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.

Wirecutter Picks Best of the Blackout Shades

Select Blinds Signature Cordless Blackout Shade from SelectBlinds.com

In the dark about picking the best blackout shade? Wirecutter sheds some serious light on that question in a new guide published earlier this week.

Curators and creators of “best of” lists for everyday items people shop for, Wirecutter journalists spent 25 hours on research, interviewed five industry experts and tested 12 models to find the best blackout blind for you. Their conclusion? (Drum roll, please.) Our very own Select Blinds Signature Cordless Blackout Shade!

Select Blinds Signature Cordless Blackout Shade from SelectBlinds.com

“We like cellular shades because they look good, effectively block light, and are easy to install. Our panel unanimously agreed that the Select Blinds Signature Cordless Blackout Shade is the one they’d most like in their homes,” writes Wirecutter’s Jack Smith. “The polyester shade looks and feels noticeably better in quality than other shades we considered. Among the shades we tested, it has one of the widest selections of sizes and colors, and it’s covered by a three-year warranty, the longest of any model we considered.

“If you’re interested in a version of our pick that offers additional insulation and durability, you might consider getting the Select Double Cell Blackout Shade. And if you’re looking for a shade that combines traditional and blackout shade functionality, consider the top-down bottom-up Premium Light Filtering/Blackout Cordless Shade.”

Read Wirecutter’s complete guide here. If you need any more help in choosing a room darkening or blackout shade, check out our own Buying Guides for bedroom and home theater window coverings.

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!