Hear From The President Of KD Kanopy: Matt Kayser

So far in our behind the scenes interview with KD Kanopy employees, we have heard from Ian, VP of Sales and Marketing, and Chuck who is KD Kanopy’s longest standing employee. Now we hear from the President of the Company, Matt Kayser.

Check out Ian’s Q&A here where he shares what is most proud of with the company.

And also Chuck’s, where he talks more about how KD Kanopy originated all because of a windy storm. Now it’s leading the company in innovation and new ideas.

Below, we talk with Matt who talks challenges, rewards and what makes KD Kanopy different than competitors.

1.    How did you get started with KD Kanopy?

In October of 2010, KD Kanopy was acquired by Aeroturbine Energy Corporation, the parent company of KD Kanopy, Inc.  My background for the 14 previous years was in manufacturing watersports products in China.  I was well versed in importing products from the Orient and have extensive knowledge of nylon and polyester materials.  The transition to making and marketing canopies was great for my skill set.

2.    What are you most proud of with the business?

I am most proud that as a team we were able to change the culture of KD Kanopy to reflect the needs of our customer.  KD Kanopy has always had the reputation of always providing the best canopies on the market. But they lacked in a few areas when it came to competitive pricing, customer service and attention to detail.  Because of that, I made it the mission statement of KD Kanopy that we will: WOW our customers with the best product, best designs, best pricing and the BEST customer service in the canopy industry.

3.    What is the biggest challenge of running a business? And Biggest reward?

The biggest challenge of running a business is anticipating year to year how to handle the growth.  Increasing employees to handle the demand and maintaining the same lead times that have made us so successful.

The biggest reward in running a business is receiving feedback from the customers saying that they love their canopy and should have bought from us earlier.  Many customers have gone through 100’s of canopies that were not at the quality of ours.  They found us and will continue to buy from us.

4. What makes KD Kanopy different than competitors?

We aren’t afraid to tackle new items or ideas.  Our philosophy is never say no because we will figure it out.  Whether that is large quantities, special projects, a different look or tight deadlines for the customer, we always handle it. Give KD Kanopy the opportunity and we WILL “WOW” you.

5. What is something people would be surprised to know about you or KD Kanopy?

At KD Kanopy I have wanted to create a culture of fun and family.  Families that laugh together stay together.  Every lunch everyone is at one table sharing stories about their lives and families.  We laugh hard everyday at lunch because everyone feels comfortable and we are “off the clock”.  We do an annual ugly Christmas or outfit contest and at Halloween there is a best custom contest.

We know that our customers expect the best and we provide that.  We may be loose around the office and a bit crazy most of the time but the customer always comes first and taking care of them is the most important thing.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Behind the Scenes With Kd Kanopy’s Longest Standing Employee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In our next series of blog posts, we are interviewing some of our employees so you can better get to know what we are all about and more about who are are. Which is serious customer service and staying at the top of the industry while keeping a fun office culture in the mix. Last week, we featured Ian McIntosh, the VP of Sales and Marketing. You can catch that post here where he covers all the bases, including what he is most proud of with the company and tells about his most memorable customer.

Next, we are catching up with Chuck, the longest standing member of the KD Kanopy Team. He has been with the company for 30 years. Read on to learn about his best memory of working here, what he is most proud of and plenty more. You will even learn what a windy sailing trip triggered the idea for KD Kanopy.

Q: As the longest standing employee can you offer some insight into how the company has changed over the 30 years?

At the very beginning, the company was growing at a slow pace. At that time, we only had one size and style of canopy available in 3 different colors.  It wasn’t long before we were up to 4 sizes and 6 colors and introduced a screen-printing option for our canopies. And, even rolled out the new StarShade line. When the company came under new ownership, we added even more ideas and also improved our existing products.  We have kept on the curve as well when it comes to social media and marketing as well as offering full coverage digital printing at a more competitive price. I am excited to see where KD goes from here.

Q: What are you most proud of with the company?

I am most proud of the growth this company has experienced over the years as well as research and development for new products and our strong marketing. I think this success all comes into play because all of our employees are involved and able to share ideas that are listened and responded to.

Q: What do you see as your biggest accomplishment with KD Kanopy?

My biggest accomplishment with KD Kanopy is working and learning about the development of our canopies.  And then taking that knowledge to research new products and designs for the company that keeps us relevant in a competitive industry.  We have been able to keep growing and stay ahead because of this.

Q: What is something people would be surprised to know about you or KD Kanopy?   I have traveled 1,080,000 miles back and forth from work since the company was founded until today!

