When I was 5 years old my parents Bill and Isobel, moved to Stokesley and started a business supplying and installing Blinds. My parents had three shops, one inside the Middlesbrough Hill Street Centre, one in Darlington Town Centre, and Stokesley where they also manufactured their blinds. They eventually pulled out of the town centres due to high rent and rates and by the time my husband and I joined the company in 2001, they ran the company from their Showroom and Factory in Stokesley on the Terry Dicken Estate.
Our great reputation meant that the business grew and grew, and our Factory was unable to cope with the volume of orders, so we took the brave decision to give up the manufacturing and concentrate on Customer Service. In 2007 we expanded our Shop, creating a 100 square meter Showroom which looked fabulous.
Although my parents retired they were never far should we require advice from their years of experience. The business traded under the name Apollo Blinds until 2010 when the family decided it was time for a change and we left the franchise group. This saw the start of our new and exciting transformation to Mulberry Blinds, an independent store. With the re-brand we also re-designed the Showroom again and in 2011 we were proudly awarded for our beautiful Showroom. We were awarded a title of Gallery Store and have held the title for the North East ever since. This recognition for our Showroom and Service has brought customers from York, Harrogate, Newcastle and even Birmingham.
We have a fantastic following of customers from before and after our name change. I am often asked how my parents are doing which is lovely. Our business has been running for over 25 years now and we have been lucky enough to have built our business through providing good friendly customer service, for which I am very proud.
Bill & Isobel (my parents) moved to Stokesley to base their factory and their shop Apollo Blinds, was located inside The Hill Street Centre in Middlesbrough. I was 5 years old!
By now my parents had opened a second shop in Darlington Town Centre and a third in Stokesley, alongside their factory.
As a young girl I would go with my father on a Friday night to The Hill Street Centre and while he built his exhibition stands I would roller-skate around the mall in the dark. Good memories!
By now my parents had closed the Darlington Shop as the Rent and Rates had risen dramatically.
It was around this time that my parents left their little shop inside The Hill Street Centre to make way for the retail giant Argos.
My husband Andy, and I (Janine) started working with my parents in Stokesley.
Our family business was growing and growing that the volume was too much for our factory, so we made the brave decision to purely concentrate on our Customer Service, while sourcing great manufacturers from around the world.
We expanded our Showroom, to what is now a fabulously large display space attracting consumers from far and wide!
My parents retired after easing out of the business, and we took the brave decision to leave the Apollo Franchise and start a stronger independent business called Mulberry Blinds. Exciting Year!
Our prestigious Showroom was given the title ‘Gallery Store’, the only one in the North East. This title is a recognition for beauty, display quality, range of products and most importantly product knowledge.
Was the start of the next generation as our son came into the world, named Bailey. Another good year!
We started to notice our consumers were coming from further afield as our reputation carries through word of mouth. We love showroom visitors! Tea, Coffee anyone?
Re-brand time, we decide to give our family business a beautification make-over from top to toe. Love our new logo, and this website!
Our 2nd generation family business, team of four are going strong, providing fabulous products with the very best of local customer service. …and the addition of our second child!
We’ll still be here! Maybe we will see the start to our 3rd generation family business!?! No pressure children, but I’d like to retire someday.