This Company Is Changing The Way We Shop For Shades
Barn & Willow makes going custom simple.
Have you ever tried getting custom drapery? If you have, it's safe to say you know what a pain it can be. Not only does it take forever to find the perfect fabric and design, but once you finally order your selection, delivery can takes weeks on end. After experiencing this struggle decorating her own home, Tricia Roy decided to do something about it. After rethinking how we can streamline the process, she founded Barn & Willow, a custom drapery service that turns around high quality designs in just 10 days.
With an online marketplace that can easily lead you to find the perfect measurements, request samples, and order your curtains, Barn & Willow has totally transformed the industry. With a team of mostly women, we aren't surprised why the company is so efficient. Want to learn how Roy came to create this innovative new store? Read ahead to see our Q&A with the inspiring founder.
Tell us more about Barn & Willow and why you started it?
Trisha Roy: Barn & Willow is changing the way people shop for window coverings. We offer the finest custom-made draperies and shades delivered within 10 days. The industry average is three+ weeks. Our mission is to make home decor shopping more accessible — both from a convenience and a price standpoint.
My husband and I had just bought a house in Menlo Park, California and we wanted to buy new draperies for the house — mainly for privacy and decor. Our budget was a couple thousand dollars and I really thought it would be a quick thing, no different from buying a sofa or something. Oh boy turns out it was not. We started at local curtain showrooms, with salespeople showing clunky fabrics and asking a series of confusing questions about window style and measurements that we literally had no idea about. Some of the online stores also had confusing pieces of information, not too user friendly and there literally was no easy way to go about it.
Worst of all was when after going through all the measurement and fabric selection hassles, we started getting quotes of $10,000, $15,000, and so on. All we wanted was simple, nice quality drapes without any of the drama. But we couldn't find any.
That's when I realized that there was work to be done and an untapped opportunity. Barn & Willow was born from the simple philosophy that shopping for custom products, especially window coverings, should not be complicated and should not cost a fortune.
What does B&W offer that competitors do not?
TR: We're the easiest way to buy window coverings. Instead of making the shopping experience which starts from measurements and ends with installations difficult, we're simplifying every piece at every step. For example, with our Measurement Finder tool, one can instantly get curtain and shade dimensions without having to go through any guesswork or research.
That's a huge convenience when buying your curtains or shades. Our philosophy is to never overwhelm the customer and we think offering 500+ fabrics to choose from is certainly confusing. That's why we work with industry design experts to come up with a highly edited selection of only the finest linens, organic cottons, and wools in neutral colors.
We believe in making the shopping experience simple, quick, and convenient. Our customers can literally order their custom window coverings on our online storefront in less than 10 mins. I don't think that's something that anyone else offers. Oh and get it at their doorstep within 10 days (not the weeks that they have to wait for when shopping with some of the other retailers).
What is your professional background/what experience did you apply that to launching B&W?
TR: I worked as a product manager with eBay and Paypal before launching Barn & Willow. As a product manager I got to build multiple products for eBay and so building things from the ground up has been a constant part of me. My family is in the textile space which of course was, and still is, a huge resource for getting B&W up and operational.
What has been the most rewarding moment since founding B&W?
TR: Seeing more homes with our window coverings. New York is our biggest market today. I remember our first-ever order was from Boston, but today we're shipping all over the nation — that's very rewarding. We're learning a lot every day too and continuously trying to find better ways to serve our customers.
The other very rewarding element has been the fact that we've built a team that is 90% women. I am personally SO proud of that.