What started from a Market stall…

Our family business started in 1975, when John Margrain set up his market stall in Romford, a lively, well-known part of Essex history, the market was thriving during the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Originally John set up his stall selling Bathroom items, Shower Curtains, Toilet Seats etc, with some Blinds for Bathroom windows.

Over the years his business developed into selling just Blinds and as a sole trader his business boomed and he had market stalls in Romford, Pitsea & Walthamstow most days of the week. His wife, Janet, manned the stalls, while John went out estimating and fitting Blinds across Essex.

John’s Retirement

In 2008 John retired and that’s when his daughter, Sue & Son in Law, Steve bought the business and started to expand on what John had established, opening market stalls in Chelmsford, Bishops Stortford and Saffron Walden.

They soon discovered that the business needed to expand in a different direction and for John’s Blinds Limited to become more than just market stalls. After approximately a year, they closed two areas and concentrated on just Romford and Chelmsford.

The Romford market stall was the established part of the business and it was the Chelmsford High Street market on Friday’s and Saturday’s, where they built a new reputation. Over the years Romford market saw a lot of changes and it was time for fresh ideas

Decisions were made

In 2012 the extremely difficult decision was taken to close the Romford market stall the family started in 1975. Back in the day, a roadside pitch, such as they had, would change hands for ten of thousands of pounds, but due to the decline of the market, they had to just walk away. In early 2013 the business launched their Kiosk, inside the Romford Liberty Centre (pictured above with Sue, Janet, John & Steve)

The Chelmsford stall stopped after 9½ years of weekend trading, after we opened our Wickford Showroom in 2017.

During 2018 & 2019 we did the occasional weekends outside Barclays Bank in Chelmsford High Street, with our Mobile Showroom and that was great, as old customers returned and said hello, as well as chatting to new ones too.


The return to work after lockdown in June 2020 was a difficult time for everyone and although we managed to save the business, more decision had to be made. In the middle of 2020, we decided to cease going out in Chelmsford and in 2021 we also closed the Romford Kiosk, so we could concentrate on building the footfall into our Wickford Showroom. These decisions allowed the business to expand our Manufacturing Department.

We now manufacture the bulk of our products in-house, which includes Roller Blinds, Visions Blinds, Vertical Blinds, Allusion Blinds and Perfect Fit Blinds. We also have a Quality Control Department that inspects any other types of Blinds we buy in, before they go out to be installed in our client’s homes.

Our Wickford Showroom is one of the largest in Essex, with plenty of free parking and is a place where customers can come, see all the products, view all the fabrics available and get expert advice from our knowledgeable staff. Everyone within the company is super proud of our roots, especially Matthew who worked as a Saturday boy for John back in the 90’s.

Now we are coming up to Christmas 2022 and the UK is enduring one of the biggest economic downturns for decades. We are looking to expand the business again, with a whole new Division being set up in early 2023 to try and help future proof our family business, which was established in 1975 by John.

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