Fred Kumpel | Owner
Fred Kumpel joined Strickland’s team at the ripe age of 17, working part-time after school. A Wilmington native, Fred attended UNC-W for a degree in Business Management and, just after graduation, joined the Strickland’s Window Coverings team full time. Eager to learn everything he could from his mentor, Mr. Strickland, Fred quickly adopted a leadership role of his own, managing the store and introducing changes that would help the long-time window coverings business keep pace with an ever-changing marketplace.
When Mr. Strickland retired, he gave Fred the first option to take ownership of the family business. As we know, Fred seized the opportunity. Four years later, he acquired Strickland’s Home. In subsequent years, Fred acquired numerous companies and buildings, expanding into custom garages, fabrics, and draperies. Under his leadership, Strickland’s Home has grown 400% and keeps going!
In his free time, Fred enjoys refurbishing classic European cars – he even owns a car dealership. “I’m a car guy!” he says, and his custom garage is his “car tinkering shop.” His dream car is a Porsche Spyder 918, but as he says, “It changes weekly!”
When Fred isn’t running his ever-growing business empire, he enjoys working on his own home alongside his wife Melissa, a recently-retired middle school teacher who always has something new to add to the Honey-Do list! When the work is done, they like to relax with their dog, Bella.
Fred’s take on:
- Blinds, Shades, and Shutters: Though he’s had many favorite window covering jobs along the way, Fred’s most exciting was installing shades on the Outer Banks ferry boats.
- Home: Fred enjoyed working closely with families from local Wilmington nonprofit, Welcome Home Angel, to create more functional living spaces for children with significant life-altering conditions.
- Draperies and Fabrics: Fred’s dream window view would be looking out over a mountain range with a valley and a waterfall.
- Custom Garages: Fred’s own custom garage houses his 1980 Mercedes 500sl. The space is complete with air conditioning and a metal polishing station for all his car tinkering needs.