Helen and Lewis Smith buy the business for a mere $500, which was a lot in those days. For a few decades, they ran this store with a merry crew that included friends and family. Taking the shop from a small curtain and roller shade business, to a full fledged custom window covering shop with field installers. The Smith’s daughters Bonnie, Barbara and Katherine grew up in the business and started working there from Junior High School and all the way through college.
Hans and Barbara return from Germany to oversee the business operation with their two small children in tow. Bringing a breath of fresh air to the business with youth and vitality also meant the need for more staff and expanded services. A larger showroom was needed, so the family made a deal with the owners of their current location to move the business into a larger space.
The window covering business debuted the Hunter Douglas honeycomb Duette, which revolutionized the whole industry. With this popular insulating product becoming an instant hit with consumers, Hunter Douglas was well on their way to becoming the most innovative company around. For the next 2 decades, the window covering industry expanded to include many new brands of products, and the job of selling these innovative products became more involved than ever.
Son Kevin Boerner and his wife Maria manage the store and all their operations, while they planned on expanding their own family. Kevin’s knowledge of window coverings and technology was a huge boost for the business. Alcatraz Shade took on a more professional role and entered the new millennium in style.
The Grand Daughter to Helen Smith, Jennifer Flack managed the business with Hans, and did in home consultation for close to a decade. While managing the Shade Shop, Jennifer studied Interior Design at UCB to help further her independent career in design. She also started a family and now lives in Tiburon with her husband and daughter.
Currently the Alcatraz Shade Shop has a full time staff of 3 Design Consultants, a full time Installer, an electrician and repair man, a resident shade maker and bookkeeper. Please see our Staff Bios for more information about us.