A bright future: fabrics that generate electricity

July 1, 2019  |  Feature, Perspective

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

June 1, 2019  |  Feature, Perspective

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 …
Crafting skilled employees and happy customers at Charman Motor Trimmers

May 1, 2019  |  Feature, Perspective

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…
Crafting shade at Auvents Ombrasole Awning

April 1, 2019  |  Feature, Perspective

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

March 1, 2019  |  Feature, Perspective

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…
Paul Aumento relies on employees and customers to keep Creative Textile Solutions a responsive manufacturer

February 1, 2019  |  Feature, Perspective

Nova Scotia is a small market and Halifax is a smaller city compared to some others, so we’ve had to diversify to continue a successful year-round employment,” says Paul Aumento, co-owner and president of Creative Textile Solutions Ltd., Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. “So we expanded our market…
Melynda Norman-Lee brings tented events to life, continuing a tradition of success at JJL Events Inc.

January 1, 2019  |  Feature, Perspective

“When I work on challenging projects I see the possibilities, not the restrictions,” says Melynda Norman-Lee, event project manager for J J L Events, Toronto, Ont., Canada. “I start visualizing the final outcome when I first start talking with the client. If I haven’t captured that visio…
Going the distance: Rob Kotowski rebuilds the family business

December 1, 2018  |  Feature, Perspective

“We don’t anticipate that the completion of a project is the last time we talk with our clients,” says Rob Kotowski, owner and president of Lake Shore Boat Top Co., St. Clair Shores, Mich. “We typically follow up with them a couple of weeks after they’ve taken delivery of their project…
A commitment to growth: Don Alhanati uses automation and lean manufacturing to ensure market diversity and growth for CustomFab USA

November 1, 2018  |  Feature, Perspective

One of the keys to our success is our investment in advanced automated equipment,” says Don Alhanati, founder and president of CustomFab USA in Garden Grove, Calif. “That, and the fact that we have a creative staff. We are always looking at ways to do things smarter.” Alhanati had worked 12 ye…
Riding the pendulum of industry change: Awnings by Bigley and Hogshire

October 1, 2018  |  Feature, Perspective

“We have to be diverse and knowledgeable about the various types of products people are making in the industry,” says Taylor Bigley, co-owner and president of Awnings by Bigley & Hogshire, Hampton Roads, Va. “What’s in demand changes—the pendulum swings each way—and we have to re…