There are a lot of amazing things in St. Petersburg. Innovation seems to be the norm. You can find hidden gems in the city, like a business you may not have heard about. Stick with me, this is the story of a company that’s been a steadfast job provider and long time member of the business community. A local manufacturer of high-end interior shutters and trim. That may seem ordinary but here’s the deal, West Coast Shutters and Sunburst Inc sets the highest standard for quality and innovation in the interior shutter/blind industry. Really? Highest? Yep! And remember, buying local is a good thing.
Something I learned: “interior shutter” and “blind” are often used to mean the same thing. however, a shutter is a fixed feature that Can add value to a home, blinds are easily removable and do not . A shutter is usually higher quality and can be made of wood . blinds are often inexpensive and made of plastic or vinyl. Shutters swing open or bypass and blinds pull up and down with a string. The term “plantation” used with either shutter or blind just means “wide”. You have to say interior or exterior when REFERRING to shutters or people get confused.
A rough time was the inspiration.
Over 25 years ago a job position elimination from one company led to the creation of a new company. Experience and knowledge of the industry was the basis of making a better product. Now, West Coast Shutters and Sunburst is considered one of the highest quality manufacturers of shutters in the business by many.
Innovative ideas and years of hard work and experience paid off. The company was founded knowing that a better “blind” could be built. West Coast Shutters set out building a shutter and molding business that simply did everything better. A founding principle was that the highest quality wood made the best product. There were improvements that could be made that were unlike anything else on the market. Why do you have to have a control rod in the middle of the shutter? It partially blocks the view and is unsightly. Why couldn’t a track system for bypass “door size” shutters be made for big openings like sliding glass doors? At the time, most other products were curtains or the cheap plastic vertical blinds. Why couldn’t a shutter be built around the door handle for french or regular doors? Lower quality products were readily available. Why not have sunburst blinds for rounded windows that had adjustable slats? These are the innovations that came to mind. Why not sell direct for less? They got to work making it happen.
Innovations and a better way!
They chose a hidden control rod mechanism design that fits into the sides of the shutters and operate as smooth as silk. They eliminated a divider rail that is standard for many shutter manufacturers. Instead they went with two sections that can be adjusted independently on tall size shutters. Then came building of the track system for bypass door shutters. This system does not require floor mounting and is a free hanging structure allowing each door to slide by the other on multi-door applications. Perfectly mitered boxes around the handles for french and regular doors came next. All features that make the best design and functionality. And yes, They build Sunbursts with adjustable slats! Let the sun come in on your terms! Control the rays! These are really cool, literally.
Husband and wife founders were on board from the beginning. She started running the office and managing the sales for the company. He ran the manufacturing. That made it a family operation. Over the years almost all of the employees have become like family and most of have been there over 10 years, some over 25. Margaret or “Mags” is now the office manager and inside sales. She has been there over 13 years.
Tools to make Moulding.
With so many of the advanced tools in the plant for manufacturing shutters it quickly became clear that custom trim was something that West Coast Shutters did as a daily routine. And so, they offered that as a service as well. Creating or re-creating any trim piece or moulding that has ever been made is done daily. This is vital in historic renovation projects or if remodels require exact matches from older construction. They can customize this to any shape needed and are a source for many local and national contractors. They can build what is needed. Offered is a huge moulding catalog to select from. They also make curved or radius trim. If it is trim or moulding they can make it.
Starting with the wood.
Only the best will do. The standard wood used in West Coast Shutters painted products are made from Poplar. This is a fine grain hardwood that is durable and sustainably grown. Other woods available for all manufactured products are Maple, Oak, Redwood, Mahogany and many more. If “painted” is the way a customer chooses to go they have an color matching system that can match 200 shades of white. They only use high quality lacquer. It is the same for stains, multi-step preparation, and multiple coats of product. The is a huge selection of color choices available.
Manufacturing Standards of Excellence
The work ethic and attention to detail have been instilled in the company since day one is amazing. It has earned them a loyal following of customers and an A+ rating on BBB and an Angies list super service award for 2017. The following is just one more of many awards and high ratings.
FLSUNNEWS.COM is proud to announce that our editorial board has presented them with the:
INNOVATIVE MANUFACTURING AWARD ST. PETERSBURG 2019
This award comes after seeing them at the Home Show at the Florida State Fairgrounds and looking at their quality products. We toured their manufacturing plant and were extremely impressed. They even recycle the wood shavings as bedding at a nearby horse ranch. Over all, West Coast Shutters and Sunburst Inc is a shining example of living the American dream and creating jobs in the community. They keep their customers happy and have continued to sell directly to the local market.
When asked about the pricing, Lisa told us that they have always made sure they give an amazing value to every customer. “The pricing is not higher then a lot of the plastic products on the market and is often lower when you are dealing with custom sizes. Our ability to sell direct without big commissions to the middleman has really made us a much better deal as the highest-end product in the industry. You can get the best shutter for the price of the mid range product. There are a lot of million dollar homes around here but you don’t have to be in the upper income range to get our warrantied shutter. West Coast Shutters add value to the homes we install them in.”
They also provide extra slats in case of physical damage and touch up paint with every order. That is good news for us dog lovers that may have a naughty puppy!
Here is a terrific local company serving the Tampa area and doing an amazing job of making St. Pete great. They are creating jobs, and putting out products worthy of awards. These guys made it clear that they love our country and offer discounts to veterans and first responders.
There, Now you know a little more about St. Pete and a good news local story.
Find them on face book Here : https:/www.facebook/Westcoastshutters33712
or call them at 727-894-0044