If you’re reading this

April 6th, 2011

…then you’ve just won an Easter treat.

All you have to do is call into our Apollo Blinds showroom to claim your goodies.

easter-eggsThey’re yummy – we promise.

But what we can’t promise is to curb our enthusiasm about fabulous offers this month. We have fantastic deals our different ranges of stunning blinds, awnings and shutters which will make your home beautiful.

Come in and say hello.

Intu Perfect Fit blinds

November 13th, 2010

Intu and perfect fit blinds..

Intu Blinds Are simply the most innovative and flexible blind systems available. Integrating neatly into all modern doors and window. INTU and Perfect Fit has been designed for use throughout the home or business and enhance the look of any conservatory. Designed in the UK and thousands of blinds have been sold through the Apollo network.

Safety..

INTU BLINDS are the safest blind you can buy. The most common case of injury by window blinds is loose hanging cord loops. Since Intu do not have any loose cords or loops they are completely safe for the use around children and pets.

Stylish

INTU Bead Fit Blinds fit perfectly into the inside frame of most modern windows and conservatory’s including tilt and turn windows and glazed doors. By securing into the bead. The fixing brackets and mechanism are hidden light gaps are reduced. Intu blinds require no drilling or screw fixings meaning that window frames remain unmarked.

What my customers think of Intu Blinds.

I have been selling the Intu blinds for two years now. The range include 16mm and 25mm venetian blinds , Pleated Blinds and Roller Blinds . Every customer i have sold this product to love their blinds and i have plenty testimonials on my Facebook testimonials business page. Intu and Perfect fit blinds are a fantastic product, well made with the best of materials. We give a two years no quibble guarantee for extra piece of mind.

Click a highlighted link.

Why not click a highlighted link above. Each link will take you to a fitted job that i have done with the INTU and Perfect fit systems. And you can read for yourself what customers think of the INTU and Perfect fit systems.

“Ceramic Past”

August 6th, 2010

potty..

I will begin with what was a blast from the past, Today Friday 6th August i was busy with my sales and fitting calls. I arrived at Mrs Lang from Hamilton to fit vertical blinds to her living and dining room windows. As i was unpacking the blinds Mrs Lang mentioned seeing my editorial that’s featured in the Life-In magazine. She asked me about my ceramic pottery background. I could  she was keen for me to reveal my interesting past. I was more than happy to have a chin wag as i could tell Mrs Lang admires handcrafted art and was fascinated when i told her i was a time served hand throwing potter. I told Mrs Lang i left school in 1979 and started my trade at Bowling pottery near Dumbarton. It was when talking about the pieces that i used to throw, she opened a cupboard and took out a jug. It was her treasured pot and she was wondering  if it could be repaired as the handle was cracked. I couldn’t believe what i was seeing. I asked to look at the bottom of the jug, and there it was. My personal stamp, i put on in1981. I was holding a jug i personally made nearly thirty years ago. My happy customer was delighted to have history attached to her beloved pot.

Welcome…

I would like to welcome Ann Corrie who started with us at the beginning of the week. Ann has previous experience in the window blinds trade and  is a professional seamstress. Her knowledge of soft furnishings will be valuable to our expanding growth in that area. Ann is keen to learn about the vast amount of products we sell at our shop, and is looking forward to getting to know everyone in our network. Ann is one of our fans on facebook and when the job was advertised she sent her CV to us. Ann is delighted to be part of the Apollo Brand.

Having a short break..

I’m taking a short break next week .Spending sometime with my family, However i will be updating my twitter and my personal facebook. If you are interested in the exploits of an Apollo Blinds Franchisee’ “BFA finalist!”. Your are welcome to join me there.

Hand thrown jug from my own hands back in 1981

Hand thrown jug from my own hands back in 1981

“I- Eye- London”

July 31st, 2010

London Eye

I’m off to London.

I travelled down to London, Monday 26th. And arrived 24 hours early for my meeting, with the judges from the Brittish Franchise Association led by  Sir Bernard Ingham and senior managers of HSBC and Express Newspapers.

I’m in London.

