This week I’m excited to be featuring Blinds Direct Online as part of my Parents in Business series. Here James tell us his story about setting up the company, having not come from a window blinds background, he instead drew on his support network to create and drive the business forwards.
James, like me, is in the fortunate position of being able to make use of his child’s naptime, and I dread the day when my youngest child drops his daytime nap.
I would love for you to have a read of James’s business story, about how he has created and managed a new business around a young family.
Tell me a little bit about you, your background, and your business?
I’m James, I have a fiancé Ellie and little boy Oliver who is nearly 2 years old. I studied for my degree and masters at Sheffield Hallam University. I’ve been employed in a few different jobs and self-employed, trying to turn my hand to anything, with some highs and lows. Not from a window blind background, the opportunity came along to set up Blinds Direct Online. I had a basic knowledge of window blinds but a great support network behind me to give Blinds Direct Online the opportunity to thrive and we have gone from strength to strength and continue to grow.
Blinds Direct Online sell a variety of window blinds across Mainland UK on the internet. We manufacture our own blinds with materials from the UK, selling to mainly retail customers but also to the trade.
What motivated you to set up your own business?
Joining a team that had manufactured window blinds for around 25 years at the time and being a successful business to the trade and commercially, we felt it was time for the company into the internet market. With so many people now ordering from the comfort of their home and window blinds being a simple DIY job that most people can attempt, the motivation was to make buying blinds easier for the consumer at a reasonable price. The opportunity just gave me the excitement and passion that I felt I was looking for and hadn’t found in any of my previous roles.
How do you balance or juggle your business around family commitments?
My little boy is very young, so he still naps in the day and is in a good routine of going to bed early, which on a weekday gives me the evening to work from home when he goes to bed and then at weekend I have that time in the day also. Luckily I also have a great support network at home who help myself and Ellie with Oliver during our busy week days. I make the most of any time with my son and focus purely on him rather than work when we are together. With work you just have to learn when enough is enough.
What do you view as your biggest success since setting up your business?
The growth of the business is a great success, it is fantastic to see where we are but know there is so much more potential in the business. I also feel my own development and understanding of a business I initially knew little about is very satisfying.
What are your top tips for anyone who is thinking about setting up their own business?
No matter how many times you hear it, your children do grow up fast! Work is important but being around for your children and enjoying them should always come first. We work hard to provide for our children and family but a parent’s love will always mean more to a child.
Thank you so much James for taking part in my series. It has been lovely to feature you and I wish you and Blinds Direct Online all the best in the future.
If you like what you’re reading and would love to be part of my Parents in Business series just drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or have a nose at some of the other businesses I have featured in the series: Allcott Associates, Mum & You and Marienne Pachonick Architects