A New Journey Begins

From Vision To Reality

For me, everything leads back to the economic downturn! Previously I had been blessed with a successful window treatment business, but although I saw it coming, it still hit my business hard. My once thriving business had been cut down to its bare bones since the decorators that I usually made window treatments for, weren’t getting very many orders as most luxuries were being cut from the budgets of their clients, who were now also facing the same issues. 

custom window valance, board mounted swags and jabots on a bay window

I have to admit, I was getting depressed. I was spending more time laying on my sofa sleeping or watching tv and less time in my workroom downstairs. It was during one of those “sofa episodes” that everything changed for me. Sometimes it takes being at what you consider to be your lowest point, to see things clearly. I was feeling abandoned by God and wondering could it possibly be that He had brought me this far and then left me? But then the most amazing thing happened; I received my answer!

I still remember it clear as day! It suddenly popped into my head that every skill that I’d learned from childhood until now, had a purpose. I’d been sewing every since I was big enough to hold a needle and thread, and if I wasn’t sewing, most likely you’d find me drawing instead. Now it was time to put all of my skills together to create something that I had only dreamed of: my own line of window valances. Before this I’d spent countless years doing alterations, creating and designing custom clothing and formal-wear, and then finally when I discovered home decor I had found my true passion. So now through His answer, I was being led to use all of the skills that I had gained over those many years to turn my dream into reality.

I actually got up off of my sofa that very day, went into the workroom and started drawing valance ideas. I thought that I’d start with something simple and easy to ship; rod pocket valances. I didn’t want to just make the valances to shirr up on the rod though, instead I thought that I’d make them more contemporary and have them to lay flat on the rod. 

Design sketches by Doshie Witcher for custom valances
I still have my original drawings. Inspiration had already hit by the time I had done the second page!


Rod pocket valance sample.
Original attempt at a flat rod pocket valance. Rod pocket is at the top.


I was disappointed after making my first rod pocket valance design though. Looking at it, I realized that the rod pocket took up too much room to be able to get creative with any of the design options that I had thought of. Then an idea came to me: What if I could put the rod pocket on the back of the valance instead? The more that I thought about it, the more I knew that I had to at least try it to see if it would work. So I made sample after sample, and tweaked the details until I finally had a design that worked the way that I wanted it to.

EMILEE Hidden Rod Pocket valance, custom window treatment
First Hidden Rod Pocket valance design.


Once I had made a good variety of valance samples, I showed them to an interior designer that I had spent many years doing custom window treatments for. She thought that I had a great idea so she added some of the sample valance designs to the local Virginia Paint store where she worked as an interior designer. The customers were really intrigued by the idea of a rod mounted valance that looked like it was on a board so I ended up with lots of orders for my Hidden Rod Pocket valances from local customers. Later, when I discovered Etsy, I was able to start my journey of sharing my valances with the rest of the world! 

Doshie Witcher, the owner of Black Belt Home Decor, standing in front of a display wall of her Hidden Rod Pocket valance styles.

I have NO doubt that my question was answered that day by God! He was there from the beginning, providing me with the tools and skills that I would need, so that I could be prepared to accept the blessings that He had in store for me!


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