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 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.

Are You Cordless Compliant?

Injuries and death from window blind cords send two kids to the ER each day.*

That’s why, in January of this year, the Window Covering Manufacturers Association announced the approval of a new industry standard to require all “stock” window blinds and shades be cordless or have inaccessible cords. The new mandate, which goes into effect in the U.S. and Canada on December 15, applies to pre-made blinds purchased in stores or online. (Corded blinds will still be available in custom products.)

Select Blinds has been ahead of the cordless curve since 2014 when it became the first retailer to offer a cordless version of every product it sold. Today, over half of all window treatments purchased by our customers are cordless. As a major proponent and supporter of the #gocordless movement, child safety is at the forefront of everything we do. As you shop on Selectblinds.com, if you select a corded or non-compliant product, you’ll be prompted with the following message:

Warning! Corded lift features are not covered under or deemed Best For Kids. Any accessible cords pose strangulation hazards to children and pets. Please choose cordless lift systems in homes where children and pets will be present.

Are you doing everything you can to protect them from the danger of strangulation and other injuries inherent in loose and exposed cords? October is National Window Covering Safety month, and we’re encouraging anyone with young children (2- to 4-year olds are most at risk) and pets in the home to take our Cordless Challenge.  Here’s how:

  1. Replace all corded products with cordless coverings as your budget allows. Start with rooms where your children spend most of their time.
  2. Move cribs and other furniture children can climb up on away from windows, window coverings, etc.
  3. Keep all cords out of reach of children. Cut cords short or wrap them around a cord cleat.
  4. Do not tie cords together! This creates a new loop in which a child could become entangled.
  5. Anchor cords for continuous cord loop options.
  6. Make sure you lock cords on window treatments to prevent them from falling.
  7. Corded window treatments purchased before 2001 should be replaced or equipped with a retrofit kit to reduce potential strangulation risks.

Check out our free  Buyer Guide for kid-friendly coverings for more information on cordless safety, and remember: cords and kids don’t mix!

Premier 2 inch Light Filtering Cellular Shades in baby room

Select Blinds is proud to offer cordless lift options on every product, including our Premier 2″ Light Filtering Cellular Shades.

*USA TODAY NETWORK Mary Bowerman, USA TODAY Network Published 12:13 p.m. ET Dec. 11, 2017

Happy National Coffee Day!

How did you spend National Coffee Day?

Share a picture of your favorite mug with us on Facebook!

It's National Coffee Day!Nothing, per one of the most popular memes ever, gets done before coffee. Consider: 31% of coffee drinkers make coffee the most important part of their morning, brewing a cup first before any other morning behavior or activity. Coffee is such an important part of most peoples’ daily routine that, according to Huffpost:

  • 55% of coffee drinkers would rather gain 10 pounds than give up coffee for life.
  • 52% of coffee drinkers would rather go without a shower in the morning than give up coffee.
  • 49% of coffee drinkers would rather give up their cell phone for a month than go without coffee.

And while 75% of the caffeine consumed here in the U.S. comes from coffee and the average American spends about $1092 on it each year, we are not the world’s leading coffee consumers.  The “Coffee per Capita of the World” title goes to … Finland! (We don’t even crack the Top 10, landing at #25 on the list of top coffee-consuming nations.)

But  today is not the Fins day to celebrate. Saturday, September 29 is National Coffee Day here in the USA, and celebrate we will with great National Coffee Day Deals at favorites like Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts and Peet’s. And be sure to look for that “Hot Donuts” sign for special coffee-glazed doughnuts at Krispy Kreme!

Celebrate, too, with one of the hottest home design trends — the coffee bar! From converted bar carts to custom built-ins, design magazines and Pinterest are percolating with DIY and other ideas for creating your own personal corner cafe.  Looking for a fun project this weekend? Get brewing with some of these ideas!

 

Photo credit: Chelsea Mohran

This cute coffee cart gives Chelsea Mohran  extra storage space while organizing all her coffee essentials for easy access. Love how she’s staged it with fresh florals, too.

Photo credit: Style Me Pretty with Harwell Photography

A simple rolling bar cart makes an elegant way to take your coffee wherever and however you want it. Post from Style Me Pretty with Harwell Photography.

Photo credit: @mrscarlissa

Everyone needs coffee … and cake. And dancing in the kitchen. @mrscarlissa really knows how to perk up a bland corner cabinet.

