There are only a handful of locally owned home shutter companies in the Rio Grande Valley, and Holden Security and Storm Shutters is probably the oldest one around. “I am third generation,” said Jeremy Holden, who has run the company founded by his grandfather ever since his father died 11 years ago. “I started right out of high school so I’ve really been in this business for 21 years.”
The McAllen-based business sells and installs a wide variety of shutters for security and storm protection, as well as other products like solar screens and solar-powered attic fans. Like so many small businesses, success is measured by more than sales. Often it’s the personal touch to customer service that makes the difference.
“Most of our business is word of mouth,” Holden said. “It’s nice to get out and meet customers and learn about them. We have developed good relationships and they tell others about us. That’s how come we have been in business this long. We try to do what’s right.”
Holden’s Shutters are custom built in a small workshop at the rear of the business located in a strip center on McColl Road. “We make the shutters here,” he said. “We cut them to size and build it and install it.” Shutters come in a variety of styles and colors. Some open and close electronically with a remote, while others operate with a hand crank or are pulled down manually.
Business is steady year-round for Holden, but he said that it usually picks up a little in the months leading up to hurricane season. His company can build storm shutters to withstand winds from 130 mph to 180 mph. “It all depends on how we anchor them down,” he said. “From Harlingen to South Padre Island they have to meet state windstorm guidelines and pass an inspection by a windstorm engineer.”
Holden’s advice for property owners who want hurricane protection is to plan ahead. “Our turn-around time from order to installation is four to six weeks during hurricane season.”
While hurricane protection is foremost among some customers, security shutters for residential and commercial properties are a big part of the business. “We do a lot of commercial jobs, such as roll-down shutters for businesses,” he said, naming Walgreens, AT&T and T-Mobile among his commercial customers.
Holden has seen some competitors go out of business over the years, adding he has worked hard to expand his business. He has added different products like solar shades and specialty items like a garage door sized heavy-duty screen with a door. It is installed above a garage door and can be pulled down independently. “It lets you use the garage for whatever you want, like maybe a man cave.”
Holden’s mother still works in the business taking care of the office. He has three installers, one of which has been with the company for 20 years. The other two have worked there six years. That kind of stability is another reason behind his company’s good reputation. “Our customers like to see the same people coming back,” he said. “That makes them comfortable and they feel secure that their property is safe.”
In addition to growth through word of mouth, Holden has added newspaper advertising to the mix. He runs a small ad every three days in the Valley’s three daily newspapers. “There are a lot of people out there who want shutters but aren’t sure where to turn,” he said. “Every day the ad runs, the phones do ring a little bit more.”