What Level is Your Design Business?

Bound by Business: Working With the In-Laws

Episode 269 of Window Treatments for Profit

Today With Tina and Ashley Engdahl:

In this week’s episode of Window Treatments for Profit, we’re excited to introduce a special series called “Bound by Business,” focusing on the unique challenges and rewards of family businesses. Hosted by Jessica Harling, who grew up in a family business herself, this episode features Tina and Ashley Engdahl, a mother-daughter duo (almost!) from Apollo Draperies in Cincinnati. These in-laws both joined their husbands in the family business and have a wealth of experience to share. Throughout the episode, Tina and Ashley discuss the importance of defining core values and using the Traction system to keep everyone aligned and accountable. They discuss the challenges of communication in family businesses and share strategies for navigating heated moments with patience and understanding. The conversation also touches on the significance of setting boundaries between work and personal life and the value of continuous learning and improvement. Whether you work with your in-laws or not, this episode is packed with valuable insights for anyone in a family business.

More About Tina and Ashley Engdahl

My career started as a Registered Nurse in 1984 and I quickly realized I was in the wrong profession. I stuck with it until 1987 when an opportunity came up for me to work at my husband’s family business, Apollo Draperies, Inc. I jumped at the opportunity and never looked back. I started as a Sales Consultant and learned everything I could about draperies, valances, bedding, pillows, table covers, blinds, shades, and shutters and loved every minute of it. 

It was at this same time that we purchased the business from my in-laws. It didn’t take too long before I realized that neither my husband or myself knew not the 1st thing about business. My husband had a degree in Industrial Design and mine was in nursing. He ran the workroom and installations and I did the design and bookkeeping. Somehow we just kept on keeping on until 2009 when I noticed the lead book was getting more and more sparse and we were realistically going out of business. At that time I was looking through a trade magazine and an ad caught my attention and I proceeded to answer it and within minutes my phone was ringing and Steve Bursten of Exciting Windows was on the other end. 

He proceeded to ask me all kinds of questions that I could not answer which made me realize we would certainly go out of business unless we learned what business is and how to actually run one. We Joined Exciting Windows and learned everything we could about how to run a business. That’s when I feel I started to actually grow. And I have loved every part (almost) of learning and absorbing all I can to make a difference in our future as business owners and the legacy we were making for our family. 

The real pain, struggles, as well as growth didn’t truly start until our middle son and his wife graduated from college and wanted to be a part of the business- 10 years ago! I’d have to say that’s when I began growing up . We all did. “The struggle was real”,2′ as some have put it. But like most entrepreneurs, quitting was never an option!

I knew enough to know we needed help and hired a business coach, Jeesic Harling and the 4 of us worked with her for 18 months. We were growing and maturing and eventually hit another plateau at which point I knew enough to know I didn’t know what I didn’t know and hired Madeleine MacRae to get us through another difficult stage. Now we are at a point where we have reached over $1,250,000.00 in revenue and looking forward to scaling to $2 million and then $3 million.

My husband is getting ready to retire and we are working towards the 3rd generation to scale to the next levels.

Connect with Tina and Ashley Engdahl





More About Jessica Harling

With unwavering conviction, Jessica Harling can break down complex decisions to simplify an action plan. Her dynamic problem-solving can confront potential obstacles proactively and energize any team, making others feel valued to achieve their ambitious company goals. She is the founder of Behind the Design, a People Operations company that enthusiastically collaborates with leadership to build dream teams! From recruiting to training and process development, their intuition for creating strong emotional connections discovers and nurtures rockstar talent with established streamlined processes that impact the company’s bottom line.

Connect with Jessica Harling





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Other Resources Mentioned

Traction by Gino Wickman – Get a Grip on Your Business (eosworldwide.com)

Scholarships — WCAA

The Power Talk Friday Tour – LuAnn Nigara

Other Shows Mentioned

AWDB #950: Overheard: Insights on Hiring Exceptional People


AWDB #958: Overheard: What I Wish I Knew Then: With Kate O’Hara, Erika Ward, Jennifer Stoner, and Alex Alonso


AWDB #968: Overheard: Charles Pavarini, Leyden Lewis, and Maria Viola: How to Harness Creativity in Interior Design


WTFP #254: Jessica Harling: Confronting or Firing Family Members in Your Business


WTFP #256: Jessica Harling: Firing a Family Member Part 2: 9 Tips to Make it as Painless as Possible