Mother and daughter entrepreneurs, Rita Boland and Auret Cavedo, started Island Drapes & Upholstery LLC as a home-based business in a small studio seven years ago. Within a year, business had outgrown the space and they decided to move to the island as most of their business was coming from the island anyway.
They teamed up with Jimmy Martinez whom Rita had worked with before and added a full-service upholstery section to their shop when they moved to the island.
At first, they rented space on the island, but within 24 months the rented space became too small”
Searching for larger premises beginning 2016, Rita came across the old veterinary hospital building at 1958 Demere Road, but it was for sale. Thinking is was out of reach for their budget, the plan was put to rest for a whole year. But moving to larger premises became inevitable as the business was bursting at the seams.
Fortunately, their 2017 business year was so phenomenal, they were able to purchase the old veterinary hospital building they had been dreaming about, remodel it completely to suit their needs and moved into their new space in March 2018.
Auret says “The move has been a huge success with a tremendous increase in foot traffic, and we are able to offer our designers and clients so much more”
Looking back Rita says, “I paid St. Simons Island a visit in January 2000. Although this was only supposed to be a short stay, I totally fell in love with the island and decided not to return to my home country. Family and friends of course thought I had lost my mind, but I persevered with my plans.”
Very soon after that decision, as is true to her personality, she became very restless and bored with just sitting around. On a short shopping trip to Brunswick, she visited a small fabric shop to purchase hobby fabric, looking for something to keep her occupied. She was immediately offered a position when the store owner heard that she could sew.
It was supposed to be a very temporary position until the business owner could find a replacement seamstress. Three years down the road and temporary seemed to have become permanent, and the business owner was no longer recruiting someone else.
Rita being the eternal entrepreneur however, and never having worked for someone else, decided to open her own business, and pretty soon was absolutely swamped with work. She found it very difficult to keep up with the demand for custom drapery and other interior design projects.
Rita kept bugging her daughter Auret, who was still living in South Africa, to join her so that they could work together and expand the business.
In 2012, Auret was able to make the transition from a very successful, albeit stressful corporate position in the busy city of Johannesburg, South Africa, and joined her mother here in the beautiful Golden Isles.
Auret says of their clients, “Early on, just starting out, by offering the best quality and a very speedy turnaround time, we were able to establish a very good relationship with most local designers and architects on the island, and over time, through word of mouth and great referrals from designers, we began working with, and for designers from Atlanta, as well as several well-known and renowned New York designers, and as far afield as California, who we still serve today.”
Creating beautiful spaces is the duo’s passion. This requires extensive knowledge of fabrics, styles and keeping up to date with the latest trends and colors. They do everything to create the feel and aesthetic their clients and designers seek.
They have earned a reputation for outstanding service and attention to detail, and no matter the size of a project, whether it’s fixing a zipper on a decorative pillow or making drapes and bedding for a 320 bed-roomed hotel, their dedication to the project remains the same. The upholstery shop offers custom built and upholstered sofas, headboards and so much more.
Twice yearly, they attend the Custom Workroom Conference for additional training, as well as the International Window Coverings Expo, to keep up to date with the latest technology in window coverings, motorization, hardware and new Sate & Federal laws concerning blinds and shades.
Rita adds, “When designers and the public alike commission custom work, we are here to make their visions and dreams come to life.”
Their slogan says it all. “Design it, we’ll make it”
Visit their website at www.islanddrapesandupholstery.com for an eye candy treat of our work, or visit our shop on 1958 Demere Road, St. Simons where you can browse through our extensive fabric library and select your decoration choices.