Virtual assistance, when and where you need it.
Experienced industry professionals who can answer your project questions, recommend next steps, and keep you moving forward.
Access to mentors and professionals is an important part of any training journey.
If you are unable to access these types of resources locally, we encourage you to make Virtual Instructor Support part of your education. Instructors can help you trouble shoot as needed, or provide general support and encouragement to accelerate your progress.
Presently, most incoming professionals are learning upholstery outside of classrooms and apprenticeship paths. While books and videos are important resources, there are absolutely times when we need interactive support.
Getting to a live class is, for most students, inconvenient and expensive. In many cases, a short, high-quality instructor consultation can provide a fully satisfactory alternative – one that is far more convenient and affordable than traveling to attend a full workshop.
Our Virtual Instructors
Michelle is a Funky Little Chair certified basic level instructor. She specializes in custom furniture upholstery and loves helping her clients bring their visions to life. She fell into the upholstery trade by accident. As a DIY blogger looking for a project she decided to try her hand at re-upholstering an old chair and fell in love with the transformation process. Self taught, Michelle is passionate about sharing knowledge and supporting fellow upholsterers.
Carla is a Funky Little Chair certified basic level virtual instructor. She owns Natural Upholstery in Livingston, MT. An obsessive explorer, she has worked as a wildlife biologist, textile artist, furniture designer and upholsterer. She has been an active promoter of healthy upholstery since she helped develop a line of organic and sustainable furniture in 2009. She has been teaching modern upholstery since 2011, working with students using both conventional and natural/organic materials.
Carla is currently assisting on the launch of FLC Upholstery 200: Fundamentals – she will return to VIS in a few months. You can now work with Carla in an instructor supported cohort as part of our certificate track – for more details, visit FLC Upholstery 200: Fundamentals to learn more.
A certified virtual instructor can:
Sessions are conducted via Zoom. You will have the opportunity to fill out a detailed pre-session questionnaire addressing the nature of your inquiry. After your session, you will receive a follow-up email reviewing next steps and recommended resources.
Frequently Asked Questions
A good internet connection, a laptop or smartphone with a camera, and a Zoom account. Payment is processed securely through PayPal, but you can use your credit card without setting up a PayPal account. If you want your instructor to address technical upholstery questions, consider how you can most effectively communicate your questions. (i.e. photos of the project on your laptop versus a smartphone carried into your workspace.)
Individualized feedback from an experienced professional upholsterer. You will complete a detailed intake survey, which your instructor will review. They will be able to give you customized guidance specific to your immediate concerns.
After your session, they will send a follow-up email summarizing any next steps and additional resources that were discussed and recommended.
Our instructors have openings Monday-Friday and we require a minimum of 24 hours notice to book. Carla Pyle is available for morning sessions and Michelle Minner is available for afternoon/evening sessions. (Please note, these general times vary slightly depending on which timezone you are in.)
Absolutely! Not everything can be formatted into a course – we hope this gives you some customized guidance when you need it.
Yes! Our instructors have been through these conversations themselves. They can look at the project with you and talk through your list of concerns in advance. That might mean recommending specific products, giving you logistical guidance, or pointing you towards additional resources. If it really IS a project you might want to turn down, they can help you navigate that conversation, too.
Maybe not – our instructors are experienced professionals in the area of modern residential reupholstery. They can speak to a LOT of common issues under that umbrella, but upholstery is giant field of study. We would not recommend this resource if you need assistance on automotive, marine, historically accurate restoration, or traditional methods. (Although DO NOTE that Carla Pyle is an expert specialist in the field of natural upholstery materials)