Rebecca Buls and Rachel Barker give sisterhood a new meaning. For several years, the sisters worked together in the blinds and window repair industry, taking after their father, who’s been in the business for 30 years.
Together, Rebecca and Rachel share over 25 years of experience in the blinds industry.
Starting Out in the Blinds Industry
Early in her career, Rebecca handled customer service and inside sales for a local shutter manufacturer.
“This was the first time I was exposed to the fabrication,” Rebecca said.
During that time, Rebecca met Bloomin’ Blinds CEO Kelsey Stuart.
“He knew I was familiar with the industry and asked me to come work for him,” Rebecca said.
Interested in the opportunity, Rebecca headed to North Dallas, TX, to work for Bloomin’ Blinds.
Meanwhile, Rachel entered the blinds business at 21-years-old following in her father’s footsteps working for a manufacturer in Carrollton, where her dad worked for 30 years.
From there, she went to work for one of her customers on the retail side for a few years and then later joined Rebecca and Kelsey at Bloomin’ Blinds.
For Rebecca, the decision to work with her sister was a no-brainer, but the decision to join the Bloomin’ Blinds franchise was a big one.
“I knew this was either the best thing or the worst thing I could do,” she explained.
Rebecca’s kids were young at the time, and the drive to the office was about 45-minutes long. Thankfully, Kelsey developed a new role for her at the time and allowed her to work from home.
“I was able to get more done that way,” Rebecca explained.
From Sisters to Business Owners
After five years of working at the original Bloomin’ Blinds, business was going exceptionally well.
Once the franchise brand took off, Rebecca and Rachel saw the success their own Bloomin’ Blinds franchise could provide. The sisters decided to take a leap of faith and opened their East Dallas location in May 2016.
With the support from Kelsey and the Bloomin’ Blinds team, the process of opening their franchise was pretty seamless.
“We enjoyed the training. Plus, the industry experience and knowledge we’ve gotten over the years also helped,” Rachel said.
Business is Bloomin’
Communication is key for the sisters, who frequently spend a lot of time together outside of work. Despite being total opposites, the sister duo knows all about blending business and family.
“We bring different perspectives to the table, and that allows us to work things out easier,” Rachel said.
With their blinds franchise up and running, Rachel and Rebecca finally saw their vision come to life.
“I love looking at the final result and making the customers happy,” Rebecca said.
Now, Rachel has the flexibility of being with her family and making her schedule.
“I like that I don’t have to worry about asking for time off or feeling guilty when I have to miss something for my family,” she added.
The duo is tackling every aspect of the business by themselves for now, but they anticipate hiring employees this summer.
“We’re the busiest we’ve been in a long time,” Rachel said.
Despite the challenges due to COVID-19 and having to close their business for a week, the sisters have bounced back, bringing in even more business this year.
“With more customers at home and saving money from things like family vacations, they had more time and money to put into their house,” Rachel said.
The pair utilized social media and sent regular email updates about the business to adapt to the changes throughout the last year.
“Last year, we didn’t know what to expect, but we knew we’d get through it,” Rebecca added.
While their first few years being business owners was no walk in the park, the two credit their ongoing success to their persistence.
“You have to be persistent because the first couple of years aren’t easy. You have to make it happen for yourself,” Rachel said.
“You have to stay positive and keep your head in the game,” Rebecca said. “It’s not easy, but it’s definitely worth it.”