Photo credit: A Beautiful Mess

So I have to say I’m kinda obsessed with the photo wall behind Elsie’s restyled cafe cart. But I also love how she turned this flea market find into a space-saving service area (note the Thermoses on the bottom) in her very small kitchen.

Photo credit: Carrie Waller with Dream Green DIY

This colorful coffee station has it all! Carrie Waller created this IKEA hack to display her collection of colorful mugs and cookware. Especially love the little shelf for Keurig cups.

As a dramatic backdrop, keep the coffee theme going with a new window covering in a rich, bold java-inspired color. Try a sip of our Designer Series Blackout Roller Shades in Cafe au Lait (shown below on the left) or Mochaccino, or treat yourself to an Espresso in our 2″ Select Classic Basswood Wood Blinds. We think you’ll love them a latte!

 

P.S. This weekend is your last chance to enjoy September Wood Blinds Savings and get an extra 5% off any of our wood blinds!

Ask Customer Service! Top 6 FAQs About Buying Blinds Online

SelectBlinds.com puts customers first!

We recently polled our Customer Loyalty team to find out what were the most FAQs they received from you, our customers. (And no, “What is covfefe,” one of the top 10 questions people Googled last year, wasn’t one of them. Still no definitive answer to that one, but Google’s working on it.)

Here are their answers.

1. Why does it take so long to make/get my blinds?

Because we want to make sure it’s made right … the first time! All of our products are custom made to custom fit each and every window. Every order is manufactured based on your exact specifications, from size to color, to type of lift system and accessories. Since we don’t make them with 3D printers (yet), production times also vary depending on the individual product. Shutters, for instance, have much longer production times than say, a roller shade, due to the highly variable configurations, louver sizes and other custom features you have the option to select.

Even with such attention to detail, one of the biggest benefits of buying custom blinds online instead of from pricier in-home design stores and services is that they can still be ordered, made and delivered in just days or a few weeks vs. several weeks to months. (Doing it yourself cuts out the time-consuming and costly middleman.) One of the coolest features on our site is the ability to filter products by “Production Time,” so you can see immediately which products are available to meet your timeline. Each product page also includes a “Shipping & Production” tab with more details. We also keep you up to date on the production and delivery of your order via email, and you can track the status of your order anytime online. And rest assured that everything we custom make for you is covered by our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, so that if we do make a mistake (everyone has their “oops” moments), we’ll make it right!

2. Are blinds and shades easy to install? Can I really do it myself?

Yes! If you can hang a picture, you can hang your own window coverings. With most products, it’s really that easy. (Just ask one of our Happy Customers, Sarah S., who hung 17 (count ’em!) of our 2″ Premium Faux Woods in <4 hours!!!) All it takes in most cases is screwing in a couple of brackets and popping in the headrail. Every product comes with printed instructions and all the mounting hardware you need (you supply the screwdriver). You can also find individual product installation guides on each product page under the “Measure & Install” tab, or on our “How to Install” page.  And if you get stuck or have a problem, we won’t leave you hanging. Just give one of our expert Customer Loyalty Team members a call, and they’ll talk you through it, step by step.

Yes, you can hang most shades and blinds, like our fab Select 2-1/2″ Fabric Light Filtering blinds, by yourself in just minutes.

3. Why should I order samples?

Why not? They’re:

  1. Free!
  2. Cut from the same cloth (literally) that the actual product is
  3. Easy to compare differences in fabrics, colors and styles (we’ll send you up to 15 free samples at a time — more than any other online company — and even ship them to you for free!)
  4. Your “color guarantee” that you’re getting the color you want and think you’re seeing (colors can look a lot different on a monitor or smartphone)
  5. Great for sharing with friends and family to get their opinion (which you can feel free to ignore)
  6. Oh, and (since this is a Top 6 list) did we mention FREE??

And here’s another thing about sampling before you order online. Dye lots frequently change, so there may be slight differences in the same color. To be on the safe side, if it’s been a month or so since you got your samples, we recommend getting another sample of the same color before you actually order to make sure the carpet still matches the drapes (so to speak).

4. How do I measure for two or three blinds in one window?

Hanging two or three blinds on one headrail is a great option for covering a big window. Just follow the simple, step-by-step instructions in our online Tech Tip guide, How to Measure for Installing Two Separate Blinds in One Window. Many styles, including wood, faux wood, mini and fabric blinds, are available in extreme widths. They can are also be ordered with a shared valance to seamlessly tie them together into one super stylish treatment. For other ideas on how to cover large windows, check out our aptly named Buying Guide for large windows. And if you really want to take it to the extreme, quickly narrow your search for extra wide blinds on SelectBlinds.com by checking the “Extreme Widths” refine-by box on our category pages.

