Okay friends, let's put all our cards on the table. Because I really want to talk about what's happening with upholstery education in the U.S. Or rather, what's NOT happening. Whenever discussions ramp up around professional training, they inevitably circle back to trade schools and degree programs. It's a logical starting point, the way we … Continue reading Where did upholstery degrees go?
A couple years ago, I traveled to Denver for a Craftsy Instructor Summit. I met AAAAAAAAAAAmazing people, plenty of them. But one in particular stands out in my mind. . . Her name is Beverly Johnson. Otherwise known as, "The Fairy Bra Mother." Based in Ontario, Canada, Beverly has created a complete resource for the … Continue reading Riches in the Niches
Two years ago we began our mentorship group, in an effort to give serious students more regular access to instruction/support, to help them network and hopefully make the challenging leap from hobbyist to professional. There were some heartening successes. But we also learned that it's a LOOOOONG stretch between education and employment. We're very interested … Continue reading Meet our mentorship group
There's a great line in MadMen where Don Draper tells Peggy Olson: "If you don't like what people are saying, change the conversation." And that, my upholstery friends, is what I'd like to discuss. Locally, we're headed into an uncertain year, pushing the boundaries of our little education model. Can we create better tools for … Continue reading Changing the conversation
Lately I've been thinking about roads and bridges . . . Isn't it amazing, I can leave my house and hop on a road. That road might take me to a friend's house, or a job, or a restaurant where I'd like to eat dinner. I can look on a map, and plan where I'd … Continue reading Roads and Bridges . . .
Here's what we're going to try now. Next year, The Funky Little Chair will be moving into a shared space with Grahn's Upholstery. We will turn our clients over to Grahn's and begin focusing exclusively on the challenges of education and professional training. Grahn's, like many of our busy shops, has struggled to attract and … Continue reading Where do we go from here?
I have a confession to make: these past 9 months, I've felt rather despondent. Two years ago, I took the scary leap into a shop of my own, determined to make some difference in the educational void facing our community. I had very few answers, but how do you discover solutions if not through research … Continue reading The National Upholstery Potluck
Ask a seasoned upholstery how long it took them to feel confidently professional, and they'll usually say between 5-10 years. For today, as a happy medium, we'll say 7. So we've been talking at great length about lack of upholstery education in the U.S. and the need to revive it. But the question on my … Continue reading The 7 year gap
Last week, we looked at the educational concept of "Backwards Design" This week, I'd like to explore the "flipped classroom." If you have a child under 20, you may have seen this approach in action. The old model says, "lecture at school, homework at home" The new model says, "lecture at home, homework at school" … Continue reading Upholstery Education, Upside Down
How is new education created? If you were starting from scratch, where would you begin? This is an important question, because as we've discussed in previous posts, our old models for upholstery education are increasingly impractical. How do you pull a new model out of your hat? This was the question I put to an … Continue reading Upholstery education, back to front
Last week, I was listening to an episode of The Sew Much More Podcast. It was a roundtable discussion with a handful of self-employed mothers, looking at the challenges of balancing career and family. It got me thinking about my own mom. She is such an important part of who I am, and who I … Continue reading Things my mother taught me
Last week, I mentioned my friend Maria. We initially met at the YMCA, so it's no surprise that our coffeeshop conversations often circle back to fitness metaphors. (I asked Maria if I could share photos from her stunning instagram account - truly, my blog has never been lovelier. I hope they enhance your reading experience. … Continue reading The Yoga Model for Upholstery Education.