Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - 23

competitive and knew I could make this
work, " Wayne says. " I give 110% effort
with anything I touch. "
Today, Southern Stitch includes a
6,000-square-foot facility on 3 acres,
including a first-class showroom. The
team specializes in marine fabrication,
aftermarket leather seats for the
automotive industry and commercial
work, from patio enclosures to restaurant
booths to awnings. Wayne cites 10
lessons that have helped him to create
a thriving business without sacrificing
work-life balance. " I've experienced
10 years of ups and downs and have
learned a lot. "
1. Be willing to say no
When Wayne opened his business in
a spare bedroom of his home, he was
giddy the first time a potential customer
called Southern Stitch. " My goal in
the early days was simple-just be successful.
I'd try anything that involved a
needle and thread. " He learned, however,
that wasn't the best approach.
" Don't water down your skills and the
trade by trying to get all the work. Time
is your most valuable asset. "
Instead of expanding his business,
Wayne shrunk his focus. " I'm a craftsman
and don't mass-produce items. I
specialize in things you can't buy from
Amazon or big-box stores. "
2. Learn from every experience
Wayne started refining his entrepreneurial
skills when he was a salesman
at the car dealership. " I learned to ask
questions and focus on the customers'
needs; plus, I got comfortable working
with big dollar figures. "
Selfevaluation
is also essential if you want
to work more efficiently, Wayne adds.
" Ask questions like, 'Could I have
eliminated that in-person meeting?'
and 'Should I have taken that phone
call, or is it a better use of my time to
keep sewing?' "
Steven Wayne and Southern Stitch Canvas & Upholstery have not
been afraid to tackle unique projects, whether it be boat tops,
awnings for outlet malls and sports arenas or upholstery for a bevy
of commercial clients. Photo: Southern Stitch Canvas & Upholstery
CREATING CUSTOM-TAILORED
PROJECTS, FROM AWNINGS FOR
ARENAS TO BOAT CANVAS
T
he work of Steven Wayne and his team at
Southern Stitch Canvas & Upholstery LLC in
Gulfport, Miss., speaks for itself. Projects range from
177 awnings crafted for Gulfport Premium Outlets
to the awnings that span the tunnels in the arena
where the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community
College basketball teams play.
Wayne specializes in custom-tailored projects. One
job that was especially gratifying was fabricating a
heavy PVC bimini top with a rigid enclosure for a 68foot
Princess Viking. " The owner and captain were so
impressed that they said, 'You're our guy for our other
projects,' " Wayne says.
Sure enough, he got a call from the captain.
The request? Work on the owner's new 98-foot
Hatteras in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. " Being a small-town
Mississippi boy and being flown to a boat megacapital
like Fort Lauderdale is a feather in your cap, "
says Wayne, who serves on the MFA board. " It's
great to help people with challenging projects and
contribute to our industry's growth. "
MarineFabricatorMag.com | 23
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Marine Fabricator September/October 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Marine Fabricator September/October 2023

Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - Cover1
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - Cover2
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - 1
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - 2
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - 3
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - 4
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - 5
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - 6
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - 7
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - 8
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - 9
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - 10
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - 11
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - 12
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - 13
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - 14
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - 15
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - 16
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - 17
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - 18
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - 19
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - 20
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - 21
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - 22
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Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - 30
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Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - 41
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - 42
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - 43
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Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - 45
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - 46
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - 47
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - 48
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - Cover3
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - Cover4
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - MarineConfBroch1
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - MarineConfBroch2
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - MarineConfBroch3
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - MarineConfBroch4
Marine Fabricator September/October 2023 - MarineConfBroch5
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