Challenge Accepted: Rick Steele Runs in World Marathon Challenge for Soles4Souls

Where in the world isn’t the real question. Why in the world anyone would run 7 marathons in 7 days on each of the world’s 7 continents, is.

Seriously. Do you know how many miles that is?

183.

And how long you have to finish all seven marathons (26.2 miles each)?

168 hours, or seven consecutive days.

And how much travel time it takes to get to each race site in between?

Overall, about 68 hours on a plane between February 6 and February 12, starting in Antarctica, ending in North America (in Miami, FL) with five other races in Africa, Australia, Asia, Europe and South America along the way.

So I ask again: Why on earth would anyone put themselves through that?

The answer is simple.

It’s all for a good cause.

That’s why SelectBlinds.com co-founder, philanthropist, extreme adventurer and adrenaline addict Rick Steele is undertaking perhaps the biggest challenge (besides starting a $1 billion business in 30 days, but that’s another story) of his life.

So far.

Rick is always looking for ways to marry his passion for philanthropy and giving back to his pursuit of personal excellence through extreme physical challenges like the 2020 World Marathon Challenge. And this event, which he learned about through a friend who completed it a few years ago, was a natural fit to go along with a personal goal he set last year of raising $1 billion (yes, that’s billion with a “B”) for charities during his lifetime.

“I always look for the next impossible thing to see if I can do it,” explains the 12-time Iron Man finisher. And while he’s run many marathons as part of those events, along with other ultra endurance runs, he’s never run “just a marathon.”

12 time Iron Man Rick Steele
12-time Iron Man Rick Steele

Well, this isn’t exactly “just a marathon” either. This is seven marathons. In a row. Some starting with only a mere 18 hours between them. Rick’s goal? To finish each one in under four hours. “Under five, definitely,” he says with confidence. Besides running in temperatures ranging from -10 to over 80 degrees, he anticipates his biggest challenge will be “not knowing how sore I’ll be from race to race.”

If completing all seven marathons doesn’t seem impossible enough, he’s also challenging himself to raise $20,000 for 20,000 pairs of shoes for Soles4Souls, his philanthropic partner in the race and the inspiration for Rick’s fundraising effort.

Soles4Souls is a non-profit social enterprise based in Nashville, Tennessee.  It’s mission? To disrupt the cycle of poverty for people worldwide. Founded by partners who share Rick’s own entrepreneurial spirit, it started with the simple philosophy that everyone deserves a good pair of shoes and now provides  shoes, clothing, jobs and most of all, hope, to help millions in need get back on their feet.

Childrens feet in worn out shoes

“While I’m really looking forward to experiencing the race itself, I’m even more excited about the opportunity to support and have an impact on the  work done by this amazing group,” Rick says. “They’re literally improving and changing lives every day. It’s kinda crazy what a difference a simple pair of shoes can make in someone’s life.”

“It’s serendipitous, really. I mean, I couldn’t be competing in this worldwide event without running shoes, and I’m running for an international organization that has so far provided 35 million pairs of shoes throughout 127 countries to those who have none. And, unfortunately, the need keeps growing greater. So that’s a pretty powerful reason to do this and an awesome cause to contribute to.”

Those of us at Select Blinds think so, too. That’s why for every order we get from February 6-12, we’re donating two new pairs of shoes to Soles4Souls. If you have a pair to spare, find out how you can donate, too. And if you’re still wondering where in the world Rick is, follow him here during the World Marathon Challenge.

Challenge accepted.

Smiling boy holding new tennis shoes
 

How Would You Rate Your DIY Skills?

DIYer Alica Bovino's home office curated from second-hand finds and bamboo blinds from Select Blinds
A self-professed designer, blogger, DIYer and secondhand furniture stalker, Alisa Bovino @aglassofbovino is one of our favorite Insta inspirations. (Seriously. That chandelier!!!) Here’s the office she created for last year’s One Room Challenge, featuring our Premier Modern Natural Wood Shades.

People have been DIYing since the dawn of civilization, but according to Inc., the phenomenon has exploded in recent years thanks in large part to social media. In fact,  over 200 million people visit Pinterest each month in search of DIY inspiration.

