For such a warm, genuine guy, Brian Harris sure knows how to throw some shade. What started as a honey-do project quickly became Nashville’s fastest-growing custom window treatment company when Brian realized he could take his building skills to market. In April of last year, Brian founded Shade Custom Blinds to fill the window treatment gap in Nashville and surrounding areas. Though demand for real estate has far exceeded supply, homebuilders don’t put in blinds, which gives homeowners a chance to add their personal touch. Fortunately, Brian pairs top-quality materials with custom designs worth talking about, so a referral to Shade Custom Blinds is one you can trust.
From Blake Shelton to Slim Shady
Often a Blake Shelton stand-in, Brian discovered his knack for custom shades when the afternoon sun from his front window made COVID-19 quarantine near unbearable. “It’s tall and wide with ornate trim,” he shows me, “so we couldn’t just put up anything.” He built a custom valance to keep his window treatment sleek and soon after started taking requests. A contractor friend encouraged him to launch a business, and Shade Custom Blinds took off. The first six months were a fast-paced learning module. “From consultation to install, I did everything myself,” he says. It taught him both to troubleshoot and anticipate complications before they arise, so Brian quickly developed a new name for himself. “They used to call me Slim Shady,” he smiles. “Now, they just call me Shady.” Referrals sky-rocketed, and in no time, Brian was growing his team and expanding his offering alongside his lead designer, Mackenzie.
Quality Blinds, Shades, Shutters, Drapes and More
From residential to commercial, no job is too big or small to warrant quality. “Go in big-box stores and touch their shutters,” Brian says. “They’re half the thickness of what we build.” Too often, flimsy, plastic shutters ruin beautiful architecture. “You can tell when something has substance, when it’s built well,” he says. “Everything we carry is built here in the U.S. and Canada. It’s a higher quality product,” meaning longer-lasting designs that increase curb appeal and don’t require updating. Proper design always balances form and function, they explain.
Blinded by the Light
Creative problem solving is Brian’s expertise. He recalls a triangular window in a historic office building that left employees inside blinded by the light. “Most companies look at that and say there’s nothing they can do,” he says, so the property owner was at a loss until Brian customized a shade for him. “A lot of people are uncertain about what they want,” Mackenzie says. Her in-home consultations allow her to get a feel for the space and the aesthetic. From the company’s array of endless product options, she then curates colors, fabrics and textures to suit the customer’s specific needs. “We see it over and over again,” Mackenzie and Brian say. “We make the process so simple, customers call us back to add on another window or a set of french doors!”
Service Above All
The secret to Brian’s success, though, is his witty personality and commitment to the client. “We go for 100% customer satisfaction,” he says, even if it means accommodating a customer who changed their mind. “If something’s not quite right, we fix it,” he says, and they even offer temporary shades while clients’ projects are in progress. “You don’t see a lot of companies going that extra mile,” Mackenzie adds. “Anybody that refers clients wants to make sure that referral is taken care of, treated well and treated with respect,” Brian says. “We treat every client that way … and we try to keep it fun in the process.”