Tony Hillary the founder of Hillarys

Our history

Find out how a small made-to-measure blinds business, founded by Tony Hillary, grew to become the nation’s favourite window dressing specialist.

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Brown coloured Hillarys first logo

From humble beginnings

It was back in 1971 in the city of Nottingham that Tony Hillary fitted his first made-to-measure blind.

As a sole trader, Tony was responsible for everything from advertising and selling to manufacturing and fitting, all from the garage of his home.


Hillarys becomes the first blinds company to introduce minimum standards of quality assurance in manufacturing and service.
an old black and white image of the Carlton Mill on Burton Road in Nottingham

Growing the business

In those early days, Tony was only able to offer customers a choice of Venetian blinds … or Venetian blinds. But with Tony’s hard work, the business grew and it wasn’t long until the company expanded the product range and hired staff, recruiting the first self-employed advisors in 1976.

John Risman, Hillarys CEO
Our business might have changed in many ways since the early days, but our essential values of offering quality, value for money products and outstanding service in the comfort of a customer’s own home remain at the core of what we do today.
John Risman, Hillarys CEO
Behind the scenes in the factory with lady sewing curtain lining

Production boom

After a successful six years, in 1977 production moved from garage to factory with manufacturing facilities opening in Nottingham and Washington, Tyne and Wear.

As volume and range increased, bigger premises were needed. Washington moved in 1982 and in 1985, a new factory and our head office opened in Colwick, Nottingham.


Hillarys embrace new technology to help keep track of appointments and orders. The millionth order on the new system was taken in 2002.
someone sat on the edge of a bed in an orange velvet robe in a room with wooden floors, teal blue walls and curtains matched with white voile curtains

Spot us on TV

As our reputation grew, Hillarys was appearing in homes all over the UK not just at windows but across the airwaves with the mid-nineties seeing our first local TV and radio advertising and the memorable ‘Hillarys Blinds and Curtains’ jingle.

Most recently, you’ll have spotted us on Channel 4 as proud sponsors of ‘Homes on 4,’ the ultimate location for the nation’s favourite Homes programming, from George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces to Love it or List it.

Find out more


Hillarys celebrates 40 years of trading and raises £40,000 for charity. We also exhibit at Grand Designs, the Ideal Home Show, Hampton Court and Tatton Park Flower Shows.
A hillarys pop up shop that is located in the Highcross shopping centre in Leicester

Bringing Hillarys to your area

In 2012, it was time to say hello to a new experience in home interiors as we opened our first concession stand in Highcross, Leicester.

This was followed by more concessions and pop-up shops opening in major shopping centres across the UK. Customers had the opportunity to see our extensive range of styles and chat to our expert team.


The Contact Centre achieve a superb ranking in the Top 50 Call Centres for Customer Services, the UK’s biggest independent benchmarking programme.

A world of inspiration

In 2017, we opened our first ever showroom, offering a world of inspiration with our entire range of stunning curtains, blinds and shutters to explore. We now have showrooms in Cheltenham, Harrogate and Guildford. See what happened when architect and TV presenter George Clarke visited our Chelternham showroom to see how the expert team help our customers.


Hillarys sponsors the Nottingham Post Women in Business Awards.
Someone sat with a dog in a living room that is decorated with plants and gasoline patterned curtains fitted to  a door window

Exclusive designer collaborations

Almost 50 years’ experience in our craft have attracted experts from the world of interior design to collaborate with us. From George Clarke to Pearle Lowe, we work with style partners who push the boundaries of design to help you discover a unique style of your own.

In 2013, we launched our first capsule collection with HouseBeautiful, working together to develop a fantastic range of products. In 2018, Abigail Ahern introduced coloured curtain linings and contrasting fringing with her deeply glamourous Hillarys collection and in 2020 our Livingetc collection saw bold new colours and abstract patterns added to our range.

Advisor close up smiling holding blind cord with blush pink curtains next to him

Where we are now

Over the last 50 years our company has grown and adapted. We’ve added new products to our range and our team has grown too.

Our head office is still close to where Tony Hillary started out. We’re now a major employer in Nottingham, in fact, across all our sites, we employ over 1,500 colleagues in a wide range of roles. Our dedicated network of 1,100 self-employed advisors stretches across the UK.

Everyone at Hillary cares about your home as much as you do, Proud of our company’s heritage, our shared goal is to exceed our customers’ expectations with great products and excellent service.