Saturday, May 07, 2005

I'm doing as well as that chicken right before Sunday dinner...bawk! (Oh they can't screech with no head can they...)
A very interesting situation was dumped in my lap. Out of the blue I found out that the oldest upholstery shop in town decided to close their doors on April 30. They had employeed 3 full time upholsterers, 3 other workers (cutter, seamstresses). And now the void is to be filled by the "other" oldest shop
The month of April I spent a lot of time at the closing shop watching how they do things, looking at the shop arrangement, storage, etc. Got to be really good friends with all of them very quickly! They started sending all their business to me and now I'm in the process of renting a real shop (moving out of my garage) and trying to hire at least one of their upholsterers.
I only wish they could have hung on one more month, as I'm trying to move out of my house this month and put it up for sale. It's in shambles and needs quite a bit of handy work! My 3 teen agers are sick of school, sick of life, self destructing all at once. Oy!
I've been getting more and more slipcover jobs (yay!). A lady about 2 hours away found me on my website and is renting a uhaul to bring her living room set to me to cover.

What I would like to see at the next summit? (wish I'd gone to this year's!):
1) Professional slipcovers start to finish. Not pinning technique - how to manufacture...serging, where to put closures, how to put them in and finish them out ( like the top and bottom of the zipper) How to line or hem - you know to make it a really nicely made sturdy cover that does not look homemade on the inside. Does that make sense?
2)Portfolio, website, advertising help. I've seen poloroids tacked to the wall and binders of photos on the counter - any other ideas to guide the customer to pick from the styles you want to make?
3)Workshop organization- more! I want more!
4)Useful forms and how and when to use them. Estimate, Purchase order,inventory, calendars etc.
5)A million pictures of slipcovers
6)A hands on class. One I would like is making decks on several types of chairs. The crotch areas leading to the tuck in areas are what I struggle with on every piece - and they are all different!
7)A survey of how labor time. I don't know if you've done this already but my upholsterers board has it all broken down in time increments from removing the dust cover to replacing burlap to putting on the skirt. It's a great guide when trying to bid a job.
8)A "fits like a glove" slipcover class. I missed Janelles and would really like to see how she does it. Especially her tips: for example putting velcro on the bottom of the chair to snug and attach the unskirted slipcover.

Ok that's my wish list so far! Aren't you glad you asked? :)
Happy Mother's Day everyone!

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