"The biggest part of sustainability is a quality product-something you won't have to replace for 50 years, instead of seven or eight," says Brother Sun's owner, Kevin Sarr. With such a strong focus on quality and the resources to tailor products, Brother Sun has created a niche selling customized windows and skylights.
The business, named after the 1972 Franco Zeffirelli film Brother Sun, Sister Moon (about St. Francis of Assisi), began as a solar-energy company in 1973. Sarr brought years of experience in construction sales to the table. "At first, we just wanted to sell more windows," Sarr says. "But soon we realized the demand for custom products."
A tour of the store reveals various types of Low-E glass (a window coating that helps reduce ultraviolet rays and retain solar energy captured inside houses) installed in a model sunroom; window samples laid out in cross sections let shoppers compare the Brother Sun model with a competitor's window. (Brother Sun treats each pane it sells with Low-E.) Sarr maintains that his windows are more durable because, unlike those manufactured with "roll-form cladding," he says, Brother Sun's windows use an "extruded cladding" and have the wood milled to form, making a sturdier product.
But Sarr's biggest innovation was to expand product. Brother Sun "can supply a customer with five or six different options," he adds. "We want to sell you what you need."
2907 Agua Fria Street, 505-471-5157, brother-sun.com