Duane Vos: Blind Ambition
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
ROHNERT PARK — When Duane Vos started installing window blinds as a young man, he had no idea it would lead to a full-fledged career. “My dad owned a flooring and decorating store in Parker, Arizona, where they sold window coverings but didn’t install them,” he remembers. “He was also into cars and was paying me to restore a ’59 El Camino in the shop behind the store. One night, his manager told me he’d been installing blinds after work for the last 15 years and asked if I was interested in taking over for him. At $15 per blind, it was way more money than I was making restoring my dad’s car, so I agreed to take the gig when I was finished. After installing blinds for a couple of years, I made a deal with a distributor to start selling them as well. On January 1, 1998, I moved back to Phoenix, where I was raised, and started Creative Window Fashions.”
Four years later, Duane relocated from Phoenix to the Bay Area, where he planned to try his hand at a new livelihood. However, as if by fate, he found himself right back where he left off with window coverings. “While my wife and I were looking at houses, I became friends with a builder who asked if I would install shutters in his house,” he recounts. “Within a month, I had three more window covering jobs, and things just took off from there. I figured it was meant to be, so I stuck with it and opened a new Creative Window Fashions in California.”
Today, Duane says his favorite part of his job is interacting with customers. “I love people, so dealing with customers is something I’ve always enjoyed. Customer service has always been and continues to be the focal point of my business.”
Outside of work, Duane stays busy with an active lifestyle. “My wife, Maria, and I enjoy going for walks, swimming, and most of all traveling—that brings us the most joy. In the past year alone, we’ve traveled to Israel, Mexico and Peru. We also love spending time in Hawaii and going swimming with dolphins.”
In regard to his professional career, Duane cites a correlation between spirituality and window coverings. “I’m a very spiritual person, so I consider the spiritual side of everything I do,” he explains. “In the metaphysical world, we work a lot with light, and that’s also a big part of what we do in the window covering industry. When I’m in a house doing a consultation, a lot of the questions have to do with light. How much light does the customer want? What type of light do they want? What color? A lot of people don’t think about this aspect of window covering design. In the end, I want to make sure I’m on the right spiritual path, and just by the amount of lives I’ve touched in this business, I know I am.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What was your first job?
A: I worked at the local Dairy Queen when I was 15.
Q: What’s your favorite book?
A: “Way of the Peaceful Warrior” by Dan Millman.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Apples with almond butter.
Q: If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future?
A: I would go to the future so I could bring back information and tell people that we’re going to make it—we’re going to be alright.Read more