A company called Williams Shade & Awning Company was founded in 1910 and operated as a third-generation family business originally manufacturing interior window treatments. The awning product line was added in the 1950's. Parasol Awnings, a competitor to Williams Shade, opened its doors in 1995. Parasol Awnings purchased Williams Shade & Awning Company in 1999, creating one company with 100 years of experience providing shade to Mid-South residents and businesses.
Parasol’s founder and President, Michael Folk, got into the awning business because of his family’s noted steakhouse – Folk’s Folly – started by his father. In his efforts to replace the restaurant's awning, Folk tried to talk with the handful of awning companies in town at the time, but could either never get anyone to call him back or was told it would be more than two months to get the job done. Folk saw an immediate opportunity to create a reliable, service-driven awning company and realized that he could leverage his years of experience in the construction industry and his network of local contractors to become the premier provider of awnings and canopies in the Greater Memphis Area.
Today, most of the commercial awnings and canopies in the Memphis metro area have been designed, manufactured and installed by Parasol. Some of the company’s more notable clients include: Chili's Bar & Grill, Embassy Suites, Roadshow BMW, TGI Fridays, Perkins Restaurants, Fresh Market, Folk’s Folly, Sam's Town Hotel & Casino, Fitzgerald's Casino, Marriott, Memphis City Schools, the Memphis Pyramid and many more. See our gallery.
Parasol Awnings is an active member of the Memphis Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau, IFAI (Industrial Fabric Association International), CSI (Construction Specification Institute), PAMA (Professional Awning Manufacturer Association), SWIFA (Southwest Industrial Fabric Association) and BOMA (Building Owners & Managers Association International).
Parasol has won numerous national and international awards including:
- Industrial Fabric Association International Award for Fitzgerald's Casino 43,000 Square Foot Canopy Project.
- Industrial Fabric Association International Achievement Award for Abner’s Famous Chicken Tenders Canopy Project.
- Southwest Industrial Fabric Association – First Place Achievement Award – for Edco Title Company Awning.
- Industrial Fabric Association International – Outstanding Achievement – for Memphis Pyramid Awning.
- Southwest Industrial Fabric Association – First Place Achievement Award – for Jefferson Square.