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Perry, Inc. celebrates 65 years

Jim Perry is pictured in one of his workrooms at his Carroll Street location for Jim Perry, Inc. and Carroll Street Décor.
Jim Perry is pictured in one of his workrooms at his Carroll Street location for Jim Perry, Inc. and Carroll Street Décor. (Photo by Lyndi McNulty , Carroll County Times)

This year celebrates Perry, Inc., 65th year in business. Last year, Jim Perry's newest venture, Carroll Street Décor, opened in September of 2011 at 12 Carroll St. in Westminster. Jim Perry, is also owner of Perry Inc., manufacturers of custom window treatments. Carroll Street Décor is a full service branch of Perry Inc., offering selections of fabrics, wallpapers, window coverings, blinds, upholstery services and decorating advice.

"One of the main reasons I opened the store is because I wanted to do more work in Carroll County," Perry explained.

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"Anything you can think of in fabric we can make," said Sheri Hirsh, the custom decorating consultant and senior partner at the store. Her daughter, Amanda Hirsh is the store manager. Both Hirsh's are from Finksburg.

Amanda Hirsh, her daughter, is not only the manager of Carroll Street Décor's show room, she also does their graphic design work for their website, business cards and other company marketing needs. She also worked for her mother's business, "Design Line."

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When Perry had the idea to open an interior decorating store, he approached Hirsch. She had been utilizing Perry's Workroom services for many years so they knew each other's work and its high quality. Perry had purchased the building at 12 Carroll St. in 1988 so it already housed the drapery and upholstery workrooms. It was a short leap to add Carroll Street Décor as a store front.

Perry, Inc. has a long history in Maryland. It was established in the 1940s by Perry's aunts and uncles in a Baltimore City rowhouse. At that time, they were making slip covers to make extra money. Eventually, Perry's father, Jim Perry, Sr., who kept the bookkeeping for the business, was asked to make custom draperies to match a slip cover they had just made. Since they had never made draperies, he went to the store and purchased a pair as a sample. The draperies were taken apart and used as a pattern so the Jim Perry's could figure out how to make them.

It became popular at that time to have slip covers and draperies match, so the business grew. The business started with small residential jobs. Since Jim Perry, Sr., was a good salesman, the business continued to expand and they moved to larger quarters on Baltimore Street. At that location, they had dozens of employees including seamstresses, installation people and more salesmen.

By the late 1950s and 1960s,Perry, Inc. was a large commercial operation that did draperies for such well known businesses such as the first Hilton Hotel built in Baltimore in 1966. They also did draperies for Mercy Hospital and C & P telephone Company. Their building was also a workroom for many of the interior design firms in Baltimore.

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When Jim Perry graduated from Westminster High School in 1980, he took over the family business and moved it to Westminster. His first commercial job was to install nearly 1,000 pairs of draperies for a new senior living community in Cockeysville, named Broadmeade. Since then, senior living facilities have been a large, growing market for his firm.

Perry's company has made draperies for facilities up and down the east coast including Victory Housing in Washington, D.C., The Shelter Group and Parkview Senior communities. Locally, he has done work for Carroll Lutheran Village, Brightview of Westminster, Fairhaven and Copper Ridge.

Recently, Perry, Inc. was selected to install draperies at many Fisher Houses across the United States. According to their website, "A Fisher House is "a home away from home" for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers. The homes are normally located within walking distance of the treatment facility or have transportation available. There are 56 Fisher Houses located on 22 military installations and 20 VA medical centers."

"The most gratifying part of the job is being involved from start to finish on a project from when the interior designer specifies fabrics and creates drawings to the final installation. This job is very "hands on" from concept to completion," Perry said.

"This is the only place that has everything on site. I love working with the patterns and finding something that is perfect for a particular person," Sheri Hirsh, said. "I find it gratifying when "I find the right fit for each client. We have access to every fabric on the planet." They carry all the major brand names of fabrics, window blinds and wall coverings. Baltimore's Best Upholstery is also housed in the building for customer convenience.

Carroll Décor also has fabric and trim remnants in the store perfect for small projects and accessory items such as table cloths, bedspreads, dust ruffles, pillows and shams. Anything you can think of they can make for you.

The public can stop by and tour the workshop. Some of the sewing machines are from the World War II era.

Carroll Street Décor is open daily 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. and other times by appointment. It is a great place for designers, decorators and homeowners to find what they need for decorating with fabrics. You can learn more at their website, CarrollStreetDecor.com or you can call 410-876-1180. You can also email

.

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