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Cork Independent

Home & Property

Meet the man behind Alpha Blinds

Wednesday, 12th June, 2019 4:17pm

Alpha Blinds is a family run business in Cork with over 25 years experience in the window covering industry.

We spoke to Stanley Von Wielligh, owner of Alpha Blinds, about life and the business.

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I was born in Cape Town, South Africa and moved to Johannesburg later in life where I met my beautiful wife and we started our family.

How long are you working in this industry?

After leaving school, I took a keen interest in the home improvement industry and 25 years later I'm still loving it.

How did Alpha Blinds come about ?

I started in a sales position at a blinds and flooring company where after a few years, I worked myself up to sales manager and after many years of learning all the ins and outs of the industry, I decided to open my own company in South Africa.

We took the decision to move to Ireland when it just became too unsafe to keep my family in South Africa any longer and it has been the best decision of our lives. I immediately went back into my chosen field of expertise in window coverings and became the regional manager for a Cork-based blind firm. In February this year after waiting the mandatory time requirement as a foreigner to open our business, we were very excited to move ahead and Alpha Blinds was born.

What is your day to day like?

Our day at Alpha starts bright and early every morning by ensuring the fitters get the blinds loaded for the days installations and then they hit the road. The new appointments for the day are reconfirmed with the clients and I head out. My wife handles the emails, social media, including posts of recent installations and customers testimonials as well as the accounts. We have a few teams of fitters that are honestly the best in the business and you can see this from the testimonials.

What's your favourite thing about working at Alpha Blinds?

The favourite part of my day is making contact with the clients later in the evening to make sure they are satisfied with their new blinds and the responses always put a smile on my face.

What are you hopes for the company?

The challenges as a new company is always building a brand name and for us having only lived here in Ireland for three years, we don't have the network of contacts as of yet. However, with the help of the Cork Independent and our great online social media special offers, along with our branded vehicles all around Cork, I can't see it taking too long before Alpha Blinds is an everyday household name.

I'm currently getting my 20 year old son to learn our business, occasionally taking him with me to do quotes and sending him with the lads to do fittings to properly understand the trade, so hopefully one day he will take over the reigns of Alpha Blinds when I'm old and enjoying retirement!

What is your recipe for success?

I believe I've been successful in business thus far because I feel it is vital to listen to what the customers needs are and then I always give my honest advice and suggestions to them and that goes a long way.

I don't agree with a client just being a number for the day that you need to rush in and give a quote to and then rush off to the next client. I've got over 25 years experience and a wealth of knowledge and choosing a product that you are going to be looking at for at least the next 10 to 15 years should be done at the client's pace and they must always be 100 per cent sure before we move ahead with the order.

What’s your proudest moment running Alpha Blinds?

Everyday I feel extremely privileged, from getting into an Alpha-branded vehicle, answering a call saying 'Alpha Blinds how can we help you?', seeing the amazing testimonials from all of our clients and most importantly, the friendships that develop with them.

The Irish people have welcomed my family to this amazing country with open arms and have given us the opportunity to live and enjoy life without fear and for this I can't be more grateful.

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