Specialty Fabrics Review April 2024 - 20

[ PERSPECTIVE ]
Coming Full Circle
Keri Ames grows Yachtsman's Canvas and
trains the next generation of fabricators.
K
Keri Ames
OWNER/FABRICATOR
Yachtsman's Canvas
Rock Hall, Md.
yachtsmanscanvas.com
ATA member since 2017
Most valued benefit
of ATA membership
I attend multiple regional
and national conferences
each year [as a member of]
the Chesapeake Marine Canvas
Fabricators Association, Marine
Fabricators Association and
Advanced Textiles Association.
I appreciate networking with
my peers, exchanging ideas
and learning about innovative,
new products.
Written by
Darcy Maulsby
Photography by
Kylie Richards Photography
eri Ames' career path in the marine fabric world is full of statements
that begin with " never did I ever. " Never did she ever think she'd take
her family's sailing hobby to the next level, run a marine canvas business
or teach courses through Yachtsman's Canvas Marine Canvas Training.
" I never imagined all this would come from making a sail cover in 2006
for our sailboat, " says Ames, owner/fabricator at Yachtsman's Canvas in Rock
Hall, Md. " I just wanted to make my husband proud. "
Raised in suburban Philadelphia, Pa., Ames was introduced to sailing when
she began dating her future husband, Rich, in 1997. The couple often cruised
the Chesapeake Bay with Rich's grandparents on the family's 36-foot Sabre
sailboat. " I loved the peaceful, quiet experience, " says Ames, an experienced
snow skier and tech industry professional. " I was intrigued by how the wind
and a piece of fabric made the boat go. "
A few years after Ames married Rich in 2001, the couple discussed the need
for a new sail cover. While Ames figured they'd buy one, her husband suggested
she make one. " He said, 'Anything you put your mind to, you can accomplish.'
OK, challenge accepted! "
There were only two issues. " I didn't own a sewing machine, and I didn't
know how to sew, " says Ames, who was working full time in the software
industry at the time.
Undeterred, Ames purchased a $100 home sewing machine and a Sewing for
Dummies book. " I fumbled through and made a sail cover. When I look back
now, I think, 'Oh, that wasn't pretty,' but I was so proud of that cover when we
put it on the boat. "
Ames' passion for marine canvas fabrication grew as she completed multiple
projects for her family's boat in her spare time. " I liked the creative, hands-on
nature of transforming fabric into something useful. "
As she refined her sewing skills, Ames began taking on projects for fellow
dock mates and surrounding marinas. While she continued to work in the
software industry, Ames set up a five-year plan to leave her corporate job and
make marine canvas fabrication her full-time career.
Around 2010, Ames began attending classes at multiple canvas fabrication
schools, including Hood Canvas Marine Training in Merrimac, Mass. " This
training allowed me to learn a variety of techniques to fabricate custom,
high-quality canvas projects, " Ames says.
In 2013, Ames established Yachtsman's Canvas, which she operated parttime.
She also took business classes at a local community college, and by the
spring of 2016 she became a full-time entrepreneur. " It was a leap of faith to
start my own business, but my husband supported me every step of the way. "
20 SPECIALTY FABRICS REVIEW / April 2024
http://www.yachtsmanscanvas.com

Specialty Fabrics Review April 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Specialty Fabrics Review April 2024

Specialty Fabrics Review April 2024 - Cover1
Specialty Fabrics Review April 2024 - Cover2
Specialty Fabrics Review April 2024 - 1
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Specialty Fabrics Review April 2024 - Cover3
Specialty Fabrics Review April 2024 - Cover4
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