The Home Trust: How did you get into the window coverings industry?
Jesse Stolow: When I decided to leave my first job out of college, I was overwhelmed by the myriad options before me. My father had suggested that I take my educational focus in management to the family business, and as I felt I had no other viable options, I began my career at Total Window. Growing up with a family business, people always expect that I was predetermined to work at the company. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth. I never expected to join the family business, but once I did, I began to develop an amazing sense of opportunity and responsibility to continue the legacy that was started thirty years ago by my father.
HT: You have a lot of interests including your own radio show. What inspires you and who has most influenced you?
JS: I get inspired by a lot of things. Nature inspires me. I love traveling and experiencing different sights, sounds, and smells. Different parts of the world help shift my focus on more important things in our daily lives. I have been working with a business coach and other mentors for a number of years. They help me step outside of myself and see the big pictures of the business. Lastly, I find that I am a very analytical thinker. This leads me to get caught up in details that can narrow my focus. My wife is very creative and free spirited. She helps me to think and react outside my comfort zone.
THT: What is the best advice you ever received?
JS: Treat others the way that they want to be treated.
THT: Is there a common thread that runs through all great products?
JS: All great products must start with the notion that simple design is at the core of everything. Objects that are too complicated tend to get diluted in the marketplace. You must determine what the essential need is of the product is solving and forget all other superfluous distractions. Picasso did a study once where he attempted to draw a bull in as few lines as possible. He went through a number of drawings, but eventually came to a very pared down version of the bull – the simplest and most design centric of all the illustrations. All great products take this approach.
THT: What is your favorite object that reflects extraordinary design and why?
JS: When I first read this question I hooked into a designed piece that was created by man. Something like a table or an iPhone since I am in the industry of creating tangible and consumable goods. However, the best object in this category would have to be a piece of paper. It is the genesis of all other design.
THT: What makes a room sing?
JS: Nothing is created in vacuum. In order of the materials in a room to work together, all of the people who are responsible for bringing these items together must all communicate. It is not enough to have a continuous color or pattern or texture found throughout the paint, molding, lighting, carpet, etc. In order for everything to be truly remarkable at the end of the day, the proper leader must be there to get all the different companies and interests talking in the same voice.
THT: So, along with simplicity, you’re advocating communicating and organization. What makes a great organization?
JS: A great organization is built on a shared set of common values, and a clearly defined set of objectives and goals. None of those things are possible, however, without the right people who believe in those values and goals.
THT: Why The Home Trust?
JS: Smart people in a room tend to develop good ideas. The Home Trust creates the environment for a bunch of smart people to get together without pretense, rank, competition, etc. to share and collaborate. We learn from each other. We build relationships. We figure out ways to make better businesses and create better products or brand experiences for our clients.
Jesse Stolow is the Chief Operations Officer of Total Window, Inc.
Previously, Mr. Stolow was the Event and Sponsorship Coordinator for Hobarama, LLC and Production Manager for iTV360, LLC. He joined Total Window in 2006, and has assisted in significantly increasing market share of the affluent community within South Florida and Caribbean.
He received his Cum Laude, Bachelors of Science degree in Applied Economics and Management from Cornell University in 2004, where he focused in Entrepreneurship and Marketing.