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New blood, new options make Shine-a-Blind industry leader

Jun 18, 2018
Craig and Elaine Lee founded Shine-a-Blind in their home 28 years ago, and while they’re retiring, the company remains a tight affair with a new generation stepping up, and long-time and new employees becoming part of the family.

Operations at Shine-a-Blind will be a shade different from now on.

That’s because Craig and Elaine Lee, who founded the window shades and blinds company in their home, are winding down after 28 years.

Elaine has already retired, and Craig is just a step behind. Visions of travel and more time with their grandchildren and great-grandchildren are dancing through their heads.

Shine-a-Blind will remain, however, a family affair. Sons Ryan and Eric Lee, who have been working with their parents for several years, will take the reins as the company continues to grow.

“I’m starting to ease myself out,” Craig said. “My sons will be co-owners – or co-slaves,” he laughed.

Ryan’s wife Rebecca also works at the company, as does their son. And several long-time employees are all-but family at the closely-knit company.

Now located in a commercial/industrial complex at 7833 196th St. SW, Unit #101, Edmonds, Shine-a-Blind has expanded beyond cleaning and repair, offering a full product line of new blinds and shades from many of the top manufacturers in the industry, including Graber, Levelor, Hunter-Douglas, Kirsch, Nanick, Optick Shades, Draper roller shades and others.

It’s a good time for a new generation to step up. If you think blinds are blinds, you haven’t been paying attention. Just like appliances, entertainment systems and other household amenities, shades and blinds have moved into the high-tech world.

“We’re now selling shades and blinds that respond to voice prompts,” Ryan said. “You just give the command: Alexa, open the shades.”

There are systems that also respond to light and temperature, he said. When morning arrives and the sun begins to shine, the shades open up. At dusk, they close.

Likewise, they can be programmed to open and close based on temperature to help keep the inside of your home or office comfortable day and night. Cordless and motorized blinds and shades are increasingly common.

Craig said after installation of these high-tech blinds, customers want Shine-a-Blind to program the system for them. That’s when he’s happy to be heading toward retirement. “When customers ask me to program their shades, I say, ‘Huh?’ Eric and Ryan are the ones doing that.”

Despite the advances in technology, what won’t change is Shine-a-Blind’s focus on customer service. “I don’t know that it’s going to change a whole lot,” Ryan said. “Our core values won’t change.”

That means, whether customers bring their shades and blinds to the store for cleaning, or take advantage of Shine-a-Blind’s onsite service, technicians will make minor fixes and repairs at no extra charge while providing state-of-the-art cleaning techniques.

If a more expensive repair is needed, they’ll talk to the customer first, explain the issue and get permission before proceeding. Whether in-shop or onsite, they can handle repairs ranging from restringing pull cords to replacing broken tilt controls and cord locks.

And, yes, they will come to you. Even though they’re family-owned and operated, Shine-a-Blind is in the forefront of technology. They were the first in the Puget Sound region to offer onsite ultrasonic cleaning, the same kind of technology used by Boeing and other manufacturers for cleaning parts.

The blinds are lowered into a cleaning solution in which sound waves vibrate and extract dirt, oil and other contaminants from the material, producing a clean, like-new window covering.

A field technician will take down your window coverings, clean them in the truck, then reinstall them, all in the same visit.

Their cleaning service includes applying a hydrostatic rinse agent that repels dust, so that fewer cleanings will be required down the road.

Likewise, customers looking for new window treatments can either come into the store to look at displays and discuss options, or Shine-a-Blind will be happy to travel to the customer’s home to look at the project, show samples and discuss options there.

Either way, because customers are number one, Shine-a-Blind promises competitive prices to any deal offered online or at the big box stores but, more importantly, Shine-a-Blind stands behind its products and services. You’re not just a number or a dollar sign, you’re a neighbor.

While much of their business over the years has been for corporate clients, from office towers to apartment complexes, Shine-a-Blind gives equal attention to those neighbors. When you schedule with Shine-a-Blind, you’re never bumped by a bigger customer.

In addition, Shine-a-Blind is insured, licensed and bonded for clients’ protection. And all field technicians are background-checked by law enforcement to give customers peace of mind when Shine-a-Blind comes to your home or office.

Admitting he’s having some trouble “letting go,” Craig nevertheless is happy his sons will be in charge.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the growth of the business with Ryan and Eric at the helm,” Craig said. “Elaine and I are both embracing the changes they want to make.”

Meanwhile, the senior Lees will be taking advantage of their newfound freedom. Among their bucket list items? Visiting every national park in America.

And the rest of us can find the same, high quality, customer-oriented service and products at Shine-a-Blind – just a shade different.

To learn more about Shine-a-Blind, visit their website at, email them at, or call 425-771-7799. They’re located at 7833 196th St. SW, Unit # 101  Edmonds, WA 98026.




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