Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History, So Let’s Misbehave this Month!

March is Women’s History Month and March 8, International Women’s Day. Let’s celebrate!

Black and white gallery image of women in history
Do you know these women? You can scroll through to find their names at the bottom while learning a little about the history of Women’s History Month along the way. Image credit: www.aacpl.net/women

They behaved badly and became innovators. Inventors. Engineers. Activists. Advocates. Soldiers. Scientists. Doctors. Politicians. Leaders of movements. Leaders of governments. Leaders of families.

With a list of achievements and accomplishments from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Talk about the mother of invention. Did you know you can thank women for being the brains behind almost everything from the plain brown paper bag to coffee filters to today’s disposable diapers? Not to mention rocket fuel and the foundation for GPS, WiFi and Bluetooth technologies? (Check out this list for more.)

That’s what Women’s History Month is all about: remembering and reminding us about the contributions of notable and ordinary women, in hopes that the day will soon come when it’s impossible to teach or learn history without them.

It’s remembering the historic heroines of the past, like Susan B. Anthony. Irena Sendler (the female counterpart to Oskar Schindler). Clara Barton. Harriet Tubman. Margaret Meade. Marie Curie. Ada Lovelace. Katherine Johnson. Miep Gies and Anne Frank. Rosa Parks. Dr. Virginia Apgar. Eleanor Roosevelt. Heddy Lamarr. Margaret Sanger.

And those still making history and a difference: Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Greta Thunberg. Malala Yousafzai. The first female captain in the New York Fire Department (now retired) Brenda Berkman. And Alice Lockridge, creator of Women4Women, an initiative to attract and train women in the male-dominated construction industry.

Image may contain: 2 people, eyeglasses, possible text that says 'MIEP GIES Hid Anne Frank and her family for two years in the Secret Annex during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands A might ty GIRL IIL KKMEI "But even an ordinary secretary or a housewife or a teenager can, within their own small ways, turn on a small light in a dark room."'
Image credit: A Mighty Girl

A little history on Women’s History Month

Since the beginning of history, women have shaped it. But recognition of their innumerous contributions has taken a little more time.

Women’s History Month has its roots in the socialist and labor movements. The first Women’s Day took place on February 28, 1909, in New York City, as a national observance organized by the Socialist Party. It honored the one-year anniversary of the garment worker’s strikes in New York when thousands of women marched for economic rights.

Within two years, Women’s Day had grown into an international observance that spread through Europe on the heels of socialism. The first International Women’s Day (IWD) was observed in 1911 to raise awareness of bias against and equality for women worldwide. The United Nations officially began marking IWD in 1975.

According to the National Women’s History Project, because history books largely left out the story or contributions of women in America, the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County (California) Commission on the Status of Women initiated a “Women’s History Week” celebration in 1978. Timed around IWD, the celebration quickly spread to other organizations, communities and school districts, and lobbying efforts for a national Women’s History Week got under way.

Former President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the first national Women’s History Week for March 2-8, 1980, as did his successor, President Reagan, until Congress passed a proclamation establishing Women’s History Month in 1987.

And the rest, as they say, is history. (For a more complete history lesson, read this.)

All of us here at SelectBlinds.com invite you to get inspired and celebrate Women’s History Month. Keep up with past, present and future history makers on two of our favorite blogs and women-focused websites:

A Mighty Girl is dedicated to inspiring stories, books, toys and movies about women and girls to help parents raise smart, confident and courageous daughters (and to help boys learn about them, too)

Women You Should Know features profiles of courageous women from history and all walks of life who have made a difference in the past and those who are shaping our future

Tell us, too, how you’re making history in a comment below.

A little more history: Internationally, the color purple, which signifies justice and dignity, is the color for symbolizing women. The combination of purple, green and white to symbolize women’s equality originated from the Women’s Social and Political Union in the U.K. in 1908. 

