Nigel Richings combines a hands-on, solution-minded approach with a vision for excellence to keep Undercover Canvas and Awnings growing

August 1st, 2018

You can either look at challenges and decide you can make things work and get on with it, or you can worry and then panic,” says Nigel Richings, founder and owner of Undercover Canvas and Awnings Inc. in Wildey, Barbados. “It’s one side of the coin or the other. I just don’t get scared. I […]

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Brenda Hagerty and Porcupine Canvas: sales and customer-focused marketing

July 1st, 2018

"Cold calls are a thing of the past,” says Brenda Hagerty, co-owner and president of Porcupine Canvas Manufacturing Ltd. in Boucherville, Quebec, Canada. “Calling someone out of the blue to try to sell them something just doesn’t work in today’s industry. What clients want are our feet on the ground.” Hagerty’s history with Porcupine Canvas […]

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Sign language: The fabric sign and banner market is hotter than ever

July 1st, 2018

Ask average consumers what springs to mind when they hear the words “signs and banners,” and they’ll likely describe wayfinding placards and lengths of logo-imprinted fabric hanging from street poles. And although placards and pennants have their place in the sign and banner arena, this is a market segment with innovative and expanding applications in […]

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Geoff Kilmer at PhotoWorksGroup matches technology with clients to stay successful

June 1st, 2018

We focus on identifying industries versus just finding customers to generate new business,” says Geoff Kilmer, founder and CEO of PhotoWorksGroup, Charlottesville, Va. “When we specialize in an industry, we become better known within it, which results in more references so we don’t have to sell as hard—and we can concentrate on doing a good […]

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David Murray at Fiesta Tents goes for the gold

March 1st, 2018

Running a business is hard work. There’s always a time when you’ve got to change the way you’re doing things,” says David Murray, founder and president of Fiesta Tents Ltd. in Saint-Laurent, Quebec, Canada. “Every year you have to review your business—you have to review and correct.” The inspiration for starting a business came in […]

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The business of yurts: round architecture

February 1st, 2018

I never had an interest in going into business to just duplicate a product that already existed,” says Alan Bair, founder and owner of Pacific Yurts Inc. in Cottage Grove, Ore. “But early on I realized the yurt is a unique warm space that is limited only by the imagination. When you go into that circular […]

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Inspiration-driven marine fabrication, and sheltering San Francisco’s homeless

January 1st, 2018

Having a really good life is not financially driven. It’s inspiration driven,” says Liz Diaz, MFC, owner of North Beach Marine Canvas in San Francisco, Calif. “Working on and around the water is a singularly lovely employment. I am inspired all the time by my location, by the San Francisco Design Center, by my tools […]

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New IFAI chairman Steve Ellington shares his vision for the Industrial Fabrics Association International

November 1st, 2017

With the geopolitical challenges and opportunities the specialty fabrics industry faces, we, as an association, need to make sure that we continue to educate our members and provide them with opportunities,” says Steve Ellington, president of Trivantage LLC, Glen Raven’s distribution and marketing services subsidiary in Glen Raven, N.C. “We need to make sure that […]

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Lloyd Verduyn focuses on continuous improvement in products and processes at Verduyn Tarps

October 1st, 2017

"As a company, we believe in the Japanese principle of Kaizen, which is the philosophy of continuous improvement,” says Lloyd Verduyn, president and owner of Verduyn Tarps, based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. “For us, that extends beyond processes and personal efficiency to our products as well. We’re never finished making our tarp systems better. That […]

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How to expand into new market segments without sacrificing core products

October 1st, 2017

For many custom fabricators, diversification is the name of the game. Recognizing—and seizing—opportunities to venture into new market segments can mean the difference between staying in business or (perish the thought) going under. But companies can also become too diversified, to the point where potential clients don’t have a clear idea of what’s being made […]

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