|Bill Thomas, the owner of Northern Illinois Windows, stands outside the Hidden Pearl Café in McHenry. Hidden Pearl is one of the customers that rely on NIW to keep their windows clean.|
Northern Illinois Windows – celebrates 25 years of cleaning area windows ‘one pane at a time’: They call it the Silver Anniversary. That's what McHenry-based Northern Illinois Windows is celebrating this summer - 25 years of cleaning Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin windows for 25 years. How many window panes have they cleaned 'one-at-a-time' over the course of those years? That's a number that's almost too astronomical to consider. Suffice it to say that it's a lot.
"I started the company with a bucket, a squeegee and a truck," said owner Bill Thomas. "I would knock on the doors of businesses and ask them if they wanted their windows cleaned."
Today, Thomas has crews of window washers who do the window washing as he runs the business. He coordinates the routes, schedules window washing, which also includes washing the windows in private residences, and he does continue to do sales. In those early years, he also did the book keeping, marketing and all the other chores that are necessary to a successful business.
"I still knock on doors," he said. "And, I go out and do estimates. I like meeting with prospective clients so that they know who stands behind the quality and service we provide."
Shortly after starting the business, Thomas was joined by his son. Today, Thomas operates a window washing business in downtown Colorado. Father and son communicate often sharing ideas and suggestions. But, here in McHenry, Thomas has learned that he can't, or shouldn't do it all. He works with others to keep his business on track. This frees up his time to further develop the business.
Actually, window cleaning is only part of what Northern Illinois Windows offers, albeit a big part. They also provide home and office window tinting, gutter cleaning and power washing. They also install and take down Christmas lights during the holidays.
"We have several types of window film we install," said Thomas. "But, our 3M window film is the industry standard."
The window film comes with different levels of tinting. One thing that almost uniform about the film is that, whatever level of tint, most block 99.9 percent of ultraviolet rays. Over time, the UV rays can bleach furniture, flooring and stock that businesses keep in the windows. And after installing the window film, Northern Illinois Windows is available to wash the windows when they get dirty again.
|Windows last November. The teenager plans to attend Boise State University to study human biology before going to medical school to become a cardiologist.|
Area Teen Adds Shine With 7B Windows (Sandpoint): There are plenty of Bonner County teens who are happy to wile away their downtime from high school hanging out at City Beach or staring into the screens of mobile devices. Nathan Roe is not among them. The 17-year-old opened 7B Windows last November. It was initially slow going because November is hardly the peak of window-cleaning season.
But Roe’s persistence began paying off. “I went door to door downtown and was able to drum up some business for it,” said Roe, who will be a Sandpoint High School senior when the new school year starts this fall.
Roe is now cleaning windows for Pita Pit and Trinity and City Beach. “I was really happy to get the Trinity job,” said Roe. Roe also picked up some residential clients, although his services don’t include cleaning windows on buildings more than a story high.
Roe said he picked up some advice from a high school custodian, who gave him some of the basic equipment needed to restore the lustre in people’s windows. “I didn’t really see any downside to doing it,” Roe said of 7B’s launch.
Roe said the business allows him to market himself while taking pride in doing a thorough job. “There’s no hiding the work you do,” he said.
Roe plans to attend Boise State to study human biology before going to medical school to become a cardiologist. Roe’s business venture is not impinging on his academic career. He is among the top 10 percent of his class. “The kid maintains a 4.2 GPA,” said Roe’s father, Mark.