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Budget Blinds: Shopping for shades and shutters at home

Barbara Van Reed

SUTTON – Sue Adams and her husband Roger were watching a rerun of the television show Undercover Boss one day early last year: the episode featured Budget Blinds, a California-based company offering shop-at-home custom window treatment services. Impressed with the company's quality and needing some window coverings themselves, they went to the Budget Blinds website.

“We were overwhelmed with what they provide and everything looked so professional, even the website itself,” said Sue, and so they decided to explore the possibility of becoming a franchise owner.

“We spent hours on the phone and they flew me to California for a discovery day – they show you exactly how everything works - and then you make your decision.”

By December, Sue and Roger Adams were officially in business as Budget Blinds, serving the eleven towns in the Blackstone Valley plus Bellingham. They can also provide services in adjacent towns that have no assigned franchisee.

The premise is simple: Budget Blinds brings the showroom to the customer's home or business, making it easier to match existing décor. “When it comes to home improvement projects, nothing is more frustrating than discovering the color isn't quite right or the size is just off when you install a product,” said Sue. We eliminate the guess work and stress of venturing out into home improvement stores by bringing hundreds of samples with us and exploring different window covering options tailored to the homeowner's needs.” She considers herself a visual artist, turning a house into a home.   

The range of window treatments includes blinds, shutters, shades, and window film. It also includes drapes and Sue carries more than 500 sample fabrics with her. If none of those work, she can obtain samples from other franchisees. “We have an unlimited supply,” she said, “or customers can use their own fabric.”

Sue was a stay-at-home mom and part-time bartender before taking on the Budget Blinds business. Prior to that she worked in accounting and business office administration. The Budget Blinds job is perfect, she says, because she can make her own schedule and work around the sports and activities schedules of her three kids, aged eight, seven, and five.

Budget Blinds is keeping her busy. “My head is spinning, it's overwhelming, but I love it.” Spring is the busy season for home improvement projects and Sue has brought in a part-time installer. Husband Roger helps with the installations part time as well. Sue says they are meticulous in their work. “We take off our shoes and wear in-house shoes, and we'll clean up every grain of sawdust we make.” 

Sue will do projects of any size – from as small as one window in a home to a 100-window office building, existing or new construction.  Generally the lead time for blinds is two-and-a-half to three weeks.

One of the best aspects of the Budget Blinds products is the “no-questions-asked” product warranty, said Sue, and a key part of what attracted her to become a franchisee.

Budget Blinds describes itself as the largest window coverings franchise in North America, with more than 900 franchisees in the US and Canada. Sue Adams can be reached at sadams@budgetblinds.com or call her 508-865-9300. On the web: www.budgetblinds.com/blackstonevalley/.