Call Us Toll Free 1-866-519-6150

Welcome to Shade Voila!

The ShadeFX Retractable Canopies Story (Part 2/2)

If you read my previous article you’ll recall I wanted a beautiful outdoor living space of about 16X16 that was protected from sun and rain.  The story started in 1992 and covered the years to 2007 wherein I searched for total outdoor living satisfaction to no avail.  Over time I got distracted and busy with other things and accepted my destiny to sit on a compromise 10X16 deck with a 10 foot awning projecting over it.

Then I met Peter Westgarth, I saw his patent pending (at the time) canopy system over his deck, and realized that my search for outdoor living in luxury, comfort and style was finally within my grasp!

So I say, “Hey Pete, you just pitched me that other invention in your garage, why didn’t you show me this?”  Pete says (God’s truth) “You’re not in the awning business”.  I say “Dude….  I’m in the good idea business!  And THIS, THIS is a good idea!”

Pete, ever the cool operator, says “Yeah, you and everybody else.  If I had a nickel for every time a guy said he could sell this thing I’d be a rich man”  Poor Pete, he thought I was a talker.  I had to convince him ‘action’ was my middle name, and get the rights to develop this product.  So I tell him my story.  The one you already read.  The one about awnings don’t go out far enough.  How awnings don’t protect from rain like they should, the one about pretty pergolas that do something for style, but nothing for comfort.  And without comfort, you can’t have style.  So here I am pitching Pete now.

I say “Look Pete, I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck.  I know the customer for this.  I am one.  I know the market void, I tried to find something like this for years.  I know the technicalities that make this great, make it GENIUS in fact!  It’s INGENIOUS!

And that’s where I got him.  That’s where I got him good.

“Genius eh…”

So I spell it out for him.  “Pete” I say   ”Here’s why it’s INGENIOUS”:

First, it mounts on a frame.  With posts!  It looks great, feels great and defines the outdoor living space giving it comfort and style like no awning can.  Better yet, you can make the frame as big as you want.  So there are no limits to how long or wide an area you can cover.  And it’s strong with a frame.  Wind and rain be damned.  And heck, pergolas are all over the place screaming for this type of product.

But hey, making a frame is easy, there’s a ton of them out there already called pergolas.  So why isn’t everybody else making fabric covers that retract for them?  That’s where the single track comes in.  It’s INGENIOUS!  One track can’t jam or bind even if the wood frame twists like a pretzel with the seasons and time.  That’s what wood frames do.  So only a single track will work.  INGENIOUS!

Pete’s with me now…  “Well, It’s common sense really… “

“Not really Pete.  It’s counter-intuitive engineering.  Everybody else, for 4000 years in fact, has tried to solve the same problem with two tracks or cables or whatever at the edges of the canopy.  With the edges supported, they become the high point and collect water instead of shed it.  Because your track is in the middle, the middle of the canopy is the high point, and water sheds to either side.  INGENIOUS!”

“Well it stands to reason …”

“Not really Pete.   This product has a place and time in the market and the place is here and the time is now.  Here’s what we gotta do….”

Thus was the inception of the partnership.  Over the next six months we made the changes necessary to commercialize the product, position it in the market and promote it with an emphasis on design excellence.  And design excellence it is.  Simple.  Elegant. Reliable.  Adaptable enough to fit on any frame.  Oh yeah, and INGENIOUS!

Next story:  Just how adaptable is ShadeFX?  Can it really fit on any frame?

Leave a Reply