A Life Changing Invitation
Mark Wilkins was applying for grad school in international business at Thunderbird in Arizona when an invitation from his cousin changed his life. Having recently graduated from Boise State, Mark was planning for a career on the road to see the world but was stopped short by a better offer. “My cousin asked me, ‘Ever thought of doing blinds?’ I just laughed and said no. But then I visited him in Colorado Springs and thought, I can do this and stay in Boise.” Mark started blindsource shortly after his stay and has been in business since 2004.
Working With Family
As a young man just out of college, Mark didn’t have much money to work with. So, he asked to use a bay in his parent’s garage and some space in their basement. As he got busier, his mom helped him with installs. “It was kind of embarrassing. I would introduce her as Margaret, and the client would ask, ‘Is that your mom? Yes, that’s my mom.’ She saw how busy I was and offered to help.” After about a year in business, Mark coaxed his brother Dave away from his landscaping business in Utah to join him in Boise and today serves as the General Manager. Mark then built a house and ran the company out of the first floor while he lived above. He moved once more before ending up in the current location that they built.
Location, Location, Location
Things have changed a lot since the days of Mark and his mom. He is now married, running the business with his wife Nicole who decided to leave the corporate world. They have thirteen employees. Their new building has a beautiful showroom, office space on two levels and plenty of warehousing. Mark and Nicole chose the location because it is only about five minutes from their home. It also has excellent exposure to commuters. “I was spoiled by my commute from my parent’s house to the house I built. So, I wanted a quick commute.” With less time driving, Mark and Nicole have more time to be with their family. Not to mention the location gets quite a few walk-ins every day.
“We had a really good experience going down to the showroom and seeing the different products and colors to select. There is a lot more to it than you realize, which is the exact experience people have with window coverings.”Mark Wilkins
Working With OEC
Getting into the building has been a process. Since buying the lot, designing the building, and finishing construction, the project has taken about two years. During that time, Mark and Nicole decided to enlist the help of OEC for their office furniture. “We had a really good experience going down to the showroom and seeing the different options to select from. There is a lot more to it than you realize, which is the exact experience people have with window coverings.”
Customer Service Makes All The Difference
While blindsource carries a lot of brands to choose from it’s their customer service that makes them stand out. Blindsource will take one of their mobile showrooms to the home or commercial space of their customer. Then they start the free design consultation. They will listen to the customers’ needs and recommend products based on that as well as their budget. With an estimate in hand, customers can take as long as they need to decide. Blindsource takes a very low-pressure approach to sales. “We are more educators than salespeople because are not pushy and try to help people make decisions based on the budget they are working with.” Since blindsource does not carry anything in stock, everything is custom-made and installed with a lifetime service warranty.
“We are more educators than salespeople because we are not pushy and try to help people make decisions based on the budget they are working with.”Mark Wilkins
Relationships & Referrals
Blindsource is different than most companies because they do not advertise. “We have built relationships and make sure our customers are happy. That way they feel inclined to refer us to their friends and family. They trust that we will take care of them.” With a mission to provide great value and customer service, blindsource is looking forward to helping its customers create spaces they will enjoy for years to come.
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