David Sobieski learned to package and sew parachute equipment while serving in the military at Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota. When his service ended, he attended the University of Minnesota and worked for the parking department on the Twin Cities campus. These diverse experiences merged in a business concept: design and manufacture of parking meter covers. Using gift money from wedding well-wishers, Sobieski and wife Amy bought sewing machines and started the business in their living room.
CanvasWork, Perham, Minn., now covers more than parking meters with its canvas and vinyl creations. The Sobieskis moved from the urban Twin Cities to rural farmland, and now CanvasWork manufactures barn curtains that stand up to cold-weather conditions, seed pallet covers, boat covers and other custom fabric products.
“We’ve had neighbors who see our shop lights on at night stop by to check out what we do,” says Amy Sobieski. These neighbors and local businesses bring ideas to CanvasWork for custom products, some of which have been best sellers. The Sobieskis plan to expand at a great-uncle’s farmhouse, turning the barn’s hayloft into a work area to weld and sew barn curtains. For information, visit www.canvaswork.com.