Founded in 1963 by the Klumb family in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the then-named Wisconsin Drapery Supply was established after Vera Klumb, who operated a drapery workroom, recognized a need for a local source for drapery hardware and accessories. The business soon developed a regional reputation for offering and fabricating a large selection of quality window fashion products. 30 years later, John A. Graber purchased the business from the Klumb family.
John’s grandfather, also John Graber, was an inventor that created the Badger Crane — a handcrafted, metal drapery crane which would hold the drapery side panels as they hung over the Venetian blinds. Eventually, John Graber’s company became Springs Window Fashions and expanded to provide a complete selection of blinds, shades and decorative drapery hardware. John A. Graber worked as a sales representative at Springs for many years early in his career, so purchasing this business was a seamless transition. After 25 years at the helm, John retired at the end of 2019.
Keeping with the long-standing family business structure, sisters and long-term employees Natalie Zillmer and Sandra Perich took the helm. Sandra has been the purchasing manager for over 40 years, and she can identify all of the 30,000 sku’s of inventory stocked in our warehouse from memory! Natalie was John’s right hand since joining the company 23 years ago and learned the financial side of the business first hand. She also worked closely with the sales representatives on new accounts over the years and knows every customer name and account number. Becoming employee owned was a natural step for MDS.
Over the years the now-named Midwest Designer Supply has grown into a major supplier of drapery hardware, accessories and custom blinds and shades across the country. Our greatest strength is the collective experience of our team of experts. With all of our employees having between 15 and 40 years of experience in our industry, including blind fabrication, installation and other specialties, MDS offers an invaluable resource few others have to offer — readily available for you to draw upon for your next design challenge.