Enjoying 11 Years of the ShadeFX Lifestyle

When the phone rang and the call display said Hilary McLeod, it was a loud bell that rang my memory into action. The first customers of a new company, while not as memorable as a first kiss, are remembered for all time as those who extended an extraordinary level of trust at a time when faith was all there was to support it.

I answered the phone with the Pavlovian ‘what’s wrong’ in the back of my mind.

To my surprise Hilary, and I’m paraphrasing here, said “I want to order another canopy”.

I was taken aback. What’s wrong indeed? Another canopy?

“Gee Hilary. It’s great to hear from you. What’s wrong with your canopy?”

“Nothing,” she says. “It’s time for another one.”

I was immediately distracted, switching screens to look up the early order. Another one? We just sold her . . . (scrolling down) well it was a while ago. It was only, well actually, HOLY SMOKES!  It was 11 years ago?

That’s great Hilary. But can I make sure everything is okay first? Like, what’s leading you to want to replace it?

“It’s seen its share of wear and tear. It’s still working, but I’d like to replace it.

Suddenly I realize what it’s like to be a Honda Dealer. You sell a car and after 11 years the customer comes back. Cool!

Needless to say, Hilary bought a new canopy and we delivered and installed it just like back in 2008. But I couldn’t leave well enough alone. I had to have a chat with our 12th customer, and first replacement customer on the record.

We arranged a sit down after her new system was installed and I placed my phone on the table to record our interview.

Here’s a summary of our Q&A:

Q: How did you come to choose ShadeFX as the product you purchased?
A: I was very impressed with the concept.

Q: What was it that impressed you?
A: I like the fact that it was at the Green Living Show, and that it was environmentally conscious, those things were important to me. There were other physical issues with the deck having a low eave from the house and very little room for a slope. So a fixed roof would have a snow load issue. By running the track parallel to the house ShadeFX was able to provide a small tilt for rain runoff, then the system could retract to avoid snow loads in the winter.

Q: So now that ShadeFX provided a retractable sun and rain solution, how has it changed your lifestyle?
A: We can use it all hours of the day. In the summer when the sun beats in here it’s scorching . . . it makes a huge difference in the temperature. It protects us from the rain.  When we want to barbecue we can still barbeque.

Q: So you entertain a lot?
A: I do. I use it at parties. Every year that I have a pool party it rains . . . and the party carries on . . . it’s great.

Q: Do you get comments from your guests about the system?
A: I’ve had a lot of people say “That’s great”.  They don’t even know it’s a system because it’s nicely tucked back. Then, if rain starts, I put it across and they’re dumbfounded.

Q: You mentioned green living earlier. Is it easier to keep the house cool?
A: It definitely is. When I put the canopy over, It drastically reduces the level of heat in the kitchen.

Q: So you’ve enjoyed the ShadeFX lifestyle for 11 years now. Clearly, by purchasing another system we have your endorsement. How did it feel making that decision when the company and the product were only a few months old?
A: LOL. My kids call me an early adopter.

Q: Does that mean you make risky decisions on new products, like hoverboards?
A: It (my decision) is definitely calculated, I wouldn’t say reckless, I do my research . . . and then I take the plunge.

In April of 2008, there wasn’t a lot of online data to research about ShadeFX. We are glad Hilary found us at a show where close observation sufficed, and the lack of alternatives compelled her to act. As an entrepreneur, and on behalf of ShadeFX, we are forever indebted to customers like Hilary. The early adopters!

With over a decade in the industry, ShadeFX still aim to bring comfort and style to any outdoor space. Let’s get started today.