When Faith Roberts, owner of Banner Canvas in Ham Lake, Minnesota, left bridal design in 1986 to pursue a career in marine fabrication, she sought out an industry expert for advice. That’s when she met the late Bob Weldon, former branch manager at Trivantage.
“Bob was a wonderful friend and mentor,” Roberts recalled. “He did a lot for me and for our industry.” In the early days, when Roberts had a question about dying fabrics or where to find a finishing company, Weldon was ready with an answer: “I could always rely on Bob to help me figure out a problem.”
Roberts has worked in the marine fabrication industry for more than 40 years, but perhaps her most impressive accolade is that she purchased the company she worked for — and her current company, Banner Canvas — after only a year of experience. “When the owners were ready to sell, they thought I had the right talent to take over and keep the brand name strong,” she said.
Roberts built her robust clientele solely through word of mouth, noting: “Potential customers would approach me because they had seen my work at their friends’ houses.” When asked how she provides value to her customers, she explained the importance of technicality. “You have to understand the products and how one product is better for a certain location and project than another,” she said. “This comes with an understanding of the market and fabric engineering.”
When asked what makes a good supplier, Roberts emphasized the importance of relationships and drew parallels to her partnership with Trivantage.
“The truly best suppliers invest their time and develop a long-term relationship — I know I can call them if I have any questions,” she said. “Bob was a true partner and did not view our customer relationship as transactional.”
Today, Roberts relies on Trivantage account representative T.J. McGillis, who has guided her through several projects. She also turned to Trivantage to outfit a 30-foot slipper launch, a traditional Thames River pleasure boat. It was fabricated with Sunbrella® marine fabric in Ivy and Hemlock Tweed.
For more information on how Trivantage can assist with your next project, contact your sales representative, shop trivantage.com, or call us at 800-786-1876. Be sure to contact your sales representative and share your story with us and we may include it in a future Market Corner.
When Roberts Awnings was contacted about providing a shade sail solution for a new luxury apartment complex in the heart of Washington, D.C., company owner Brittany Goodwin immediately had the answer.
“We needed an innovative outdoor fabric that would complement the look of a new modern luxury apartment high-rise in the shadows of downtown D.C.,” Goodwin said. “There was no question what our solution would be.”
Goodwin’s team specified SolaMesh® shade sail fabric, an inventive outdoor fabric using polymer technology. The lightweight fabric works well in areas with frequent sun exposure, a requirement for The Wren, which is redefining luxury living in the Shaw neighborhood in the nation’s capital.
“A signature element of The Wren is an open-air skybridge that connects two of its iconic buildings,” Goodwin said. “They needed a fabric that would offer overhead protection from the elements and one whose colors would balance the overall aesthetic of both the building and surrounding community.”
The bridge is primarily for pedestrian traffic, but it also includes table seating along one side, making it a destination amenity for residents and guests.
“The Wren has created unique, creative spaces throughout the complex, from its skybridge to ground-level seating for grilling and gathering,” said Chris Noyes, sales manager for Roberts Awnings. “They wanted the same fabric for both high-traffic areas, making SolaMesh the perfect solution.”
Offered exclusively from Trivantage, SolaMesh is perfect for medium-sized shade sails, custom awnings, and similar shade structures. The shade sail fabric is made from highly stable HDPE monofilament cloth and tape, resulting in a product that’s very stable when exposed to UV rays. It also is easy to clean and features a 10-year warranty, and the canopy material provides best-in-class strength, value, and longevity.
SolaMesh is available in 19 colors, including lime green and cream that was specified at The Wren. The project also incorporated SolaMesh shade sail hardware, a signature line of hardware made from high-strength stainless steel 316. The hardware, with a five-year warranty, is built to hold under maximum tension, another plus for an installation involving a skybridge.
