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.


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.
orange curtains paired with brown faux wooden blinds on large bay window in cosy living room with two people chatting on the sofa

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.

We've also enjoyed being 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.

Most recently, you might have seen our clever owl on your TV screens. Voiced by the legendary Jennifer Saunders, this stylish ornament knows that it’s a wise choice to call Hillarys for a fit that’s right first time, every time.


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

Exclusive designer collaborations

Over 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.

We welcomed back Abigail Ahern in 2022 with a second collection of beautiful fabrics for Romans blinds, curtains and cushions. Taking Abigail’s collaboration with Hillarys to the next level, the collection still has Abigail’s signature feel but with a lighter palette.



Hillarys sponsors the Nottingham Post Women in Business Awards.

Sustainable choices

In 2021 we were delighted to introduce recycled fabrics to our collection for the first time with our range of recycled Roller blinds manufactured from 100% recycled polyester yarn, originating from recycled PET polyester plastic bottles.

Since then, our range of of more sustainable fabrics has grown, with exciting ranges of Roller blinds, Pleated blinds, Roman blinds and curtains made with fabrics that are kinder to the environment.


Find out more about our sustainable choices


Hillarys celebrates 50 years of style and value with birthday fun from exclusive competitions to behind-the-scenes content and new exciting collaborations.

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.