 5. What are faux wood blinds made of and how are they different than real wood?

Ain’t nothin’ like the real thing, baby! But faux woods come real close. Most faux wood products are made from durable PVC vinyl, so they’re more resistant to moisture, heat, humidity and scratches than their real-wood counterparts. And with UV ratings as high as 500, they won’t warp or fade either, so they last for years. But the biggest difference and benefit? Getting the look of real wood window treatments for a whole lot less. Many are even imprinted with a wood grain-like finish, so it’s hard to tell the forest from the trees when compared to their wooden window covering cousins.

6. How does a top down bottom up shade work?

What goes up must come down. That’s kind of the idea behind how top down bottom up shades work. These wildly popular window treatments give you the ultimate in light and privacy control, with the ability to raise, lower and position your shades wherever you need them using dual-action top and bottom rails. Simply pull down on either rail to lower the shade and pull up to raise it. Top down bottom up lifts are available in a variety of styles, too, including cellular, roman, bamboo/woven wood and pleated shades.

Any other questions? Call, email, or click the chat button on any page to contact one of our knowledgeable Customer Loyalty Team members. Or leave a comment here.

Fun Facts About Father’s Day

Stop me if you’ve heard these before.

It’s Father’s Day weekend and what better time to throw out a few legendary Lame Dad Jokes. (Seriously. Somebody should throw these out.)

When a dad drives past a cow pasture: LOOK! That cow is OUT-STANDING in his field!

MOM: “How do I look?” DAD: “With your eyes.”

CASHIER: “Would you like the milk in a bag, sir?” DAD: “No, just leave it in the carton!”

Not only have lame dad jokes become a real “thing” (just Google for plenty more), here are some other fun facts about how we came to celebrate dad’s day every third Sunday in June.

Historical Timeline

Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington, is credited with starting Father’s Day after hearing a sermon on Mother’s Day while attending church with her father.

Dodd wanted to honor her father, William Jackson Smart, a Civil War veteran who raised six children after his wife died during childbirth. The first official Father’s Day was celebrated in Spokane on June 19, 1910. Since then:

1924 – President Calvin Coolidge publicly supports plans for a national Father’s Day.

1966 – President Lyndon Johnson signs a proclamation calling for Father’s Day to be celebrated on the third Sunday of June.

1972 – President Richard Nixon signs into law a permanent recognition of Father’s Day.

Dad’s Day by the Numbers

According to the U.S. Census Bureau:

70.1 million — Estimated number of fathers across the nation in 2008, the most recent year for which data are available.

24.7 million — Number of fathers who were part of married-couple families with children younger than 18 in 2014.

1.9 million — Number of single fathers in 2014; 16 percent of single parents were men.

211,000 — Estimated number of stay-at-home dads in 2014.

According to Hallmark, Father’s Day is the fourth-largest card-sending occasion, with 72 million cards given every year. 50% of all Father’s Day cards are purchased for fathers, and almost 20% are given to husbands.

Dad’s Day Gift Ideas

Besides a card, what do you plan on giving the dads in your life? Check out these 13 Insanely Cool Father’s Day Gift Ideas we found.

Dads always like a good deal, too, so check out the insanely cool sale we have going on this weekend. This is no lame dad joke, just serious savings of 40% PLUS extra BOGO 50% off EVERYTHING on our site, now through Sunday, June 17, 2018! (And did we mention free shipping on everything, too?) Happy Father’s Day!

A dad hanging curtains in the 1950's!

Our 2018 Mega Memorial Day Weekend Sale Has Begun!

SelectBlinds.com Window Blinds and Shades Memorial Day Weekend Sale 2018

Why wait for the weekend? We’re so excited about starting one of our best memorial day sales EVER that we’re getting the party started early! Beat the holiday traffic and start saving NOW on our best-selling custom window blinds, window shades, shutters and drapery. Save  45%  on EVERYTHING, and take another 15% off any product on our site.

It’s the mother of all 2018 Memorial Day Weekend Sales, with special daily deals, too, and plenty of time to get free samples before you buy. So save the weekend to relax and start shopping now at Selectblinds.com!

