Barry Adams on the science and art of the awning business

August 1, 2020

by Jill C. Lafferty “You have to be an exceptional artist. You’ve got to be able to create a vision for your customer,” says Barry Adams, owner of Peachtree Awnings in Norcross, Ga., and Tennessee Awnings in La Vergne, Tenn. “Where the customer lacks vision, we have to give them a vision about what we …

Jan Kellogg’s strategy for growth at CCP Manufacturing

July 1, 2020

Jan Kellogg looks at the big picture for each job that CCP Manufacturing takes on, leading the company into new markets.  by Jill C. Lafferty “I love working with someone who turns to us with a new idea, saying, ‘Hey, can you make this work?’ We love taking the time to be able to do …

Kevin Greenwood and Stage Tops USA cover lives events around the globe

June 1, 2020

by Jill C. Lafferty “Everything is visual today,” says Kevin Greenwood, owner/CEO of Stage Tops USA, a Manchester, Tenn.-based company that manufactures and installs roof skins, wind walls, stage scrims and other fabric projects for major live events around the world. “[My clients] want to be seen. The bigger the better. They want to put …

Promoting shade in the marketplace and happiness in the workplace

April 1, 2020

For Patrick Howe and Wholesale Shade, high-quality custom shade sails are the product of a happy and efficient workplace. by Jill C. Lafferty My day consists of making sure my employees are happy. That’s my number one job,” says Patrick Howe, owner of Wholesale Shade™, a private label shade sail manufacturer based in San Marcos, …

Bob Grambsch leads Canvas Replacements in making new canvas tent tops for old pop-up camper trailers.

March 1, 2020

by Jill C. Lafferty We bring over 65 years of knowledge and experience to a growing and changing industry,” says Bob Grambsch, president of Canvas Replacements/Camper & Recreation Inc., a Loyal, Wis.-based manufacturer of replacement canvas tent tops for pop-up campers. “My dad had been building camping trailers since 1957. I was about eight years …

Change as business strategy

February 1, 2020

After jumping from the food industry to truck tarps, David Callahan targets customers who value quality and innovation over price.   by Jill C. Lafferty Local competitors are trying to go cheaper and cheaper, while we’re trying to do more and more quality,” says David Callahan, owner of Granite State Cover & Canvas Inc., based …

Investing in excellence—and workforce readiness

January 1, 2020

Kathryn Maisto mastered her marine canvas skills over a lifetime and across oceans, and now she’s training a new generation. by Jill C. Lafferty I’m always looking for ways to enhance our product line,” says Kathryn Maisto, MFC, owner of Fairwinds Canvas LLC, Racine, Wis. “In what we do and what we offer, we have …

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Polo Custom Products: from concept to production with a full range of services

December 1, 2019

by Rebecca Post Everything is global now. There’s more opportunity to enter into partnerships with your customers now. You can make suggestions that will improve their business, and that’s even expected,” says Kent Lammers, CEO and president of Polo Custom Products. In fact, says Lammers, keeping pace with customer expectations is what transforms clients into …

New board chair Kathy Schaefer: meeting industry challenges

November 1, 2019

New IFAI board chair Kathy Schaefer shares her vision for an organization that helps its members navigate a changing industry landscape. by Jill C. Lafferty I walk into IFAI Expo every year and say, ‘Wow. What’s new?’ There’s always something really ingenious,” says Kathy Schaefer, IFM, chief operating officer of Glawe Awnings and Tents, Fairborn, Ohio. …

Tom Auer works to keep Bearse USA—and the U.S. sewing industry—on a firm foundation

October 1, 2019

Tom Auer strives to put Bearse USA—and the U.S. sewing industry—on a firm foundation.   by Jill C. Lafferty I believe in the philosophy of partnership with my customers,” says Tom Auer, president of Bearse USA, a Chicago., Ill.-based contract sewer of bags and other non-apparel items. “I think that their success is what we should …