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
I often see posts and messages from shops seeking "experienced help" First, let's be honest: experience takes years to cultivate and since we haven't had much training in the past couple decades, well . . . experience is hard to come by. But beyond that, consider the additional challenges of finding a good employee - … Continue reading It’s just lunch: why upholsterers need to start dating
Last week, I listened to an episode of 99% Invisible on "social infrastructure" (Listen to it here: Episode 346 - Palaces for the People) Social infrastructure are the places, events and connections that bind a community together. Social infrastructure can include libraries, parks, trails, shopping districts, and all the events and gatherings that happen there … Continue reading Building a Better Tomorrow
One especially vicious truth about professional upholstery is that quality and speed are two infuriating sides of the same coin. To do a good job, we must slow down. To make any money, we must speed up. This is a challenge for most upholsterers, but especially for NEW ones. It takes thousands of hours to … Continue reading Give yourself a raise, already: How to improve your hourly rate right now.
It's a work from home day for The Funky Little Chair - partly because it's 20 below in Minnesota and partly because we have a skills unit coming up. Next month, our mentorship group will tackle their first, "attached cushion ottoman" very exciting! I've done the sample project, tweaked my instructions, recorded all the video, … Continue reading Is education really what we lack?
Well it's blog day and I'm just starting a post at noon. Why??? Because, as usual, I'm running in circles like a chicken, failing completely at "time management" That's in quotes because I'm humoring the theory of Rory Vaden that you can't manage time: You can only manage yourself. And baby, I am a nightmare … Continue reading What are you listening to? Let’s talk about “time management”
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 . . .