Our Story



Helen and Lewis Smith buy the business for a mere $500, which was a lot in those days. For a few decades, they ran this store with a merry crew that included friends and family. Taking the shop from a small curtain and roller shade business, to a full fledged custom window covering shop with field installers. The Smith’s daughters Bonnie, Barbara and Katherine grew up in the business and started working there from Junior High School and all the way through college.


Hans and Barbara return from Germany to oversee the business operation with their two small children in tow. Bringing a breath of fresh air to the business with youth and vitality also meant the need for more staff and expanded services. A larger showroom was needed, so the family made a deal with the owners of their current location to move the business into a larger space. Here are some great photos of that move!


The window covering business debuted the Hunter Douglas honeycomb Duette, which revolutionized the whole industry. With this popular insulating product becoming an instant hit with consumers, Hunter Douglas was well on their way to becoming the most innovative company around. For the next 2 decades, the window covering industry expanded to include many new brands of products, and the job of selling these innovative products became more involved than ever.


Son Kevin Boerner and his wife Maria manage the store and all their operations, while they planned on expanding their own family. Kevin’s knowledge of window coverings and technology was a huge boost for the business. Alcatraz Shade took on a more professional role and entered the new millennium in style.

2003 – Today

The Grand Daughter to Helen Smith, Jennifer Flack has been managing the business with Hans, and doing in home consultation for close to a decade. She is now studying Interior Design at UCB to bring a designer’s focus to the business. Her hope is to incorporate designer trends into the already successful window covering business. She would like to further their product lines to include custom upholstered furnishings and lighting.

Present Day

Currently the Alcatraz Shade Shop has a full time staff of 5 Design Consultants, 3 Installers, Manufacturing, and Repair personnel to handle all our client’s needs. Please see our Staff Bios for more information about us.

We offer a full line of custom window treatments, including fabric treatments, upholstery services, and outdoor furniture design.

The Future

Our future is bright, with plans to expand our showroom to offer various custom furniture lines, accessories, and floor coverings. We are also hoping to expand our interior design services to offer Paint Color Consultations, Home Staging Services, and Re-modeling assistance through a network of professional designers in our area. Ask us today if you need help with your own remodeling projects, we know the best in the Bay!