It was a rough time for C&C Draperies, a decades-old family business in Tucker.
About a decade ago, the housing market and changing times had crumbled the old business model.
“Nobody does residential draperies anymore,” says C&C’s Laurie Harris. “We were dying. We didn’t know if we were going to make it.”
And then, out of the blue came a call from a TV production team. Could C&C make some draperies for the TV series “Devious Maids,” which was filming nearby?
“And we’ve been busy ever since,” Laurie says happily.
Since then, C&C’s fortunes turned around with steady work from TV and film productions accounting for most of its business. Laurie even hired another worker to help her and her mother.
“She’s 81 and will put in a 10-hour day like nobody’s business,” says Laurie of her mother. “She’s a spitfire.”
The crew works in a 2,500-square-foot converted warehouse space. Productions design the draperies needed for filming, find and “camera test” the material, and ship sufficient quantities to C&C’s team, who then turns them into useful props.
C&C has worked on “Stranger Things,” “First Man,” “Hidden Figures” and many more. Current projects include the upcoming “The Color Purple” musical.
“Coming 2 America” was a particular highlight because of giant windows used for a palace that leant themselves to beautiful creations for draperies, Laurie says.
The company started when Laurie’s grandmother opened a shop in Forest Park. Then Laurie’s mom, Charlene Easler, opened C&C in Tucker. Laurie started working there as a kid here and there. Charlene, who sewed her own wardrobe, taught Laurie how to be a seamstress, as well. And Laurie has been working in the family business full time since 1984.
The productions are fast paced and keep C&C busy. And Laurie prefers the ease of it over working on homes.
“Everybody gets paid. Everybody’s happy,” she says. “It most definitely saved our business. We would not have survived had it not been for the movies coming to town.”