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
When I was in elementary school, my art teacher was all about a book called, "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" by Betty Edwards This relatively new (at the time) book pioneered the idea that people who "can't draw" don't lack drawing ability - they lack observational abilities. Or rather, their observational abilities … Continue reading Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain
I've been thinking a lot lately about a parable I heard as a child. . . "A man traveled to Hell. There, he saw people, miserable and starving, seated at a bountiful table overflowing with food. But all the forks and spoons were three feet long. The man then traveled to Heaven. There, he saw … Continue reading 2019, a year of plenty
Whenever someone talks about "upholstery as a dying industry" they inevitably point to the extremely low cost of most new furniture. Yup. When it came to price wars, manufacturing served us an A+ school yard beating. Still . . . does that mean we're doomed? The U.S. market is FILLED with options - from clothing … Continue reading Thank you, Manufacturing
This has been a year of exploration for The Funky Little Chair, and I know I'm not the only one. Hindsight may be 20/20, but foresight is impossibly fuzzy. It's really hard to tell the difference between an opportunity and a distraction. If time and energy are limited commodities, where should I invest them? It's … Continue reading What are you listening to? Start with WHY . . .
I'm home after a busy week in Birmingham, helping out at Design Industry by Grant Trick. It's always eye-opening to be there, and see a business so completely different from my own. My focus now is education. But as a professional, my target market has been reupholstery for the retail client - sofas, chairs, cushions … Continue reading Apples and oranges . . .
A few years ago, as we were preparing to remodel our 1950's kitchen, I checked out a stack of books on kitchen design and layout. Kitchens are a super functional part of the home - we essentially WORK there. So a kitchen that's poorly designed is extremely aggravating. I was surprised to discover that a … Continue reading The well-planned workroom
One of my absolute favorite perks of being an upholsterer is that I often get to work with headphones in - in fact, it helps me focus and stay on task. I may not have lots of time these days to read a physical book (alas alack!!!) but I nonetheless ingest a hearty diet of … Continue reading What are you listening to? Recommendations for the workroom
In our last blog post, we introduced the term, "strategic partner" as a mutually beneficial relationship between businesses or individuals. Today, I'd like to discuss strategic partnerships between upholsterers. At first glance, a strategic partnership with another shop may look like a conflict of interest. Aren't they competing for the same clients and projects? Well . … Continue reading Upholstery Voltron: A Business Model for the Future. . .
Last week, I had the AAAAAAAAMAZING experience of teaching at Custom Workroom Conference . Afterwards, I enjoyed a visit with two friends: Jeanelle Dech, founder of The Workroom Channel and The Curtains and Soft Furnishings Resource Library, and Ceil DiGuglielmo, host/creator of The Sew Much More Podcast. As we discussed the many challenges of running … Continue reading Strategic Partners: What they are and where to find them.
Get ready to celebrate, because October is Upholstery Awareness Month!! What: A month-long opportunity to recognize, celebrate and share the skilled craft of upholstery. How: Find share-worthy examples of upholstery work - that which impresses you, inspires you, amazes you. . . and share it! BE SURE when sharing someone else's work that you have … Continue reading October: Upholstery Awareness Month!