There’s nothing quite like the pride of being able to show off something you did yourself, or the satisfaction of knowing you saved beaucoup bucks doing it, especially when it comes to buying and installing your own custom window coverings. When considering doing any project yourself, though, make sure you price out the materials and your time investment and compare that against the cost of hiring a pro. (The national average for hiring someone to install blinds, BTW, is $620!) A quick comparison of the prices here on Select Blinds with Big Box stores or a design service and installers, and you’ll see why doing it yourself with us is a great deal.

So how would you rate your DIY skills? More than 60% of our social followers who responded to a recent poll said that they would “DIY all day! I know I can do it!” or that they were willing to learn. Personally, I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler. (Thank goodness for electronic and laser measuring tapes!) So I totally get why a lot of people think they can’t put up their own window blinds and shades, or are afraid to try.

But the good news is, you can! And doing it yourself can save you tons of time and money, too.

Premier Single Cell Light Filtering arched window blinds
You can even install shades for arched windows by yourself. Pair them with a matching Premier Single Cell Light Filtering Shade (shown here with a top down bottom up lift) to curate a look that’s all your own.

The custom crazed DIY community here on SelectBlinds.com has taken the mantra, “If you can hang a picture, you can hang your own blinds” to heart. With just a few simple tools (basically a pencil, measuring tape and drill are all you need), it takes just a few minutes to hang almost any of the beautiful bamboos, romans, rollers, wood blinds and other custom window treatments you’ll find here on our site. Even if you’re all thumbs.

Like me. But if I can do it, you can, too!

It’s easy to get started. First, look through our IG gallery to see some examples of what other DIYers have done. For more inspo, be sure to get free samples of coverings you’re interested in to check colors and fabrics. Then, follow these simple steps for measuring your windows.

Next, order the products you need and use the handy instructions that come with every window covering or download them here. Not great at following directions? We have plenty of step-by-step install videos you can watch, too. And if you get stuck along the way, we’re always here online, on the phone, or via live chat to answer your questions and talk you through it.

Afraid of making a mistake? Don’t be. With our FIT Guarantee, even if you do mess up on a measurement, just let us know and we’ll remake the mis-measured blind or shade for free.

So why pay more to hire a professional? With Select Blinds, it’s easy to DIY. Just grab your drill and proudly say,

You can do it!

Face Your Fears: 4 Things You Can Do to Make Buying Blinds Less Scary

Spiders like this one top the list of people's top 10 fears

Everyone is afraid of something. Spiders (#1 in top 10). Clowns. Heights (my biggest phobia). Snakes. Public speaking. Bellybuttons.

Innies and outies???

Yes, omphalophobia (fear of the navel) is a real thing. Along with other uncommon fears such as turophobia (fear of cheese), pogonophobia (fear of beards) and nomophobia (fear of being without mobile phone coverage — talk about the stuff of nightmares. 😉 )

Another irrational fear we found? Chrometophobia, the fear of money. Specifically, spending it. Especially when it comes to buying blinds.

While there is no scientific word for the fear of buying blinds and shades per se, in a short, unscientific survey we conducted on Facebook and IG, respondents ranked “Nice Blinds Are Too Expensive” as their #1 fear when shopping for new ones. Also related to money was the fear of paying for and scheduling someone to install them, along with buyer’s remorse (wasting money on something they didn’t like after they bought them).

Wasting money on blinds you don't like is #1 fear when shopping for them

We understand. Questions like, what kind of coverings should I get for my windows? What if I make a mistake measuring them? What if my shades don’t fit? What if I don’t like the color? What if my husband has no idea how to use a hammer, much less hang a shade? can definitely make you want to hide under the bed. (Unless you suffer from teraphobia and are afraid of monsters there.) But here on selectblinds.com, we help you face those fears. And overcome them! All while saving you time — and money — too!

How? It’s easy! Just follow these four simple steps to buying blinds you’ll love.

1. Sample your style & get inspired!

Get started right here with The Blinds Spot design blog. You’ll find inspo from our team of window design experts along with some of our favorite inspiring decorators and bloggers. Then check out some of the more than 300,000 5-star reviews real customers just like you have given our products for more great ideas (along with peace of mind about buying your window treatments online!). Browse the different categories you’re interested in and order lots of free samples to find the perfect product in the color you need to match your style.

Get inspired by one of our favorite influencers and partners, Alicia Armstrong of Our Vintage Nest!

