Shop talk with Cindy Boersema of The Nautical Needle
Marine Fabricator | May 2012
What unique design elements are built into your products?
We are always finding or trying to find new and better ways to produce our products. We never stop thinking.
How did your shop get started?
That’s a long story. In 2004, two people I worked with asked me to go into business with them and I agreed. Since then, both of my old coworkers have gone their own ways.
What is your product focus?
We focus on the marine industry. That includes canvas, upholstery, carpet, bedding, drapes and any other type of fabric textile.
Who are your main customers?
Our customer base is split marinas and individuals.
Describe your shop layout.
Our shop layout sucks. But in 2010 we increased our space to accommodate the need for us to be able to store boats and work on them inside.
What do you do to stay busy in the off-season?
We really don’t have one. With all the heated storage around us, we keep very busy year round.
How do you deal with scheduling and handling customers?
Mainly, we have one person who deals with the customers and one who does the scheduling. This helps keep all of us on track.
What other products do you produce?
We do a good amount of prototyping for individuals that have a product they have designed or invented that incorporates a fabric-type textile.
Talk about your employee-training process.
That is a very slow, costly process.
Do you use any new or unusual technology?
Brain power, and a big imagination.
How do you track your inventory?
We use QuickBooks, which automatically tracks inventory, but we do adjustments about every three months.