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Lance Gracie took over the business in 2013 with one textile fabricator and himself quoting, steel fabricating and installing.


Whilst overseeing the running of the business he was also taking pre sales enquiries, was out quoting, fabricating and installing the finished product. It became apparent very quickly with the fast growth of the business that he needed to move Making Shade to larger premises and recruit more staff.  And with that the business and team have grown to the size it is today.  


Making Shade is basically made up of two separate arms under the one roof.

We have our Commercial & Residential shade solutions arm where one of our sales team will come out to you.  They will discuss options within your budget, give advice and suggest solutions. You have 30 days to consider the quote and if accepted we will then manufacture and install your product(s).

Our other range of products sit under our Motorhome side of the business.  This is our very popular and successful Shademaker Awning & accessories. This part of the business is where we manufacture and assemble our Shademaker Awning and we can either fit the Awning to your Motorhome, Caravan or horse float in our workshop OR send you a kitset version with a set of instructions.


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Lance Gracie


Lance has owned the business since 2013. He comes from an engineering background and with his technical knowledge can usually think outside the box and create something unique for you. He’s also pretty handy behind the computer and can computer design whatever you need.


When he’s not managing the business and staff, Lance will be on his jet ski or out on a boat fishing whenever he can!

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Danielle Mason


Danni is our accounts wizard! Anything to do with invoices, accounts and numbers – she’s your gal!

She answers the phone with pre-sales enquires, books you in for quotes and can help with any general product queries. She manages payroll, weekly and month end reports, Xero reconciliation and so so much more.


When her fingers aren’t flying across the keyboard you can find her out

Ricky Childs


Ricky sews and welds. He also installs. He is the wearer of many hats. He also likes the tricky stuff – so anything that requires a bit of brain power – call in tricky Ricky.


He’s been in the trade for years and so can also think up a solution to most situations. He’s another Pom but we try not to hold that against him!

He also loves a game of pool and a beer. And spending time with his partner and boys.

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Lianne Slattery


Lianne is an expert with fabrics and has worked with our products before. When things get busy, Lianne is on hand to get involved. 

When not in the workshop, Lianne can be found with her family or getting creative with one of her many craft projects.

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Keith Sutcliff


The creator and maker of all your aluminium and stainless steel bits!


When he’s not welding and creating Shade Sail poles, Ziptrak Parts, creating custom brackets and the like, Keith can be found
manufacturing and installing our Shademaker Awnings.


He’s your go-to guy for anything Shademaker!! Just don’t call when he’s up a ladder! Oh and he’s English, but I guess he can’t help that!

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Natalie McAllister


Natalie will often be the person you speak to when you phone. She can book you in for a quote, answer product queries and greet you in the showroom. After you’ve paid your deposit, she also sets up your job, orders products and parts and gets your job rolling. She looks after our website, social marketing and general admin.


When she’s not at Making Shade she’s running round after her 2 x kids and hubby or somewhere near the beach!

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James Nicholls


James is our organisational extraordinaire, ensuring the workflow throughout the factory is at its optimum.

He takes care of all the scheduling and will be the person you hear from when it's time to install your new product! 

When he's not organising the workshop he'll be out installing our products. 

Kirk Griffiths


Kirk is who you will meet when your shade is at it's final stages, and taking shape at your property.

Why Making Shade?

With over 20 years experience servicing the bay we pride ourselves on knowing our trade.

Our customers will tell you about how much we care about you having the shade to enjoy your time outdoors and your property or motorhome to its full potential. The investment in good shade not only creates a comfortable living area but protects you and your loved ones from New Zealand’s brutal sun and harmful UV rays.

Just wanted to say that the sails look fantastic, and we are getting some great compliments so thanks for the awesome job!

Gemma - Pillans Point

The awning is wonderful. We are more than happy with the effect it has had on the temperature on our deck and in our house. Just what we had hoped for. The appearance is superb. It blends in with the appearance of our new home beautifully. The functionality of our triple arm retractable awning is perfect. The service provided by Dominic was excellent with constant communication keeping in the loop at all times. We couldn’t have asked for better and we will be recommending you to anyone who mentions they want more shade.


We recommend both the team and the shade blinds that Making Shade supplied for us. Lance’s initial visit was great and the advice given was much appreciated. Now after installation the deck space is more protected from the weather and is usable all the time and is a fantastic addition to our home.

Lyn & Bruce - Tauranga

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