I arrived at the London city airport for 11.45am, the hotel was only a mile away so i decided to walk. I don’t know London and didn’t have a map,  it was going to be an adventure. The first landscape i came across was the Thames Barrier Park.  Just as i got close enough to take some pictures it started to rain heavily, i opened my travel bag, got out my waterproof. I started to take some photo’s but the weather was not in my favour, so it was off to the Royal Victoria docks. I had a room booked at the Novotel but could not check in till 2pm. I arrived at the docks for 1pm. By that time the rain had stopped, so the camera came out again. From there i could see the 02 Arena (dome) and the HSBC Building in Canary Wharf . I walked around the docks, climbed over a bridge and also walked around the Excel Exhibition Centre.  As soon as it was 2pm i was at the reception desk to check in, i was eager to explore by foot more of London.

Just me and my camera.

It felt good to off load my bag, just armed with my camera. I left the hotel. I walked in the direction of the Dome crossing a busy road and over a bridge. I was high above the Dome which was on my left side walking towards Canary Wharf, i photographed it from many points and then preceded to head in the direction of the Canary Wharf. Passing a sign for the Isle of Dogs i arrived. “Londons banking district!”… i walked through trying to take in as many sights and pictures as i could. After suffering a sore neck brought on by looking up at all the tall buildings, it was time to find the Thames river. I walked along the Thames passing some of the sights i have only ever seen on television. On reaching Westminster i managed to take pictures of  Tower bridge, Millennium bridge, HMS Belfast, London eye, Westminster palace and of course Big Ben. Over the Westminster bridge,  i strolled to the London Eye where i boarded a river cruiser. I was floating down the Thames back the same way i walked. Taking pictures like a manic tourist, pushing other manic tourist’s for best position, at the rear of the boat, for best photo shots. Got off at Canary Wharf and walked back the same route. Arrived back at the hotel for 7pm had a shower and then met up with Apollo Blinds general manager  Gary Chambers . Had a large dinner and then off to my bed for 9.30pm.

27th July 8am.. D-day

My mobile alarm clock told me it was 8am. I didn’t sleep well but felt ok. I rose from my bed and went for breakfast. Then it was time to get ready… Shower,  suit and bags packed, somehow we arrive an hour early at the HSBC building. After passing through the security and shown where to sit, it reminded me of an airport. I could have smoked a hundred cigarettes but it was to much hassle to get in and out of the building. Any ways it passed, “the time just flew in” I was summoned to go up to the 15th floor and be judged. On leaving the lift i was handcuffed and taken to a holding room. Gary was escorted away with two stunning models “smiling”..where the other two finalists are enjoying coffee and cake. No sooner was i seated when i was ushered into another room put in a seat and tied. Before me was Sir Bernard Ingham and senior managers of HSBC. “I did not feel intimidated!”. I told them of my plan the “modus operadi plan!”… I’m sure sir Bernard was snoring after 5 mins. But something special happened in the room, A lovely lady named Cathrine released my ties and handcuffs. I was freed, taken to another room and photographed and then gave a filmed confession. Gary and i where back on the streets, we headed for a tube train. Gary got off a couple of stops before me. I had 5 hours to kill.

I belong to Glasgow.

I had 5 hours before i could board a plane back to Glasgow. So i got off the tube at Green street, dressed in a three piece suit, shirt and tie, carrying what now was feeling like a bag of bricks. Sunshine burning into my neck and face, i went on a walking, sight seeing tour of London. Somehow managed to get to the Buckingham Palace gates. Then the skies let go and soaked me, it was time for drastic action. I climbed the steps of a monument across from the Palace, opened my bag and got changed. Jeans and tee shirt i was revived. I then Ended up in Hyde park, i bought a hot dog, chocolate muffin and a coffee. Sat on a bench and had a squirrel for company… “Taxi to London City Airport!” Home!!!

September 30th

I will attend the gala ball in Birmingham on the 30th sept to find out if i have won. Maybe i will tell you my “modus operandi plan!”…. on my Facebook or even my twitter sites and hey its free.

Inside the HSBC Building

Inside the HSBC Building

A big tent

A big tent

Royal Victoria docks

Royal Victoria docks

“LOVE TO GET MY HANDS ON A BFA!”

July 23rd, 2010

congratulations

Dear George

On behalf of the bfa, HSBC and express newspapers I am delighted that your entry for the Franchise of the year has been successfully been shortlisted for the Awards to be held on the 30th September NEC in Birmingham.

