Go West, Young Men! The Road Show Continues

This leg of our trip was one of the longest but also one of the most beautiful. Coming from North Texas, we set off to Portland, Oregon, for the House & Outdoor Living Show. We knew it was going to be an adventure driving through the Rockies, so we decided to space it out over a few days. Traveling through states like Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, you get to see just how wondrous and awe-inspiring the natural landscape can be.

Colorado Mountains Behind A Farm Under Blue Sky

We navigated through all the high altitudes and successfully arrived in Portland on Tuesday night. Wednesday morning we drove down to the venue and hoped for the best weather-wise. After all, it is the North West…it rains. A lot. But luckily for us, it only misted a little during load-in. *Whew.*

Portland people are rad. We met so many great folks and had some awesome conversations from perspective new customers, as well as loyal existing customers. Like Katherine.

Katherine is a Select Blinds enthusiast who stopped by with her daughter, Emily, to say hi and tell us all about her experience shopping for Classic Cordless Blackout Shades:

“The process was so easy. I just measured the inside of my windows, we ordered them online, and they were shipped to the house with no problems.” 

Customer holds daughter in Select Blinds booth

It was great meeting loyal SB customer Katherine and daughter Emily at the Portland House & Outdoor Living Show in April. Thanks for stopping by, ladies!

After an incredible weekend in Portland we headed down to sunny Southern California for the Anaheim show. This venue had an interesting location because it was right across the street from Disneyland! Admission to the show (not Disneyland, unfortunately) was free, so we had a lot of foot traffic from walk-in attendees. 

One couple we met there, John and Tammy, had recently replaced all the windows in their home. They were trying to figure out what would work best with the new moulding around the windows. Because there’s limited depth, we recommended an outside mount. They were drawn to the Premier Woven Wood Shades because they wanted something that would look charming and tasteful.

SelectBlinds.com Premier Woven Woods in Room

Our charming Premier Woven Woods were a customer favorite at the Orange County Home & Garden Show in Anaheim last month.

We had such a blast on the West Coast! Stay tuned for our next post on the Maricopa County Home & Garden Show at WestWorld in Scottsdale. Don’t forget to follow all of our adventures on Instagram @selectblinds_roadsquad.

See ya on the road!

Select Blinds Road Squad: Keeping Texas Weird!

In today’s installment of the Continuing Saga of the Select Blinds Road Squad, we travel to two home shows in Texas, where everything is bigger — and things got, well, pretty weird.

We arrived in Austin Wednesday night so we’d be ready to go for load-in Thursday morning at the Austin Spring Home & Garden Show. Our normal routine. Thursday morning we’re up and moving with at least half an hour to spare. After taking a loop around the venue, we found our entrance and drove in.

Austin Texas Graffiti on White Brick Wall

Load-in at these events is a wacky process. Lots of people and vehicles moving in and out of an already congested area. We found a place to park our vessel, hopped out of the truck and headed to the back of the trailer to unload our booth. So far, everything seemed normal. But when we unlocked the padlocks and tried to pull on the door of our chariot, it gets stuck and won’t open.

If we can’t get this door open, we won’t have a booth at the show. Our only hope is to find a local trailer repair shop and see if they can work a miracle.

Miraculously, we found one just a few miles from the venue. The good news is that it’s early enough in the day that they can see us right away. The bad news is that they’re gonna need to keep the trailer through the weekend to fix the damage and get it open.

SelectBlinds.com Trailer Gate Being Repaired by Man on Ladder

We were disappointed for sure, but also more determined than ever to find a way to still exhibit at the show — booth or no booth. We paid for the space, so let’s use what we got. Renting a table and a couple chairs from the venue ended up being our makeshift solution to a weird snag. And even though we didn’t have our normal set up, we still met some wonderful people and got to hear about some of the projects they were working on.

SelectBlinds.com Road Squad at Home and Garden Show with Makeshift Booth

Like Karen, who has a second home in Florida where she’s putting in new windows. She told us she needs window coverings for the entire house. The view of the water is important to her, but she needs to get rid of the sun’s glare. We suggested the Classic Sheer Weave 5% Solar Shades! They provide a room-darkening effect, while letting Karen keep her waterfront view.

SelectBlinds.com 5% Transparency Solar Shades in Black

Monday we picked up the trailer from the repair shop. With a functional door again, we journeyed onward almost 300 miles to Frisco for our next Texas home and garden show. The Frisco show was our easiest load-in yet. It’s amazing how smoothly things can go when everyone communicates and gets on the same page. And the door of your trailer doesn’t get stuck.

The weekend was filled with wonderful interactions. Some of the characters we met were out of this world.

SelectBlinds.com at Frisco Home Show

We also met a local contractor named Alex who’s been a loyal SelectBlinds.com customer for more than seven years. He told us he’s used our products in more than 15 projects. He likes the high quality, how stellar the service is, and how we offer competitive pricing. “I don’t want to pay the markup from the other guy,” he says. We couldn’t agree more, Alex!

