Ben Chastain: A Window of Creativity
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
Rohnert Park — When Ben Chastain started working for a window shutter company at the age of 20, he had no idea he was embarking on a lifelong career. “I just needed a job,” he recounts. “I didn’t have any expectations as to where it would lead, but as it turned out, I completely fell in love with this industry. I went on to start my own shutter manufacturing business, and after a couple of decades, I sold that business and partnered with Duane at Creative Window Fashions, Inc., which gave me a chance to expand from shutters to the full range of window coverings.”
Today, as CEO of Creative Window Fashions, Ben says his favorite part of his job is making a big impact with a seemingly minor touch. “Most people don’t realize how important window treatments are for the look and design of their homes. It’s just as crucial as painting and decorating in terms of tying together a home’s aesthetics, so it’s very satisfying to see the effect of our work when we’re finished.”
Originally from Wichita, Kansas, Ben came to California at the age of 10, where he spent his adolescent years in Lake Tahoe before moving to the North Bay. As a resident of Santa Rosa, he expresses his appreciation for the diverse local landscape. “Living here, you’re within an hour of the ocean, the redwoods, the Wine Country and San Francisco,” he says. “Plus, having grown up in a rural setting, Santa Rosa is just the right size for me. There’s access to everything you might need, but it still has a small town feel.”
Outside of work, Ben engages in a variety of pastimes, most notably musical performance. “I’ve been playing guitar since I was a teenager, and I continue to perform locally, both solo and with a couple of groups,” he says. “I also like spending time outdoors at the beach or in the mountains. I used to do a lot of skiing when I lived in the Tahoe area, so I still enjoy that as well.” Ben also takes time to keep up with his son, Brent, his daughter, Jennifer, and his granddaughter, Aviella.
In his professional career, Ben espouses the importance of going the distance for customer satisfaction. “I think a big reason I’ve been successful in business is because I’ve always gone above and beyond to make my customers happy,” he explains. “Often, it’s just little things like cleaning the windowsill after installing a blind. It may not seem like much, but customers notice and appreciate these details, and that reflects in our online reviews and general feedback.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Ben says he’d travel. “I love Thailand, and I have a friend who owns property there, so maybe I’d go for a visit. I’ve also never been to the East Coast, so I’d love to spend a few weeks exploring Washington, D.C. and New York City.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: The Spinster Sisters in Santa Rosa.
Q: What were you most known for in high school?
A: Sports—I played baseball, football and basketball.
Q: How do you like your eggs?
Q: What’s your favorite newspaper comic strip?
Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
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A: The Fourth of July—I like the celebration of our country and what it stands for.