These awards highlight the outstanding business acumen, passion and achievement of franchise businesses across the UK.

These awards highlight the outstanding business acumen, passion and achievement of franchise businesses across the UK.

franchisee_finalists

Delighted…

I received this news last Saturday…

I entered my business because i think i have formulated an effective modus operandi involving networking sites the main two being Facebook and Twitter. Putting a face to the business using these sites was the first step and then the rest grew from that. We regularly visit the sites and update them with jobs recently done using pictures  and words from the customers. This is helpful for two reasons, new customers can visit the sites and hopefully be inspired by what they see and also have faith in what we do.

has that not been done before?

This is how we use it.. Customer calls or visits our shop we make an appointment we mention our sites and how to find them.. on our arrival we find that the customers who have looked at our active updated networking sites, find it much easier to make the choice of blind that will suit them. Also the customer has trust in the products and service we provide.

Why can’t they do that looking at our website!!

I feel as good as our website is.. there is nothing to beat an active and regularly updated networking site. Its the only place where you can put your passion and personality about  your business over to potential customers. the amount of people who join our facebook and twitter site are usually recommended to us and the feedback tells us that.

Example.

customers words

Mr and Mrs Dawes of Lesmahagow are delighted with there new blinds. Mrs Dawes said “we are excited about these blinds our neighbors and friends will be too!”

description of their product with pictures.

INTU is also available as a Pleated blind with over 90 colours to choose from, many of which have ASC coating to give extra protection from the glare and heat of the sun. The range contains not just the single pleat fabrics but also 11 cellular fabrics that offer additional insulation properties for increased energy saving, and in addition give a sleek, modern look to the blind…

resulting in…

Mr Parker who joined our facebook site read this and looked at the pictures  of the finished job…  “I call them six of the best!”  most of the featured jobs, i upload six pictures. He emailed our store straight from the facebook site and an order for the same blinds was taken.

finale..

We have managed to double our business in the last two quarters with this simple Modus Operandi. And its on this basis that we have became finalists in this years BFA awards.

We can be found on… facebook … and on… twitter

will you be wishing me good luck?

Plantation Shutters

July 16th, 2010
shutters

Plantation Bass Wood white shutters

Plantation- Shutters…. What a sensation they have turned out to be, I must admit when they first came onto the UK market i dismissed them… I thought no one will be interested in this type of window covering, or at least not many. Well i got that wrong. Mind you not the first time i have got it wrong. I thought the same 20 years ago when roman blinds where introduced, pushing out the Austrian and  Festoon blinds “remember them?”.

But wooden slatted doors across your windows or patio doors is a big leap in window coverings. They are not suitable for some windows eg. tilt and turn pivot windows. However the windows that can have them transforms a room into a luxury palace.. “If the Queen has them why can’t we!”.

Plantation-shutters are asked for everyday in my shop, and because of this i have ordered four new displays. Hopefully the displays will help customers make their choice a little easier. White is the most popular choice, as is the bass wood, however there is a vast amount of  colours to choose and different woods.

I believe that Plantation-shutters will become the choice to replace where people had or thought of having a wooden venetian blind. Just like the Roman blinds had done to the festoon and Austrian blinds. If you are thinking of buying shutters then come check us out.. “You will be amazed at what we can do!”… Sorry i stole that from Kwik- Fit… Our slogan is  “Inspiring Ideas, Expertly Delivered!”. Well that’s my little blog over, if it was helpful let me know, i love to learn from your comments.

Plantation Bass Wooden Shutters

Plantation Bass Wood Shutters

Weather is blindin awful

July 9th, 2010

Rain or shine i will dine.

Rain or shine i will dine.

What an awful wet week its been as if you didn’t notice, good for the gardeners i suppose, and maybe the water companies. I was in Spain a couple of weeks ago, the same time when, here we had a heatwave. Since getting back its been blindin awful. I’m off this weekend and the forecast is for more rain, so its going to be a DIY weekend. Time to do those little jobs around the house that i have been putting off for months, years in some cases.

You are never done improving your home, i can think of dozens of things that could be replaced, painted, etc, etc. On  my list of must do’s for this weekend is to measure up for an awning that will sit over my patio. “An Awning in Scotland are you crazy!”  you might think. Well I’m fed up with being rained off during  BBQs, having to run indoors with all the food, plates, etc, etc.  I have had to do this a couple of times this week. I’m going to add a heater and lighting to0, so when the dark nights come in, i will still be able to have alfresco dinning in the evening.

