Goodwin-Cole Featured in Specialty Fabrics Review

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Goodwin-Cole was recently featured in the Specialty Fabrics Review, which is currently celebrating its 100th birthday.

It’s an honor to be counted among the members of Industrial Fabrics Association International and we look forward to supporting and being supported by such an invaluable resource for many, many years to come.

Our feature section appears below—be sure to check out the full article on the Specialty Fabrics Review website!

From “Members make the industry” by Sigrid Tornquist in Specialty Fabrics Review:

Goodwin Cole Store in 1950s

In the early 1950s, Bob Cole and Tom Goodwin bought what is now Goodwin-Cole Co. in Sacramento, Calif., and hand-painted the company name on their awning. Photo: Goodwin-Cole Co.

Goodwin-Cole Co.

Goodwin-Cole Co. began producing canvas tents and awnings in 1888 in Kansas City, Kan., before the company migrated to Sacramento, Calif., in 1920. At the time the company was known as Carnie-Goodwin-Pendleton Co., before it changed to Goodwin-Cole in 1952 when Robert Cole became a partner with Tom Goodwin. In 1953, the company joined IFAI and has been actively involved ever since.

Reinvention has been the norm for this company that embraced its home in the United States’ West. In its early days in Sacramento, awnings were in demand to protect homes and businesses from the intense heat. As air conditioning became prevalent, the demand for awnings dwindled. Demand is back as people recognize the energy efficiency and environmental sustainability awnings can offer, as well as beauty and curb appeal.

Although awnings have always factored heavily into the company’s inventory, Goodwin-Cole has branched out in a number of directions over the years, including providing agricultural covers to protect crops from frost, tents for migrant workers before permanent housing was provided, and ski and sailboat equipment for recreation at Lake Tahoe. One of the company’s more visible custom projects was a tipi for a display at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.

Robert Cole (who served as president of the company for many years and as president of IFAI during the years when it changed from being the Canvas Products Association International) still serves as chairman of the Goodwin-Cole board of directors and takes an active interest in the health of the industry (see “Demand + Supply = Prevail” in the October issue). “As long as you recognize the challenges that are facing the industry and the business, you can address them and be successful,” Cole says. “I feel that in any business, the key factor is service. You have to work with and for your customers. Associations like IFAI and the ethical, capable suppliers we have available to us—these are the things that keep the industry strong.”


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