Thank you for a wacky time, Texas! This leg of our journey is over, but we hope to be back soon. Next, we’re bound for Portland, Oregon for the House & Outdoor Living show, April 12-14 at the Oregon Convention Center. Keep up with us along the way on Instagram @selectblinds_roadsquad for more adventures from the road!

Blue Sky Behind flying Texas State Flag

Select Blinds Road Squad Conquers Cockroaches & 200 Window Coverings

Things are heating up here on the road! Literally. After a fantastic show in Atlanta, Georgia last month, the road squad headed down to sunny South Florida for the West Palm Beach home show! The show itself was by far the warmest we’ve been to, with near perfect temperatures in the 80s the whole weekend. But even with wonderful weather, there’s always room for something to go wrong.

Palm tree against blue Florida sky

So the thing about traveling is that you need to plan everything in advance. Or at least you should. Especially when it comes to booking hotels. If you don’t book ahead, it can be slim pickings when you finally arrive at your destination. We ended up making a reservation at an older looking motel according to Google Maps. But it was close to the show venue, so we took a gamble and booked the rooms. Well, boy were we in for a surprise.

The “motel” was actually an old converted apartment complex from the 1980s that made the Bates Motel seem cozy. None of the furniture matched and it didn’t feel dirty per se, but it definitely wasn’t clean either. Everything felt like it had this everlasting layer of grime that just couldn’t be scrubbed away. Oh, and each room came with roommates…of the cockroach and ant variety. We could only stay there one night. Luckily the next morning we found a real hotel a few miles further away, but safe from the likes of Freddy Krueger or Jason Vorhees.

We got the booth up Thursday and were all ready to go for the first day of the show on Friday. One thing we do at these shows is give out special promo codes as a way to say thank you for being at the show with us. But right as the show was to start, we realized we left the promo stickers at the hotel! Luckily we had taken a Lyft to the venue and the same driver who took us there, was still in the parking lot. Maria Isabel was amazing. She only spoke Spanish, so I had to muster all the entry-level Spanish I could remember from school and explain, with a little help from Google Translate, that I’d forgotten something at the hotel and needed to go back and get it…con rapidez. We rushed back to the motel almost 30 miles away, retrieved the stickers, and made it back to the expo center in under an hour. Mucho gracias and mad props to Maria! 🙌

South Florida Fairgrounds Expo Center sign daytime

Over the weekend we met so many great people! A lot of the attendees knew us by name, which was so cool…and a little surreal. People like Gary. He has a dance studio he wanted to outfit with all new window coverings. With 200 windows to cover, he was looking for something easy to control, something motorized he can set on a timer. We landed on the Select Classic Light Filtering Roller Shades to give his dancers privacy while still allowing natural light to come through.

Select Blinds Classic Light Filtering Roller Shades in White

From Florida we headed to two shows in Texas, including the upcoming Greater Frisco Home & Garden Show, located in the Ford Center at The Star, March 29-31. Remember to follow our journey on Facebook and Instagram @selectblinds_roadsquad for all updates from the road! 

Select Blinds truck and trailer in front of palm trees in Florida

Road Squad, Radio & Rookie of the Year

Hey everyone! The Select Blinds Road Squad has been going strong since January. We had a great time at the Maricopa Home & Garden Show earlier this month on our home turf in Arizona!

Jamie Y. of Select Blinds talks on couch in booth Atlanta home and garden show

Last week we hit the open road en route to Georgia for the North Atlanta Home Show.

We knew it would take over 30 hours of driving to get from Arizona to Georgia, so we decided to break up our 2,000 mile journey into a 4-day excursion with three stops along the way before getting to Atlanta.

Road map from California to Florida

Our first stop was Albuquerque, New Mexico. When driving long distances, it’s important to have a variety of listening material. We started out every morning with some new oldies from one of our favorite groups, Weezer. The Teal Album is a collection of cover songs from the 1970s-1990s, and it quickly became our anthem during those first few hours on the road.

Weezers teal album cover songs

But music alone can become monotonous. So we decided to expand our listening horizons with some podcasts. We’ve been fans of Conan O’Brien for years, from his time as a writer on “The Simpsons,” and “Saturday Night Live,” to his talk shows on NBC and TBS. His podcast, Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend is great, because he’s able to have more in-depth conversations with celebrities and guests he’s had on his show in the past. The format is fun, and he even turns his sponsorship/ads into an entire segment called “Conan pays off the mortgage on his beach house”.  Super funny. 

Conan O'Brien Needs A Friend Team Coco Podcast

From Albuquerque we ventured onward to our second stop, Oklahoma City. Taking the I-40 across the flatlands of Texas and Oklahoma, we needed something to keep us entertained. Sticking to the same comedic trajectory we were on, the next podcast we enlisted to keep us awake was Small Doses with Amanda Seales. Her podcast, just like her stand-up special, drops truth bombs in a clever, funny way that makes you think outside of your own perspective.

