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Under The Hood: Haley From Everhem

Haley, give us the backstory on Everhem. Where did the motivation and idea to start the business come from?

Haley: When I was a child, I would spend countless hours rearranging my bedroom. This creative outlet stuck with me from my childhood bedroom to my college dorm room, to my first home, I have always naturally been drawn to making a space feel special. This affinity for design is what inspired my career - I worked as an interior designer for years before starting my design brand, Everhem, to solve the pain points around custom window treatments.

As an interior designer, I ran into so many hurdles and missteps when it came to window treatments. My intuition told me I could create a company that did it better than the rest. I partnered up with my husband, Adam, and we launched Everhem in August 2019. Our goal from the start was to offer customers and designers like myself an option for 100% customized, high-quality window treatments paired with exceptional customer experience.

How critical are your relationships with your customers? Do most of your customers start with the initial consultation?

Haley: I have always placed immense value on delivering exceptional customer service, drawing from my background in the hospitality industry before venturing into interior design and founding Everhem. Interacting with people and ensuring their satisfaction has been ingrained in my approach from the outset.

The principles of exceptional customer service that I carried with me from my previous careers have become a part of Everhem’s core values. Whether you are designing your home room by room or a designer with multiple projects a year we hope that all our customers return to us for their next home or next project and think of Everhem as their go-to experts for window treatment.

From the inception of Everhem, we've offered complimentary virtual consultations, a practice we upheld even before the onset of the 2019 pandemic. This decision stemmed from my desire to extend my design expertise to people across the country, making video consultations the ideal platform. Customers are eager to get their questions answered, windows measured, or even reassurance in making the right choice. Spending 15-30 mins talking someone through a considered purchase can make or break the sale itself.

We always encourage people to start the Everhem process by ordering swatches and booking a consultation. We always encourage individuals to start the Everhem experience by ordering swatches and scheduling a consultation, as these initial steps serve as optimal touchpoints in the journey of designing and customizing window treatments.

How do you think about balancing the desire to grow super quickly in DTC with your commitment to thoughtful, personal customer relationships?

Haley: Everhem’s approach to personal customer relationships is fundamental to the growth we have seen in the last 4.5 years. My vision has always been to build a brand that offers a memorable experience creating window treatments. Whether our customers come to Everhem to add window treatments to their bedrooms, nurseries, or living spaces, it is a personal journey, and ensuring they feel a sense of pride and satisfaction with the finishing touch of their window treatments is paramount to us.

We prioritize thoughtful and personal customer service throughout every step of the process. Rather than aiming for rapid expansion, we focus on design, customer relationships, quality, and continuous improvement. This deliberate approach has impacted our growth as our customers share their experiences with family and friends, creating more customers.

What’s one thing about building Everhem that you didn’t expect to be true when you initially started?

Haley: One unexpected realization about building Everhem was how widespread the problem I initially faced truly was. When I followed my intuition to start this business, it stemmed from the frustration of sourcing window treatments for my clients. What I didn't anticipate was the sheer number of people and designers grappling with the same challenge. It was remarkable to see how my decision to trust my instincts and take a leap of faith to solve a problem resonated with so many others in the industry.

Tell us about your tech stack - what are some of your favorite tools and apps you currently use at Everhem? Any you can’t live without?

Kustomer - our CX team uses this platform for all our customer communication; it allows us to view all customer interactions with us as well as when they place orders, act as consultations, etc. all in a timeline view so our team has full context when serving our customers.

Shopify - we work with Shopify in a headless capacity and it has helped us to seamlessly process customer orders as well as house our custom-developed app that allows us to create quotes that help our customers tremendously.

Klaviyo - we’ve leveraged Klaviyo for all of our email marketing needs and have been so happy with the platform and how it helps us grow and nurture our brand community.

Attentive - we're new to Attentive and are utilizing all of our SMS needs. We’ve seen a great response to this new channel.

Slack - being a primarily remote company and also engaging with a number of agencies, Slack has always met and continues to meet the growing needs of our business - communication is a huge pillar of our success as a team and Slack keeps us all connected and on the same page.

Calendly - Consultations are a huge part of our customer journey and Calendly helps us keep scheduling streamlined and easy for both our team and our customers.

Other platforms that help us at Everhem: Apollo, Google Workspace, Fellow, Azure, Digital Ocean, Digiphy, Zapier, SendGrid, QR code Generator, Shippo, Impact

If you could go back and give yourself one piece of entrepreneurial advice for when you started Everhem, what would it be?

Haley: If I could go back and offer myself a single piece of entrepreneurial advice when starting Everhem, it would be: don't hesitate to delegate tasks and hire help. In the early stages, my husband and I took all the responsibilities within the business while managing personal commitments, including a 3-year-old son, the birth of our identical twins, and a pandemic!  

This led to a juggling act that stretched us very thin. In hindsight, recognizing the need for additional support earlier on would have alleviated much of the strain we experienced. In my experience, trusting others to contribute to the business not only brings growth and development but allows a founder to take a step back and take a deep breath.