Business focuses on blinds and curtains
Most products custom designed
Troy Allen and his fiancé, Leslie Burdette, bought an old store at 612 Oak Street in March and spent the time since then remodeling the old building to accommodate the needs of their new business, The Blind Store, which focuses on custom window treatments.
They opened the Blind Store because Burdette’s father, Jeff, who is also their business partner, has been in the window treatment business for around 15 years. He started out doing construction but starting concentrating on window treatments after it became 95 percent of his business.
“We wanted to start a retail store instead of just doing third party installations,” Allen said. “We wanted to sell and install the product.”
The Blind Store doesn’t stock much because each job is a custom design, so its not really anything they can stock on a shelf.
“Each one is custom based on your window and manufactured to specifications,” Allen explained. “Whatever color and style you want. There are many, many factors that go into what a person orders.”
About 90 percent of their clients call and they go to the home to take measurements and let the client make choices from samples.
“Sometimes we have people show up at the retail store and we have a showroom with all of our shutter and blinds products mounted on the wall,” Allen said. “They can come in and see the full size products. But 90 percent of our business is in-home consultations.”
Once the choices are made, the costs are tallied and then the order is sent to one of two factories. Then the product is shipped for installation.
Most of their products come from the factories of Spring Windows Fashion in Wisconsin.
They make what Allen calls the “Cadillac of blinds and shutters” under the Graber product line. The product has a lifetime guarantee.
“That’s a plus for our business,” Allen said. “If somebody buys something from us and in 50 years, say they get a cordless blind and something happens with the cordless works not catching anymore; the manufacturer will replace it, no questions asked. So that is a really good selling point for us.”
Allen said they can get pretty much any style: wood, faux wood, or aluminum shutters; interior shutters that go inside your window rather the outside; Roman shades, roller shades and blackout shades for night workers trying to sleep in daylight, and even drapery.
“We offer pretty much any treatment that will go in a window,” Allen said.
Allen said they opened a business in Ironton because it’s where he graduated from and because they were looking for a commercial property and a new home.
When they saw the building on Oak Street they knew they had found what they needed.
“It was crazy because there was this property that used to be the doughnut store and it had a house connected to it,” he said. “So we bought the whole property at once and killed two birds with one stone.”
In the past, the building had been many things including a doughnut shop, a baseball card shop and a laundromat.
“We gutted it. We put all new systems in, electrical, heating and air, lighting, plumbing, floors, walls. New windows,” Allen said. “It’s all pretty much new. It’s an old building and took a little bit to get it going. This building itself is probably as solid as the day it was built.”
Allen graduated from Ironton High School in 2006 and Ohio University in 2011. He and fiancé are realtors at Murdock Realty in Ironton. He says he will list or sell for friends and family but he is more on the investment side of it.
“It’s more of hobby than it is a job,” he said. “We do it for rental properties we own, so it is more of a personal investment.”
The Blind Store is located at 610 Oak Street. It is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.