I will turn my little garden to the rear of my home into my little Spanish resort. And this is where I’m not crazy. I’m going to buy a good quality awning, fully cassette for protection when not in use, motorised with a wind sensor, a  good idea especially with living in Scotland. Professionally fitted as i don’t want it coming down on top of me and my guest that would just ruin the party. And of course i will be wanting  a good guarantee. I will find all i need right here…

Read the rest of this entry »

“Make Blinds Child Safe”

July 2nd, 2010

ApolloBlindschildsafetypicture1

At the moment the European Standard EN13120 stipulates what is required by manufacturers of new blinds, and Apollo Blinds is fully compliant with all of these safety regulations. All Apollo blinds are supplied with child safety products, ensuring our blinds can be operated safely. Warning signs are also attached to all blinds fitted in the home that have to be removed by customer. There are a number of new safety solutions that can be fitted to blinds being installed.

But our awareness campaign “Make Blinds Child Safe” is about going further than making new blinds safe, we’re also concerned about the estimated 100 million blinds already fitted in UK homes that might present a risk to infants.

We want people who live in houses where children visit to review their blind cords and take simple steps to make them safe by fitting a “P Clip” or a “safety cord cleat” retrospectively.

Please go into your local Apollo store and make your existing blinds safe; for the duration of Child Safety Week they will give you either a “P Clip” or a “safety cord cleat” for free, subject to stocks.

Conservatory pleated roof blinds

July 2nd, 2010

Conservatories there either to hot or to cold, a  room that can be unused most of the year. heating them up costs a fortune in the winter, and keeping them cool in the summer.. well if you have one you will know, almost impossible. Unless you have a north facing one or shaded by trees, building ect ect..

So why suffer when there are solutions for this problem. The clever blinds to use is pleated blinds for your roof, not only do  they add a new versatility to your conservatory or garden room. They shade you in the summer and give you warmth in the winter, taking you from day to night. With the perfect combination of style and practicality, they have the ability to transform the look of your conservatory both inside and out.

Pleated roof blinds are a big investment but one that’s going to give you a room that can be enjoyed all year round, also saving you money on heating bills. There are plenty of company’s selling them, but is there bad pleated blinds?… The answer is yes. Good quality pleated blinds will have Teflon coated steel wires for smooth operation, loop cord to ensure the blind has equal pleats and retains its shape, head and bottom rails made of extruded aluminium. Solar reflective fabrics if you want to  keep your conservatory cool.

Measuring and fitting conservatory shape roofs is complicated and requires high standards of training. Its a skill and is mastered only with years of experience. If you are thinking of buying conservatory roof blinds, make sure the  company has liability insurance, as an accident can cost hundreds if not thousands to put right, also that they are a member of the British blinds and shutter association (BBSA).

If you are thinking of buying blinds for your conservatory roof  i hope this blog has been of some use to you.





Shaped Pleated blinds fitted by Apollo Blinds Hamilton
Shaped Pleated blinds fitted by Apollo Blinds Hamilton
Conservatory roof fitted with pleated blinds by Apollo Blinds Hamilton
Conservatory roof fitted with pleated blinds by Apollo Blinds Hamilton

RIPPING YARN

June 17th, 2010
Ripping Yarn
Saturday morning 15th June Its was early, mad hot, when i arrived at Mrs Ross’s home to fit her Roller and Vertical Blinds. First i fitted a Roller Blind to the living room window, I then moved to the kitchen, i was preparing two Roller Blinds for fitting. I crouched down to unpackage one of them when i let “rip”. I looked up at Mrs Ross as she was only two feet away, my face went bright red. At first i thought the worst. I put my hand behind me to feel if the trousers had ripped, and could not believe that the trousers had indeed ripped, along the seam from just below the zip all the way around to the waist belt. “My trousers where only staying up by the waist belt!”. My back side was hanging out of my trousers, funny as it was, i still had five more blinds to fit, so being the trooper i am, i carried on fitting. Mrs Ross and i had a good laugh at the comic moment and she is delighted with her new Roller and Vertical Blinds.