Blinds expert, businesswoman
CO-FOUNDER of Champion Blinds Group Kerryn Mandersloot has more than two decades of experience juggling both running a business and being a mum.
More than 20 years ago, Kerryn Mandersloot and her husband Craig Smith started up their business, Champion Blinds, selling blinds, shutters and window furnishing from their family home in Torquay.
“We started off with a home office, which was a challenge with two young children,” she said.
“But with family support we somehow made that work.”
Now, two decades later, their business is continuing to grow and thrive, fitting blinds across Geelong, the Surf Coast and Bellarine Peninsula and their kids are 23 and 18.
“But still our kids,” Kerryn said.
“It’s a juggle between family and work commitments. All of our sales and office team are working mothers and we pride ourselves on our flexibility to ensure family always comes first.”
After Craig’s many years in the window furnishing industry and Kerryn’s love of textiles, Kerryn said starting Champion Blinds seemed the perfect balance of both passions.
“The part I love is getting to know our clients. Being involved in the initial selection process right through to the install is very satisfying,” she said.
“One of my favourite parts is to be there on installation day. I’ve been known to get up a ladder and hang the odd drape. Seeing it all come together is so rewarding.”
Kerryn said integrity is the core value at Champion Blinds, with lifelong connections that make the business what it is today.
“Our core values are pretty simple. It’s “do the right thing”. Whether that’s in the way we interact with our suppliers, staff or customers it’s always the same.
“The relationships we have formed are long term. We have suppliers, staff and customers who have been with us right from the beginning of the business.”
Kerryn said ultimately the past two decades have been made by the friendships formed with both clients and staff, with their backing ultimately making Champion Blinds what it is today.
“The highlight for us has been the support we have received from the Surf Coast community over our journey. We are very grateful for that and it has allowed us to return that support in many of the charities and clubs we have been involved with.”
Looking to the future, Kerryn said she hopes the business keeps going down the same path, valuing integrity, family and design.
“It’s always exciting to see what’s next in terms of window fashions so we will be keeping a keen eye on emerging trends.”
To find out more about Champion Blinds, head to championblinds.com.au/about