Meet the Maker highlights the personalities and stories behind some of our innovative local businesses
Meet the Maker - DIY Blinds
We speak with Evan Monetero from Melbourne-based DIY Blinds, who are disrupting the window treatments industry with their unique sales strategy. DIY Blinds works with customers across Australia in the residential market and are strong ambassadors of the Zepel Fabrics range.
Tell us about your business and what services you offer.
We sell custom made blinds, shutters and curtains online. However, that’s just a by-product of what we really do, which is digital disruption. Like Uber and Netflix did with ridesharing and TV and movie distribution, we're shaking up an analogue, bricks and mortar window furnishing industry by turning it digital.
We don’t have showrooms, commissions or pushy sales. We pass savings on to our customers and focus on a great online shopping experience. Another point of difference is that we only sell Australian made, designer quality window furnishings. It might not seem like a big deal, but the market is flooded with cheap, inferior blinds made overseas.
Have you noted any trends lately in window fashion?
Customers are looking for a few key things when buying blinds online:
- The convenience factor. They want to shop online, when and where it suits them. We send free samples to their door, so they can touch and feel our materials before they buy.
- Great service. They care about what other customers say and reviews matter. We worked hard to win our 2020 www.productreview.com.au award.
- Quality products. There’s a misconception that all blinds sold online are ready-made or low quality. Our customers are shocked by our low prices given we sell 100% Australian made, custom window furnishings. We use designer quality fabrics and the best work rooms in Australia.
- Brands they trust. Customers are smart and are learning which brands they can trust in terms of pricing, consistent quality and service. They’re tired of pushy sales people and old school marketing ploys creating a false sense of urgency. We give genuine advice and have honest pricing all year round.
How do you go about consulting with a new customer and identifying what their needs and goals are for their space?
We make it easy and fun for customers to get their dream look. It starts with giving them lots of design inspiration via Instagram and our website, and answering customers’ questions about the looks we post.
Customers order free samples that are express posted out to them for next day delivery. Selecting the right fabric is tactile, and it’s important to feel the fabric in your hands.
Our team of design consultants can chat through our customer’s projects and discuss their ideal look and practical needs like light control, privacy and thermal insulation. Because we don't pay commission, our team is passionate about helping every customer choose the right blinds, shutters or curtains that fit and function perfectly. We hire the best talent in the market, and empower them to give honest advice to everyone shopping for window furnishings.
You recently worked with Kyal and Kara, renovation specialists some people may know from The Block a few seasons ago, on their own home project charmingly called Blue Lagoon. What was that experience like?
It was so much fun! This is actually our second project together since The Block, the first being Long Jetty. Blue Lagoon was special as it was Kyal and Kara’s forever home and meant a lot to them. A heap of love and thought went into the planning stage and through to the build.
Kara is a design queen and Kyal is a super talented builder. They’re a power couple and have a great synergy due to their respective skill sets.
We loved helping them choose their motorised curtains and lush designer fabrics. They create a soft and cosy vibe, are easy to control and child safe, so they’re the perfect solution for a family home.
They clearly had a strong design theme and vision for their home, what was your process to help them achieve this?
You’re right, Kara had already created a stunning mood board and came to us knowing she wanted luxe curtains and a relaxed, beachy look. So they ordered their free fabric samples online to start with, in the same way all our customers do. Then they shared their house plans with our team and we worked with them to design the perfect window coverings for their home.
We were there at every step, to help them bring their vision to life. Kyal and Kara measured up all their windows in consultation with our team, then ordered online. We also offer an installation service, and that’s what we did with Kyal and Kara due to the sheer scale of their build.
What was their brief? Colour palette?
Their brief was Australian coastal meets Mediterranean villa. Think light and airy fabrics, natural stone and timber.
How did you go about selecting and recommending the fabrics to meet their brief?
The curtain fabrics Kyal and Kara chose in warm white and soft grey tones, really ooze that relaxed, luxe vibe they were going for.
We always advise our customers to sticky tape their free samples to their windows and pay attention to them at different times of the day and in different lighting conditions.
We partner with premium textile companies such as Zepel Fabrics. We only offer designer quality fabrics that are durable, soft and just gorgeous.
The results are stunning! Do you find collaborations of this scale inspiring and did you learn anything from the process?
Every collaboration is inspiring, and we love helping our customers get a bespoke, designer look.
The curtains are the hero in Kyal and Kara’s project, as they really set the beachy, airy tone and mood that they wanted to create. It’s a beautiful example of how custom window furnishings can really complete a house.
What projects are you looking forward to working on next and have you got your eye on any special fabrics you are excited to work with?
With the nature of our business, we never know who might be ordering samples or need our expertise. Every week we’re stoked to help transform new homes. The most rewarding part of what we do, is seeing our customers make their dream home a reality.
We’re excited to be working with the Allusion range from Zepel Fabrics, which Kyal and Kara used in colour Marzipan. It’s super soft, drapes beautifully and people went crazy for it when they saw photos from Blue Lagoon. The Audiance range is also a standout fabric with an amazing price point, given its quality.