Friday, September 25, 2015

Derek and Lauren of San Juan Canvas

Derek Steere and Lauren Cohen bought SJ Canvas in April 2009 after having moved to the island about a year before. They had come from Carmel, CA, another small town on the coast, where they were both teachers at the High School there. They also opened a business doing some home remodeling and planned to do the same thing here.
They moved here and opened Treehouse Remodeling, however that was around the time of the 2008 economy crash and business was very slow.
That’s when they heard that Patrick and Andra Pillsbury, owners of SJ Canvas since 2006, were selling so they jumped on it and for a while they ran both businesses, doing canvas all year, and remodeling and cabinetry jobs in the winters. After a few seasons, the winters started to get really busy at the canvas shop so they had to make a choice and they dissolved Treehouse Remodeling.
San Juan Canvas was originally started in 1972 by Peter and Susan Risser who owned it until 2006. They do marine canvas primarily, as well as sail repair and recutting, cushions, awnings, and various different bags as an offshoot with all of the leftover fabrics.
Their favorite part of living here: Small town life and a change of the seasons – both weather seasons and busy/relaxed seasons.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Sam Fry and Spike Africa

After a long hiatus, I'm back with a new entry for This is Our Town.

Sam Fry is building a scale model of the sailing vessel Spike Africa and I got a chance to talk with him about it and see his progress. The model is absolutely stunning, especially considering that everything on it is custom hand-made by Sam in his shop right here on the island.

Originally from California, Sam was at one time a psychologist working at the VA Hospital in Menlo Park but after several years, he gave that up for an auto body shop which he did for a number of years, taking advantage of the trade skills he had learned in addition to college and graduate school.

In 1981, he and his wife Pam moved to Friday Harbor, and he would make semi-regular trips down to California working various large jobs until finally the money wasn't worth it anymore and he decided he wanted to be home in Friday Harbor.

Read the rest of the story and see a gallery of images of the Spike Africa model at this link.