About 5 years ago, I started teaching upholstery in NE Minneapolis. We were pretty successful with the hobbyists, but people kept asking, "Now how do you do this as a career?" I surely didn't know. I'm the daughter of an upholsterer, and still it's been a long, messy road. But it seemed like a question … Continue reading The Upholsterer of the Future
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.
"If we do not allow ourselves - force ourselves, sometimes - to think creatively to behave creatively, to take creative risks, how are we to discover our own potential? . . . Try something new. Experiment. Don't back down. Value your work and your time. When you're done, learn to love it, even if you … Continue reading Upholsterers in the yarn store??
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
There's a funny notion that bubbles up in upholstery circles: The idea that education undermines professionals. It seems to boil down to two general arguments: giving away trade secrets, and training your competition. Let's have a look . . . You're giving away trade secrets. Maybe I'm uncommonly thick . . . But I don't … Continue reading Does Upholstery Education Undermine Professionals?