Necessity is the mother of invention, as the expression goes, and Paul Rowan's story attests to that. Born and raised in Toronto, Rowan graduated from George Brown in 1974 with a degree in graphic design. As a young man, trying to decorate a new apartment, he couldn't find any blinds that he liked. So he made is own. Rowan teamed up with a friend, Les Mandelbaum, and together they founded Umbra.