Made in the Shade

By
From the June 2014 edition

Apartment B offers an inexpensive and trendy take on the old-school roller shade.

Shopping for window treatments is often one of two things: boring or expensive. Take the bland route, and you’re likely to resent your windows. Go the custom route, and you’re likely to dig deep into your decor budget. Or maybe not.

Local small biz Apartment B creates custom roller shades with a vintage vibe and plenty of style—all for between $75 and $250. Top-selling shades include a coffee-cups pattern—perfect for a sunny kitchen—and the London bus roll graphic print. Other patterns and graphics include bold, colored stripes, a map of Columbus city streets circa 1937 and totally retro paint-by-number scenes. Local small biz creates custom roller shades with a vintage vibe and plenty of style—all for between $75 and $250. Top-selling shades include a coffee-cups pattern—perfect for a sunny kitchen—and the London bus roll graphic print. Other patterns and graphics include bold, colored stripes, a map of Columbus city streets circa 1937 and totally retro paint-by-number scenes.

Apartment B got its start in 2010 when owner Adam Hawkey was looking for a fun, inexpensive way to spice up his new digs (apartment B, naturally). He was underwhelmed by the window treatments he found in stores, so he decided to make his own.

“I started making a few for my own place, and then we started developing different patterns and graphics and testing different fabrics and shapes,” Hawkey says.

With the help of his designer girlfriend, Hawkey developed a business model for the product, experimenting with materials and designs. He launched Apartment B’s website in 2011 and now sells the roller shades—as well as graphic designs on stretched canvases—in seven local stores, including Celebrate Local at Easton.

“People like them because they’re unique while still affordable,” Hawkey says. “For the most part, our customers are people who want to get creative with their interiors without investing a lot of money.”

Coming soon for Apartment B: a potential brick-and-mortar location (Hawkey says he would ideally open shop in Grandview) and big, bold graphic statements a la the “Keep Calm and …” trend.