Growing Up Insolroll: Induction into the World of Solar Shades

Innovative Openings solar shade Installation and service department
Here I am on the far left in my first Innovative Openings Installation Team Photo; Circa 2008

My induction into the world of Solar Shades

Kid hearing about solar shades for the first time

As I sit here at my desk, I look back at the years, and am amazed at the steps I have taken to be where I am today. As a photography and marketing assistant for Insolroll Window Shading Systems, Inc., it has been little stepping stones that have transformed me from the little menace, running around with the other employees’ children at company parties, to the young man I am now. I don’t think it was until my mid-adolescence that I began to understand the true gravity and impact with which solar shades would have on my life. In grade school, the extent of my involvement in the company primarily consisted of walking the office floor, soliciting boy scout bars through the desks; but unless your dad is a fireman or a cowboy, it becomes difficult to fully understand the weight our parents pull and what that means for our futures. Fast forward to high school. At this point you can grasp how your parents make their living, and you really start thinking about what it takes for you to do the same. In the summer before my senior year, I was hired by Insolroll’s sister company, Innovative Openings, alongside another employee offspring and his high school friend, as solar shades installation assistants. Serving as my first full-time summer job, this would mean that we accompanied any one of the installers out on their day-to-day installation schedules and help them in any way they deemed fit at the job site.


There were days, of course, where I would feel more helpful than others. While I found an increasing proficiency in the rapid installation of many Hunter Douglas products and Insolroll solar shades, I would find my self spending more and more of my time picking up pieces of packaging, screws dropped from high on the ladder to the carpet, or else holding up the other end of a 20ft Oasis solar shade to avoid its splashing demise into the backyard pool 2 stories below. (More on those Spidey-skills later) In the wake of it all, it did make me money, I developed my mathematical skills and engineering knowledge, and I even inherited a few industry-specific tricks; even more so, my time as an installer promoted critical thinking and the importance of problem solving which, up until my employment at Innovative Openings, were not necessary requirements in some of my other, less demanding, early high school-aged jobs I had picked up. People employed at my age simply weren’t expected to put in that extra time and effort to finish the job. But as an installer I was. Even at 5pm when you have spent all day running into issues on the same wood blinds install job, and all that you and your fellow installers want to do is be posted up in front of your own living room TV, you can’t go home yet. No… there is no coming back tomorrow (tomorrow’s 6 appointments have exhausted the possibility of that genius idea). So you stay and finish the job even if you are there until 7pm, it needs to be finished today. It was truly this first full-time employed summer as a wide-eyed high-schooler, which set the wheels in motion for what would shape the ways in which I spent my next 5 summer vacations, and the skills and trades I would learn in the process.