Q: Best memory of working here?

Jim Lynch (the inventor and founder of KD Kanopy) loved to watch car racing on TV. He came to me one day and told me that he has been watching the races and saw all these canopies along the track but couldn’t tell which ones we manufactured. Because of this he wanted me to come up with an idea that would set our canopies apart from all the others. I had always wanted to make a fuller canopy with a taller valance and this gave me the opportunity to do that. I added the curve at the corners and now to this day, that is still the recognition point of spotting a KD Kanopy. Just keep an eye out for deeper valance and curved corners!

Q: What else may we be surprised to know about the founder, Jim?

He was a sailor and came up with the idea for the company one day while he was out on the water. That’s when a huge wind came up and steered him towards shore. When that happened, he saw all these people scrambling, trying to take down pole tents before the wind destroyed them. He thought there should be a better way to get shade and not leave people scrambling at the last minute. That’s when the idea of KD Kanopy was born.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Behind the Scenes with KD Kanopy’s Ian McIntosh

In our next series of blog posts, we are taking you behind the scenes of KD Kanopy to meet some of our employees. We are a pretty tight knit group here and want to let you in on some of the fun and also have you get to know us a little bit better. To kick off the series, we start with Ian McIntosh, the VP of Sales or Marketing.  Learn about the tight knit office culture, what KD Kanopy was the first to invent and why over selling to customers is not in our belief system. Take it away.. Ian!

Coming up, you will also hear from the longest standing employee, the newest and the President of our company.

1. How did you get started with KD Kanopy?

One of my best friends was working on the IT side for KD Kanopy. He knew I was leaving an 8-year position in retail sales and raved about how this company would be such a great fit for me. I met with the original owner and CEO of the company soon after and as the saying goes, the rest is history.

2. What are you most proud of with the business?

I am very proud of what KD Kanopy represents. I don’t mean the sales or increase in market share but who we are as people. There is not a lot of turn over with our company. If our team grows and changes, it’s because we have hired new people as the business expands. We are like family here. We have fun and enjoy coming into work everyday. We also treat each other and our clients with respect and honestly believe that you should treat others like you would like to be treated.

3. What makes KD Kanopy different than it’s competitors?

Our customer service and our passion. We don’t just sell a canopy to a client, we help with the design and the entire look of the canopy from start to finish. We make it a point for the client to get the best canopy for their needs and never over sell. As with customer service, we strive to make sure the client is 100% happy and comfortable with their purchase. If we did something wrong, then we will fix it. If the customer does something wrong, then we will help them fix it. The ultimate goal is for all customers to be 100% satisfied.

4. What is something people would be surprised to know about you or KD Kanopy?

Something people would be surprised to know about me is that I am originally from Scotland. I also just got my US citizenship this year.

And something people would be surprised to know about KD Kanopy is that we invented the first pop up canopy. It was made of chrome plated steel and weighed almost 100 pounds in a 10×10 size.

Also, that our entire sales team, from the front office to accounting and management all have lunch together everyday. We talk about the weekend, family or anything but work for that 45 minutes. During that time, you can expect a lot of humor and laughs to bounce around the table.

5. Who has been your most memorable customer?

Wow that is a tough one, so many clients come to mind. There was a customer who called in very upset about their canopy and said it did  was destroyed because of an error on our end. I really wanted to help the client and asked if they could send some pictures of the canopy so that we could see what damage was done and if we could help fix it. That was when the client told me that it was impossible since the canopy was at the bottom of the lake. They had placed the canopy on the back of a boat and when they took off with skiers behind them, they could not understand how the canopy could fly off and sink. That story always brings a smile to my face.

I have had the honor with working with some amazing people as well. Jeremy Hasenbuhler with Monster Energy has been incredilbe to work with and he always makes sure to sponsor our golf tournament every year. Steve Farace from Sweetwater Brewing also comes to mind. He has a great sense of humor and has always been a great client these past few years. Matt Peters from Choonimals has a great product and I always enjoy seeing amazing videos and pictures of their travels. These are just a few of the amazing loyal clients that I have worked with through out the years, there are so many more that I could list. Each client is unique and has their own story and it is always pleasure to talk with each one.

6. What has been your proudest moment with the company?

Again, I could go with our incredible growth in a bad economy or our massive increase in market share. But for me, it is always the people that I work with that I am most proud of. The sales team has grown and changed throughout the years and most of our account executives have never worked in this industry before. Because of that, we provide over 2 months of intensive training. We go over education on products, parts, design, computers and printing to make sure our staff knows the ins and outs of the company.

