As a boy, Leo Schnupp, founder of Schnupp Umbrellas, sold canvas swings and canvas awnings. As an adult later on, during his yearly vacation with his wife and 4 children in Cat Tail Creek, NC., he was inspired and became a canvas awning manufacturer before WWII. During the war, due to his experience with sewing machines and awning materials, the Department of State asked for his help. Thus, he ran one of the busiest defense plants during WWII, making parachutes and bandoliers. After the war, Leo Schnupp identified a need in South Florida for beach and patio umbrellas. In fact, he was the only umbrella manufacturer south of Pennsylvania. Through the years, Shnupp has been a pioneer in researching the best materials to resist mold and withstand the sun.