2. Measure your windows for the perfect fit!

Follow this handy guide on How to Measure Your Windows and you’ll be an expert in no time! You can save hundreds, even thousands of $$ when you do it yourself. And tons of time. No waiting around or opening your home to high-pressure salespeople and installers. And if you make a mistake, no worries. With our F.I.T. Guarantee, we’ll always make it right!

3. Customize with confidence!

Ordering your own high-quality custom window coverings is easy on SelectBlinds.com. Just select the style, color and features you want. Questions? Give the experts on our Customer Care team a call to help guide you through the process and fill your cart with everything you need. Or find the answers here online with the numerous buying guides, frequently asked questions and other helpful resources on our site. You also get free delivery and a 90-day satisfaction guarantee on everything, so you never have to be afraid of wasting money on something you don’t need or want.

4. Take pride in a job well done (and all the time and money you saved!

With a few simple tools and our easy install guides and videos, you don’t need to spend money on installers. You can do it yourself and have your beautiful new custom window coverings up in no time. We like to say, ‘if you can hang a picture, you can hang your own blinds.’ It’s really that easy.

Hanging blinds and shades from selectblinds.com is easy

Keep reading The Blinds Spot for more in this series on how to find blinds you’ll love. Over the next three weeks we’ll be sharing the results of more customer polls to find out what customers just like you are looking for, how they rate their DIY skills, and how we can help you find custom window coverings you won’t be afraid to hang in your home. 

How We Protect Your Personal Information on SelectBlinds.com

Have you ever been hacked? You’re not alone.

Maybe you were one of the the 100 million CapitalOne customers whose records were stolen in a data breach in July 2019. Or in the 2017 Equifax data breach, which exposed the personal information of 145.5 million Americans, including their Social Security numbers.

SelectBlinds.com cares about keeping your information safe.

With so much of our lives and personal information now literally on (the) line, many states in the U.S. are adopting data privacy laws to help consumers protect their privacy and control how their personal data is used online.

With the enactment of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) earlier this month, for example, customers in that state now have the right to request a record of the personal information (name, address, credit cards, etc.) a company collects on them online, and to know how that information is tracked and used by the company.

New York, Washington, Vermont, Colorado and Massachusetts also have similar laws in the works this year.

At Select Blinds, protecting the personal information of our customers is paramount. We thought it would be a good time to remind you just how we do that. We recently updated our Privacy Policy in compliance with the new CCPA. In addition, here are other ways we work to ensure your identity and information is protected any time you’re shopping for custom window coverings on SelectBlinds.com.

We protect your online info off line, too. Servers used to store any personally identifiable information needed during the sales process are housed in a secure environment. In our offices, that information is restricted to and accessible by only those employees who need it to perform a specific job (for example, a billing clerk or a customer care representative). Every one of our employees must lock their computers whenever they leave their desk and use password-protected screen savers to log back on. Every six months, as well as any time new privacy policies are added, our employees are reminded about the importance we place on privacy, and what they can do to ensure our users’ information is protected.

Go ahead. You can now breathe a collective sigh of relief knowing your information is as safe as possible while you’re on our site. And whether you’re shopping for beautiful new custom window blinds and shades here or for anything else online, check out these 10 tips to make your shopping experience even safer and more secure.

Happy shopping!

Fashion Color Blackout Rollers from SelectBlinds.com help you keep your privacy.
Looking to protect your privacy at home, too? Motorized blackout shades like these Fashion Color Blackout Rollers (in Iron) help keep prying eyes from seeing into your home. Easily schedule them to open and close automatically with the tap of an app on your smartphone, or just ask Alexa to do it, whether you’re there or not.

Kris H. Is a Happy SelectBlinds.com Customer!

Sure, solar shades on your windows in the summer definitely help beat the heat. But they’re also a great year-round solution to reducing the amount of direct light coming in, especially during winter when increased glare from the snow-covered ground can be blinding. Just look how these custom Motorized Sheer Weave Solar window treatments (in Bronze 1%) helped our most recent Happy Customer, Kris H.

“Love our new sheer weave blinds ! We lost the glare but get to enjoy the outdoors on our beautiful acreage!

Also love our new shutters! They have had a great insulating effect on our NW bathroom and make the room look so finished! Installation so user friendly. Love them!! So happy!”

