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 …

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 …