2019, a year of plenty

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

Thank you, Manufacturing

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

Upholstery Voltron: A Business Model for the Future. . .

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. . .

Strategic Partners: What they are and where to find them.

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.

October: Upholstery Awareness Month!

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!

Changing the conversation

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

Things my mother taught me

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

The Upholsterer of the Future

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

The skilled human element

Spring is a crazy time for upholstery shops, and we've been feeling it in St. Paul. . . But somewhere between emails and messages and phone calls, I've felt lucky to claim a few quiet stretches in the shop, just me and a project. Those are such lovely days. This is the part of the … Continue reading The skilled human element