March 4, 2014 | by Mark Lee
What windows wear well
Mike Witkop, Adam Holzsager, Window Wears, business, gay news, Washington Blade

Business partners Mike Witkop and Adam Holzsager of Window Wears. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The staff at Window Wears knows their business so well customers likely think they have a magic portal into their homes.

Business partners Adam Holzsager and Mike Witkop take great pride in serving clients with acquiring custom window blinds, shades, motorized shades, shutters and other window treatment products. If satisfaction, referral and repeat business, and preferred provider status among local builders and real estate agents are indicators, they’re at the top of their game. The company’s glowing online reviews provide testimonials the envy of enterprise.

It’s simply the way they like to operate.

Founded by Witkop in 1996, the former men’s sportswear specialist launched the business as a result of personal experience. Needing blinds for his residence, Witkop self-ordered them. He discovered it was difficult to locate product options, navigate selection and undertake installation. His off-the-shelf purchases soon developed problems, requiring replacement or repair.

The lack of a specialized company providing customized service in D.C. inspired Witkop to discern a business opportunity – still fulfilling a unique niche.

Customer service experience from previously working in the business equipment industry helped Witkop decide to take the leap. He cut the corporate cord cold with a phone call while vacationing in Rehoboth.

He set out to master all aspects of his new endeavor with an office on his kitchen table. He learned the ropes, established vendor relationships and promoted his business by word of mouth – later running ads in the Blade to grow his client base. An underserved marketplace was constantly confirmed as client calls came.

Holzsager, a senior buyer for a major grocery store chain, was an acquaintance and had been a previous clothing customer. Whenever Holzsager would ask, Witkop would report his new endeavor was booming. “It was always as successful as I needed it to be,” Witkop recalls. Holzsager started to tentatively inquire, “don’t you think you’ll need someone to help out soon?” In 2000, he would follow his friend’s entrepreneurial path by leaving his job and teaming up with him.

Five years later, Holzsager would buy out his co-worker when Witkop relocated to San Francisco. Although he enjoyed the West Coast, operating a Window Wears West while there, Witkop would return to D.C. in 2011, re-joining the firm. Shortly thereafter, design and installation team member Bill Carson would begin working full-time.

“What makes us different is that we’re familiar with every single task involved in our business,” Holzsager says, “there’s nothing we haven’t done or don’t know well. Both Mike and I have more than a decade of experience working with clients and knowing our products, and we strive to offer low-hype, low-stress service delivering exactly what our clients want with exacting installation in the most convenient way possible.”

A commitment to excellence and their longevity of operation have enabled the duo to work directly with major national and international manufacturers – allowing for quick delivery and great pricing on the highest quality and most innovative window coverings available. “We’ve put a lot of effort into creating relationships with premier product sources that allow us to offer custom products of quality materials made to last and at good value,” emphasizes Holzsager. “No national franchise operation can provide that level of service and attention to detail,” Witkop adds.

Working out of an office suite in the Dupont Circle area when not consulting with clients in their homes or handling installations, Window Wears limits service within the Beltway. “We want to be able to maintain quick response to ensure clients enjoy complete satisfaction,” explains Holzsager.

What gives them the most pleasure, however, is helping them decide what their windows will wear.

Mark Lee is a long-time entrepreneur and community business advocate. Follow on Twitter: @MarkLeeDC. Reach him at OurBusinessMatters@gmail.com.

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