2018 Memorial Day Sale - SelectBlinds.com

Catching Up with Select Blinds

How is it March already???!!! 2018 is flying by faster than we can keep up, so to help you keep up, here’s a quick round-up of recent happenings at SelectBlinds.com. Check out hot new products you might’ve missed, trending topics on window fashions, who we’ve been following for inspo, and where you can see your favorite Select Blinds and shades up close and personal!

Announcing The Blinds Ambition Tour

Maricopa Home and Garden Show 2018 - SelectBlinds.com

Come see Brady Scholes and our other window design experts for free demonstrations on how to install and operate our most popular treatments!

Coming to a home and garden show near you! SelectBlinds.com kicked off its new traveling road show last weekend in Phoenix at the Maricopa Home and Garden Show. Throughout 2018, we’ll be criss-crossing the country with our custom-designed booth, showcasing our latest and most popular products. Stop by to chat with one of our window design experts and your chance to win $250 in free window coverings! Here’s where you can find us over the next month:

Maricopa Home and Garden Show 2018 - SelectBlinds.com

SelectBlinds.com Home and Garden Booth 2018

Check our Facebook page and here on The Blinds Spot for updates to our show schedule.

Trending TV

Hose me down! A selfless firefighter jumps at the chance to give his fire station a sleek, new look — featuring our cordless 2″ Designer Faux Wood blinds in Chestnut — for a community fundraiser on the final episode (8) of the 2018 recasted Queer Eye, season 1.

#woodonwood #fantasticframe #5alarmdesign

New Products

Have you seen these yet?Inspired by fashion, architecture and art, our new Designer Roller Shade Collections I & II house the high-end design you’re dreaming of.

Designer Roller Shade Collection I from SelectBlinds.com
Looking for a shade with a little glitz and glamour? Try Vivian from our Designer Roller Shade Collection I (shown here with optional fabric cassette insert).
Designer Roller Collection II from SelectBlinds.com
Customize our Ruby Designer Roller from Collection II with the Ultimate Headrail, Bottomrail & Hardware package in Chrome.

 

If you’re looking for that special pop of solid color to add to a room, pop on over to our new Fashion Color Collection Light Filtering and Blackout roller shades. We have nearly 50 fresh, bold colors to choose from, and they’re all available with an upgraded motorized lift option! Sweet!

Fashion Color Blackouts from SelectBlinds.com
Looking for a shade with a little glitz and glamour? Try Vivian from our Designer Roller Shade Collection I (shown here with optional fabric cassette insert).
Fashion Color Light Filtering from SelectBlinds.com
Mighty Mint Fashion Color Light Filtering Roller Shades make a mighty big impact!

 

Following!

The following is brought to you by some fave new designers and bloggers we’ve discovered. You’re welcome.

@mrscarlissa's Kitchen Photo
@coco.kelley Beautiful Photo
@amberinteriors Bathroom Photo
@hanas_home Walk-In Closet

 

Top left: We think all kitchens should be made for dancing, just like @mrscarlissa’s. Top right: We picked these pretty peonies from @coco.kelley. Bottom left: This bathroom @amberinteriors! Bottom right: We’d never walk out of this fabulously feminine and functional walk-in closet @hanas_home.

Video Views

Break out the popcorn. Not to be outdone by Sunday’s Oscars, here are a couple new releases you can binge on.

 

Get that whole-home custom look with gorgeous new Select Fabric By the Yard and Designer Fabric By the Yard from Select Blinds! Create custom accents like throw pillows or slipcovers to match your drapes and window shades with our affordable selection of fabulous fabrics.

 

 

Our versatile Premier Single Cell Blackout shades are a designer’s dream! Watch now to see how these energy efficient, HOA-approved honeycomb/cellular window shades warm up your interiors while blocking 99% of harmful UV rays.

 

Hot Hardware

Picking the color and fabric for your window treatments is just half the fun. Picking the hardware to hang them is usually an after thought, but take a look at some of these insanely creative trends in window treatment hardware to crank up the fun factor.

Trends in window treatment hardware

 

Elect Great Savings This Presidents’ Day Weekend!

 

Honest, Abe. We cannot tell a lie. The truth is we’re giving you 45% + an EXTRA 15% OFF every one of our already ridiculously low prices on window blinds and shades during our 2018 Presidents’ Day Sale this weekend, Saturday, February 16 thru Monday, February 19.

Save a lot more than a few Washingtons on everything on our site, along with additional price slashes and free upgrades on select Roman shades. So for scores on your favorite window treatments, treat yourself to some time this holiday weekend on SelectBlinds.com!