Maryland Small Business Development Center

Fontana Designs

Fontana Designs

Fontana Designs

Local designer and workroom wins 7 national awards in elite window covering competition

ST. PAUL, Minn., 4/21/2022 – FONTANA DESIGNS was the recipient of 7 awards including WORKROOM OF THE YEAR in this year’s VISION Design & Workroom Competition. The awards, presented by Window Fashion VISION magazine, recognize the industry’s best window treatment workrooms and interior.  

For the 2022 awards, several new categories were added, including Outdoor Living, Extreme Windows and Motorized Installation.

The VISION Design & Workroom Competition is international in scope and is the only awards program that recognizes the techniques and design talents of members of the window treatment industry.

Fontana Designs took home 3 first place and 3 second place awards this year as well as Workroom of the Year for work completed in the Maryland and Virginia areas. Winning designs were in categories such as draperies, top treatments, upholstery, specialty windows, combination treatments, and ingenious installation.

“We are honored to have been awarded in so many categories for all of our hard work. The past couple of years have been overwhelming and it means even more to be recognized after the long hours”. – Said Tina Fontana, owner.

Fontana Designs is a small interior design business and custom workroom located in the Crofton Area, women-owned and operated since 1991. Fontana Designs was able to stay open to sew and donate masks during the pandemic shutdown, and had a record year after returning to clients' homes. Due to shortages in help, limited product availability and longer lead times, Fontana Designs had to adapt to post-pandemic norms and work longer hours to meet client deadlines.

Being in business for over 30 years, this is not the first time Fontana Designs has pivoted their business model to meet the change of clientele needs. The company has always had design in their core business values, however during the 2008-2009 recession, the firm pivoted to also offer repairs of existing window treatments and upholstery in order to adapt to clients needs in the changing economic environment. In 2009, she began working with the Maryland SBDC, Business Consultant Tom Francovitch who assisted the company in obtaining a $35k loan from the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation (AAEDC) to assist with business growth and expansion efforts.

She continued to work with the SBDC, next meting with consultant Hollis Minor who assisted in the company exploring potential government contracting opportunities and certifications. In 2019 she met with Dr. Candace Pruett who discussed potential growth opportunities as they had recently launched their online Etsy store. In 2020, Fontana Designs was able to stay open through the pandemic shut down by manufacturing masks as donations to hospitals, first responders, and nursing homes nationwide. They also met again with Dr. Pruett who assisted the company navigate through available economic recovery resources as well as Covid-19 industry changes. Fontana Designs has also met with SBDC Consultant, Luis Diaz-Colorado to discuss continued growth strategies and strategic planning.

“It’s so important to recognize the talents and skills of those who contribute a great deal to the window treatment industry,” said Sara Fiedelholtz, editor-in-chief of the trade publication Window Fashion VISION.
“We are constantly amazed at the creativity of the received industries. The designs and craftsmanship of those working in the window treatment industry are just incredible. Window fashions are an important, but often overlooked, aspect of interior design. It is wonderful that VISION is able to bring attention to both the fashion and function window treatments routinely bring to residential and commercial interiors.”

The 2022 VISION Design & Workroom Competition awards were presented during the annual International Window Coverings Expo in early April. Awardees will be recognized in upcoming issues of Window Fashion VISION magazine

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Fontana Designs: A full service interior design studio and workroom, established in 1991. Fontana Designs specializes in window treatments and upholstery for the DMV area. Fontana Designs offers full room design as well as manufacturing of custom products.

Posted: 06/10/2022

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