DENVER — A family-owned business has been extremely busy throughout the summer, following the success of several Colorado sports teams.
AC Flag and Banner is designing and stitching together the championship banners on behalf of the Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Mammoth, and University of Denver Pioneers, all of which won championships this season.
Each team will raise a championship banner in front of the players and fans over the next few weeks before their new seasons begin.
"When we watched the teams win, we were like oh gosh, we are going to get really busy," owner Wendy Willson said. "This is probably the busiest year we've ever had."
For more than a decade, the Willsons have been making flags and banners for almost every sports team in our city. Willson said she wanted a job where she could stay at home and raise her kids. Her life changed with a friend's suggestion to do something new and learn how to sew.
"I used to sew everything by hand on a little Singer sewing machine, I can't believe I did that," Willson said.
The Willsons started their business sewing in their garage at their home in Lakewood. Two years ago, they outgrew the space and moved into a new workshop in Littleton with a view of Colorado's mountains.
"This is a really nice spot, it's perfect for us," said Willson. "We love the view."
She said she got her big break years ago when she connected with the local sports teams by just simply picking up the phone and calling the teams.
"I just started calling the sports teams and I thought they've got a lot of flags and they've got a lot of banners," Willson said. "And then word of mouth, we started getting more and more work."
Willson's work can be seen above the street in Larimer Square in downtown Denver and inside and outside of Coors Field.
The business also designed the banners of the retired player numbers that hang in Ball Arena. Last year, they designed the banner for Avalanche Architect Pierre Lacroix, the team's first General Manager who died from complications of COVID in December 2020.
"That one was really emotional. We went to that, and his family was there." Wilslon said. "It's really nice to see that something we've done is so special to these families."
In July, the Colorado Avalanche announced plans to raise their 2022 Stanley Cup championship banner on Opening Night, October 12, prior to the game against the Chicago Blackhawks at Ball Arena.
The Willsons said they designed three banners that will go up that night. They also plan to be there to watch their work be cemented in sports history.
"When Denver wins, we all win," Willson said.
The Willsons said their fingers are crossed. Hoping next season will be just as successful.
"We ordered extra fabric for the Stanley Cup banner because maybe next year, we'll need it again," Willson said.
Colorado sports banners
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