Jul. 01, 2014
The first thing you notice about Sara is that she’s lovely. It can take a minute to reconcile the knowledgeable, business-like voice on the phone with this pretty young woman who makes jeans and a t-shirt look like a statement, even though they’re not. But the next thing you realize about her is that she’s very smart and very aware of everything around her.
While she will chat with you about her children, the puppy she’s baby-sitting, or how her chickens ate their fill of miller moths during the infestation last month, she will also interrupt herself to ask someone if they added the new order to the wind and solar screens they’re cutting today, explain that the shade sail fabric they’re using has a 10 year UV-degradation warranty and shout to one of the sales people that they need to return a message from someone. Her office is a parking lot of file cabinets, an L-shaped desk constructed of painted wooden doors, an RV fridge from someone’s camper, a display of brochures, her brother’s paintings, a wheel of awning fabric samples, and boxes of we’re not sure what on the floor. Her manner is relaxed, but Sara moves quickly to deliver a message in the back, make a phone call, and her fingers move like lightning on the keyboard of her laptop.
Sara has been with Santa Fe Awning since its inception. Since she was 12 years old. She is Sara Maul Talachy, Jeff’s daughter. As a teenager, helping out in the office, she grew interested in the books and began taking classes to understand how all of the columns of figures related to the bottom line. Several years and a business degree later, she took over and now virtually runs the business. If Jeff takes a 2 week vacation, no one misses a step. Orders are placed, supplies are brought in, bills are paid, jobs are designed, fabricated and installed. Besides running the office, handling all of the bookkeeping and filing the taxes, Sara does hand painting for stenciling on the awnings, measures and cuts fabric, sews when the staff needs an extra hand, keeps track of the inventory, manages the marketing and advertising, triages the phone calls and disperses inquiries to the salespeople. It would not surprise us if Santa Fe Awning continues long after Jeff retires one day, in the capable hands of the next generation.