Meet Amanda Tyler, owner of The Curtain Exchange in Louisville, who opened up her business after trying to find curtains for her own home. She is warm and accessible and really helps to demystify the decorating process for all her clients. Also, allow me to introduce her secret weapon in business: her dog, Peter the Greeter.
What do you do for a living?
In April 2007, I opened The Curtain Exchange in Louisville, offering gorgeous, custom quality, ready to hang curtains with great looking decorative hardware. I’ll never forget the thrill of my first customer. She was a lovely lady from Russia who bought a striped silk taffeta curtain with one of our signature headings. She didn’t speak English. She did, however, understand the quality of what she was seeing. She admired the fabric, the linings and the workmanship of our American-made curtains.
Since then, we’ve evolved into more of what our clientele wants. We offer window solutions with Hunter Douglas blinds, shades and shutters. Now that we carry three lines of bedding, we’ve also become a destination for bedroom makeovers.
Tell us about what led you to The Curtain Exchange?
I wanted to replace the window treatments I inherited in my living room. I knew they were expensive. The fabric was Scalamandre, all fussed up with swags and jabots. Thumbing through Veranda magazine, I found an ad for curtains that showed simplistic, elegant panels. I went to the website, learned about the franchise opportunity and flew to Dallas on the Sunday after Derby to meet Georgina Callan, the founder of The Curtain Exchange. The rest is history.
You have had interesting careers. What was your favorite, other than present day?
My next one! I plan to do some writing as soon as I slow down.
Tell us about being the president of the Actors Theatre Board.
One of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Actor’s Theatre continues to make history every year with its Humana Festival of New American Plays. From fundraising to sitting in on an original play’s first reading, it was such a dynamic experience made up of creative people, and I love creative people whether it’s writing, acting or decorating. Being around creative people is food for the soul.
Tell us about your sidekick, Peter the Greeter.
He’s almost perfect. I’ve never had a sweeter companion, no offense to my family and friends. Every morning is Christmas when Pete jumps out of his crate and on to my bed to lick my face “good morning.” He doesn’t make a peep until my cell phone alarm goes off.
He is a Havanese and was supposed to be a show dog but he didn’t make the cut. He didn’t travel well and didn’t have the right “attitude.” He’s just a lover and a very good one. He has two girlfriends, Ava and Bailey, besides me. He’s about to launch his first fundraiser for his fellow canines called “Padding for Paws!” Stay tuned.
He works part time, normally Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, or by appointment.
How do you balance your job and your personal life?
Who says I do? Sometimes the job wins, sometimes my personal life wins. I don’t fight it.
What is the biggest life lesson you have ever learned?
- Dress up like you’re going places … and you will.
- Wear a smile. It will make you happy.
- Keep wearing your lipstick.
Who is your mentor?
I’ve had a few, depending on my career du jour. My creative writing teacher at Hopkinsville High School was Evelyn Smith. She’ll never know what an influence she was. She encouraged me and, of course, I loved that.
Anyone who knows my mother understands that she is my biggest inspiration. She lost her husband when she was in her 50’s, her son when she was in her 70’s and a daughter in her 80’s. She has never lost her faith.
Another woman I have admired, whether she knows it or not, is Donna Zapata at WHAS-TV.
What is best advice you have received in business?
Follow your heart and the money will come.
If you were not in your current job, what would you secretly love to do?
Write country music songs.
Be an actor … I can be quite dramatic, I’m told.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
Mary Karr of Liar’s Club fame chose a short story I wrote to critique in a writing workshop.
What is your favorite place to go for dinner?
Where do you like to shop?
What is a treat or a luxury you do for yourself?
What is your weakness?
A great-looking jacket. If I see the “right” coat or jacket, I’ll buy it. It’s the finishing touch, a confidence builder, my signature piece.
What is your favorite thing to do in Louisville?
Derby of course. Humana Festival, hanging out in Anchorage with Courtney, Shay, Logan, Baylor and Eloise. Sitting on their back porch and telling stories.
Three things you cannot live without (besides God, family and friends):
- Long walks with Pete
- Flat shoes
What are you reading right now?
Just finished Catherine the Great by Robert K. Massie. I am currently reading Celebration of Disciplines by Richard J. Foster with my church group and Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver with my book club.
What are three of your “favorite” things right now (can be anything).
- Good manners
- My Audi convertible
- My Kevyn Aucoin sheer lipstick
We had such a fun photo shoot with Amanda and Pete. He definitely stole the show. For more information on The Curtain Exchange, click here.
Adele Reding Photography is the magic behind our beautiful FACES shoots. Turns out Adele is really good at photographing dogs and pets, as well. See above for reference! To visit Adele’s website, click here.
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