 I request that every person in the team works in every other department. This means they will cut sew, print and  fold fabric. They will also learn how to quality check and ship items. Through this our employees experience what it takes to get an entire order out the door. This training makes your account executive one of the most knowledgeable and helpful people in the canopy industry. To watch them grow, to become successful, to hear them laugh with clients, to have clients call and ask only to deal with them is what makes me proud. We hope that everyone that walks through our door will be successful. They usually end up becoming our friends and if they decide to move on, I think our training and their experience will set them up to be successful anywhere they go. And for that, I am very proud to have been a part of their story.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

KD Kanopy’s Secret for Flawless Printing

Ever wonder how we get our flawless digitally printed canopies? It’s a top of the line digital printer called the  EFI VUTEk GS5000r! It is  impeccable for it’s quality and accuracy, so you can be sure you will get the best finished product, every time.  Below are some of the printing techniques we use in-house.

  • Manual screen printing – layering ink down on the fabric by hand and then baking the ink so that it adheres to the fabric.
  • Digital Screen- able to print a white plate on colored fabrics, new technology, able to run 3 rolls at one time
  • Full Digital – able to print hundreds of different colors and gradients, covers the entire fabric in printing. See the printer in action below!

For more details, please watch video.

The five-meter, roll-to-roll UV printer offers enough print modes to conquer point of purchase products as well as high image quality and high production canopies, billboards and banners. The EFI VUTEk GS5000r comes with features that allow us to expand our printing capabilities, so we can help you grow your business and differentiate yourself from the competition. The information below is from http://w3.efi.com/Vutek/Products/GS5000r/Features-Specifications.

Features & Specifications include:

  • Uncompromised versatility, superior quality and industrial speed with eight-color plus white switchable to Fast 4™ technology.
  • Switches easily between mesh and vinyl.
  • Offers multi-roll printing on two or three rolls simultaneously.
  • Available with optional double-sided printing capability.
  • Reduces labor with automatic print head maintenance.
  • Has user friendly GUI with cropping, tiling and layout functions.
  • Cradle style winders ensure easy material load and unload.
  • Has gray level print heads that output up to 2800 ft²/hr (260 m²/hr).
  • Offers dual resolution of true 600 dpi (24pL) or 1000 dpi (12pL).
  • Prints up to max media thickness of .125 inches (3 mm) and up to max media width of 198 inches (5.0 meters).

Specifications

Don’t be caught off guard with a less than stellar canopy. Trust the experts here at KD Kanopy. We promise you’re in very capable hands!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Now Showing Starz Film Festival Denver starring KD Kanopy

The Starz Film Festival Denver is now showing! Be sure to keep an eye out for the KD Kanopy banners we did for the Starz Film Festival and their sponsors. There are so many events and films showing during this festival, it’s hard to know where to begin. It kicked off November 12th and runs through November 23rd. So that means you still have plenty of time to catch a show!

We printed banners for one of the Festival’s sponsors – Kronenbourg 1664. Kronenbourg 1664 is known for its golden hues and slight bitterness from the best hops around. French master brewers have been brewing this beer for over 350 years. It is often referred to as the best French beer in the world.

About the Festival

 This years Festival is being overseen by the Denver Film Society and their director, Britta Erickson. The mission of the Starz Film Festival Denver is to entertain, educate and provoke thought and discussion. Movies are a reflection of society and they explore our deepest desires and complexities as human beings. It is an escape from everyday life as well as a reminder of it. The Denver Film Society has been working to promote not only  the art of films, but the civic forum since 1978. The Starz Film Festival Denver is in it’s third decade and is built on the pillars of the foundations vision.

Featured Films

Keep On, Keepin’ On with Justin Kaulfin LIVE in concert following the film

  • Saturday, November 22 at 2pm
  • Buell Theater
  • Ninety-three year old, Clark Terry still teaches and  plays music, as well as tells great stories. The film’s core shows a moving relationship between young pianist Justin Kauflin, who lost his sight at age eleven, and Terry, who is losing his own. Review from http://www.denverfilm.org/festival/film/index.aspx?FID=80.

 

If God Comes Let Him Bring a Gun

  • Saturday, November 22 at 4pm and Sunday the 23rd at 2pm
  • UA Pavilions
  • At the height of the 2012 attacks and counterattacks between military police and organized crime in Sao Paulo, the lives of five people collide: a young man on leave from prison, his straitlaced brother, his best friend, a rookie cop, and a young actress with whom the prisoner falls in love. Review from  http://www.denverfilm.org/festival/film/index.aspx?FID=80.

