In 2007 Ty Pereira took over management of Roll-A-Shade (RAS), a family-owned shade manufacturing business based in Riverside, Calif. “The original founder started this business more than 30 years ago,” Pereira recounts. “The founder passed the business to his son to keep the company in the family and his son ran it for around 10 years. Seven years ago, the son wanted to spend more time with his family and we connected through a mutual friend. I was already familiar with the business and took over as CEO.”
RAS has experienced consistent growth in the time Pereira has been involved with the company, including being featured in Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing privately held companies in America. In 2013, the business purchased a new plant, expanding manufacturing space by 250 percent and allowing the team to manufacture significantly more products.
Now, the team operates from two manufacturing facilities, Riverside, Calif., as well as Pompano Beach, Fla. Three sales offices serve customers throughout the United States and Canada, dispatching in-house and contracted installers to put up unique window treatments in diverse commercial and industrial facilities.
RAS is one of only a handful of window treatment manufacturers that designs, manufactures and installs products all in-house. “Most companies in our specialty market send their products to dealers,” Pereira notes. “The consumer will buy the product from the dealer and has to work with another installer. We send our products straight to the end user. Our technicians perform all regional installations, as well as some more complex projects, such as self-regulating motorization, across the country. For more straightforward work, we have established strategic partnerships with subcontractors in different regions in the United States and Canada.”
Keeping work in-house allows Pereira and his team to better control the quality of products and ensure proper installation. Properly installed products last longer and perform better, a factor that has helped RAS to build a strong reputation in the industry. Beyond in-house installation, Pereira refuses to outsource the manufacturing process in an effort to keep jobs in the U.S. and to not compromise on quality.
“You can’t drive for five minutes in any populated area of the United States and not come across our products because we can guarantee quality and performance.”
The company manufactures roller shades, motorized drapery tracks, honeycomb shades, horizontal sheers and roman shades. Over the years, RAS’ design team has introduced new innovations in window covering options to the market. Pereira and his team are constantly looking for better ways to serve customers, resulting in window products that lead the market in quality and function.
In the last few years, the company has found a growing market for digitally printed shades. “We have the capability to print full color images and messages on shade fabrics in-house,” Pereira explains. “Many architects and designers have taken advantage of our ability to custom print on roller shades. A company can convey a custom message in the window without having to obtain permits or permission from the city in most cases.”
Another innovative line is the company’s Kool Black shade fabric from Mermet, which is constructed of material that is specifically designed for heat reduction. “BASF created the chemical formulation used by the military in Afghanistan to reduce the heat signature on soldiers at night,” Pereira notes. “These products offer unbelievable performance for maximum heat and glare reduction.”
According to Pereira, unique options in sustainable design are RAS’ SheerWeave 4000/4100 and 4400 fabrics made with Dow Ecolibrium bio-based plasticizers. “These fabrics replace the use of traditional petroleum-based plasticizers with a sustainable plant-based component,” he continues. “SheerWeave fabrics made with Ecolibrium maintain all of the established benefits of traditional vinyl, such as durability, clean ability and fabric longevity. LEED certification credits for rapidly renewable content may be available.”
Motorized shades have become one of the company’s most popular product lines. These systems are used primarily by commercial customers with large, hard to reach windows, although the products also help companies save time and help in the reduction of energy costs. “Many companies do not want to take up employee time to roll down a shade,” Pereira continues. “A lot of our systems self-regulate, tracking weather and the sun. The system automatically responds by rolling up or down based on outdoor light.”
It is evident that Pereira is proud of RAS’ offerings. “Our years of experience in motorized window treatments has made us experts using Somfy products, allowing us to integrate our systems using many communication methods including dry contact, RS485, RS232, radio frequency and infrared,” he details.
Pereira explains that another reason a company might want motorized shades is to avoid unwanted hanging cords. “When it comes to big windows that are hard to reach, such as in airports, this is really the only reasonable option in window treatment,” he explains. “Nothing else can accommodate a window that large. Motorized shades are great for all commercial projects especially health care, hotels, condominiums, restaurants and retail.”
With a diverse and reliable product line, RAS has built a strong reputation in the market for window treatments. The company manufactures sells and installs the products and customers can count on service, especially with more advanced products, for years after installation. Pereira and his team already cast a broad net, but he is always looking to expand the market. “We are always looking for ways improve and grow,” he explains. With a solid foundation and the technical savvy necessary to grow within the industry, Roll-A-Shade has a bright future.
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