When Debbie Gentry started in the yachting industry in St. Augustine, Florida, 34 years ago, she discovered an untapped market for high-quality cushions. That’s when she connected with Trivantage, a long-time supplier of Sunbrella® fabrics.
Noting that many yacht and patio furniture cushions did not have zippers, she began to suggest Sunbrella, a low-maintenance, easy-to-clean fabric with a five-year limited warranty. Her customers were immediately sold and soon after, she was providing pool cushions for the local Hampton Inn and Marriott Courtyard with Sunbrella fabrics. When asked how she approached the initial sale of upgrading to Sunbrella, she expressed that the fabrics sold themselves.
“Property owners need cushions they can unzip, pull the foam out, and clean,” she said. “That’s the wonderful thing about Sunbrella — it’s easy to maintain; there’s practically no maintenance.”
During her tenure in the textile industry, “Ms. Debbie,” as she is known in the industry, has grown and adapted to different markets. She’s also developed a long-term relationship with Trivantage. In 2001, she established TNT Marine Canvas & Upholstery in Kemah, Texas, specializing in yacht interiors and exteriors. Today, she is joined by her son, Troy Paylow, who is an owner of the family-owned business, and the duo designs and markets interior boat restoration from sailboats to powerboats.
Customers love the Sunbrella Dupione collection, she said, because the fabric is long-lasting, and yacht owners gravitate toward earth-tone shades. Paylow noted that TNT Marine Canvas recently completed a high-profile project for a South African Catamaran.
“We furnished the yacht interior and cockpit with Sunbrella Pure Upholstery from Trivantage in Cast Moss green,” he said.
Whether working on a project for land or sea, the duo turns to Sunbrella – and Trivantage – for the best fabrics for the job.