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. . .
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
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
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
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
Six years ago, I was sitting in my mom's upholstery shop, eating lunch, reading a book. She was out of town. I was just holding down the fort on my day off, putting in a few hours to help out. (at this time, I was actually working as a full time sales person for another … Continue reading Cheers to our First Clients!
Here's something I hate: walking into a restaurant and not knowing what I'm supposed to do. Do I sit? Do I wait? Am I coming in the right door? Why doesn't this menu make any sense? Is this the order window? Is it the pick up window? Do I leave my dishes on the table? … Continue reading How to train your client
This week on YouTube, we're creating the cushion inserts for Aunt Bea. Cushions are tricky business. "Comfortable" is endlessly subjective, and the margin of error is alarmingly small, considering that foam and fabric are infuriatingly imprecise I wouldn't presume to answer all your cushion questions in one post (even if I COULD answer all your … Continue reading Foam selection for upholstery: What you need to know
Ahhhhh, giant repeats and carefully matched motifs!!!!! So delicious!!!! Everybody LOVES to see photographs of pattern matching done well. BUT BUT BUT!!!!!!! Lining up a two dimensional pattern on a three-dimensional object is no small feat. And at the moment I'm not talking about the skill required, or the struggle of inexperience. I'm talking about … Continue reading Pattern matching: The art of compromise
Last week on the blog, we discussed project selection for our advanced workshops. It was then brought to my attention that we needed a post for beginners - duh!!! So let's chat. We love beginners in the shop. Most of our students begin as Weekend Warriors in a 12 hour open workshop. What should you bring? … Continue reading So you want to try upholstery: a beginner’s guide to choosing the perfect project.