And for the curious, here are the identities of the women at the top of the page who helped and are helping to rewrite history:

Top row: Representative Shirley Chisholm, Anne Frank, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Katherine Johnson, Jane Goodall, Delores Huerta, Maya Lin, and Margaret Mead
Bottom row: Rigoberta Menchú, Rosa Parks, Sacagawea, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Junko Tabei, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, and Malala Yousafzai.

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.

Dirty Feet in Need of New 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.

Happy Kids Dance with New Shoes from Soles4Souls
 

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.

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.

Are You Cordless Compliant?

Photo Credit: Boston Children's Hospital

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

The Silent Killer Parents Don’t Know About

The Silent Killer Parents Don't Know About

Your home should be a safe haven for your entire family, but there’s a hidden danger that you see every day, and you don’t even realize it. It’s estimated that a child between 7 months and 10 years old dies from this hidden danger every month, and that’s not even counting the injuries.

The scariest part? It’s 100% preventable.

Window covering cords are a deathtrap.

The CPSC says they’re “…one of the top five hidden hazards in the home.” Cords seem harmless at first glance, but they’re anything but.

It doesn’t take much for a child to wrap the cord around his neck or a limb. They are the silent killer. You could even be in the same room and not realize what was happening. Once that cord gets around his neck, he can’t call for help. Sometimes parents don’t even realize it’s happening until it’s too late.

Don’t let that be you and your child.

Step One – Awareness

Be aware of your child's surroundings

Awareness is the first step to keeping your child safe. Part of that is getting rid of corded window coverings altogether. Even simple safety devices, like cord cleats, aren’t enough to protect your child. They can still get tangled in the wrapped cords.

Step Two – Be on the Lookout

Be on the lookout for danger

Unfortunately, that’s not where it ends. It goes beyond that. Your children may be safe at home, but that doesn’t mean they’re safe anywhere. Window coverings are everywhere – in nearly every home and building. Before you let your child go play at a friend’s house or stay the night and grandma’s house, make sure you first understand the hidden dangers there, too.

Step Three – Go Cordless

Go Cordless

Since foregoing window coverings altogether would mean privacy issues for your entire family, cordless window coverings are the safest option, period. Despite the continued safety concerns, corded blinds flood the market and most consumers don’t know how easy it is to go cordless. Cordless options are readily available and affordable for anyone wanting to make their homes safer.

The truth is that a corded window covering – no matter how affordable or how beautiful – is not worth the threat it poses to your children. There’s nothing to lose when switching to cordless, and everything to gain, including peace of mind. And that’s priceless.

To learn more about the danger of window covering cords and how to keep your children safe, please click here.

The Dangerous Truth of Corded Window Coverings & How We’re Changing the World

Go Cordless and keep your family safe.

Did you know that one child every month dies from window covering cord strangulation? And that’s not counting those who are injured or those injuries and close-calls that aren’t even reported. And did you know that these types of deaths are silent deaths? Even if it’s happening in the next room, you might not know until it’s too late, until the damage has already been done, until you’ve lost your child.

Take a moment and think. How many windows do you have in your house? And how many of those windows have some kind of covering on them?

My Own House

I live in a decent-sized house, and it sports 25 or so windows with coverings. I’d like to believe that I was involved in the decision-making process when choosing them, but really that just makes me feel better about the fact that I was only involved in the paying part.

When it was all said and done, my wife and I had a good mixture of treatments on our windows. Because my house wasn’t a new construction, we left some up that came with the house. And that’s when I started comparing corded versus cordless coverings for windows.

Out of 25 treatments, only 3 of them had a corded lift system – all of them roman shades. Two I intentionally designed that way and the other was from the stack of returns SelectBlinds.com had received. After all, I wanted something for my man cave, and my only criterion was the size of the treatment. And if you were to come to my house, you’d agree that it’s the ugliest shade in the whole house, by a long shot.

Dangling lift cords visually unappealing, but they're also unsafe.

Needless to say, these are my least favorite treatments in the house. Not only are the dangling lift cords visually unappealing, but they’re also unsafe. Even though this shade and all the coverings for windows sold by my company, SelectBlinds.com, prior to April 1st, 2016 were CPSC compliant with safety regulations, you can see how they still posed a threat to young children. The cords are knotted every six or seven inches, which is meant to make it impossible for a child or pet to get entangled, but it can lead to strangulation or even suffocation.

