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Steamboat Magazine

Sincere Services: Steamboat Curtain Factory

08/21/2018 04:45PM ● By Alesha Damerville

By Alesha Damerville

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – Buying local is a passion of many Yampa Valley residents. The products from Steamboat Curtain Factory are as local as they come and are the only certified gold Somfy motorized shade experts in town. 

Joey Kay’s journey is an interesting one that began 45 years ago. Her creation of curtains began with custom-made pieces for royalty throughout the world, including in a brothel for the prince of Abu Dhabi.  

"The more difficult the project, the happier I am,” Kay says. “If I wasn’t doing it professionally, I’d be sewing, knitting and embroidering anyways, so I get paid for doing what I do best.”

She moved to the states and opened Gorky Park restaurant in Steamboat, which she operated from 1987-1996. “We used to call it Gorky Curtains…I used to close the restaurant in the summer because there was no summer trade in those days,” Kay says. This paved the way for her journey in creating the Steamboat Curtain Company in 2013. 

“We manufacture the blinds in-house; no one else is in town is doing that,” Kay says. “We also use the same materials as some of the larger, more well-known blind companies, but are able to offer higher quality products for the same cost because we are a small, local business and cut out the middleman. You’re paying an extra hundred dollars for the name-brand manufacturers.”

Kay has an eye for this line of work; her experience and knowledge of the technicality of window treatments helps streamline the addition of new curtains or blinds. “Joey knows what she’s doing. It’s not just about the look,” says Marla Stefanelli, seamstress at Steamboat Curtain Factory. “People forget to consider the ins-and-outs, such as functionality. 

“Trends are constantly changing, the trends are toward blinds and away from curtains in these mountain-metro homes,” Kay says. “If you own an urban-metro home and don’t have curtains and you’re looking out at the stark snow, it can be very bleak. The curtains soften the light and window. Plus, when it gets dark the curtains make the space cozier and add to ambience.”

Kay stays on top of trends with frequent trips to New York and London, as well as actively following window treatment journals. “The Europeans have a different pallet than the Americans, so if you were to find a fabric in England you really like and want to use, it’s unlikely you will find something to match amongst the American fabrics and vice versa. It’s important to be very aware of this,” she says.

There are many perks of giving the folks at Steamboat Curtain Factory a bit of creative freedom, including saving time, stress, effort and money. “Does that door swing in or out? Is it going to bang into the curtain when you open it? Is there enough room to stack the curtains when opened?” Kay asks. “It’s like my mother always said: ‘You don’t buy a dog and bark yourself.’” Kay says she can be a bit bossy because she wants things done right the first time. “If they allow me to guide them, it will save them money. Functionality is what it’s all about.” 

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