Like Sunday, Like Rain

  • Saturday, November 22nd at 8pm
  • Buell Theater
  • Actor/writer/director Frank Whaley shows a gentle and sensitive side in his latest feature, Like Sunday, Like Rain. The tale of isolation-turned-doubtful-friendship across age and class stars Leighton Meester, Debra Messing in a serious role, and Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong. Review from http://www.denverfilm.org/festival/film/index.aspx?FID=80.

See the full event calendar for more details and film showtimes.

Ticket Information

Screenings are taking place at various locations around town. So be sure to check the venue when buying tickets to make sure you show up at the right place. You can get tickets at the following location:

Sie FilmCenter

2510 East Colfax Avenue

Denver, CO 80206

Free parking available

Find  more ticket information and pricing  here.

KD Kanopy is proud to work with the Starz Film Festival Denver and this is a prime event for all of the film buffs out there!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

KD Kanopy and the Season of Giving

One of the best things about this time of year is the feeling of generosity and thankfulness in the air. KD Kanopy believes in being involved and helping the community around us. That’s why we take great pride and joy in our many charitable efforts. From our annual Charity Golf Tournament to everyday acts of kindness throughout the year, we strive to keep the spirit of this season going all year round.

As do many of our clients. Take a sneak peak at some of the amazing things our  clients to do make this world a better place.

 Stop Bullying: Speak Up

 We recently completed a canopy for this great campaign supported by Cartoon Network. Stop Bullying: Speak Up is a meant to raise awareness about bullying and the ways you can stop it when you see it and prevent it by not being a bully yourself. They have a simple but powerful message, “How do you stop bullying? Just by speaking up! If you or someone you know is a victim of bullies, tell your parents, teachers or another adult you trust. By letting other people know about it, you can help make sure it stops. Join Cartoon Network and put up your flag to show you won’t put up with bullying. Visit CartoonNetwork.com to print out your own flags to display in your room, at school, or any other place you’d like to show your support.” Check out the site and make a pledge to stop bullying here.

 9/11 Memorial & Museum

 Veterans day was yesterday and KD Kanopy thanks all veterans for their service to this country! We are proud to provide canopies and marketing materials for the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York City.  They honor and preserve the memory of all who were lost on that day and those who are still fighting today.  This is a must stop if you are visiting the city. The events of 9/11 have changed and shaped this country and will continue to do so for decades to come. The 9/11 Memorial & Museum is here to remind of us of the significance of this and give back to the community by offering many programs including classroom visits for school field trips.

We hope that everyone contributes to their community and gives back when they can. It is so important to support one another and even the smallest act of kindness can have a profound impact. Tis the season!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Holiday Season Has Arrived

Can you believe it’s November already? Time is flying by and the holiday season is upon us. That means getting ready for family gatherings, feasts, gifts and much more! Thankfully, we have some amazing clients who can help take the guess work out of your gift giving and festivities during this hectic time. Take a look!

KD Kanopy

A beautiful canopy or accessory form KD Kanopy is the best gift of all!  With so many options to choose from, you can get something for everyone and every need. Now through November 30th, you can get a 10×10 PartyShade for $599! These canopies are so versatile and can make branding your business fun. Not to mention everyone will be attracted to them and that can really make you stand out in a crowd and add some flair to your event! See what canopy fits your needs here.

PETA

Peta is the largest animal rights organization in the world.  They work through public education, cruelty investigations, research, animal rescue, legislation,  and special events. PETA often gets major celebrities involved in their protest campaigns.

If you want to pamper your guy or gal this season, head to LUSH Cosmetics who are huge supporters of PETA and make sure all of their beauty products are not tested on animals.  You can get everything from bath bombs, body wash, soaps, and  facial care to perfume and make-up. LUSH offers a collection for men complete with shampoo, facial care and shaving cream.

Nautiques by Correct Craft

If you really want to spoil a special someone, get them a gift from Nautiques! With a ton of boating options, this would be an amazing gift for any lover of all things nautical. Nautiques mission statement is, “It’s our culture that begins with each and every employee – to build the world’s best boat and use our resources to impact and help others, one person at a time. Our mission is “Building boats to the glory of God” and out of that flows “Nautique Cares.” Now who wouldn’t want to support a company like that? They even offer the option to custom build your own boat!