“SolaMesh is a perfect example of how we thrive with Trivantage,” Goodwin said. “The product is durable, comes in colors as wild or as tame as the application requires, and offers a longer term investment over umbrellas. Add stainless steel hardware designed to perform and a business partner committed to your customers, and you have a recipe for success.”
Amy Novick gets to know her customers to really understand them – and she knows her products as a self-described “textile brat.” As project manager for Crystal Coast Interiors, Novick and her team go beyond what a yachting customer asks for to identify accents and materials that create a finished look. A family-owned business built on tradition and values, the company’s in-house craftsmen have been creating exceptional marine interiors for over 18 years.
“We’re a dynamic company that is always looking for memorable solutions, whether it be boat cushions that are comfortable but low maintenance, suggesting accent cording, or even expanding into the residential market,” Novick said.
Novick has worked with Trivantage her entire career, thanks to her rich background in the textile industry. While vinyls vary in stretch, texture, veining, and finish, Sunbrella Horizon®, an engineered synthetic leather that brings unparalleled style, comfort, and performance to the water, has been a favorite for the company with the right seam allowance, a subtle hand, and the ability to trim well.
“When I speak with customers about vinyl products, Sunbrella is a go-to. It’s a known brand with beautifully designed products and colors showcased in sample books that are easy to show customers,” said Novick. “The warranty provides a lot of comfort too.”
Novick’s customers are conscientious. When investing in materials for their boat or yacht, they’re looking for a long-term solution.
“After two years or so, an average marine upholstery fabric will start cracking and even pinking. Sunbrella Horizon’s three-year warranty against microbial pinking is comforting for us,” said Novick. “People are willing to spend a little more for that peace of mind.”
When Debbie Gentry started in the yachting industry in St. Augustine, Florida, 34 years ago, she discovered an untapped market for high-quality cushions. That’s when she connected with Trivantage, a long-time supplier of Sunbrella® fabrics.
“Property owners need cushions they can unzip, pull the foam out, and clean,” she said. “That’s the wonderful thing about Sunbrella — it’s easy to maintain; there’s practically no maintenance.”
During her tenure in the textile industry, “Ms. Debbie,” as she is known in the industry, has grown and adapted to different markets. She’s also developed a long-term relationship with Trivantage. In 2001, she established TNT Marine Canvas & Upholstery in Kemah, Texas, specializing in yacht interiors and exteriors. Today, she is joined by her son, Troy Paylow, who is an owner of the family-owned business, and the duo designs and markets interior boat restoration from sailboats to powerboats.
Customers love the Sunbrella Dupione collection, she said, because the fabric is long-lasting, and yacht owners gravitate toward earth-tone shades. Paylow noted that TNT Marine Canvas recently completed a high-profile project for a South African Catamaran.
“We furnished the yacht interior and cockpit with Sunbrella Pure Upholstery from Trivantage in Cast Moss green,” he said.
Whether working on a project for land or sea, the duo turns to Sunbrella – and Trivantage – for the best fabrics for the job.
For more information, please contact your Customer Care Team or call us at 800.786.1876.
If it’s summer, it’s time to consider the benefits of Hydrofend cover fabric to protect marine and patio projects from the elements.
Hydrofend gives you up to six times better water resistance than uncoated fabrics. The protective fabric is coated on the back of the product, which provides superior water resistance and protects the surface. The result is a fabric that lets little water in and water vapor out, and the coating ensures the fabric does not fray.
Use Hydrofend for boat covers, bimini tops, boat enclosures, storage covers, and furniture covers. Lightweight and powerful, count on the fabric to resist cold cracks, mold, and mildew, and it stores, tows, and fabricates easily. Case in point: Monte Roller, the owner and operator of Custom Canvas, a family-owned canvas shop specializing in high-end marine covers and enclosures in Bismarck, North Dakota, specified Hydrofend for a pontoon boat cover and he described the fabric as “just right” for the application.
