Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - 20

I took on just about any
business that came through
the door-anything I could
make with a sewing machine.
CAROLYN HAJEK

nicknames, and because it would be listed
alphabetically in the phone book before
her primary competitor (her former
employer). At the time, the Yellow Pages
was the leading form of advertising
for awning businesses, and new
businesses often chose names in order
to appear first in alphabetical listings.
As it turned out, Hajek missed
the deadline for the Yellow Pages
that first year, so she took out small
"scatter" ads in the local "Thrifty
Nickel" newspaper instead.
"I took on just about any business that
came through the door-anything I could
make with a sewing machine," Hajek
recalls. That included conveyor belts
for dryers and T-shirt screen printing,
awnings, boat covers and specialty bags.
For the first three years, Pride City was a
one-woman operation, with Hajek doing
everything from sales to sewing to billing.
Larry helped out, building frames and
doing installs with the help of friends. The

business was profitable from the get-go,
and Hajek was confident enough after
three years to move into a larger space,
purchasing a 1,600-square-foot building
a few blocks from the original location.
UPS AND DOWNS
For the past 30 years, Pride City has grown
steadily while staying small. Hajek likes to
say, "We're not a small business. We're a
teeny-weeny business." Today the company
has six employees and an additional 2,000
square feet of shop space to accommodate
an expanded product line that includes
retractables and shade sails. The company
also began offering graphic design services
after running into production delays due
to unreliable outside design services.
"They'd say it would be ready on
Monday, but they wouldn't say which
Monday," Hajek says. By bringing
design services in-house, Pride City
can accurately set and honor timelines,
which is essential to maintaining trust

Snapshot
HISTORICAL CHALLENGE
The Historic Federal Building in downtown Pueblo, Colo., once housed
a federal courthouse and a post office, but today it's home to artisans
and craftspeople. Designed by famed architect William Martin Aiken
and completed in 1897, the Italian Renaissance-inspired building
is on the National Register of Historic Places, a fact that Pride City
Awning & Canvas had to consider when providing new awnings to
the building. "We cover a large geographic area and have done a fair
amount of historical work, but this was more challenging because of
its official designation and dealing with the rules and opinions that
come with that," says Pride City owner Carolyn Hajek. The original
plan called for awnings on every ground-floor window. In the end,
the clients preferred Pride City's design of a main entrance canopy
with decorative banners alongside the windows.

20 REVIEW NOVEMBER 2020

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Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020

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Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - Cover1
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Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - 1
Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - 2
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