Buying A 10×20 Trimline Canopy by Flourish   3 comments

When your canopy is held together with duct tape, it’s time to get a new display.

After getting thrown on the pavement, the grass and the dirt, enduring wind gusts over 30mph and getting soaked in the rain on several occasions, our original Caravan steel canopy (commercial grade!) was done. It was the California Poppy Festival that finally did it in – the canopy seemed fine, but I felt it give in a wrong way when I set it up.

I knew it wasn’t right.

The canopy still did fine at the Poppy Festival, but when I took it out of the bag for the KHTS Home & Garden Show the next week, the canopy frame was in pieces. Too many pieces. Luckily, we were in Santa Clarita so I could go home, cut some hardwood to size, and splint the broken struts. Duct tape to the rescue.

That’s a good temporary fix, but we were in the middle of our Spring Fling. Events were happening every week, and we needed shade.

Our solution to date had been to have two 10′ x 10′ Caravan pop-up canopies, both of which we purchased in 2015. They served us well … but they were both definitely wearing out. There were small holes in each roof. Velcro was ripping off of the walls, which also had small holes. One canopy frame was now broken … what should we do?

I researched the cost of a straight replacement of the Caravan, and I looked at the available alternative high quality pop-up shade canopies. Pop-ups have an advantage in that they’re easy to put up … and a disadvantage in that they break. Also, they don’t have all of the advantages that better canopies offer.

Like the Trimline by Flourish. We first saw their mesh walls at our favorite event, Santa’s Art Shop, in 2014. I was knocked out by the possibilities offered by this unique feature. So, as I researched canopies and potential solutions for Mrs M’s Handmade, I kept going back to Flourish, which offered these significant upgrades:

  • Zippered wall/roof connections protected by velcroed flaps, giving us tight weather proofing
  • Heavy vinyl walls
  • 7′ high walls (or 8′ or more), with a curved canopy roof above them for an open, airy feeling in the booth
  • A skylight in the roof itself, offering improved filtered light on our products
  • A full awning on 2 sides and the corner (!), allowing us to fully protect our products from direct sunlight
  • Quality banner holder on the awning
  • Mesh walls, offering additional filtered light on the sides and back, as well as the opportunity to hang signage and artwork – even cutting boards! – on the walls for display.

Flourish is based in Arkansas, and is a small business with 15 employees. They primarily work with 2 other local businesses to make the canopies and all of their hardware. I’m a fan of small business successes; I work for a couple of those myself.

Like me, they don’t have a “click to buy” website. They insist that you talk to one of their reps. Because everyone’s uses are just so unique, they feel all will benefit from the personal touch. I’m a fan of that philosophy as well.

After calling in to describe Mrs M’s Handmade, Bob walked me through the various decisions that I would need to make:

  • 7′ walls
  • Regular skylight in the canopy – more light than we’re used to, but not too much for Mrs M’s products
  • 54″ awnings in the front, one side, and a corner. They have a smaller option, but you know us: go big or stay home
  • Banner mount on top of the front awning for each of our banners
  • Only 3 mesh walls, not 4 (we typically get a corner booth with my side wall open, so we don’t need the 4th wall that many would need if they don’t upgrade to corner spaces)
  • No gear bags since we have a trailer. That’s a substantial savings, and Chris recommended we live with the canopy for a bit before we buy more bags. We bought vinyl bags to hold the canopy, walls & awnings. Flourish provides bungee ball cords to hold the poles together; that’s a new piece of hardware for us.

We made the commitment to buy a Trimline. The biggest downside is that the pieces come apart … with a pop-up canopy, you unfold it, pop it, and you’re done. With the Trimline, assembly is required. Every time.

Luckily, our trailer allows us to keep the structure partially assembled: the 10′ long pipes will stay assembled with all hardware already on them, so putting the canopy up will be much simpler than for those that start over 100%, every time. The videos show veterans putting a 10×10 canopy up in about 15 leisure minutes … and after putting the canopy up a couple of times, I can tell you my time is not approaching that. The 2nd assembly, with full unloading of all products & transport from the trailer 50 yards away, was 90 minutes. So, the canopy went up in perhaps 45 minutes. We will get better.

The instructions arrived written for each piece (10×20 canopy, mesh walls, 10×20 awning, 10×10 awning, etc). You have to be smart enough to understand you can’t follow the canopy instructions to their end without embracing where the awning instructions need to be followed instead.

After the first day at an event, I was still 100% certain that this canopy was a HUGE upgrade for us. My only real quibble was that we bought 7′ walls … but the awnings were about 6′ high when assembled. Had I known that, I might have opted for 8′ walls and a 7′ clearance for the awnings. Other than that quibble, I’m 100% satisfied with our purchase of the Trimline canopy.

 

3 responses to “Buying A 10×20 Trimline Canopy by Flourish

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  1. Very nice set up!

  2. Pingback: The Board Chronicles: Rotary Art Show 2017 | MowryJournal.com

  3. Pingback: The Board Chronicles: California Strawberry Festival 2017 | MowryJournal.com

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