How Long Have You Been In The Shutter Business?
Irv, How long have you been in the shutter business?
I’ve been working in the shutter industry right from the start. The modern shutter industry was in its infancy when I was a teenager. I needed a summer job and started working in the production department at Paul Heinley Shutters, building shutters, and have had my finger on the pulse of the industry ever since.
There really was no shutter industry before Paul Heinley. Paul and his wife discovered the beauty of shutters while visiting New Orleans in 1943. She fell in love with their beauty and functionality. Paul was a design engineer for Hughes Aircraft whose hobby was wood-working. He made some shutters for his wife for her birthday, started building shutters for friends and within a few years was famous nationwide. When I joined his company, its reputation for strict adherence to quality and design made it the leading shutter company of its day and helped inspire the popularity of shutters today. Learning the shutter business at Heinley was challenging yet fun. I loved the machinery and the creative process of building something. I loved the smell of the factory and the challenge of meeting their perfectionist standards.
After mastering the art of shutters, I started my own shutter company. I’ve always enjoyed working with a wide variety of people, helping customers find solutions for their home, and enjoyed the creative process of design and manufacturing.
How was the shutter industry different then?
In the early days of the shutter industry, the material of choice was Sugar Pine. There were no synthetic shutters. The overall quality in the industry was much higher in those days, quality now ranges from excellent to poor, depending upon the product a homeowner selects. Prices were two to three times higher then, adjusted for inflation! That’s why, at The Shutter Source, I emphasize “the best shutters at the best price.”
What is the most beautiful shutter installation that you participated in?
I’ve done over 14,000 jobs to date in my career, many of them strikingly beautiful. We just finished a job north of Sacramento in an A-frame mountain home. You can see photos of it on our website. It is beautiful and spectacular. A while back we did an onion-dome shaped shutter installation that was pretty striking. And we once built a 23 foot tall shutter installation as a room divider and a 70 foot wide glass wall, on a single overhead track. This creative solution allowed a developer to get $30,000 more for his units.
What is important to you in delivering customer service?
We work hard to ensure that our customers are happy with their shutters, to exceed their expectations when we deliver and install their shutters. There are times when that can be a challenge. It makes me happy to see the smiles on customers’ faces when their shutters are installed in their home.
Irv, why should homeowners choose The Shutter Source?
I believe that we offer the ability to accomplish almost anything in our business from the exquisite small job that puts the finishing touch in a library or the hotel that wanted us to install 500 windows in four days. We can do these things with grace, competence, and style.
Although known for our mastery of fine wood shutters, our most popular product is Duracore Shutters™. I believe that the Duracore Shutters™ are absolutely the finest on the market today. It is not only beautiful but stays beautiful for many, many years, probably lasting as long as the home. It is the most durable and long-lasting shutter on the market. Duracore Shutters™ are water-proof, dust resistant, scratch resistant, energy efficient, Green-certified, and come with a lifetime transferable warranty. We offer it at a very low price.
We are a relatively small company and try our hardest to deliver a wonderful product that is installed to our standards, which in most cases is higher than our customer’s expectations. We do this at a terrific value with a smile. We are very versatile and our people are the best of the best. I love it when we exceed customers’ expectations and invite customers to call me personally about their experience once we install their shutters in their home. After more than forty years in the shutter business, the beauty and functionality of the shutters and the smiles on customers’ faces are still what inspires me.