Cathy Morse of Made in the Shade Blinds and More
Made in the Shade Blinds and More was established in 2004 by its Founder and CEO, Cathy Morse. The vision was to expand a proven home-based business concept to those seeking to find personal and financial fulfillment in their careers. For more than 13 years, Made in the Shade has empowered entrepreneurs across the US and Canada to offer a convenient, shop-at-home service for custom window coverings and more!
As a former Corporate America executive, turned Middle School Science teacher, there was something still missing from Cathy’s very structured, routine lifestyle. Her late husband, Robert Morse, who was a born entrepreneur, asked that she retire from teaching and help him build his home-based flooring business. She took the plunge, though scary, and never looked back. It was the beginning of great things to come!
Being the teacher who is always learning, Cathy routinely observed all of her local retail flooring competitors and noticed that most had a window covering section. That’s when the entrepreneurial bug bit her! She was intrigued by window coverings and quickly re-focused on building a strong brand in this dynamic $9 billion industry.
Operating from her own home, Cathy enjoyed a very prosperous 25+ year career in the window covering industry, building it to a multi-million dollar business as a sole owner and operator. Her passion for product and industry knowledge, as well as building lasting client relationships, were her true motivators. Often working by referral only, Cathy’s local business became quite successful and well-known in her community. She soon realized that the prospects were limitless and the earnings were substantial!
Through her own hands-on experiences over the years, Cathy created an invaluable and proven business model. She often thought that her knowledge and expertise could be of benefit to those who were seeking the same passion: a home-based, window coverings business that offers flexibility, freedom, fun, and the potential for a very lucrative income. Thus, Made in the Shade Blinds and More was created with your success in mind!
1. What are some of the advantages of being a Made in the Shade franchise owner?
As a MITS franchise owner, the advantages are exceptional. One of our greatest advantages that sets us apart from other franchise systems is that once you come on board, there will be NO MONTHLY ROYALTIES!!! Your initial franchise fee is your one-time fee. Additionally, our shop-at-home model makes this mobile business ideal, as no added overhead of a storefront is needed. Since our window coverings are custom-made, no inventory is required to be stocked – EVER! You will have the freedom and flexibility to set your own hours around family and personal activities. We have a highly successful and proven business model in place, including a stellar marketing team with a high-performance, custom website and pre-designed marketing resources. We pledge our ongoing support every step of the way, so you will not have to reinvent the wheel! No sales or design experience is required, as we teach you how to become the expert.
2. Who is your ideal franchisee?
The ideal Made in the Shade Franchisee is someone who is comfortable talking with people, willing to learn, follow a proven system, and has a good work ethic. It's also a big plus if the franchisee enjoys being involved in their community. It's really that simple. We have owners from all walks of life, so there really is no cookie cutter mold of the ideal owner.
3. Tell us a little about the window coverings industry.
The window coverings industry is one of the fastest growing industries in North America, topping the charts at almost $10 billion annually! It is basically a recession-proof industry, as there is always a need for window coverings. Whether it’s the brand-new home market, home improvements, or commercial applications, our target market is limitless! We carry a full-line of custom window treatments for the home or business, including name brand blinds, shutters, shades, and draperies. State-of-the-art motorization is also a sought-after option and can also be integrated with home/office automation.
4. What are some of the greatest lessons you have learned in growing this franchise?
Never become complacent, never stop looking for ways to improve, and always be accessible to your owners.
5. Do you have a mentor?
I have two mentors who have truly inspired me to pursue my passions and not let anyone or anything get in the way. The first is my mom, whose work ethics are unparalleled. My mom is 85, profoundly deaf, and still runs a large apartment complex as a property manager, despite her “handicap.” She instilled in me at a very young age the importance of hard work, building strong relationships, and serving others with excellence. My second mentor was my late husband, Robert, who was my biggest fan and cheerleader! His fearlessness and enthusiasm to take risks and meet challenges motivated me to reach even higher. I also surround myself constantly with other successful, positive people! I’m grateful for all the incredible people in my life who have helped me to build this amazing brand!
6. What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a franchise?
Ask yourself this question: Am I ready to stop being an employee and start being an owner? If the answer is yes, then seek an opportunity you can be passionate about. I would also advise to seek a business that is easy to operate, has a straightforward business model, and is geared towards creating cash flow.
7. In your opinion, why do you think that Made in the Shade would be a great opportunity for someone?
A proven model, a company with a national footprint, but a small company feel, low overhead, strong profitability, the strongest training in the industry, and a management group that is 100% committed to your success.