Adam’s Polishes

We all know one. That certain someone who spends hours meticulously washing and buffing every square inch of their perfect car. They expect only the finer things for their beloved and for that there is Adam’s Polishes. Adam’s Premium Car Care products  include car wax, sealants, dressings, cleaners, and polishes. They are all guaranteed to outshine and outlast any product you’ve used on your vehicle.  None of their product are mass produced and each one is perfectly crafted with only the highest quality ingredients. Give Adam’s Polishes a try! If you are not satisfied not only will they refund your money, they will add an additional 10% back!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

KD Kanopy is ready for Halloween!

kd kanopy ready for halloween

KD Kanopy Is ready for Halloween! Are you? If you don’t have plans yet, no worries. We have made things easier for you by highlighting some of the spookiest events in town.

DENVER HALLOWEEN COSTUME BALL

WHEN: October 31

WHERE: Sherman St. Event Center, 1770 Sherman St.

Win $1,000  at ‘Best of The Ball’ Halloween costume contest AND a Michael Jackson Thriller Flash Mob. Live Halloween entertainment provided by two of Denver’s finest DJs. The Denver Halloween Costume Ball will take place inside of the Grand Ballroom of the Sherman St. Event Center and feature some of the best Halloween costumes in Denver.

COLOWEEN 2014

WHEN: October 31

WHERE: City Hall Events Venue, 1144 Broadway

This is one of most anticipated Halloween costume parties in Denver! ColoWeen 2014 will be held at City Hall Events. Grab your favorite Halloween costume because VIP bottle service packages are available!  This event features gigantic Halloween decorations, amazing Halloween costumes and Colorado’s best DJs.

HAUNTED FIELD OF SCREAMS

WHEN: September 26 – November 1

WHERE: 10270 Riverdale Road, Thornton

This is Denver’s largest haunted attraction, with over 35 acres of frightening cornfield! If you are really in the mood for a good scare check out all three haunted houses: Haunted Field of Screams, Dead Man’s Night Maze and Zombie Paintball Massacre.  And it is only 15 minutes from downtown Denver!

ELITCH GARDENS: FRIGHT FEST

WHEN: Friday – Sunday | October 31 – November 2

WHERE: Elitch Gardens Theme & Amusement Park

Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park is transformed from a theme park to haunted houses where ghost and zombies take over. This is free with regular admission. Go and really get in the Halloween spirit!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

We Got You Covered

This is one exciting time of year. The leaves are crunching beneath our feet, the pumpkins are carved and Halloween is fast approaching! Let’s see what our clients have brewing, shall we?

Papa Murphy’s

papa johns pizza

Don’t feel like going out in the cold? Order something hot! Now through October 26th you can get the Ultimate Meats Pizza for $12 and to top it all off, a $5 Chocolate Chip Cookie! The Ultimate Meats pizza consists of Papa John’s hand-tossed crust, red sauce, pepperoni, salami, sausage, canadian bacon, and hickory smoked bacon. Is that enough meat for you? This deal is only around for a few more days so you better order fast.

Dunkin Donuts 

dunkin donuts

Dunkin Donuts has pumpkin fever. Whether you’re in the mood for a pumpkin latte, donut or muffin, Dunkin has you covered! You can also get a cup of their signature dark roast coffee for $0.99 right now. As if these deals weren’t enough, you can join Dunkin Donuts DDPerks Reward Program. You get 5 points for every $1 you spend and the points you earn go towards exclusive offers and rewards.

Hard Rock Café

hard rock cafe

There’s always something happening at the Hard Rock Cafe. Come down to the Denver Hard Rock Cafe on 16th St. October 24th and enjoy the Pinktober Concert Series. The series starts at 10pm and is held to raise breast cancer awareness. This is the series 15th year and it just keeps getting better.  Pinktober 2014 will feature the amazingly talented Amanda Hawkins!

All proceeds from the night’s event goes to the Susan G. Komen Colorado Foundation.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Deals So Good They Might Just Scare You

 

Just in time for all of you goblins and ghouls out there. Our new High Peak Majestic is now 30% off through October 31st. Get your brand noticed with these High Peak beauties. They are 14” taller than our regular majestics and that’s all you need to stand out from the crowd.

KD Kanopy uses a webbing on all material edges that protects the fabric from fraying, tearing or splitting. This webbing runs along the bottom edges and corners of all our canopies and cannot be removed. We do everything in house from sewing, printing to assembling. So you know you will receive the best quality product. We have been in business for 29 years and that means we know how to do good business!

If you need any accessories to go with your top of the line canopy, we have you covered there as well! You can choose from an array of side panels, rail curtains, table covers, chalet tops, weight bags and hard case holders.

Remember, when you purchase a KD Kanopy, you get it all—quality, ingenuity, and longevity.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment