Photo by Liz Edwards
Kathy Akers and Jenni Sands, best friends for 25 years, have formed a partnership to bring We Gotcha Covered into a new era.
ALTON — We Gotcha Covered, a window fashions business created in 2001 in the home of Ken and Pat Thaxton, found new owners in November 2013.
Kathy Akers and Jenni Sands, best friends for 25 years, have formed a partnership to bring the business into a new era after getting a letter they couldn’t ignore.
“We had been talking about doing something together, but just couldn’t put our finger on it,” said Sands, co-owner and partner. “Then we got the letter, and I immediately called (Akers) and was like, ‘This did not just fall into our hands. There’s got to be a reason.’ We talked about it, sat down with the Thaxtons and decided it was perfect for us.”
It was a company shift that began because of health issues. Ken Thaxton was struggling with a type of arthritis that improved in drier conditions, so they needed to make a change: retirement to Arizona. With that decision, they contacted Sands. As the owner of Roloff Decorating Inc., a company that specializes in flooring and paint, the Thaxtons saw the potential.
“That’s what’s great about it. We’re able to share clients,” Sands explained. “They might initially come over (to Roloff) and want flooring, and the next thing they’re calling us here.”
Besides the advantage of the two companies improving home decor, together, the best friends already have made big changes to We Gotcha Covered. They’ve expanded the area they cover, starting with crossing the river into St. Louis. They’re also converting filing cabinet after filing cabinet of previous and new clients into computer form and tossed that fax machine and paper ordering system. They’re modernizing the company.
“We had no electronic records whatsoever,” Sands said.
“Just bringing it to the right decade is a challenge enough,” Akers, co-owner and partner, added.
Their van also has brought a new angle: A moving showroom. While anyone can come in and see the stationary showroom in the office, their van has samples or visuals of their products, including blinds, draperies, shutters and upholstery. While they can’t fit the entirety of the fabric room inside, it is a major advantage.
“We do free in-home consultations so we can kind of take our showroom to their living room, their great room and let them see it,” Akers said. “And sometimes that’s the most convenient part because we can see if it’s gonna match right there in their own lighting, with their own flooring, their own sofas — because they can’t bring that sort of thing to our showroom.”
Whether it is the integrity and meticulous work the Thaxtons built the company on, or the innovation and modernization the girls are bringing in, We Gotcha Covered is still about truly custom treatments for home and offices.
Discover the new We Gotcha Covered at 3125 Washington Ave., Alton, or make an appointment with Sands and Akers at (618) 466-5847.