Published On: Tue, Apr 23rd, 2024

Tony Basile, Sales Director for Sheerline

Facts and Figures:

First job: Trainee butcher at Rydes in Derby. I didn’t enjoy the butchery side of it, but I loved working on the counter and meeting customers.

When did you join Sheerline: I started working for Roger Hartshorn (CEO of Garnalex and Sheerline) in 1991 at HL Plastics. Since then, I’ve always worked for Roger, so, over 30 years. 

Most useful/favourite gadget: My iPad because it makes it easy to keep up to date with sales figures and connect with customers.  

Favourite/most useful website: The Sheerline website (, I would argue, is the most useful website for me personally.

Business person you admire: Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine. The way Zelenskyy has brought people and countries together, given hope, and been a positive influence over the past year despite everything he’s dealing with is astounding and epitomises what it means to be a leader. 

What lesson have you learnt about business over the last 12 months: Now more than ever, it’s important for us at Sheerline to do what we’ve always done, which is focus on old-fashioned customer service. To me, that’s loyalty, honesty, working with our customers and suppliers, and listening to them. We genuinely care about our customers and want to make the fabrication and installation process better for them.

Best business decision: Over the past 12 months, we’ve made strategic hires and promotions to support our ambitious expansion plans. We’ve bolstered the Sheerline sales, production, and operations teams and enhanced our IT capabilities. While many organisations are putting the brakes on projects and investments, we’re going full steam ahead.  

Other interests: I’m renovating my house at the minute, so that takes up a lot of my time, but when I’m not doing that, I have a pizza oven in my garden and I have called the kitchen-party area Antonino’s, which means Little Tony’s, I’ve got an allotment for if I retire, and I enjoy spending time with my family.

Working Day: I usually have a lot to get done, so I start the day between 3:30-4:00am with an espresso made the traditional Italian way (look it up – you won’t regret it). I’ll then get my daily exercise in, choosing either my static bike or rower for half an hour. After this, I’ll walk the dog before getting ready for the day between 5:30-6:00am. I’ll have breakfast, check my emails, plan my day, and get my paperwork out of the way. My office is at Sheerline HQ, which is in Nether Heage, Derbyshire. I typically spend one day a week there. To me, being in sales means being a people person, so I spend most of the week on the road seeing customers to make sure they’re happy, have everything they need, and know about our latest products – loyalty is a two-way street after all.



Although Sheerline has only been operating since 2018, the business is growing at a phenomenal rate. When Roger Hartshorn founded Sheerline, his mission was to reinvent the aluminium window and door industry by removing the frustrations customers were facing (slow lead-times, systems that didn’t match, third-party reliance, and supply chain instability) while also improving customer service. He wanted to create a reliable brand that was proudly Made in Britain and didn’t rely on third-party aluminium extrusions. 

What the figures from the past 12 months show us is that under Roger’s leadership, this vision is fast becoming a reality, helping drive change within the aluminium industry and helping Sheerline fabricators outperform the market. Last year was really good for us for lots of reasons. Sales increased across all ranges (Classic, Prestige and S1) as our loyal customers continue to buy into the brand, we’ve also made strategic appointments in key departments (operations, manufacturing, sales, IT) to support our growth plans, and this is just the beginning.

We’re expecting more of the same over the next 12 months as we’ve got strategic growth and investment plans in place. Investment is essential for maintaining our state-of-the-art facilities, which are putting us ahead. Earlier this year, we invested over £1 million into our powder coating plant, which is part of our larger plan to bring everything in-house (manufacturing, painting, logistics, etc), and this is already proving to be a success. 

It’s reduced our reliance on third parties and enabled us to increase the control we have over keeping quality standards high. In terms of future growth plans, we’re looking to keep the sales team motivated as this is key to our long-term ambitions and if we reach our targets, we’ll be looking to expand the team again. We’re also looking at new ways to communicate with our customers, so they’re aware of our latest products. 

