Where there’s sunshine, there’s a need for shade — and its protection from both the heat and ultraviolet rays that cause skin cancer.

Enter SkyShades Holdings LLC, one of just a handful of companies in Florida’s little-known “tension membrane technology” industry. These lightweight shade structures stand up to wind and weather conditions better than traditional canvas canopies and awnings.

For Jupiter residents Wendy and Scott Swanson, SkyShades sounded like the perfect franchise opportunity. Both worked for big corporations in the fast-changing telecom industry and were looking for new careers. But as 10-year residents and the parents of two young daughters, they did not want to uproot and relocate.

Plus, said Wendy Swanson, “We wanted to do something that would have an impact on the community.” Scott discovered SkyShades while perusing pro golfer Greg Norman’s website ( The Jupiter Island resident is an investor in the Longwood-based company, which was founded in 2004.

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