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 …

Challenge accepted: Pete Mogavero and Anchor Industries are keeping craftsmanship up to date

September 1, 2019

Pete Mogavero leads the team at Anchor Industries to meet today’s market demands for quality, craftsmanship, speed and customization. by Jill C. Lafferty Anchor is 127 years old, and we have remarkable traditions here,” says Pete Mogavero, president of Anchor Industries Inc. “I’ve been here for 38 years; we’re a fifth-generation family business in stunning …

Carl Pellegrini’s SeaCanvas: managed growth through quality, creativity and customer focus

August 1, 2019

By building his business slowly, Carl Pellegrini keeps SeaCanvas focused on quality, creativity and customer service. by Jill C. Lafferty Each project we accept is a new chance to make a change in the current design,” says Carl Pellegrini, the owner-operator of custom marine fabrication company SeaCanvas, based in Egg Harbor Township, N.J. “Let’s say …

A bright future: fabrics that generate electricity

July 1, 2019

Pvilion’s Colin Touhey is working to forge strategic partnerships to integrate photovoltaic technology into all kinds of fabric products.  by Jill C. Lafferty Every time you are building what you think is a one-off project, you’re probably going to do something similar a second time, a third time, a hundredth time,” says Colin Touhey, CEO …

Michele Quadri-Butterfield keeps Al’s Awning Shop up to date and focused on customers

June 1, 2019

by Jill C. Lafferty The mission of Al’s Awning Shop is to be the leading provider of quality fabric solutions and to be dedicated to providing professional customer service and exceptional products,” says owner Michele Quadri-Butterfield. “Fabric solutions is key for me. It’s about taking a fabric and helping the customer find the solution to …

Crafting skilled employees and happy customers at Charman Motor Trimmers

May 1, 2019

With a growing business and a dearth of skilled labor, Kimber Buglass trains his own employees, fostering project ownership and pride in the job. “Treat every job as if it’s your own job,” says Kimber Buglass, owner and managing director of Charman Motor Trimmers and Upholsterers Ltd. “I try to tell the team to be …

Crafting shade at Auvents Ombrasole Awning

April 1, 2019

Ombrasole designs, manufactures and installs awnings of all types for North American climates—many of which feature Emilio Petrongolo’s custom and patented motors. Emilio Petrongolo can trace his fascination with canvas and sewing back to his childhood in Italy, where his grandmother made jute bags for storing wheat. Petrongolo, director of R&D and marketing at Auvents …

Shane Cossette and TRS Industries keep customers covered, improve existing products, and invent new ones

March 1, 2019

I set aside much of my time to move throughout our building so I can work with managers to keep us on the same page,” says Shane Cossette, COO of TRS Industries, Fargo, N.D. “Something my dad instilled in me years ago was that not only is the customer always right, but it’s our responsibility to …