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Christmas Decor by Cowleys
Front yards can be turned into winter wonderlands.
Farmingdale, NJ - December 17, 2015
Bill Cowley and his brother Drew have operated Cowleys Pest Service for 25 years. But since things slow down during the winter months, they often thought of finding another business to fill that void. That opportunity came to them 12 years ago when, looking through a pest control publication, they saw an ad from a company called Christmas Decor, a holiday decorating service that franchises 375 locations and serves 50,000 clients each year.
"They were targeting pest control companies because they knew we are seasonal," said Bill Cowley.
The brothers purchased a franchise and have been professionally installing Christmas lights for residences and businesses ever since. Their Neptune City-based company now serves several hundred clients each year.
"People want their homes to look spectacular, but they don't want to climb a ladder in the cold," Cowley said. "It's too dangerous. People are so busy today; they don't want to spend an entire weekend decorating the house. So they hire a pro."
A design consultant from Christmas Decor by Cowleys maps out a plan that highlights the distinct features of a home. The company can decorate nearly any feature, including very large trees. There is a full spectrum of options, depending on the taste and budget. Cowleys provides lights for doors, windows, and rooflines, as well as trees, bushes, pathways and driveways. The company also has a wide array of yard decorations to choose from, including large and small novelties, lighted trees, rope-lit figures and lighted ornaments. Daytime decor includes garland, wreaths and bows that can be hung around doorways, arches and columns.
"We've seen people light up their boats," Cowley said. "We can do anything they want, although we try to steer people clear of becoming one of those crazy houses. They are high maintenance and have a lot of electrical issues. Most of our clients are looking for something elegant and traditional."
The company uses property friendly clips and fasteners that will not damage a home. All of the installers are professionally trained and insured, and will make at least two service visits each season to make sure everything is in working order. There is a minimum charge of $1,000 and most customers spend an average of $1,700, Cowley said. Regular customers are entitled to discounts of up to 25 percent.
"Many of our clients are wealthy, but not all of them," he said. "Most people hire us for convenience and safety."
The products used are made especially for Christmas Decor and Cowley said the quality is higher than those sold in the stores. The bulbs are designed to last longer and the greenery is fuller than most.
"They are built to last because they're going to be used for multiple seasons," he said. "Christmas Decor works directly with the Chinese factories to make products specifically designed for us."
Cowleys owns the lights and decorations, so after the holiday is over, the technicians return to the home to disassemble the decorations. Everything is then stored in Cowley's own facility, ready to be used again the following year. Or if they prefer, customers have the options to change colors or go for a totally different look next season. There is no extra cost for storage or service - one price covers everything.
"It's a fun business because people love Christmas," Cowley said. "Who isn't happy to decorate their home and make it look great? People are in a good mood and they're glad to see you. It's the opposite with pest control. When they have termites, they're already upset when you get there."
Christmas Decor by Cowleys also has a full supply of Chanukah decorations, and can make a home festive with blue lights and an 8-foot-tall menorah. The company also provides decorations for weddings, graduation parties, corporate functions, grand openings and other holidays, such as Halloween.
"We don't say no to anything," Cowley said. "One of our franchises did a light house on Montauk Point. We've seen some crazy commercial displays."
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