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Couple sees popularity in future for Shutterstile
John Donley makes all of his shutters out of Western red cedar and joins the pieces using mortise-and-tenon joints.
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BY RICHARD AMRHINE
If there is a niche to be filled, a good entrepreneur will find it and fill it. For people who want to dress up their homes, Elizabeth and John Donley see a niche they can fill with Shutterstile.
"People build these million-dollar homes, and they end up putting on $29 plastic, solid-color shutters that look like everyone else's," said Elizabeth Donley. "Why not have shutters that say something about who you are? Many people enjoy personalizing their homes, or maybe they just want to add curb appeal."
The Donleys think Shutterstile is the
Donley said response has been good since they officially kicked off business at the recent King George Home Show. They've also rented a booth at the Fredericksburg Home and Garden Show at the Expo and Conference Center today through Sunday.
They've begun working with nearby Angelo's restaurant on add-ing new shutters to provide a fresh look there, and are working with home builders interested in offering the shutters as an option for buyers.
PLENTY OF CHOICES
So what is Shutterstile? It's a custom-sized shutter frame with standard-size weatherproof tile inserts. The inserts can be left in place or easily switched for another design as frequently or infrequently as you choose. Want bright colors for summer? Earth tones for fall? No problem.
A basic style and size for a smaller window starts at about $159 a pair, and rises from there according to the size, tile and finish chosen. There are accessories to choose from, such as copper caps and special mounting hardware.
Visitors to shutter stile.com can create and re-create virtual shutters until they find a favorite combination, and then calculate the cost.
"With regular shutters you have so few choices. Using different frames, finishes and tiles on our Web site you have more than 10,000 possible combinations," said Donley.
That's 10,764 to be exact.
There are porcelain tiles and pebble tiles, small glass tiles and large glass tiles, stainless-steel-covered tiles, handmade ceramic Talavera tiles from Mexico and tiles made from recycled cork stoppers. There are Western red cedar frames with a clear finish, stained finish or unfinished.