Crafting shade at Auvents Ombrasole Awning

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 [...]

By |2019-04-15T15:01:48-05:00April 1, 2019|

Going the distance: Rob Kotowski rebuilds the family business

Photos by Carlson Productions LLC "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 [...]

By |2018-12-18T09:37:17-06:00December 1, 2018|

A commitment to growth: Don Alhanati uses automation and lean manufacturing to ensure market diversity and growth for CustomFab USA

Photos by Reza Allahbakhshi 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 [...]

By |2018-11-01T08:55:38-05:00November 1, 2018|

Riding the pendulum of industry change: Awnings by Bigley and Hogshire

Photos by Carl Anderson from Hampton Roads Photography "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 [...]

By |2018-10-01T08:30:33-05:00October 1, 2018|

Harold Warner and Dynamic Air Shelters develop larger and tougher inflatable structures

"I love the word resilience,” says Harold Warner, majority owner and president of Dynamic Air Shelters in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. “Whether you’re operating on a physical plane or a psychological plane, resilience enables you to deflect danger and harm. What our company has done is expand and elevate the state of inflatable resilience in response to [...]

By |2018-09-01T08:41:06-05:00September 1, 2018|

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

"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 [...]

By |2018-07-01T09:39:10-05:00July 1, 2018|

Geoff Kilmer at PhotoWorksGroup matches technology with clients to stay successful

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 [...]

By |2018-06-11T15:16:31-05:00June 1, 2018|

David Murray at Fiesta Tents goes for the gold

Inspired by tented horse stalls at an Olympic Games, David Murray launched a tent business that has evolved far beyond those initial dreams—and keeps evolving. 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 [...]

By |2018-02-24T17:19:08-06:00March 1, 2018|

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

Photos by 2017 ©Mark Skalny Photography. All rights reserved. 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 [...]

By |2017-12-12T16:48:20-06:00November 1, 2017|
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