Interstate 40 Road Sign in Desert with Blue Sky

Amanda Seales podcast Small Doses cover image

Our next stop was in Memphis, Tennessee. This town has such a rich musical history that we couldn’t help but stop by the stomping grounds of The King of Rock ‘n Roll, Elvis Presley’s Graceland Mansion. It was surreal to see where this rock god once roamed.

Elvis Presley's Graceland Mansion Front

We finally arrived in Atlanta on February 7 to set up for the show, only to find that there wasn’t a proper loading dock for us to unload our trailer. Luckily we got there early, and the show managers were gracious enough to let us load in from the front entrance. Rolling those heavy racks that hold our booth over carpet proved to be no easy task. But we managed to get them where they needed to be and set up the booth in just under two hours.

Select Blinds Home and Garden Show Booth Before Setup Atlanta Georgia 2019

I’d argue that the North Atlanta Home Show was our best show yet! We were even awarded Rookie of the year 2019, for having one of the best booths at the show!

SelectBlinds wins Rookie of the Year award for booth and ATL Home and Garden Show

We hit the road again next week for the West Palm Beach Spring Home Show February 22-24 at the South Florida Expo Center at The South Florida Fairgrounds.

Stay tuned for updates as we journey onward! Follow us on Instagram @selectblinds_roadsquad to ride along and share all of our adventures!

The RoadSquad Visits San Diego

Hey everyone! David here from the SelectBlinds RoadSquad! It’s a new year and that means we’re on the road again, hittin’ up this season’s hottest home and garden shows. We had a blast in San Diego last weekend, where we got to meet and know so many great people! And we’re looking forward to meeting more of you this weekend at the Maricopa County Home & Garden Show in Phoenix!  Here’s a little recap of our first week on the road and a behind-the-scenes look at what you’ll find when you get there.

DRIVE SMARTER NOT HARDER

SelectBlinds Home and Garden Show Traveling Trailer

Jamie and David prepare for their first Home and Garden Show of 2019, in San Diego, CA.

So we drive to these shows, right? And the thing about long road trips is that you’re sorta stuck in the ether of space, driving for long periods of time, crossing time zones and state lines. After a while you kinda forget how long it’s been since you last ate, or if you’re even hungry. But take my advice. When you wonder if you should stop for food or just power through to your destination … always stop! This time I regrettably decided to power through until we got to San Diego. By the time we arrived I was drained and running off the fumes of the single granola bar I had seven hours earlier.

ALWAYS ANTICIPATE SOMETHING ELSE HAPPENING

illustration of antibiotic tablets from Canva app

Always Remember to Take Your Meds

We got to San Diego on time, but naively thought parking a 5,000-pound pickup truck hauling a 20-foot trailer would be no sweat. We were wrong. Parking a vehicle of that size required pre-authorization, which we didn’t have. So we end up having to wait and by the time the dust settled, I was physically spent and my throat had developed a small tickle. That tickle grew worse and developed into a grisly case of strep throat that caused me to miss the first day of the show. It was a humiliating reminder that when you’re diagnosed with strep throat, if you don’t take all the antibiotics the first time around, it will come back two weeks later to haunt you with a vengeance.

THE SHOW MUST GO ON

Select Blinds 2019 exhibit booth in San Diego, California

Select Blinds booth at the San Diego Home and Garden Show

The second day of the show is when it really got going. The doors open on Saturday at 10 a.m. to an eager crowd of attendees who couldn’t wait to come in and see all the goods. We like to talk to everyone that comes by. Our favorite thing is interacting with people face-to-face, getting to know what kind of projects they’re working on. We met a couple who flips houses. They have a few properties lined up that need window treatments, but they don’t want to pay through the roof to get the whole house outfitted. The husband tells us, “We want something simple and cost effective that we can do ourselves.” So we showed them how easy it is to preview products and shop for samples on selectblinds.com and next thing you know, they’re hooked.

Talking to attendees in SelectBlinds' booth at San Diego Home & Garden show

Jamie Explains the Benefits of SelectBlinds Window Treatments to Two Intrigued Visitors

A family came by on Sunday, mom with a daughter and son. We chatted for a while and discovered that the son is getting his own room soon, and mom is using this as a learning opportunity to teach him about being responsible for it. Part of the lesson is picking out what will go in the room. Window coverings and all. She empowers her son to look at all of the displays we have and find something he likes. After looking at a few different products, his eyes dart toward the Premier Double Cell Blackout TriShade. We talk for a while about the advantages of a trishade, how you get all the beauty and light-filtering benefit during the day with natural sunlight, plus the privacy of a blackout shade when it’s time to grab the popcorn and start the movie. The son took pride in picking out his own style for his room.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN

Up next, we’ll be on our home turf in the Phoenix, AZ area at the Maricopa County Home & Garden Show January 11-13. Come see us in Booth 676 for answers to all of your window treatment questions, and for ideas on finding just the right style for your home!

Keep up with all of our road adventures on Instagram @selectblinds_roadsquad. Can’t wait to see you at a home improvement show near you!