When you hear that a business is celebrating its 40th anniversary, you can be assured of several factors contributing to its longevity. Some clichés come to mind; such as having a sound business model, proactive management and a keen eye on market niches.
Yet, there is one factor that just might supersede all the aforementioned. A company prospers for four decades because that company is passionate about its product and its craft.
Kamelyan is an Orangeville window décor provider that is turning 40 this year. It was opened in 1978 by Bob & Betsy Janse and then taken over by their daughter Christine Eisses 16 years ago when they retired. It was Betsy who came up with the name Kamelyan, which is a phonetic derivative of chameleon, the animal that can change its appearance to best suit its current environment. It is virtually synonymous with the way the company does business. Bob still likes to drop in to help every now and then, making Kamelyan a true family business.
Christine and her team are not obsessed with what may be considered trendy in the current world of window décor, coverings and accessories. Instead, they prefer to concentrate on the uniqueness of each and every client. Kamelyan works in concert with them to achieve that customized window décor solution, rather than steer the customer towards what may be perceived as the “in thing.”
“Orangeville is very eclectic,” says Christine. “There are so many different builders and so many different residences ranging from townhouses to estate homes. There are so many different windows.”
“When it comes to décor solutions,” she adds, “it would be very difficult to pinpoint a single item or style that might be in vogue at any particular point in time”.
This points out how vital it is to establish a strong one-on-one relationship with the client. Kamelyan’s success in accomplishing this goal could be summed up by a Facebook testimonial from one of its customers.
“The difference with shopping at Kamelyan … your investment is protected and she continues to provide amazing support and service, even after the job is done.”
The blinds, shades, shutters and drapes that adorn windows have not changed drastically over the years. What has changed, though, is increased knowledge and expertise on how these products can be best utilized to control light entering the home and how they can best blend with the décor of the rest of the residence. As well, expertly applied window coverings can also affect room temperatures and save on energy bills.
Christine has practically grown up in this business and is well versed in its applications.
Kamelyan is an established and well known enterprise in Orangeville. Yet, Christine feels there are still lingering misconceptions when it comes to smaller, independent retailers and service providers.
A common one is that big box retailers deal in much higher volumes than small stores. Therefore, they pay less to the wholesalers and sell their products for less. Christine disagrees.
“The biggest misconception is that an independent store is more expensive than a big box store. The truth is we are competitive with our prices. Plus, we offer more value-added products and services.”
Kamelyan, for instance, provides free at-home consultation and also offers a repair service, should the need arise. It should also be noted that the big chain stores are actually limited in their product offerings. Because they buy large quantities, they can only go with the large manufacturers that have the capacity to fill their large orders.
Kamelyan does carry product from the industry heavy weights, but also deals with a number of smaller Canadian companies. While it may be a small store, by comparison, it has access to a broader range of products and, thus, has the means to do more diverse and customized work than the big box folks.
Another unfounded fear people might have is that smaller, more specialized stores like Kamelyan are the equivalent of an exclusive, high-end boutique aimed at a more exclusive clientele.
Christine implies that nothing could be farther from the truth, stating “we pride ourselves in working within budgets.” With that in mind, they are committed to providing more bang for the proverbial buck, regardless of how large and/or complex a project may be.
“We try to make the shopping experience as stress free as possible,” explains Christine. It involves an initial consultation at no charge. Kamelyan contacts the client a second time and presents ideas garnered from discussions about his/her needs, wants and desires.
Finally, the installations are performed by a fully qualified professional.
The folks at Kamelyan understand that your home, regardless of how large or small, is your palace. Through their expertise and passion for window décor, one could say they have dedicated the last 40 years to improving your outlook on the world.
Written By: Dan Pelton