Ben Lange, owner of Wyoming Canvas, in Wyoming, Minn., established his business in 1981. His shop has six employees who fabricate boat and pontoon covers, travel tops and upholstery. With its long history in the local community, Wyoming Canvas is a huge supporter of area schools, the VFW, local church groups and youth fundraisers.
What drew you into the business?
I started working with my dad in the early 1980s and eventually took over the family business.
What are your areas of expertise?
I pride myself on custom fabrication, and if I had to choose an area of expertise, it would have to be boat and travel covers. The covers I make are always custom fitted and travel extremely well.
How do you keep up with innovations in textiles, equipment and other materials?
Materials are constantly changing and improving by the year; I keep up with these innovations by attending the IFAI Expo every year. I have truly enjoyed being a member of the organization throughout the years. I have found the Expo and publications very educational for myself and my business.
I am always looking for employees with some knowledge and background in sewing and people skills. Together we develop and grow from there.
What are your biggest challenges?
Being a business in Minnesota, we are constantly revolving around our ever-changing seasons. Some challenges we find are in our “busy season” and we are working around the clock to keep up with demand. April and May are always proving to be our busiest months.
Why are you a member of the Marine Fabricators Association (MFA)?
I am a member of MFA because it is a great way to stay informed and updated. MFA has been a great way to network and I have truly enjoyed meeting other business owners in the industry.