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A lot can happen over the course of a year.
Just ask lifelong Bellporter Sal Modesto and Bay Shore native Tony Antonacci. The two window treatment experts didn’t even know each other.
Within just a few months of meeting, they created Coastal Window Fashions and opened up shop on Shelter Island last May.
Then, earlier this year, they opened a second location, this time in Bellport Village.
Modesto, 39, had been in the construction trade for most of his adult life, and started installing window treatments for national chains like Home Depot and Blinds to Go in the winters.
“I learned the trade by installing the product, and then decided that I can sell it, design and install and do 10 times better than all these other big companies,” he said.
He was doing just that on his own when he met Antonacci, 63, who now lives in Patchogue and has been in the industry for decades.
“I started out in the window treatment business as a buyer for Macy’s New York Herald Square in the late 70s and I’ve been in the business ever since,” he said. “I’ve been a buyer, merchant. I’ve don’t it all. I opened up the Linen’s N Things stores across Long Island.”
Then a mutual friend got them together last year.
Business has been brisk ever since.
Much of that has to do with word of mouth about their personal service, they say.
“We don’t charge for installation, and an owner is always on site,” said Modesto, who can talk about window fashions for hours like Bubba Blue talks about shrimp.
It’s that sheer passion and combined experience that fueling Coastal’s rapid growth.
They’re now doing jobs from NYC to Montauk.
The difference is “we sell a more customizable product that meets anybody’s needs, financially. We don’t just sell one or two brands, but numerous brands from the highest to the most affordable,” Modesto said. “Basically, it’s value based but can fit any budget.”
They also do designer fabrics and custom fabrication.
“You can buy cheap stuff at a cheap price, or a decent, quality item at a good price; that’s the difference,” between Coastal and the big, national chains, said Antonacci. “And if something happens, we fix it. Instead of playing the blame game.”
“That,” added Modesto with a laugh, “and Tony will give you a back rub.”