“Hydrofend’s biggest advantage is its sewability,” Roller said. “The fabric is lighter and stronger than what I’ve previously used for similar projects, and its stretchability and elasticity result in zero wrinkles. Hydrofend sews great and does not fray, which means no strings. It’s a solid look for pontoon covers.”
Available exclusively from Trivantage, Hydrofend is available in 13 colors, and marine binding options offer an exact color match for each fabric..
For more information on this Made in the USA offering, contact your local sales representative, shop online, or call us at 800-786-1876.
Paul Wade, director of product design and support at SunPro Motorized Awnings and Screens, has worked closely with Keith Purves and Trivantage® for many years. The duo consider their working relationship a partnership, and Wade appreciates that Purves, previously outside sales representative for Trivantage in Florida, always comes to the table with a solution.
“For us, it’s more than a working relationship; it’s a true partnership,” Wade said. “In this business, you need someone who is going to have open communication with you and provide reliable, timely responses. Keith has been that partner for me, as has Trivantage.”
SunPro creates solar, insect, and vinyl screens, as well as retractable awnings up to 40-feet with the most premium features standard in the industry. Motorization is more important than ever for the SunPro team, as homeowners’ demands for luxury, customizable outdoor spaces have increased significantly..
Many of the products SunPro uses, including SunTex®, are sourced from Trivantage. Wade is always looking to try something new, such as using a fabric in a new application. In fact, when asked what advice he would give to someone looking to get started in the awning industry, Wade said it all comes down to solutions.
“It’s all about having a ‘MacGyver’ attitude: having a curious mind and digging for new information,” he said.
That’s when he calls on his partner in Purves, now business development and training manager for Trivantage.
“Trivantage has been an integral partner for prototyping, and I appreciate the partnership with Keith and Trivantage,” Wade said.
We want to hear from you!
Be sure to contact your sales representative and share your story with us and we may include it in a future Market Corner. From project details and feedback from your customers to superior service from Trivantage, we would welcome an opportunity to share your story on our channels. You can also share details by calling us at 800-786-1876. We look forward to hearing from you!
For more than 75 years, O.W. Lee has designed and produced handcrafted outdoor furniture for homes across the country. We spoke with Leisa McCollister, vice president of marketing, to learn more about the company’s historic partnership with Glen Raven and Trivantage® as a supplier.
“We’ve been sourcing Sunbrella® fabrics through Glen Raven, and now Trivantage, for a long time,” McCollister said. “We like to purchase Sunbrella because of its strong name recognition and quality, and we can rely on Trivantage to stand behind the product warranty.”
McCollister considers Trivantage both a supplier and partner, especially when it comes to specified orders.
“Trivantage allows us to purchase fabric by the yard which is tremendously helpful when we’re working on a custom project,” she said, noting that her team can trust Trivantage to provide on-time delivery and supply high-quality products.
For Trivantage orders, McCollister works with decorative fabrics sales representative, Audrey Martinez. “Audrey is fantastic,” she said. “She introduced us to a thread that allowed us to extend the warranty on our furniture.”
Be sure to contact your sales representative and share your story with us and we may include it in a future Market Corner. From project details and feedback from your customers to superior service from Trivantage, we would welcome an opportunity to share your story on our channels. You can also share details by calling us at 800-786-1876.
We look forward to hearing from you!
We closed out 2023 by reflecting on the amazing applications you shared with us. From upholstery and awning projects to marine fabrication crafts, your work did not disappoint – and we were thrilled to highlight your work on our social channels throughout the year.
Click here to take a look on Instagram at what our customers were up to in 2023 – and see if you can spot your own project. If not, we’d love to hear from you and share your work. As your partner, we want to share your story with our audience so that we can feature your project applications. There are opportunities to promote your projects and experience working with us across our website, this Market Corner blog, and our social media channels, including Facebook. And don’t forget to tag us – @trivantage – on your social channels so we can reshare your work and how you brought your customers’ visions to life.
Your Trivantage® sales representative stands ready to assist you in sharing your project details, or you can call us at 800-786-1876.