Specialty Fabrics Review December 2021 - 36

Keep it authentic. At two-year-old
ONLINE AND ON-SITE
SHOWROOMS WORK TOGETHER
Fabricators find that online and on-site
showrooms perform different functions
that support each other.
People find us online through search and can
request an estimate. Then when they call, the online
showroom is used for examples of what they want. But we
encourage people to come by for two reasons: to see our
operations and where their products are being made, and to
sit down with the materials and actually have them in their
hands. Almost all our clients do come in unless they're far
out of town. "
Greg Keeler, Oyster Creek Canvas Co.
Clients of SugarHouse Industries are encouraged to
peruse the online showroom and discuss preferences,
prices and lead times by phone before making appointments
to come in for final selections. " After COVID, we looked at
our sales model and realized we didn't try very hard to help
customers over the phone; we just steered them in, " he
says. " That's been part of our motivation to be more helpful
remotely before they actually come in. But a pretty small
percentage buy online ... they almost always want to be here
in the shop. A lot of customers would be uncomfortable
spending thousands of dollars, sight unseen. "
Mike Peterson, SugarHouse Industries
We don't really have anyone who buys online. We start
with a tour of their boat and a tour of what they're
thinking, then send drawings and samples. Then we basically
invite people to see their work in progress as frequently as
they want to, at our house. "
Kelsey Renna, MarineRennavators LLC
MarineRennavators LLC, a two-person
shop out of Belfast, Maine, Kelsey
Renna and her husband, Tov, routinely
invite clients into their workroom to
view production and often ask them to
their adjacent home to share a meal. " As
long as you stay genuine and honest as
to what you're capable of and what you
cannot do, you can't go wrong, " Renna
says of the couple's philosophy.
Design decor thoughtfully. At
Oyster Creek, Keeler maintained the
vintage character of his building by
replacing the windows with large,
multi-paneled versions and using
them to showcase antique sewing
machines-the machines that
started his business.
Create a warm, comfortable
environment. Two decades ago,
80-year-old SugarHouse Industries
designed and built a new, larger
showroom with taller ceilings, highend
tile and bigger windows that let
in more natural light. " We wanted
something more open, with a less
industrial feel, that conveys the kind
of high-end image we're going for, "
says Mike Peterson, president of the
Salt Lake City, Utah, company.
Keep improving based on customer
response. " Sometimes it's easy to put
it up one way, set it and forget it, and
never improve it, " Peterson notes. " But
watch customer interactions, paying
attention to what kinds of questions
still come up and what you still
struggle to convey to customers. Have
a continual improvement mindset. "
Staff up with knowledgeable
salespeople. SugarHouse employs
four full-time trained retail sales
associates to answer phones, greet
walk-ins and manage in-person sales.
" We want to instill confidence that we
know what we're doing and can make
quality covers that are going to solve
36 SPECIALTY FABRICS REVIEW / December 2021

Specialty Fabrics Review December 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Specialty Fabrics Review December 2021

Specialty Fabrics Review December 2021 - Cover1
Specialty Fabrics Review December 2021 - Cover2
Specialty Fabrics Review December 2021 - 1
Specialty Fabrics Review December 2021 - 2
Specialty Fabrics Review December 2021 - 3
Specialty Fabrics Review December 2021 - 4
Specialty Fabrics Review December 2021 - 5
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Specialty Fabrics Review December 2021 - 7
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Specialty Fabrics Review December 2021 - cover3
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