2017 was all about safety at Made in the Shade. We focused on safety at our warehouse, safety for our crews and safety for our customers. Safety is a culture that has to be bought into in order to really implement it across the board, including our marketing. We want to be seen as leaders in safety when it comes to the emerging tenting industry. Safety is totally ingrained in our operations from the top to the bottom and it will forever be a part of how we view the work that we do.
Going into 2018, we wanted to shift our marketing focus. That is how our “THINK BIG” campaign started. THINK BIG didn’t just materialize out of thin air. It was the product of a brainstorming session we had to set the tone for the new year. We knew our jobs leading into the next year we going to be big, just like they were last year. The team came up with, “Do Big Stuff!” But that didn’t feel right. More ideas were tossed around like, “Do It Big,” or “We are Big.” It was pointed out that we needed to think about the big picture. Then BAM, Julie came up with “THINK BIG!” It was the perfect fit.
Now that we had our focus for the year we needed to define it. To “THINK BIG,” defines how we navigate our industry and how we run our company. We look at the big picture and we focus on big events. It is no coincidence that we cover some of the biggest events in the region. To “THINK BIG” embodies how we view ourselves and how we want to be viewed by our customers.
The design process is another beast unto itself. We needed to retain our current branding but show that we are thinking big. Initially, the designed started with numerous basic typography designs to complement our logo. After a few revisions and we narrowed it down to Tolyer No. 1 MEDIUM Italic font, rotated 9.52 degrees. This achieved the look we wanted. The appearance was very clean and professional. To really make “THINK BIG,” stand out we worked on exact placement around our logo. We knew it couldn’t look crowded or change the logo in anyway. Putting our heads together we came up with the plan for a splat of paint and the “THINK BIG” logo inside it. To retain some of the safety aspects of last year’s campaign, we settled on the paint being safety orange.
Ballasting is vital to the safety of our crews, our clients and the thousands of people we cover each year. Ballasting is the means to provide stability and secure objects to keep them from moving. The best examples in daily practice is an anchor for a ship at sea or a weight at the end of a balloon.
When ballasting tents, there are many factors that must be included in order to make the proper decision for the client, their specific rental and the site location where the tent will go. Once those factors have been addressed, it is important to review the weather conditions for the complete duration of time that the tent will be rented, including the installation and removal periods.
Luckily, the options for tent ballasts are minimal and making a decision as to which option to employ isn’t as challenging as it might seem. The tenting industry has made huge strides, together with IFAI(Industrial Fabric Association International), in creating and perfecting guidelines that can be applied to many tent sizes that are available on the market.
Within the tent industry the most secure method is to stake tents to the ground. This is achieved by driving double-headed stakes up to 48” into the ground. It is important to take safety into consideration, the site should be marked and a service such as 811, Call Before You Dig can be contacted to ensure that there are no underground utilities such as gas, electric, phone, fiber optic or water lines in the path of stake. The impact financially for this option is only based on the time required to mark the area and contact 811.
The second more preferred method is anchoring. Anchoring is ideal for long term structures and is used only in concrete with some exceptions for asphalt. The small half a foot threaded anchor is used to drill into the ground at every leg of the tent to meet the ballasting needs for the structure. We will suggest this method if it is an annual event that will utilize the same equipment each year. The financial impact is minimal as the anchors must be purchased.
Our third and final method for ballasting, cement blocks, is used when stakes and/or anchors cannot be used at the site. This method is the most versatile of what we can offer at Made in the Shade. The blocks range in size from 70lbs. to 3500 lbs. in weight. Cement blocks have taken the place of sand bags and water barrel weights, the latter being the most widely used ballasting option up until a few years ago.
The financial impact when using the blocks is much greater than that of staking or anchoring. Most of the costs come from the transportation of the weights; however, we have learned that even the manufacturing of the weights has proven to be a costly endeavor. The blocks do rent at a high rate that is in line with what it takes to prep, load, deliver and pick them up from each rental site. Fortunately, there have been companies such as Block and Roll, which has designed a mold and dolly system that can be purchased, and Tent OX, which is a more versatile forklift that can be used as a way to move the blocks around quickly. Additionally, the Tent OX can be used to drive stakes and pull them from the ground in record time. Having a versatile machine such as the Tent OX really has proven to be a game changer in how we operate.
Safety is one of the most prevalent aspects to our business model. We understand that safety isn’t limited to our teams on the ground, but it has become a culture we have adopted that has become a key to our success. There are many rental companies out there to choose from, but we believe that Made in the Shade stands out from the rest. From set up to break down, everything before and in-between, when you rent from Made in the Shade “We’ve Got You Covered!” isn’t just a catchy slogan, it is the definition of our philosophy and how we conduct ourselves in every aspect of our operation.
