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!
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?