Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - 19

PERSPECTIVE

by Laurie F. Junker

SMALL

STRONG
PRIDE CITY AWNING & CANVAS FOUNDER
CAROLYN HAJEK HAS BUILT HER BUSINESS
ON TRUST AND LOYALTY.

T

he successful formula
for Pride City Awning &
Canvas is the application
of a simple principle-treat
customers, suppliers and employees
with honesty, fairness and loyalty. It's
an approach that has kept the Pueblo,
Colo.-based manufacturer of awnings,
banners, custom products and shade sails
in business for more than 30 years.
"We've been blessed with wonderful
customers, many who have become
friends," says owner Carolyn Hajek. She
credits these long-term relationships to
her insistence on giving customers the
straight scoop, whether it's on timelines,
budget or even if Pride City isn't the right
choice for their project. "I'll tell them, 'It's
not that I don't want your money. It's just
that I want you to be happy,'" Hajek says.
FOUNDING A BUSINESS
Hajek began her career in the awning and
custom fabrication industry while working
for a different company-Pueblo Tent and
Awning, which, under its original name,
F. J. Burch Tent and Awning Co., was one
of the founding members of Industrial
Fabrics Association International (IFAI).

Its owner, Henry "Hank" Anton Sr.,
is known for developing an early
example of the retractable awning arm.
Hajek started on the sporting goods
side of the business and eventually moved
into selling specialty fabric products,
including herder tents, water bags,
irrigation dams and awnings. Because it
was a small operation, Hajek also pitched
in wherever needed-with one exception.
"I didn't tell them I could sew because
I figured they would add that to my
other duties," she says with a laugh.
After five and half years, when she
didn't get a raise that she asked for, she
decided to go into business for herself,
with encouragement from her husband,
Larry (also known as "Good Looking
Larry," his preferred moniker).
"Larry kept saying, 'If you don't
like it, why don't you start your own?'
So I did, and from the time I decided
to start a business to the time we were
up and running was one week."
With $1,800, a sewing machine and
a 700-square-foot shop, Hajek opened
Pride City Awning & Canvas on May
1, 1989. She chose the name Pride City
because it is one of the city of Pueblo's

┬ęDON JONES, STUDIO 9 COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY

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Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020

Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - Cover1
Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - Cover2
Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - 1
Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - 2
Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - 3
Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - 4
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