Shala Heger has always felt a strong connection to Airdrie, AB. She was born and raised in the city and focuses on providing a quality service to local consumers through her business The Little Blind Co., which offers a wide range of window coverings.
“I have such a love for this community and how we all work to support local businesses,” Heger said.
“My dad has owned his business – Airdrie Windshield and Glass – for 30 years now and he has always prided himself on just keeping it small, local and giving back to the community. I have always admired the way he runs his business and how involved he’s been in his community.”
Heger initially serviced Airdrie as a franchise owner in the window coverings industry, but felt that she could better meet the needs of the community by opening her own business. She launched The Little Blind Co. on April 1 of 2019, opening up a showroom inside her father’s shop.
SOUND BITE: Serving the community better as an independent
It was a natural choice for Heger, because her father’s business focuses on residential windows and doors in addition to automotive work, while her company provides blinds.
“Going independent was the best decision I made,” Heger said. “I know Airdrie and I know the community and what the people in the community are looking for in terms of style and brand. Airdrie has thrived on supporting small local businesses, so taking myself out of a franchise, I find, just grabs the community’s attention a little bit more.
“I do have to give a shout out to my parents, because they’ve played a huge role in getting me clients because people know them in the community, so I am lucky that way. I’ve definitely had to work for what I have, but at the same time they’re so well-known in the community that a lot of people have come to me because of them.”
Establishing her own business has given Heger the ability to provide a more personalized service. Heger first meets with every client to find out what’s important to them when it comes to their window treatments. She noted that every client is unique, whether they’re looking for UV coating or blinds that will blend with the decor.
The next step is to work out the style and budget. Heger said she works with great suppliers in Graber and MaxxMar, which means her clients have lots of options to choose from. Some clients aren’t sure what they’re looking for and rely on her expertise to help them make a decision.
SOUND BITE: Supporting the shop local movement
After the blinds have been ordered and arrive, it’s time to install them. Heger personally attends to the installation process, but also relies on her husband Brandon – owner of local business Fuzed Electrical Systems – for motorized shade installations.
“We do a job from start to finish, because we want to make sure our clients are getting the best possible service,” Heger said. “We want to treat our clients like they’re friends or family.”
When Heger isn’t busy managing her business, you’ll find her shopping locally in Airdrie. She can’t remember the last time she has walked through the doors of a business that isn’t locally owned and operated. She is active on social media promoting great local businesses that she frequents and she participates in cross-promotional social media contests.
“Shop local is so important to me,” she said. “You know where your money is going; your money is spent on a small local business and you’re basically putting food on their table. It’s so important to keep your dollars in the community.”
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