Last year’s COVID-related stay-at-home orders have fueled a strong desire among many consumers to improve their living space and a local company is pivoting to meet the growing demand for its custom window treatments.
Carolina Shutters & Blinds, which provides locally-made shutters and regionally-made blinds and shades to commercial and residential customers across North Carolina, has relocated to the Willow Oaks Shopping Center in Mocksville to increase its manufacturing capacity and to have the space to add additional product lines. The company has transferred the 18 employees from its former Winston-Salem location and is currently hiring production team members, installers, design consultants, and administrative support staff.
“Our previous space was capped for growth and we knew we wanted a larger space with growth potential,” said co-owner Greg Bangs. He and John Stackpole, who previously worked together for a nationally marketed window covering company, purchased the 30-year-old company in August 2020 after seeking to buy a window covering company that was “well established, had a good name, and manufactured its own product.”
“We were crazy enough to buy a business during COVID,” said Bangs, adding that they both cashed out their life savings and “put all their eggs in this basket.”
“And it’s a great basket,” Stackpole chimed in. “The company is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. It’s a 30-year business in the triad and triangle areas and we are the third owners. Prior ownership did an excellent job developing and protecting the brand and establishing a commitment to customer satisfaction and to a quality experience for consumers from the initial contact to shopping at home to installation and after-sale service.”
Everyone on the team from manufacturing to sales and design consultants to installers is a full-time Carolina Shutters & Blinds employee. “That way we can ensure that we are all rowing in the same direction. That level of commitment sets us apart from our competitors. We come to build relationships with homeowners, not take their money. We want to be in a long-term relationship with our customers rather than an individual transaction,” added Stackpole.
“We want to use that foundation of community engagement, involvement, and concern to do a great job for every client one job at a time, one window at a time. We want to grow this brand and this business so that it’s not just a North Carolina company but serves the entire southeast.”
In order to do so, the company needed more space. The partners looked at a lot of locations before selecting the 17,000+ square foot space in the shopping center. “It provided us the ability to lay out production lines the way we want to and we are excited to bring light manufacturing to a retail space,” said Bangs, adding that the company first completed a soundcheck to make sure that it wouldn’t be a nuisance to adjoining businesses.
Carolina Shutters & Blinds currently manufactures one line of composite plantation shutters. Each is made with American componentry and custom-built to fit the client’s windows.
Bangs and Stackpole plan to add two additional lines of shutters. The company’s second line will be built with paintable PVC plastic so that it is impervious to moisture and can be custom matched to a client’s trim.
The third line will be constructed of a new composite material that is unique to the industry. Stackpole shared that a supplier-partner patented the product which is just as strong but 25 percent lighter and will give people
“a phenomenal shutter at a great price point.”
“Our story is a made in America story whether it is our components and the shutters we make or the partners we choose to use for the blinds, shades, and other window coverings that we don’t personally manufacture. It is always American companies with American manufacturing. That is part of our strategy to support American communities,” said Stackpole.
“Most of our competitors sell products imported from China or Mexico,” added Bangs. “We feel we have a higher quality product at a competitive price.”
To maintain quality control, the company only sells through its design consultants and installers. “We are not the best choice for the do-it-yourselfer. We are the only choice for the do-it-for-me customer,” said Stackpole. “Those customers want someone else to be responsible for measuring and making sure it is hung properly and someone who is going to guarantee it for life. They want to know that there is someone they can dial up who will come out. We have been answering that phone for 30 years and we definitely intend to be answering it for 30 more. That’s the difference in what we do.”
“If you are a value seeker we have all the value you can imagine through our service, experience, and the products that we sell. There is always someone in our market that can do it cheaper but there isn’t anyone who can do it better.”
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Carolina Shutters & Blinds has design consultants, installation professionals, and service technicians who serve the Triad, Triangle, and Greater Charlotte areas every day. Visit carolinashutterandblinds.com to see their full line of products or call (336) 774-7990 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment.