It was Whitehall’s proximity to several bodies of water and the opportunity to work in a larger space that motivated Bill Pearo to establish his business in Whitehall.
Pearo, recently moved his business, Got It Covered Canvas Products, from Hydeville, Vt., to 196 Broadway.
“The biggest thing was the exposure. It’s centrally located,” said Pearo. “I have to be here.”
Got It Covered specializes in canvas covers.
“Basically anything sew-able. I’ve done convertible tops and even ventured into home furnishings,” said Pearo.
He produces retractable awnings for commercial and residential buildings—examples of his awnings can be seen outside his business and above the entrance to City, Steak, and Seafood—equipment covers, truck bed covers, automotive interiors, even tops for a 1977 MG Roadster, and the business recently became a flag retailer.
A West Rutland, Vt., native, Pearo adopted Whitehall as his new hometown four or five years ago and has been fine-tuning his craft for the past 25 years.
“I started when I was 14 years old. My father has a canvas business, so I was born into it,” he said.
His father’s business specialized in awnings, so when he branched out on his own he decided to focus on marine products.
He specializes in custom canvas covers for a number of marine purposes, including boat cockpit covers, bimini tops, bow covers, mooring covers, canvas enclosures, seat covers, and interior repairs and restoration.
On the move
That work constantly has Pearo on the move. He has more than a dozen clients on Lake George, some in Ticonderoga, and others as far north as Burlington, Vt., not to mention a satellite shop in Vergennes, Vt.
The wide distribution of clients made Pearo decide he would be better suited if he set up shop in between Lake George, Lake Champlain, and the Lakes Region of Vermont.
His Whitehall location also provides him with a much larger space in which to work. For the past three years he has been holed up in a 12 foot-by-20 foot space, cramped quarters when you’re trying to measure and sew a piece of canvas for a 16-foot-long boat.
His new location offers a much larger space and exposure to hundreds of thousands of motorists who pass through the community every year.
Pearo said he took over the building in April but wasn’t able to open until three or four weeks ago because of improvements he needed to make to the shop, which sat empty for the past few years.
He replaced some plumbing, installed an overhead door in the rear of the building, and made and hung an awning over the front of the shop. He estimates he invested $10,000 into the building.
Besides the exposure and space the new shop affords, Pearo was happy to fill one of Whitehall’s empty storefronts.
“I love this town and want to see it succeed,” he said.