One of the most important components to every event that we cover is how our inventory is applied to each event space in the safest and most efficient way possible. At Made in the Shade, we call this “effective shade.” Effective shade is planned shade that utilizes all available space to provide maximum coverage at an event site. By maintaining a functioning, large inventory of multiple tent sizes and styles, we can offer a variety of options to our clients. There are many paths that lead to the final layout prior to delivery and we explore as many as we can to make sure that the client’s needs are met, that the equipment rental fits into the budget and the aesthetic is pleasing, functional and inviting. We take great pride in the satisfaction of our clients from the moment they contact us to when we leave their site at the end of their event.
The diagram, or event layout, is probably the most important part of the rental. New and returning clients all need to have a diagram to allow for even the most basic preparation of the job quote or order. For our sales representatives, here at Made in the Shade, it is their job to probe the customer on what they are looking to rent. Their needs determine what will be pulled from our inventory to meet the event’s specific requirements. No two event’s needs are exactly the same. The larger the events get, the more intricate and detailed the needs of the event become. By creating a diagram, it provides a blue print to what the job will entail and it aides in the process of pricing the job.
More often than not, timing is critical and a company that can act and react is a company that will be preferred over all others. As technology has improved, so has the time it takes to review a site and formulate a detailed quote without ever setting foot at the site. By implementing Google Earth’s measurement tool and their continually updated satellite maps, it makes visiting a site in virtually a value that has very little impact on time and resources. The greatest part is that these tools are free to use and available to anyone with a smart phone, pc or tablet.
Still, the only way to get the most accurate measurements is to hit the ground physically. By dispatching one of our sales reps to the site for an on-site meeting, we can get physical measurements that used in conjunction with the satellite maps, give us the framework for what the true needs will be for the event. At Made in the Shade, when a quote is generated and pricing is accepted, we will schedule an on-site walk through. We do this for two reasons, we simply cannot go to every client’s location that calls in to request a quote and we want to make sure the client is serious about the rental and not just phishing for the best price.
When it comes to tenting, the diagram is the beginning and the end and everything in between. It is impossible to physically hand our equipment to our customers and show them exactly what they are renting prior to their event. A diagram, on the other hand, is a way for a customer to review the needs for their event. The diagram helps them visualize the how the rental items will come together to create their event space. The warehouse looks to the diagram for loading the job correctly and the delivery teams depend on the diagram once at the site for the installation. If a permit is required, the fire department will require it for the final walk through in order to approve the tenting permit. Our sales rep refer to it next year if it is an annual job. For Made in the Shade, the diagram is one of the many keys to our success.
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My Name is Hector Guevara. I am the Warehouse Supervisor and have been with Made in the Shade for 5 years. I oversee making sure that our vinyl goes out Clean and in excellent condition. I also make sure it accounted for upon return. It is important that everything goes out correctly to ensure a quick and easy set up and ensure that everything is returned, as well as to account for any damage or missing inventory.
My favorite part of working at Made in the Shade is making sure our Customers events go off with any issues and they are happy with our product and our professional attitude. The Culture here at Made in the Shade is very professional and safety orientated.
My vision for Made in the Shade is to continue making accurate deliveries, while supplying our customers with the best product possible. I believe that Made in the Shade’s goals and values of providing the best product in the safest manner is leading the way in our Industry.
I am Angelica Preciado, Administrative Manager, and I have proudly been with Made in the Shade for 17 years. Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my family and have a passion for soccer.
Some of my responsibilities are planning and coordinating administrative procedures and systems and devising ways to streamline processes, recruiting and training personnel and allocating responsibilities and office space, assessing staff performance and provisional coaching, and providing guidance to ensure maximum efficiency. My position is important because it ensures all support activities are carried on efficiently and effectively to allow all other operations to function properly.
My favorite part of my job is that I work with everyone in the company including the President, the office team, the warehouse team, the installing teams, and working with our customers. I also take pride in being part of top management and collaborating with them. I work in all aspects of our company.
Our motto here at Made in the Shade is Safety First, Service Always. We care tremendously for our employee’s safety, for our customer’s safety and for our customer’s attendee’s safety. Our great customer service speaks for itself. At Made in the Shade we treat each other as family and promote team building.
My personal vision for Made in the Shade is that we continue to grow at a pace where we can accommodate our customer needs and services without compromising either of them. As we continue to grow, my expectation is that we can also continue to carry and invest in the latest inventory to be offered to our customers. My vision for the company is to be known as the “Safety Pioneers” for the Tenting Industry.
