The term “butler” implies precise, classic service. So when we heard about a new Fairfield company, The Blind Butler, we had to find out more.
The Blind Butler recently opened its new showroom at 900 N. Texas St., Suite B, near Armijo High School. The business is located in a building owned by the Engell family, longtime Fairfield residents. The Engell family maintains a real estate office in the building and also leases space to Duana Rios Income Tax and Bookkeeping.
We recently spoke with chief steward and The Blind Butler business owner, Chad Tobin, about his passion for the window treatment service business.
Q: Tell us a little bit about The Blind Butler and yourself.
Chad Tobin: I am a local guy (an Armijo 1989 graduate) who saw an opportunity to provide a service cleaning window coverings in 1999. I started the business from scratch by researching product lines and cleaning techniques. Completely self-trained, we started the business by focusing on cleaning window coverings, using sonic technology. Many of our customers were actively interested in having us install new blinds, so I sold the cleaning business and focused on sales and installation of new window coverings.
Q: What is your specialty and do you focus on particular brands or lines of window coverings?
Tobin: We offer a broad range of window coverings for both exterior and interior of homes and businesses to help provide style and comfort. Interior window treatments include roman or venetian coverings, vertical blinds, shutters and draperies. Hunter-Douglas is just one example of the product lines we carry. For the exterior of buildings, we fabricate and install custom awnings and canopies. We have also begun to specialize in retractable awnings (Sunsetter) and exterior sun shades (ABC Sun Control). In addition, we are now expanding into patio covers and sunrooms, offering the Duralum product line.
Q: What made you choose Fairfield and North Texas Street as the new location for The Blind Butler and when did you open?
Tobin: Our warehouse and fabrication space is in Fairfield, so it just made sense to locate our new showroom here. The North Texas Street location offers great visibility and I got a good deal on the space. Plus, Fairfield is centrally located and can easily serve all of Solano County. It also allows us to serve clients from the East Bay to the Tracy/Stockton area.
Q: How many employees do you have in Fairfield?
Tobin: There are two installers, two sales specialists and me. We do our fabrication in-house at the Fairfield warehouse/workshop. Our installers also do the fabrication. Business is growing and we hope to have the ability to add one more employee in the future when the economy picks up more.
Q: What are your hours of operation?
Tobin: We are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. We can also offer sales and installation on weekends by appointment. Quite a bit of our business also comes from the Internet. Our website is www.theblindbutler.com
Q: Is there anything else you want our readers to know about the business and your product lines?
Tobin: We are a local business interested in the local community and love to help homeowners and business owners improve their energy efficiency with window coverings and awnings. Window coverings are one of the most successful strategies for improving energy efficiency. A set of honeycomb shades or shutters, or a good retractable awning can reduce energy costs-especially cooling costs-by up to 20 to 25 percent. Good window coverings provide enough energy saving to pay from themselves in a few years.
Economic Notes is an update from Fairfield City Hall written by Brian Miller and Karl Dumas of the Fairfield Planning and Development Department. They can be contacted at 428-7461 or email at [email protected] or [email protected]