Serving customers and employees

August 31st, 2023

Running a successful business means being on the same team as your customers and employees. During the busy season, this can be challenging. I was reminded of this by my son who works at a restaurant that’s open seven days a week. The food is wonderful and the place is always packed, but the restaurant […]

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The right tools

July 1st, 2023

As a serious gardener, I think a lot about tools. Gardening in Minnesota is not for the faint of heart. Preparing the beds, pruning, weeding, planting and harvesting all happen in a relatively short period, so choosing the right tools, using them properly and keeping them in peak condition is critical to a successful harvest. […]

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At what cost

May 1st, 2023

It’s important to think hard about your bottom line when you’re in business. You won’t be profitable or stay in business very long without keeping track of your expenses and revenues. It’s also true that fixating on your costs and cutting too many corners can create expensive mistakes.  This issue is about ensuring your shop’s […]

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Creative risk is messy

March 1st, 2023

My brother is a wacky painter. A lot of his art is filled with blurry faces and unfinished bodies. Some of his paintings show finer techniques, but he says he prefers to take a “messy approach” to potentially achieve a more creative result than “something that matches a couch.” Being proficient at the nuts and […]

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Thinking outside the box

September 1st, 2022

Designs don’t need to be radical to set you apart; just slightly different than all the others. Thinking outside the box by Russ Griffin Our company, Northcoast Marine Specialties LLC, has had two decades of great success due to our unfamiliarity with the outdated and unimaginative techniques many canvas shops fall into the habit of […]

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Find creativity in marine fabrication frustration

March 1st, 2022

Are you dogged by missteps? Do you perceive your mistakes as creative opportunities or simply as failures? Are the challenges of custom work creating stress in the rest of your life? And finally, where do you as a fabricator find purpose in your life? I can’t speak for everyone, but I discover mine in every […]

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Innovation and growth

May 1st, 2018

Each year, IFAI publishes a state of the industry report that factors in numerous market realities. This year’s report shows that growth was strong in the marine fabric market in 2017, and this growth is expected to continue into 2018, despite higher oil and gas prices. During this busy time of year, marine fabricators might […]

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