Lindsay Orwig, A Chick and a Chair Upholstery

Lindsay got self-started in upholstery when she kept finding amazing chairs at estate sales and thrift stores. She quickly realized that the old pieces she was bringing home were of better quality than the newer pieces she already owned. In an attempt to do these wonderful old pieces justice, she delved into the world of upholstery: watching dozens of videos, pouring over the internet, and checking out every upholstery book from the library. She learned a lot, but still had many questions. Upon discovering The Funky Little Chair, she jumped in with both feet. She now has a bustling home-based business, with clients booked months out.

Sarah Sanna, Everafter Upholstery

Sarah earned a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering in 1992 and went on to work for 3M and the spin-off, Imation, for almost 9 years. While working full time, she took night classes in upholstery at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College, following a passion for rescuing and restoring antique furniture.

Finding that the corporate life was not a good fit for her, Sarah started her upholstery business at home in 1999. She has since started a family and continues to work part time. Having an engineering background provides Sarah with a unique set of talents. She is a dedicated hard worker, committed to quality and precise craftsmanship, with an analytical and practical style in this creative outlet. She particularly enjoys working with antiques and has had the opportunity to reupholster several pieces for the Minnesota Historical Society’s Burwell House in Minnetonka.

Isaac Pollak, Shop Rats Need Shop Cats

Isaac works full-time for Grahn’s Upholstery, and does independent custom upholstery on the side. He was led to professional upholstery by his love of woodworking and furniture design.

When not at work, he spends his time in his home woodshop, tinkering and creating. With degrees in classical languages and chemistry, upholstery seems like an odd fit, but he’s passionate about creative, practical problem solving. Isaac finds many similarities between his background in teaching organic chemistry lab courses and upholstery education — hands on technique, critical thinking, attention to detail — but he’s thankful there are fewer fires in upholstery. 😉

Cynthia Bleskachek, The Funky Little Chair 

Cynthia has been doing upholstery professionally since 2001 – before that, she grew up making buttons and pulling staples in her mom’s home upholstery shop. Her journey has cultivated a deep love and appreciation for the character and quality of older furniture – in a market overwhelmed by disposable options, reupholstery provides a viable alternative. 

In 2016, Cynthia opened The Funky Little Chair in order to focus on education. She is passionate about bringing students and professionals together to explore upholstery. In 2018, as The Funky Little Chair began to attract serious students from across the country, Cynthia shifted her focus to professional training: What could be done to better support incoming tradespeople?

Today, Cynthia is proud to oversee a team of upholstery instructors in Minneapolis. She is currently working to develop training events and professional services that will better meet today’s complex market needs.

When she’s not managing The Funky Little Chair, Cynthia is pleased to work as a workroom consultant for Grant Trick in Birmingham, Alabama and Grahn’s Upholstery in Minneapolis, MN.