I guess, like many people, eleven years ago I had no idea of the importance in the World's economic merry-go-round of a product that existed to keep flies out of a room.
Out of your kitchen, out of your house, out of your life.
Of course I had seen the old swinging screen insect screen doors on American movies. But I had never experienced the tranquil feeling they give to the dwellers inside. Protecting them from the misery of mosquitos and the like.
There weren't any similar conditions where I came from and never have been and never will be. Will there?
I was quite content doing my job, when one day my boss came and told me he had decided the Company would sell Insect Screens in the UK – and I was doing it.
-"What's an Insect Screen?"
-" It's a Fly Screen for posh people!", he told me.
I was no wiser.
The trading name of the new Insect Screen operation would be called ASPLEX Super Insect Screens, he told me.
Then he gave me some framed demonstration samples and explained one was a "pull-down " for a Window Screen, another was a " pull across " for a Single Door Screen and the big one was a "pull together " for a Twin Door Screen.
Still no wiser, I believed I had been well and truly landed.
I took a screwdriver to the samples. Took them apart and re-assembled them – and they still worked. Part one completed.
Over in Italy, the makers were really pleased that they had a new customer on board.
They invited me to go there to see their production – of course I went!
I was astonished to find a whole Industry in big factory spaces, making something I'd never ever dreamed of. They were selling their products on a world-wide scale! The UK was just the next stop on the map.
Well, for the next 18 months I tried hard to spread the word across the whole UK.
Leaflets, exhibitions to the Window Industry, exhibitions to the Blinds Trade, exhibitions to the public. I got some customers – but they mostly said they had been asked about them, but didn't know where to find them. So they didn't bother before I came along.
NewBlinds.co.uk decided to give them a go, by selling through a small off-shoot business they called BUZZSTOP. In fact, because the business was run by the son of the family – a university student – I was sure it would soon fizzle out.
But after 18 months it was still going – doing well, in fact and soon after it inherited the UK exclusivity for the Roller Insect Screen from ASPLEX.
I was invited to join the Italian manufacturers to work for them selling their systems worldwide to people who didn't have to ask "What's a Flyscreen?" and I was ever so grateful to my former boss for it!
Now, when people ask "What's a Fly Screen?" I have to be very careful not to keep them too long explaining!
Anyway, thanks to NewBlinds.co.uk, and BUZZSTOP.co.uk, so many more people know now – but in case you want to know more about insect screens and even buy online, please contact us by calling 0161 494 9616, or by visiting the Trade Blinds section of NewBlinds.co.uk.
Reggie Plecks is now head of New Business Development at NewBlinds.co.uk.