One-on-One with The Shade Store’s Ian Gibbs January 2017

Here, we catch up with the co-founder Ian Gibbs of The Shade Store.

AD360: The Shade Store was started by your great grandfather more than 65 years ago. How has your company evolved since its inception?

IG: Our roots trace back to 1946 when my grandfather and his brother started a retail textile business in Mount Vernon, NY. The company began as a dressmaker shop and evolved into a sought-after couture window treatment company for design trade and affluent homeowners. When the current generation came into adulthood—my two brothers, our cousin and myself—we looked at the family business and turned the model on its head with the objective of modernizing the way consumers shop for custom window treatments…‘making custom simple’. By specializing in making custom window treatments simple, a service that can be daunting or difficult to understand, The Shade Store has been able to aggressively grow the business both online and throughout the U.S., providing wider access to expertise previously held only by industry insiders. Throughout our journey, as we opened more than 50 showrooms across the U.S. and partnered with Kravet to launch shop-in shops.

AD360: What is the main mission of The Shade Store today?

IG: We believe in a tailored experience and the profound effect of custom. We founded The Shade Store to provide an easy alternative to a traditionally complex shopping experience, and we strive to do it in a pleasant and friendly environment. We’re the only wholly curated custom window treatment service, managing every detail, from inspiration to installation (and beyond), and strive to be a trusted resource, providing high-quality textiles, and the best solutions for each project for both the customer and the trade.

AD360: Your products are handcrafted in the U.S. Why is that important to you?

IG: We pride ourselves on quality control and quick lead times, so keeping our business entirely in the U.S. was crucial. All of our products are hung and tested for quality assurance and ship for free in 10 business days or less, without comprising quality. Our manufacturing process involves a combination of state-of-the-art machinery and old world techniques–each treatment features precise hand-stitching from our local artisans that makes it one of a kind, with final assembly conducted by hand as well. Customers at The Shade Store receive premiere access to a wide selection of over 1,000 materials in stock, including exclusive window treatments from kate spade new york, Diane von Furstenberg, Jonathan Adler, the Novogratz and Sunbrella. We believe the window treatment design process is a journey, from selecting the first swatch to installation of the final product, and our local manufacturing process, robust product offerings and reliable customer service all differentiate The Shade Store in the market.

AD360: We love the idea of your Gift of Shade™ program.

IG: At The Shade Store, we focus on doing everything we can to provide excellent service to our customers while being environmentally conscious and forward-thinking. A few years ago, we took our eco-friendly initiative a step further by forming a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, pledging to plant a tree in our national forests for every order placed. Today, our goal remains that same as when we started the partnership. We hope to raise awareness about the importance of replanting our forests and giving back to the environment. We are proud to have planted more than 125,000 trees to date.

AD360: The Shade Store offers everything from shades to blinds to drapery—all of which encompass beautiful form and function.

IG: Yes, every window is different, and every person’s needs are different—some want statement-making drapery with a decorative goblet pleat and some just want neutral-toned Solar Shades at a competitive price. We have a comprehensive product offering that that extends far beyond the essentials. However, what makes us stand out is that we also have a team of experts that can help customers find the exact window treatment that fits their space, tastes, budget, needs, and goals. In addition, we provide a full-service measure and install department to ensure that everything goes smoothly.

AD360: What is popular today in window treatments?

IG: Layering is on-trend. To get the function and look of layering, we recommend pairing Roman Shades with Ripple Fold Drapery or Roller Shades with Grommet Drapery. The introduction to motorization, which is adaptable for use with our entire line, is popular as well. Features include rechargeable batteries, incredibly powerful, whisper quiet motors, and simple, high-quality solutions for control window treatments with the push of a button.

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