Specialty Fabrics Review June 2019 - 24

Every day, I say, 'What fabric
solution are you providing today?
What exceptional product are
you going to put out today? How
are you providing customer
service today?'

So when the company purchased its
first fabric welder in 2010, she immediately
moved the double-needle machines to the
basement, forcing employees to use the
new equipment.
"They hated it," she says. "Now we
have an Extremeâ„¢ welder, an $80,000
investment, and we love it, we showcase
it; everyone wants to learn how to use it."
When one summer installer first saw the
Extreme welder, he approached QuadriButterfield about training on the machine.
That employee has now been with the
company for 12 years and is responsible for
all new fabrication-a boon for a business
that struggles to find skilled workers.

Snapshot
A BREATHTAKING VISION
The owners of Majestic Woods NY, a private estate property in Clymer, N.Y., had a vision
for couples getting married at the venue, and needed awnings to complete the setting.
"Meeting with them, I had the same conversation I have with everyone," says Michele
Quadri-Butterfield, owner of Al's Awning Shop. "But I could visualize it; I could see people
getting married there. And now it's fantastic."
The project involved fabricating and installating three awnings, the largest being
a 60-by-18-foot roof-mounted stationary canopy. "We did the largest canopy awning
to cover the deck that
overlooks the pond and
the whole property," she
says. "The purpose of
going up on the roof was
to maintain the height so
that the awning wouldn't
block the view from inside
the building. We needed to
be able to see out."
A second, smaller awning next to it covers the site's handicapped zone. The third
awning covers the entrance and includes the venue's simple branded graphic. It's the
smallest of the three, but it completes the whole project, Quadri-Butterfield says.
"It's beautiful; it's better than I could have imagined," she says. "The weddings that
take place under these awnings and at this venue are breathtaking, and I'm part of that."

24 REVIEW JUNE 2019

A FAMILY AFFAIR
Al's Awning Shop was founded by
Quadri-Butterfield's grandparents, Al
and Lillian, who made tarps in a space
in their garage. Later, they purchased a
building a few blocks from their home and
set up the shop, complete with a kitchen in
the basement, "so that they could literally
live and eat and stay here all day long,"
Quadri-Butterfield says. Other family
members came on board, and her father,
David, became the heart of the business
when it passed to the second generation.
"Every Saturday morning, I just got up
and I went to work with my Dad," she says.
"It was my passion; I couldn't wait to do it."
As a senior in high school, she was set
to attend college, with plans to come home
with a business degree to contribute to
the company. Then, just after he had fully
acquired the business, David Quadri died.
"It rattled everything that we had and
that we knew," she says. "My grandfather
Al died the day we buried my father. So the
heart and soul of Al's Awning Shop was
taken within five days."
Quadri-Butterfield's first instinct was
to give up college and work in the shop.
But her mother insisted that she stick to
the plan that David Quadri had wanted for
her. A school psychologist, Cyndy Quadri
didn't have any awning experience. But
she stepped up to run the company until
Quadri-Butterfield was ready to take over.
Guidance from Athena International
helped mother and daughter transition
ownership when the time was right.
"My mother became the force that
drives me. I wouldn't be here without
her," Quadri-Butterfield says. "She's
very proud of what we're doing with
the business and how the business is
changing and evolving."
The shop was also kept afloat through
the assistance of Jamie DiNicola, who
had been training under David Quadri at
the time of his death, and whose father,
Ed, was another longtime employee.



Specialty Fabrics Review June 2019

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