A look at the history and future of Inside
Many of you obviously won’t be familiar with the history of Inside Blinds and the family behind the company. Which is why we sit down for a conversation with CEO Dominique. How did Inside get started? Who is who? Who does what? What plans does Inside Blinds have for the future? You’ll find out all about it!
Where did you get your passion for fabrics?
“So, let me take you back to the year 1935,” says Dominique Lampe. “That was the year my grandfather started a weaving mill. My parents eventually took over mill, and I started helping there very early on. That’s how the seed was planted. Later, my studies were also based on this, and after working for a while in Italy – the center of the textile universe – I went to work in my family’s weaving mill. There, I could let my creativity run wild by improving the performance of the weaving machines. In this way, I developed a passion for innovation, alongside my love of textiles. I love making things work better to optimize the quality of the final product.”
So how did Inside Blinds eventually get started?
“After several years in the weaving business, I felt it was time to take on a new challenge, although still linked to my passion for textiles. For that reason, in 1992, I started Shadow Dream, which specialized in the buying and selling of blinds. After a few years, I found that we were getting more and more requests for Roman shades, and so it happened... I immersed myself in the product but noticed that some things could be better than what was offered on the market at the time. For example, I developed the first compact raising/lowering system using cords instead of ribbons, which has now become the standard worldwide. In 1996, I started my own production. We then added a laser cutting machine, a ribbing machine, I developed the self-regulating sleeve, the buttonhole method, and so on. My success formula was born: innovative products of impeccable quality. Satisfied customers, that’s what we strive for.”
Many products have since been added to the product range...
“That’s true, I haven’t sat still very much over the past 30 years. In 2000, I also started producing drapes. In the years that followed, window panels, roller shades and wood blinds were added one by one. In 2017, we changed the company’s name to Inside Blinds and focused even more resolutely on innovation.”
“In 2019, we also started producing wall covering and Squid was added to the range as well. My motivation has always been to develop the ‘perfect’ product and that has never changed. I am constantly thinking about how we can improve and optimize our products. And that will probably always be the case.”
What about your international ambitions?
“We do have those ambitions, that’s true. After our products became popular with customers in Belgium, we went on to the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, and even Greece. Today, the first steps were also taken to offer Inside products overseas. We recently set up a company in North America where we plan to expand an assembly unit soon. The fabric will be manufactured at the headquarters in Roeselare, Belgium, and will be further assembled into a finished product in the United States. By working this way, we can avoid a lot of unnecessary transportation, which minimizes the impact on the environment.”
And what are the plans for the future?
“In the coming years, we will mainly be focusing on switching to a sustainable production process. In fact, we’ve been working on that for several years and by 2025 everything should be environmentally friendly, recycled/recyclable, biodegradable, or self-sustainable.”
“The construction of our new production space is already a major step forward in that respect. With 5,000 m² of solar panels, heat pumps, a large battery to compensate for shortages, our electric vehicle fleet, etc., numerous steps have already been taken.”
“In terms of products, we only work with raw materials that are sustainable. Our fabrics, for example, are developed with yarns that are recycled or that are fully recyclable. Our aluminum profiles are made of 95% recycled aluminum, our 3D printers enable us to avoid mass production, our W.E.T. treatment is completely environmentally friendly, and so on.”
“In everything we do, we ask ourselves what its impact is on the environment. So, new developments are always subjected to the Inside Environmental Test – or I.E.T. for short. In this way, we ensure that not only we, but also our suppliers, look critically at the environmental impact of new products and components.”
And succession is also assured?
“Yes, my three daughters have expressed a desire to expand the business. So, the second generation of passionate textile lovers is coming and as you can see, the third generation has already been born as well. My oldest daughter Shauni works for the company and is responsible for HR and marketing. Stephanie also joined our family business at the start of September and is responsible for operations together with my wife Nancy. My youngest daughter Axelle is still focusing full time on her studies, but she too is eager to step into our future story with us.”“Together, our ambitions are sky-high. My dream is to make Inside a household name in the interior design world. A name that people instantly associate with design, extensive innovation, excellent quality, durability, and an environmentally friendly character. Together, we are eagerly building on that story.”
In the photo from left to right: Shauni - Florence - Dominique - Nancy - Axelle - Stephanie