Current market conditions are changing every day, which is why we’re monitoring them closely. It’s fair to say the aluminium market is buoyant, in part because of the strong new-build sector, but also because the domestic market is growing. Millennials don’t want stylish products without substance; they want sustainability – products that will last and save them money long term. But that’s not the only reason. Another factor driving aluminium’s popularity is the continued interest in home renovation shows. They’re putting a spotlight on aesthetically pleasing design, and homeowners want to incorporate some of those style choices in to their own homes even if they don’t have a Grand Designs scale budget. 

We’re always looking to update the Sheerline range, whether with new industry accreditations (our S1 Lantern recently became one of very few in the UK to achieve Secured by Design accreditation) or by adding new complementary products. I’m delighted to announce that from Spring 2023, our Prestige Lift & Slide Patio Door will be available. Of course, it’s Part L compliant as standard and offers the same exceptional thermal efficiency as all our products because of our unique Thermlock® technology. 

In addition, it’s available in the same style as the rest of our high-performance range, so homeowners can achieve a consistent look throughout. It’s got some outstanding features that have kept the technical design team busy; there’s even a concealed zero threshold option available for a seamless transitions between spaces. But one of the biggest achievements for the design team has been to ensure the Prestige Patio has a U-value of 1.4 with double glazing and 1.0 with triple glazing. 

Aside from the fact this is virtually unheard of, it also means every product within the Prestige range has the same U-values. We know this is important to our customers because they’ve told us. They’re impressed with how low we’ve got our U-values without making compromises, because they know it’s a key selling point. Consider the energy crisis; it will affect everyone differently, but it will affect everyone. That’s why one of the top search terms this year has been energy saving windows.

It’s not just our customers that are impressed by what we’ve achieved, we’ve also gained industry recognition. In fact, earlier this year, we were awarded Best Technical Innovation at the GGP Installer Awards for our S1 Lantern. It’s the second time we’ve been nominated and won in that fiercely competitive category, which is testament to the work we put in. 

Our in-house R&D team worked tirelessly to develop the S1 Lantern. It offers the same features as all our products (thermal efficiency, stylish design, available in different styles and colours), but it now comes with an optional SBD upgrade, making it one of the most secure roof lanterns available. Our secret? As well as our standard security features, we’ve added security clamping plates, which provide an invisible layer of protection. These hidden plates lock the SBD lantern’s laminated glass units in place, which acts as a preventative measure against criminals. 

At Sheerline, we pride ourselves on being a family. And I don’t just mean the Sheerline team, I mean our installers and fabricators, our customers. We’re all part of one big family, and that means something. We’ve simplified both the fabrication and installation processes, so there’s less milling and wedge gasketing required. This saves our customers time, so they’re instantly seeing the benefits of choosing Sheerline, which has directly contributed to our growth and success. It’s important we listen to our customers, but to listen, we have to make time for them. We’re available to our fabricators and installers, whatever they need. We provide support and regular training days to ensure everyone is confident working with our products. If there are fabricators or installers reading this now who aren’t convinced about aluminium, give us a call, don’t make any impulsive decisions, come and have a chat, tell us your concerns and we’ll show you how we’re doing things differently at Sheerline. We take this approach because we’ve learnt that by working with our customers; we gain their respect and their loyalty. We treat our customers like family because they’re important to us, and that won’t change, no matter how big Sheerline gets. One of the biggest lessons we’ve learnt from our time within the fenestration industry is the need to keep things fresh and interesting. Making our products easy to work with (for fabricators and installers) makes it easy for them to sell. It’s a process that involves all our customers, and we don’t take them for granted.

From our perspective, the opportunities within the aluminium industry are endless, which is what makes it so exciting. Our technical design team is working on products that have the potential to change the fenestration landscape. This is being driven by demand in various sectors that are doing exceptionally well – homeowners, commercial, and office renovations.

My goals for the future are aligned with the entire team at Sheerline. We want to drive Sheerline to continue to be a market leader, through continual growth and innovation. We’re working hard to keep Sheerline at the cutting edge of customer’s expectations of just how good aluminium can be. How will we do this? The way we always have through real world experience while striving to make everything as good as possible and by being honest, ethical, and supporting our customers.