024: Learning the Craft of Upholstery

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024: Learning the Craft of Upholstery

with Cynthia Bleskachek

Cynthia Bleskachek 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, re-upholstery provides a viable alternative.

The Funky Little Chair began as a Facebook blog of sorts, providing bits of education from whatever project was on the “horses” in the upholstery shop. In 2016, Cynthia opened The Funky Little Chair in order to focus on hands-on education for hobbyists and aspiring professionals.

On our podcast today we are really discussing the upholstery industry, the struggles they face, the future of the craft, and what can be done to keep this industry viable in our current economy.

 Topics Mentioned:

  • Professionalism

  • Expertise Gap

  • Talent

  • Flipped Classroom

  • Gig Economy

Listen to the Episode

Thoughts from Cynthia:

  • There are professional standards in upholstery and it takes years to hone the craft in all areas. This is not a quick learn industry.

  • There must be intentionality to be profitable in an upholstery shop.

  • If I had to only build new upholstery, I would be out of business. Let’s stop throwing so much away.

  • Trades like upholstery cannot be learned in excellence from video alone, there has to be some amount of hands on.

  • A flipped classroom allows us to educate theory and beginning skill before investing in the in-person hands on education.

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