OUR COMPANY HISTORY
We think that it’s important for a business to let prospective customers know a lot more about them and their history, as this plays a big part in building trust. Since we started business in May 1995 we have gone from a single man operation to the country’s largest employee-owned blinds specialists, and we’re proud to show how we’ve developed, innovated and grown in the last two decades…
The business was established by Peter Matthews in May 1995, who still remains the Managing Director.
The business offered pli-sol pleated blinds and French pinoleum blinds, both of which were highly exclusive in the 1990’s. We were also one of the first blind specialists to create our own website in December 1998.
By the end of the 1990’s we had grown to 10 members of staff.
In 2000 we established our head offices and showroom in Ewell, near Epsom in Surrey.
Around two years later we launched our own manufacturing facility near Ashford in Kent. This allowed us to develop the manufacturing process to achieve a much higher standard than ever before. It gave us complete control over quality and production schedules that are simply not possible if buying through a trade supplier.
Although self-employed blind fitters are still the norm in this industry, we started employing our own full-time installation team. Although this is much more costly, it allows us to achieve far greater attention-to-detail than previously thought possible.
In 2005 we moved to larger factory premises, allowing us to start designing all of our own components completely in-house which improved processes and investment. Additionally, we could dramatically increase our manufacturing levels to 25,000 blinds a year.
Our innovative pure™ technology was developed in 2007, allowing window blinds to be recess fitted to UPVC windows without creating any light gaps, as well as innovative roof blinds that allow shaped blinds to be installed much neater.
Following 3 years of development we launched puresolo™ in 2008 – the only remote control system designed specifically for conservatory blinds, making it an instant market leader.
We launched pureaspect™ blinds which can fit any shape of gable and are completely retractable – with no wires or cords covering the glass whatsoever.
2014 saw us introduce LiteRise® & SmartCord® blinds, as well as battery operated Duette® blinds – perfect solutions for diligent new Child Safety Regulations.
Then we established our own powder coating facility, providing us with the ability to colour all of our aluminium components in-house.
The biggest news of 2014 was the purchase of our freehold factory premises in Kent; boasting a showroom with 5 conservatories fitted with a wide range of blinds.
2015 saw us introduce two new remote-control options (pureduo2™ and purefusion™) as well as new lantern blinds and Visage and Vision window blind systems.
From 2016 we have been providing customers with personalised videos of their survey, giving them the opportunity to review every detail before manufacture.
2018 and 2019 have seen us extend our purpose-built factory premises in Ashford to approx. 17,500ft², creating increased office space and dedicated production areas for lantern blinds up to 5m long.
Finally, in 2019 we purchased the entire freehold of our 2-storey offices and showroom, where we have been based for more than 18 years in Ewell, Surrey.
2020 saw one of the biggest challenges we have faced with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. With people deciding to renovate their homes the demand for bespoke blinds increased, and we helped transform homes across the country. We were able to adapt every element of our order process to minimise the spread of the virus, including remote quotations and contact-free installations.
In 2022 we started a total rebrand of our company, moving from Conservatory Blinds Limited to The Specialist Blind Co. Ltd (Specialist Blinds). Over the years our expertise has expanded from bespoke conservatory blinds to blinds that cover many different areas of complex glazing, including lantern roofs, gables and folding doors. Our new company name truly reflects the breadth of what we can do, which still includes totally unique made to measure blinds for conservatories.
2023 saw a major change for the company as a whole, as we made the bold step to move the ownership of the company into an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT), which places the ownership of the company directly in the hands of its employees.
While it did not affect our day-to-day operation, it meant that the staff who work for us are more invested in the future and success of the company, to strengthen our commitment to providing the best blinds and service possible.