Motorized Sheer Weave Solars let you enjoy view and protect interiors
With Motorized Sheer Weave Solar Shades in the living room, you'll love the view outside
Motorized Sheer Weave Solars reduce glare from snow and sun
Shop Classic Faux Wood Shutters for the bathroom
To keep out the cold — and heat — Kris also added our Classic Faux Wood Shutters in Cotton to help insulate these beautiful bathroom windows.

Super 2019 Cyber Monday Sales Spectacular in Progress Now!

Select Blinds Cyber Monday Sale

Cyber Monday Sale! 45% off + take an extra 10% off all window treatments at SelectBlinds.com!

Order by December 5 for guaranteed delivery by Christmas or it’s free!*

Think our Mega Black Friday Sales event blew it out of the water? Think again.

We’re back. With the biggest, baddest Cyber Monday Sale we’ve ever had! Save 45% PLUS get an extra 10% off on every single beautiful blind, shade and custom window treatment sitewide.

That means you get the best discounts and 2019 Cyber Monday deals on our best-selling cellular and honeycomb window coveringsbamboo and woven woodsromansrollerssolar shades for indoors and outshuttersdesigner sheers, dazzling dual-roller zebra blindsclassic draperyfabric horizontalsall-aluminum minispanel tracks and verticals. Get smart and save on convenient motorized products that work with your Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and pair perfectly with specialty treatments for those hard-to-reach windows like skylights and arches.

Oh yeah. FREE shipping is included on everything, too! And our FIT Guarantee is guaranteed to make you feel better about buying your blinds online!

So now worries! Don’t waste time on competitors ads. Start clicking and save now on all the custom window treatments you love right here on SelectBlinds.com!!! 

START SAVING NOW!

*Get guaranteed delivery by Christmas or it’s free details here.

Save on sassy shades like our Architect Zebra Dual Roller and everything else during our 2019 Cyber Monday Sales Spectacular!

Mega Black Friday Sale Starts Now!

Order by December 5 for guaranteed delivery by Christmas or it’s free!*

Save lots of green this Black Friday on SelectBlinds.com! Everything — and we mean EVERYTHING — sitewide is 50% off! Pull on those stretchy pants and stretch your blinds budget to the max with half off every beautiful blind, shade and custom window treatment we offer.

That means you get the best discounts and 2019 Black Friday deals on our best-selling cellular and honeycomb coveringsbamboo and woven woodsromansrollerssolar shades for indoors and outshuttersdesigner sheers, dazzling dual-roller zebra blindsclassic draperyfabric horizontalsall-aluminum minispanel tracks and verticals. Get smart and save on convenient motorized products that work with your Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and pair perfectly with specialty treatments for those hard-to-reach windows like skylights and arches.

Oh yeah. “Everything” includes FREE shipping, too! And with our FIT Guarantee, we guarantee you’ll feel better about buying your blinds online!

So after you’ve passed the gravy, be sure you don’t pass up on all the looks you’ll love and be proud to have hanging on every window in your home. Start stuffing your wallet with savings of 50% now on EVERY. SINGLE. PRODUCT. It’s the mega sales event of the year, so fill your belly and then fill your cart on SelectBlinds.com!!! 

START SAVING NOW!

*Get guaranteed delivery by Christmas or it’s free details here.

Shop Black Friday deals by feature, like popular top down bottom up (shown here in our Premier Bamboo Shade in Balsam), cordless and motorized lifts, and light filtering or blackout fabrics.

Black Friday / Cyber Monday Sale Tips

It’s turkey time again and you know what that means! Leftovers and our biggest and best Black Friday Sale EVAH! Whether shopping for new custom window treatments on SelectBlinds.com, or the latest tech gear or a new television on other sites, use these tips to save time and money and enjoy a safe online shopping experience throughout the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales weekend.