Even though I have no small children in my house, these tangled cords remind me of a noose. And that’s exactly what it could become, and what it has become for many families over the years.

Making a Difference

The safety regulations are meant to keep kids safe, but obviously the current regulations aren’t the right ones. These corded shades are coming off of my window and they have come off of SelectBlinds.com as well.

We’ve known for a while that we needed to do more, and so we did:

1. We offer the most free cordless options in the industry.

2. Our free cord cleat program is open to everyone, not just customers. Cord cleats are small parts that window covering cords can be wrapped around. This keeps cords out of the reach of children and pets. After all, we understand that not everyone can upgrade their current coverings to cordless ones. People just have to request them through our site, and they’re sent free of charge, no strings attached. Even so, a cordless lift system is the only 100% safe option. No cords = safe children.

And yet, we still felt the need to make more of a difference, to save more lives. And so…

At Select Blinds, 2016 is the year of cordless.

So why do all this? Why do it when it will cost us a lot of money, time, and resources?

Because it’s the right thing to do. Simple as that.

We’ve cut the cord!

Safe Kids Day Event Photos

We’ve teamed up with Safe Kids Day and Safe Kids Worldwide to promote child safety. It doesn’t take much to make your home child-safe, and it can start with your corded window coverings.

Well-known designer, Carriann Johnson, was our spokesperson for the Safe Kids Day event in Los Angeles. She talked about general child safety, and even discussed our no-cost cord cleat program. Cord cleats allow you to wrap up dangling and dangerous window covering cords, keeping them out of the hands of little ones. Cordless window coverings are the safest choice, but if you do have corded blinds and you can’t upgrade to cordless right now, you can use cord cleats to make your home safer.

Do you need cord cleats? We’ll send them to you for free. Simply fill out this form. Every life is precious, and we are doing what we can to protect children everywhere. To read even more about our free cord cleat program, read this press release.

Take a look at some of the pictures of Carriann at the Safe Kids Day event:

Carriann helps promote Safe Kids Day

SelectBlinds.com promotes Safe Kids Day

Cordless is key in keeping your children safe

Superman loves SelectBlinds.com window coverings

Safe Kids Day was a hit

SelectBlinds.com was proud to help!

Thank you to all the sponsors for making today great

Charlene Jimenez

SelectBlinds.com Reviews – Why This Company is Great to Work For

Work is work, right? Another day, another dollar. Let’s face it, there are very few people that can actually claim that they love their jobs and the company that they work for. I have to admit though, after coming to work at Select Blinds, it is refreshing to work for a company that actually cares about their customer and people as a whole.

As a retailer, the company can boast about their new Google Trusted Store “A” rating for reliability and excellent service, or their Better Business Bureau accreditation and A+ rating. But really, when I am shopping online for products, I am not always interested in what the “company” is saying about themselves. What sets Select Blinds apart from other custom window covering companies is the amount of positive 3rd party reviews that the company has collected over the years from ACTUAL customers, who are excited enough about their purchase to take the time to write a helpful review for other people looking to make the same purchase.

SelectBlinds.com reviews are 5 stars

SelectBlinds.com really is the highest rated and most reviewed blinds company in America. It is obvious online when you look at websites like:

Google Checkout (over 5,250 reviews!) “Awesome! Their service was quick and efficient. Even when I had mismeasured and called to correct my order, they were very courteous.”

Reseller Ratings (over 3,500 reviews!) “Great looking, easy to install, directions to measure were spot on.”

Nextag (over 1,350 reviews!) “Expected good for the price. GOT outstanding for the price!”

After working closely with our customer service team, I can see why the site has gotten such great reviews. Of course the company is proud of their high quality products, but the best sign of a good company is the happiness of their customers. So, while it may be a job.. and WORK.. watching the attention and care that is given to site visitors and customers makes me feel like I am doing something valuable. And I appreciate that!