Specialty Fabrics Review April 2024 - 23

While Ames enjoys working on a
variety of projects, she follows some
valuable advice she gained early in her
career. " Know when to say no. It's easy
to take on projects that aren't right for
you or that you just don't like to do.
Learn how to walk that fine line. "
Ames, who has won multiple
national and international industry
awards, continues to expand her
customer base and her knowledge
through her involvement in the
Chesapeake Marine Canvas Fabricators
Association, the Marine Fabricators
Association and the Advanced Textiles
Association. This network proved
invaluable during the supply chain
challenges of the pandemic. " If you
were looking for a certain type of fabric
or zippers but couldn't get them from
your usual suppliers, other fabricators
were willing to help out, " Ames says.
" That's just how fabricators are, " she
adds. " I've had amazing opportunities
to work with the best fabricators in
the United States and internationally,
including Dave Elliott of David's
Custom Trimmers in Brisbane,
Australia. You learn something from
every project. The day I stop learning
might be the day I hang up my scissors. "
The student becomes
the teacher
Ames, who is booked out for projects
a year in advance, is grateful for the
excellent training she received early in
her career from Mark Hood, certified
Master Fabric Craftsman, and his
wife, Deb. " The Hoods were always
passionate about their work. They are
great mentors who helped me become
the fabricator I am today. "
When the Hoods were ready to
retire, Ames worked with them to
transition their training business to
Yachtsman's Canvas in October 2023.
" I'm grateful the Hoods helped me
build my skills and my confidence.
It's important to me to carry on
their legacy and help others get
into the industry. "
Teaching has become a big part of
Ames' work during the winter months.
Her students are typically around
middle age. " Some want to start a side
business, while others want to switch
careers. This training is geared towards
people with little or no experience in
marine canvas fabrication. "
She hosts three- to four-day
workshops focused on specific topics,
such as bimini enclosures. Workshops
typically include up to three students,
so each participant gets plenty of
hands-on learning. " There are a lot
of fabricators who've worked in the
business 30 or 40 years and will be
retiring soon, " Ames says. " There's
still a lot of business out there, and
we need to meet this demand. "
Teaching the next generation of
fabricators is a rewarding adventure
for Ames. " It's gratifying to see my
career come full circle. "
Darcy Maulsby is a freelance writer based
in Lake City, Iowa.
SpecialtyFabricsReview.com 23
What excites you about
the future?
I love giving back to this
industry. I'm vice chair of the
board of the Marine Fabricators
Association (MFA) and chair
of the MFA Education and
Programming Committee for
2024. I'm also excited to offer
courses through Yachtsman's
Canvas Marine Canvas Training.
I never envisioned myself as
a teacher, but I enjoy helping
new fabricators get their start
in the industry and teaching
seasoned fabricators new
ways to refine their skills.
http://www.SpecialtyFabricsReview.com

Specialty Fabrics Review April 2024

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Specialty Fabrics Review April 2024 - 1
Specialty Fabrics Review April 2024 - 2
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