What I believe to be the goals and values of Made in the Shade are to always have great customer service and to provide a clean and professional install. We value being represented well from your first call to when we are driving off after your event. Everything in-between should be as smooth as possible. We strive to make your experience with Made in the Shade to be nothing but positive and everything you expected and more. My goal is that Made in the Shade will become your tenting company of preference.
Hello my name is Nina Garcia. I am the Lead Sales and Contracts Representative at Made in the Shade. I have been working here at Made in the Shade for nearly 11 years and have loved every step of seeing this company grow and overcome the challenges that any small family business would have to face.
Outside of work, I enjoy a quite life of BBQ’s and small outings with my family and friends. I try to live a healthy lifestyle, starting my day at the gym fresh and early.
My responsibilities at Made in the Shade involve sales calls and talking through the rental steps with customers and helping them decide what they need for their events. My goal is to show our customers that Made in the Shade is the safest choice for all your tenting needs.
Hello! My name is Vanessa Preciado and I have been a part of the Made in the Shade Team for six years now. I began working for this wonderful company as a warehouse worker and currently hold the position of Administrative and Special Projects Assistant. Outside of work I am a full-time student at California State University, Sacramento and like to spend time with friends and family traveling.
Throughout my time here at Made in the Shade, I have accumulated a series of tasks and duties that are part of my responsibilities. These include, but are not limited to, assisting all sales representatives in completing job quotes, assisting in recruiting and training new team members, planning employee events, taking inventory, assisting Human Resources, going out to job sites and being the company representative between the customer and our team, and give training presentations to teach our team members the meaning of our motto Safety First, Service Always.
Being able to grow as an employee as well as an individual in the workplace is my favorite part of working for Made in the Shade. I have held several positions and have learned valuable lessons from each one.
Made in the Shade has worked hard in building a culture that values respect and fairness, teamwork, and learning opportunities. This makes for a productive workplace and happy employees which leads to happy customers. We are a service oriented company that dedicates our time in completing a job that can accommodate all our customers’ needs and wants.
My personal vision for Made in the Shade is to see it grow even more. We have made substantial progress in Northern California in establishing our brand and I expect to be part of the expansion to come. This expansion includes our inventory, work force, and customer base.
This Saturday, October 29 Klinker Brick Winery will be hosting their spring release at their winery in Lodi, CA. Since 2013, Made in the Shade has tented Klinker Bricks 4 yearly events, starting with the Crab Luncheon each January, a Spring and Summer Release and ending the year with a Fall Release in October. These events have always been an exciting experience for fans of Klinker Brick and members of their amazing wine club.
Klinker Brick’s owners, Steve and Lori Felton look to the “Old Vine” Zinfandel vines that their ancestors planted in the early 1900’s to create their wine. For five generations, the winery has grown to add the tasting room and surrounding event grounds of sprawling green grass that Made in the Shade covers with a 30×100 tent.
This Spring Release will bring about 1400 and 1600 people to the winery over the course of the upcoming weekend. And no need to fret as there will be plenty of shade thanks to the tent from Made in the Shade as club members pick up this year’s mature wine, the Old Vine Zin and Old Ghost, which is a favorite of Made in the Shade owners, Nancy and her son Donny Vasquez. As a wine club member, you enjoy an additional 20% off wine that is purchased at the winery and online. That 20% is in addition to the wines that come in their quarterly release which is typically 2-4 bottles in a shipment. That is quite a deal given the superior quality of all the wines from Klinker Brick.
This weekend temperatures will be in the low 80’s, making it a great time to head down to Lodi and to enjoy the sunshine and hopefully some wine as April draws to a close!
If you are interested in the Klinker Brick Wine Club you join can in person at the winery OR online by visiting http://www.klinkerbrickwinery.com/Wine-Club.
The winery, located at 15887 N. Alpine Road in Lodi, is open daily 11a-5pm.
*Klinker Brick became a client of Made in the Shade through the region’s premier event, Zinfest, which is held each May at Lodi Lake (This year’s event will be May 20). For tickets to Zinfest visit www.Zinfest.com.
My name is Jose Huerta I have been working for Made In The Shad since the fall of 2005. I am a currently providing support as a sales representative and team scheduling.
Throughout my time with Made In The Shade I have worn many hats. I have worked in the warehouse, as a team member/tent installer, driver, and now I am currently on the administrative side. As a sales representative, my commitment is to help our clients determine what products will best fit their event. My many years in the industry has given me the tools to know the equipment well and to apply that information to each individual rental. As a team scheduler, I help ensure that our customers get the rentals they need on time and correctly staffed. The satisfaction of our customers, new and returning, is what motivates me every day.