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Budget Blinds still growing at 17 years old

Budget Blinds still growing at 17 years old

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Jeff Vlasak, co-owner of Budget Blinds, inside the company’s headquarters and showroom at 5407 Spring St. in Mount Pleasant.

MOUNT PLEASANT — With Budget Blinds, the name only tells part of the story.

Budget Window Coverings would be more accurate, as a visit to the local showroom at 5407 Spring St. in Mount Pleasant would confirm.

The Racine County and Kenosha Budge Blinds franchises are both owned by Jeff and Sally Vlasak, who started as a home-based business. They have had the Racine County Budget Blinds franchise for 17 years, Kenosha County for 16 years and on July 1 they bought the Franklin, Oak Creek and South Milwaukee franchise.

With the latter, the Vlasaks also acquired the showroom at 6570 S. Lovers Lane Road in Franklin.

“But this (5407 Spring St.) is our headquarters; we do everything out of here,” Jeff Vlasak said.

The word “budget” in the name is accurate, he said. “Our pricing is great; we’re the largest franchise in the country by far. And locally, we’re the largest in southeastern Wisconsin, this operation.

“That’s nice to boast about, but it doesn’t mean anything unless you’ve got something to offer the customer because of it,” Vlasak added. “Well, we do: We have better pricing because of our volume.”

The window covering options at Budget Blinds are many, Vlasak said. It starts with blinds of many types including vertical, horizontal, wood and miniblinds; honeycomb shades, Roman shades, roller shades; toppers; and shutters. “These are huge in the South and in the West,” he remarked about the latter.

“The big thing right now is automation,” Vlasak continued: shades that can be controlled by remote control or with a smartphone. Budget Blinds also offers lighting controls that work hand in hand with blind controls.

“Away from home, you can turn your lights on in the evening if no one”s home and shut the blinds from a remote location.”

The company also carries the newest variations in window covering styles that have evolved over the years such as variations in roller shades that far surpass the original ones that often wanted to go flying up to the rollers if let loose at the bottom. One type of honeycomb shade, for example, can be opened from the bottom or top. Another type is cordless.

“It’s really products evolving, technology evolving,” Vlasak remarked.

‘Old school’ service

Vlasak said Budget Blinds makes the process of acquiring new window coverings simple for the customer.

“We’re kind of old school here,” he said. “We focus on customer service, and maybe that’s an old cliché, and a lot of people say that. But we do that.”

Much is involved in adding new window coverings, Vlasak pointed out, including taking exact measurements, picking out fabrics and picking out colors.

“Our goal is to go in there and make it as stressless as possible for (customers) from start to finish,” he said. That includes having five design consultants on staff, in addition to three installers.

“The initial step is to have one of our design consultants come out and help them with colors,” Vlasak said. “These people have degrees in interior design. They can whittle down those hundreds of choices of colors to maybe three.”

Those consultants can also talk about the pros and cons of different types of window covering options, he added.

With Budget Blinds, there is no minimum order size. “We’re happy getting an order for one blind or 200 blinds,” Vlasak said. His commercial customers have included Primrose Retirement Community, Educators Credit Union, Shogun and Asiana restaurants in Downtown Racine, University of Wisconsin-Parkside and Gateway Technical College.

The Budget Blinds showroom at 5407 Spring St. is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and by appointment. In-home hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday by appointment.

For more information call the Mount Pleasant showroom at 262-886-2333 or in Kenosha, call 262-654-1880.

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