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The Direct Blinds Timeline

Our business started from selling and installing venetian blinds, today we offer over 15 different blind types and more than 3,000 window dressing options.

We gathered the most interesting and fun facts in one timeline. And here are some interesting facts about us to get you started:

          1. So far we have made well over 1 million blinds.

          2. Each member of our staff undergoes special training to ensure we’re on the
              same track when creating window coverings for you.

          3. Next year, we’ll be celebrating our 50 years, so get ready for a big party (hip,
              hip - hooray!)

          4. Our customer service team works every single day of the week, so they’re here
              to answer your questions and help you choose your perfect blinds.  

          5. We’re confident that our products are high quality, that’s why we offer a 5-year
              warranty on ALL our products. We know that our products will last longer than
              that.

And now, enjoy scrolling through our timeline to find out more:

Our Timeline

1969

Our story began back in 1969, when 36-years-old Alan Swift founded Swift Blinds and Curtains as a side line to his existing carpet installation business, Aldon Carpets. The business was run from the back of the local Post Office where Alan was also the postmaster.

1969

1974

This year we moved in to new business premises and became a limited company - Swift Blinds Ltd. Back then, as from the outset we were mainly selling and installing venetian blinds to the local domestic market.

1974

1976

Alan’s eldest son Nicolas Swift joined the business followed by his future wife Caroline. The company began making and supplying roller as well as venetian blinds. This is also when we started to expand into supplying blinds for the trade, nationwide. Our customers included Portakabin, Unilock, Planet Partitions and ICI plus many local authorities and other blind companies.

1976

1978

We opened our first retail shop in Huddersfield Town Centre on Cross Church Street and began making all types of window blinds, including some curtains, canopies and walk-ways.

1978

1984

The second son, Christian Swift joined the company followed by his wife Heather. At this point, the company had 6 working directors, including Alan’s wife Patricia. We remain a family owned and run business to the present day.

1984

1987

We moved to our present location in Lockwood and expanded our manufacturing. We have broadened our product range and started making even more blind types, including vertical, blackout, roman, pleated, perfect fit and wooden blinds.

1987

1988

We became a full member of the British Blind & Shutters Association, providing confidence to our customers that we’re a high-quality, reliable and established supplier.

1988

1993

We gained British Standard 5750 Quality Assurance, becoming one of the first blind companies in the country to do so. Our products and services still meet these exacting standards today.

1993

1994

Celebrating 25 years of our “blinding” service! At this point we have expanded and had over 35 employees in the company.

We were regularly sending our blinds abroad on behalf of intermediaries. You can find our blinds in places as far away as Kuwait, Saudi, Moscow, Gibraltar, Nigerian, France, Germany and Portugal.

1994

1999

For one of our larger single contract sales we supplied and installed 3 full floors of 25mm Privacy Venetian blinds in dark blue for the new build offices of Privilege Insurance on Little Nevile Street, Leeds.

1999

2002

We continued to expand and opened concessions within Atkinson’s store in Sheffield and Brown’s department store in York. At this point we were one of only two distributors for a new venetian blind system designed for tilt-and-turn and conservatory windows. Our team continues to expand, and we now employ over 60 people.

2002

2004

Did you know? In October 2004, we manufactured and shipped over 800 blinds to Kuwait for the refurbishment of a royal palace.

2004

2005

We opened a larger showroom in Lockwood and continued to produce a wide range of domestic and commercial blinds and soft furnishings. In February 2005, we manufactured and supplied 28 blackout blinds for the installation at the Victoria and Albert Museum. That same year we produced blinds for installation in Windsor Castle.

Also, our story “A Swift service” was included in Huddersfield Memories book by True North Books Limited. 

Did you know? Back then we were making famous Swift Blinds Brellas – a massive garden umbrella, covering 100 sq. ft.

2005

2007

Our Bermuda Grey roller blinds made it on to the set for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Remember the explosion of the Ministry of Magic scene? These are our grey roller blinds in all the windows, just before they were destroyed.

2007

2010

After growing our offline business for 40 years, we launched an e-commerce website and started selling our products online. We know it’s important for our customers to feel & see the products, before placing their orders, hence we started providing free samples of all our products (every single one of them!). All samples are posted out 1st class, free of charge.

Also, at this time we introduced our Next Day blinds service, allowing customers to order up to noon to receive their made to measure blinds the next working day!

2010

2014

To better represent the ‘new’ business model we changed our name from Swift Blinds to Swift Direct Blinds Ltd. and went through our first rebranding process. At this point we closed our showroom and became a fully online business and built a strong customer service team, which is happy to help you 7 days a week (shout out to them!).

2014

2015

Throughout the years Kirkwood Hospice has been our chosen charity and we take pride in supporting their worthy cause. We have actively taking part in the Kirkwood Easter Egg Appeal, cycle rides, it’s a Knockout, Christmas events and support their annual Golf Day.

2015

2016

Desperate for some large window blinds and failing to find a decent option, our Swedish partners Charlotta & William suggested we start selling our blinds in Sweden. A year after developing this idea, Max Gardiner was born and now our blinds are sold overseas.

2016

2017

Opened our third factory unit in Lockwood and expanded our manufacturer of faux wood products. We now make 70% of all products that we sell in our own Yorkshire factories. At this point, we also started selling plantation shutters, which our customers have already fallen in love with.

Also, our Ecommerce director Katie McManaman cycled 350 kilometres around Madagascar to raise money for the Genesis Research Trust.

Did you know? We supplied over 90 roller blinds for Prince George’s Thomas’s Battersea school.

2017

Today

We employ over 60 talented and skilled local people. Our product range includes over 3,000 different window dressing options, including shutters and curtains. Around 1/3 of our blinds and curtains are available for the next day delivery.

We continue to expand our product range and sell the innovative products like electric roller and wooden blinds, solar and energy saving blinds. Want to see how our blinds are being made? Click here to watch the video.

Today
1969
1974
1976
1978
1984
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1993
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2002
2004
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2007
2010
2014
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2017
Today
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What our customers say
five stars
yesterday
Ribbons Solar White
Good quality blinds and all fixings supplied. Fitted exactly as planned.
RW
five stars
yesterday
Elegance Bright White
Quick service, lovely blinds
Ann Wood
five stars
yesterday
Premier Bright White
Fab blind and looks great - easy to clean and great quality .
Lorraine
five stars
yesterday
Swirl Cream
Look amazing
Mrs L South Yorkshire
five stars
yesterday
Opus White
Good quality. True white colour.
Customer Pamela Burford
five stars
yesterday
Carlo Chalk
Great blinds good company to deal with would recommend
Carol Wheelton
five stars
yesterday
Flutter Sheer White
Interesting design and looks fab 👍
Mr. Richard Waplington
five stars
yesterday
Bella Blackout Taupe Brown
Looks great in our dining room
Mr. Richard Waplington
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Swift Direct Blinds Ltd. 177, Lockwood Rd, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD1 3TG | Company No. 1190828 | VAT No. 184549920

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