Christopulos began selling and installing shutters about seven years ago. Today, more than half his sales come from shutters. Including blinds, wood products make up 60 percent of Window Visions' sales. "After being in the business for a few months, I learned I was going to need to do more than just blinds and shades," Christopulos says. "It was a task to learn how to measure, order and install both draperies and shutters. It took a little bit longer to learn shutters-there was quite a bit more involved. It required familiarizing myself with a number of different applications."
One of the most difficult tasks, however, came before Christopulos even set foot inside a customer's home. "The initial obstacle I had to overcome had to do with selling shutters, getting beyond apologizing for the cost. It wasn't until I actually went through a shutter production facility that I felt comfortable enough to give someone a price without an apology. It's a very expensive product in comparison with other treatments you can do on a window. I was able to justify the price after I saw what went into the production of shutters."
In the tony suburbs north and west of Chicago, Christopulos has perfected his installation skills creating shutter treatments to satisfy discerning clients even in less-than-ideal situations. "The one thing that I find in the process of doing shutters now is that it does require more carpentry skills, especially in dealing with some of the various windows that are not as straightforward as others might be. The task of trying to make shutters fit and work is kind of a nice challenge," Christopulos says.
His advice on shutters is to check everything twice. "Really be sure of your measurements when you're placing an order. Be sure that you've thought out the installation the best way you possibly can, that you've looked at all possible obstructions that might be in your way. The day that you don't, it will come back to bite you!" Christopulos says. He adds his favorite old carpenter's tip: "Measure twice, cut once.":