Co-founders Mickey Fain and Rick Robertson, who was in the business for more than 30 years, recognized that consumers would go to a retailer to select window coverings. The retailer would then tell a fabricator what its customers wanted. The fabricator would manufacture the product, ship it back to the retailer who, in turn, sold it to consumers.
"There were a lot of different people in the chain," Fain says. "We put together a business where we go directly to the public, create our own brand and cut out some of the process. There were people doing that, but they were focused on the do-it-yourself market where the customer would measure windows and pick out what they wanted."
Stoneside manages every step of the process for its customers, starting with a free virtual or in-home design consultation to explore the possibilities for the project and answer any questions they might have. If the customer decides to move forward with a project, Stoneside will visit the home or office to measure windows, finalize product and fabric choices and deliver a complete design plan.
Next, Stoneside hand crafts the window treatments to the exact requirements in its manufacturing facilities located in Georgia or Indiana, and its professional installer returns to complete the installation. "We focus on people who want help, who want someone to come into their home and measure and manufacture the window treatments," Fain says. "Everything is made to order."
In addition to residential window treatments, Stoneside offers blinds and shades for commercial projects. Its commercial products include roller shades, solar shades, cellular shades, faux wood blinds, transitional shades and vertical blinds.
Its commercial customers include Alamo Drafthouse, Aloft Hotel, the Anaheim Convention Center, Delta Airlines, Orange Theory Fitness, and WeWork.
Stoneside's products originally were made in Denver, but about five years ago, the company started outsourcing its manufacturing to companies in Indiana and Georgia so it could focus on customer service.
"At first we were too small to have anybody do it for us, but it got harder and harder to find people to work and the marijuana laws in Colorado made it harder to hire people and make sure they showed up to work without being under the influence," Fain says.
Fain declines to provide the names of its manufacturing partners because of a confidentiality agreement. At about 200,000 square feet, the Indiana facility is the larger of the two. In Georgia, the manufacturing facility is nearly 100,000 square feet.
"The manufacturing is done under our brand name, but it is contracted out to two different manufacturing partners," he says. "We focus on customer service and delivering a five-star experience."
Stoneside, which operates in 13 markets across the country, plans to expand to new cities with hopes of doubling its locations in the next few years.
Because it's so difficult to get people in the building industry to show up at a job site on time and perform the work correctly, Fain sees an opportunity to provide new custom offerings for home improvement, including closets, wall paper, backsplashes and flooring. "If we can deliver a service, we'd get a lot of business," he says.