I Knew Milton Was Going to Be My Home

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In early 2000 I was ready to start building my life as a young adult. I was eager to find my place in the world, building on the community values that had been demonstrated by my parents and childhood hometown. Moving away from my parents and the town I grew up in was a big deal to me, but I was excited about walking new paths, making new friends, finding a neighborhood to thrive in, and entering the next stage of my life. Milton had so much to offer, and I could see it was a special place where I could grow along with it.

I was always very focused and career-motivated, but I wanted to develop my family life and work with my community. I no longer wanted to travel outside of town for work and felt more passionate about being available for children’s Christmas concerts, play dates, and volunteering. I desired something I had control over and the ability to grow to any scale while having opportunities for quality family time. Something that meant I could work closer with a community I love.

In 2006, I was expecting my first child, and I started thinking about setting up my own business. I wanted to offer a service that the residents of Milton needed, and that was not over-saturated. I began to brainstorm businesses that would have longevity, benefit a growing community, and potentially a legacy I could pass on.

The predicted growth for the Milton area was almost inconceivable, even in 2006. While it was difficult to imagine that this little town would grow so much, it was certainly exciting to think about. 

I have always had a passion for interior decorating, and my friends often teased me about my pillow and throw obsession or decorating every nook and cranny in my home. Then the realization hit me: what better way was there to start my business than to take this passion and turn it into my next career? I loved watching houses transform into homes by creating living spaces that are unique and personal through small décor changes. Window coverings do even more than that! Blinds and shutters offer a new look but also better energy efficiency and resale value.

And so, Milton Blinds was born. At first, it started with me going door to door, speaking with my neighbours, handing out flyers, and offering my services. I was fortunate to get some business this way and get to know my neighbourhood better. One of the early jobs that I loved most was installing faux-wood blinds on a neighbour’s bay window. In fact, I’m excited to say that they invited me back recently, nearly 15 years later, to install shutters throughout their home.

When we started, we only stocked a few products, like faux-wood blinds and roller shades. Once we saw demand, we then graduated to shutters, zebra blinds, designer products, and more to offer our customers increased variety and value. It was such a delight to work with customers on not just blinds but various other kinds of interior design projects, especially within Milton. I’ve had the privilege of getting to meet happy couples that hire me for a job, call me back once they’re married with a house, and then have me come back again to help outfit their nursery!

The residential part of the business quickly became established thanks to overwhelmingly positive reception from Milton and clients who weren’t shy to refer me to friends and family. The commercial side of things was a very exhilarating endeavor to take on shortly thereafter.

Milton Blinds rapidly grew across the southern Ontario region, obtaining large accounts with daycares, construction developers, medical buildings, and more. 

Here I am 15 years later, reflecting on our award-winning journey and what lies ahead in the future. We currently have two customer service office administrators supporting three window covering specialists on the road and myself, who pivots for each role along with marketing, networking, and management duties.

One of my favourite projects this business has empowered me to do is create the Donna Phylis Foundation in 2020. In memory of my mother and mother-in-law, this charity helps support students in our local community. At Milton Blinds, we are always looking to reduce our carbon footprint and find creative ways to recycle and reuse fabrics from old samples and scraps from production.  Through the Donna Phylis Foundation, schools receive fabrics for crafts, counting, and sorting. Milton has offered so much joy, and it was important to give back in a meaningful way. As we work hard and increase our client base further, I’m excited to explore the possibility of a mentorship program or scholarship program; maybe even both!

Milton has been extremely supportive, and I am so thankful for the community I call home. It is an honor to be part of this fast-growing town that still preserves that small-town feel. The leaders of this town have guided and directed us to be one of Canada’s most attractive living areas.

As Milton continues to grow, so will we.

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