  1. Do your research. Check product and retailer reviews (like our 300,000+ 5-star reviews) before buying from a site. Study the day after Thanksgiving sales ads — online and print. (It’s the one time of the year when you want to actually look at all that “junk” mail you get!) Google “Black Friday websites” to find dozens of sites where you can sign up for deal alerts.
  2. Start filling your cart. Start a cart and save it so you’re ready to check out quickly when the deep discounts go into effect. Most sites keep carts from a couple of days to weeks before thinking you’ve abandoned them. If you’re thinking of shopping a new site, go ahead and set up an account to get in and out quicker over the holiday weekend.
  3. Sample, sample, sample! Order up to 15 FREE samples of anything on our site and we’ll give you our best Black Friday deal on any product order you place within 30 days of sampling! (It’s the sale that — almost — never ends!) That also gives you plenty of time to  start measuring your windows so you’re ready to fill your cart faster! Here’s how: 
  4. Use price and online coupon tools. Use retailer shopping apps to scan products and price-shop online. Beware of fake apps, though. Similar to phishing emails that look legit, there are lots of counterfeit apps that pop up in Apple’s App Store and Google Play looking to steal your credit card and other info. To be safe, download shopping apps from the company’s official website.
  5. Get social. Friends love to “share” great deals – and bogus bargains – so check your feeds frequently throughout the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend. Like or follow your favorite retailers (like Select Blinds!). When you do, many will reward you with special alerts on Black Friday discounts and incentives.
  6. Check price-match, shipping and return policies in advance. Read the fine print in the Black Friday ads. Some stores may suspend price-match guarantees on certain items for Black Friday sales. Pay special attention to shipping charges to make sure they don’t cancel out the great deal you’re getting. (Here on SelectBlinds, you get FREE shipping on everything, every size, every day!) Understand a site’s return and exchange policies to ensure you won’t be charged a restocking fee if you have to return something.
  7. Shop at home on secure sites you know. To keep your ID and information safe, it’s best to shop online from home. Avoid using hotspots and public WiFi networks. URLs for secure sites are often highlighted in green, or include a padlock symbol like this:SelectBlinds.com is a secure site.in the address bar. Look for URLs with “https” versus “http” (the “s” stands for “secure”). SelectBlinds.com is also secured by McAfee Secure software and is rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau.
  8. Use a secure payment method. To avoid the risk of fraudulent charges, shop on sites that only take secure payment methods (e.g., major credit cards or PayPal). And here’s a big tip: Use gift cards! They’re a smart way to shop online without having to provide any financial information.

Enter Our Blinds-Giving Sweepstakes for Chance at $1,000 in Free Blinds!

Who wouldn’t give thanks for a chance to win $1,000 in beautiful new custom window treatments from SelectBlinds.com? One lucky winner will do just that — and four second-place winners will receive $250 each in site credit — just by entering their name and email below in our Blinds-Giving Sweepstakes! Why shouldn’t it be you?!!

Enter as many times as you’d like now through December 6. Increase your number of entries and chances to win even more by sharing on your social pages. So what’ve you got to lose? Enter your name and email today! Winners will be notified by email. Good luck!*

*Click Rules below for complete sweepstakes details.

SelectBlinds.com Rated 1 of Best Online Shops by Newsweek

#sorrynotsorry, but we just have to brag a bit here. Found out the other day that we made Newsweek magazine’s list of Best Online Shops 2020!

#2, in fact, in the Home Living category and one of the Top 10 best shops overall.

Here’s how we made it.

Working with Statista (an online portal for statistics) and other online databases, directories and price comparison websites, Newsweek created a list of more than 9,500 online retailers in the United States where shoppers go for the best products, prices and service. After passing a number of tests based on 48 objective criteria and surveying more than 8,000 online shoppers on seven subjective criteria (e.g., “The homepage is very clear and well structured”), they narrowed the list down and ranked the top 1,000 shops across eight industries and 39 categories. The 1,000 online shops with the highest scores out of 10 (we got an 8.58!) were then awarded “Best Online Shops 2020.”

“Making the Newsweek list is a massive win for our company,” an elated Rick Steele, Select Blinds’ Master of Marketing and company co-founder, said. “Our goal is to make our customers happy, whatever it takes. Being rated one of the best online shops means we’re meeting — and surpassing — that goal.

Most people think buying new blinds is hard, but using our site it’s easy!” he continued. “We love that it gives our customers the confidence to do it themselves and create a home they’re proud of while saving time and money. And we love that Newsweek thinks so, too.”

Recognition by Newsweek and other independent third-parties is always exciting, but we get the biggest thrill from hearing directly from the customers who use our site. See for yourself why we’re rated one of the best online shops. Read some of their stories right here in our blog, or check out a few of the more than 300,000 5-star reviews we’ve gotten from happy customers to find out why you would be one, too.