We sat down with Greg Cowley, Director of Shutters n Shades to learn more about the company’s history, future trends and what to expect when upgrading your home.
How did Shutters n Shades get started?
Shutters n Shades was started approximately 20 years ago by the previous owner. He worked in the industry before deciding to set up his own store. The first store was located in Hindmarsh before moving to Brompton, then North Brighton and finally now at Park Holme. It has always been a small, family-owned business, servicing Adelaide customers.
What drew you to the window furnishing industry?
After 20 years as a professional engineer in the oil and gas industry, I decided that I needed a new challenge in life. I’ve always wanted to own and run my own business, and Shutters n Shades was available for sale at the right time. I saw the window furnishing industry as an opportunity to develop my sales skills and use my technical prowess.
What is your mission when it comes to window furnishings?
My mission is to further build the Shutters n Shades name as the place to go for internal and external blinds.
What is your point of difference from other window furnishing providers?
My point of difference is to provide my customers with open and honest advice, as well as excellent customer service.
What products and services do you specialise in?
We specialise in an extensive range of internal and external blinds, shutters and curtains.
If pushed, specific products include plantation shutters and external blinds. Also – cost effective automation.
What are some misconceptions about your industry?
Some misconceptions include:
- Blinds are ready made and can be installed “tomorrow”
- Double glazing protects against heat. This isn’t necessarily correct. Heat is generated by UV, and double glazing doesn’t necessarily reduce UV, whereas an external blind will.
- Motorisation/automation of blinds is really expensive. This simply isn’t true. Technology and market demand has driven the costs down.
- It’s possible to install any type of window furnishing on any window. Again, in some cases this simply isn’t true. Window design/hardware can mean it isn’t possible to use certain products. That said, Shutters n Shades always looks to work with the customer to find a suitable solution.
What do you think will be the growing trends of 2021 and beyond?
Curtains are definitely making a comeback with more and more customers requesting them. I also believe that automation will become more and more prevalent, because it allows for “smart ways” to passively cool your home. The technology is changing very quickly, for example voice controlled blinds are now accessible to all.
What are your goals for your business in the future?
My future goals are to expand my product range and knowledge, as well as to become the “experts in automation”.
Finally, what was your first ever job?
My first ever job was a paper round, where I had to walk around the local neighbourhood delivering newspapers before school. I didn’t last long because I struggled to cope with the cold weather in England!