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Specialty Fabrics Review interviews Dave Elliot, owner of David’s Custom Trimmers

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You’ve said that perfection is your goal. How do you train your employees to adopt that same goal?

It takes longer to produce perfection. One of the first things I say to my employees is to slow down. I don’t want things rushed. I want them done properly—once. One of my mother’s classic philosophies was: Speed will come with time. It’s similar to what is taught in martial arts. Once you’ve done a move a thousand times, it will come naturally and you won’t have to think about what you’re doing. But that takes time.

I’m also involved in every aspect of design and production. When I’m not working on the bench, I’m walking between every job and looking at every detail and asking the staff to spread the job out on the bench so we can take a look at it. I’m constantly analyzing the work to make sure that what leaves this workshop won’t come back with something wrong with it.

Sigrid Tornquist is a freelance author and editor based in St. Paul, Minn. She is also the associate editor of InTents magazine, a publication of the Industrial Fabrics Association International.

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