saving more than of 30%
  • Developed and executed a campaign to build lists through target marketing demographics

Shop at Home Consultant

P.A. Bergner and Co.

Scheduled appointments, presented and sold in customer's home; managed project from start to finish including designing custom window fashions, specifying materials, fabrication and installation; handled customer service; coordinated suppliers and subcotractors.


Office Manager

Speedway Disposal
  • Handled all aspects of day to day management of small family owned garbage disposal business.
  • Responsible for Dispatching drivers and operators, scheduling employees, billing, accounts receivable, collections, accounts payable, and payroll.
  • Reported directly to ownership

Buyer/Custom Draperies, Shop at Home and Decorative Pillows

Carson Pirie Scott

1973- 1980- Joined Carson Pirie Scott and Co. as an Executive Trainee. Worked in many capacities in both management and merchandising including:

                                          Bed/Bath/Linen manager

                                          Divisional Manager- Budget Store

                                          Assistant Buyer- Ready Made Curtains

                                          Buyer- Custom Draperies, Shop at Home and Decorative Pillows. 

  • Gained complete understanding of merchandising and retail management.
  • Responsible for  five million dollar Custom Drapery department  including, buying, advertising, promotions, open to buy, inventory, merchandising and training for  23 store retail chain.
  • Managed a team of 8  including shop at home sales consultants to implement and execute department goals.
  • Regularly met and exceeded department sales goals while adhering to budgets.
  • Developed strong relationships with contractors, manufacturers and suppliers that effectively promoted top of the range merchandise.
  • Teamed up with visual merchandisers, designers and department managers to communicate merchandising visions and establish a consistent standard of excellence across all stores
  • Worked collaboratively  with vendors to design, develop and execute private label offerings, new products and merchandise events.




Graduated sum laude December 1973 with B.S. Fashion Merchandising with a clothing and textiles concentration from University of Wisconsin-Stout, Menomonie, WI.

Minor in Business

Member of Delta Zeta Sorority -V.P. Membership, V.P. Pledge

Member Fashion Merchandising Club, Student Senate


Social Media
Design Confidential ( Design blogger using Wordpress platform Contributing blogger  Design Business Rx Internet and computer savvy on  Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter  
Microsoft Outlook
Detail oriented, self starter with outstanding  design skills including excellent understanding of complete design process
Microsoft Office
Excellent working knowledge of Microsoft Office  Powerpoint, Word and Excel  


I:di Trend Forecast




Certified Speaker

Window Fashions Certified Professionals




I am looking for a position with a dynamic company where I can utilize my experience and share my knowledge, skill sets and unique abilities to advance in my career.  I am a well rounded, confident, outgoing, and extremely driven individual.  I am a "people person" and have always had great relationships with my clients and colleagues.

Executive Career Summary

As an award winning designer and Principal in Window Dressings, Deb Barrett has built a reputation for cutting edge couture treatments and soft furnishings. In addition to Window Dressings, she is an accomplished speaker, strategist and consultant. Deb regularly speaks at industry and association events a variety of design, business and trend topics. As a trend strategist, she travels the world to develop design intelligence and interior forecasts. As a market intelligence consultant, Deb regularly works with design industry partners, consumers and professionals to impart trend insights through presentations, white papers and products.Barrett's regular column, Trendspotting appears in Vision magazine and her new book, It's All in the Details launches early 2009.


Reading, sewing, gardening, motorcycle riding


Accomplished, prolific and highly regarded 25-year veteran of the window coverings niche in the design industry with a varied background and experience that is a rare mix in the industry. A fascination with what's around the corner and the constant search for inspiration has led to her current roles in the design industry. Recognized as a hands-on, proactive team player who can rapidly identify business problems, formulate tactical plans and creatively implement effective programs. Dedicated individual with a reputation for consistently going beyond what is required and using personal high standards to achieve results.  Championed design and product innovation throughout her career and her design achievements illustrate her creative and analytical skills.


  • Hands on entrepreneurial skill set as owner/designer of an independent design company.
  • Directed (engaged, energized, empowered) creative teams of 10-15 people.
  • Create and communicate interior and consumer trend inspiration and storyboards in terms of materials, concept, color, fabric, and form.
  • Fully accountable for and set creative direction and design of product lines.
  • In-depth knowledge of soft furnishings and window fashions in the custom distribution channels