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General Upholstery Questions and Comments => General Discussion => Topic started by: Mojo on April 23, 2013, 05:42:16 PM

Title: Your Opinion
Post by: Mojo on April 23, 2013, 05:42:16 PM
My coach is in need of interior window shade updates and I will NOT got back to the paper day/night shades.

I know that talking with customers that this is an issue with them as many of them want to upgrade their shades. Since 2005 when my coach was built they have come out with new double roller shades. One you pull down for night time blocking out all light and the other you pull down during the daytime and it is a solar privacy screen.

I have contacted one of the companies that makes them and have discussed becoming a dealer for them, selling them to customers and at rallys. The other company I have not spoken to yet but think I will have no problems getting a dealer setup with them.

I would like to do more interior work ( window valance treatments, vinyl/leather door panels, etc. ) and thought this would be a good fit. My question is do you think this is something I should try to get into along with maintaining my canvas products ? or do you think the two are worlds apart and do not make sense.

Title: Re: Your Opinion
Post by: MinUph on April 23, 2013, 06:02:00 PM
  From what I know about your business is you are busy and get a good price for your work. If you were to get into interiors you will find yourself busier, and the customers will inevitably want more done than door panels and curtains. This doesn't sound like a bad thing if you have the time and knowledge to do the work. Curtains and door panels I'm sure you can handle. You have a good thing going with the canvas work and it seems to keep you busier than you like at times. You also know best what you want to do.
  Well that didn't help much now did it.
Title: Re: Your Opinion
Post by: Mike on April 23, 2013, 06:24:44 PM
I dtsy busy with canvas covers and top and then the  upholstery, and interiros upholstery ill do headlioners but I draw the line when asked to do window coverings that and cars I just don't gave the time to get into it,
Title: Re: Your Opinion
Post by: Mojo on April 23, 2013, 07:42:34 PM

The interior makeovers I have experience at with the exception of the furniture and pilot/copilot seats. I have no desire to learnt that end of it either.

Alot of times coach owners just want the windows freshened up. I am thinking that maybe this is something the wife could take on.

The trend right now is interior coach makeovers. The newer coaches on the market are lacking the quality of the older ones and the prices have sky rocketed. My own coach to replace it with a new identical model would cost another $ 100 K and my coach is not that old ( 2005 ) by coach standards.

So owners are keeping their buses and updating the interiors. Some are even updating the exterior paint with custom paint jobs ( $ 20 K ). There are a few shops that now do nothing but bus makeovers.

In regards to the shades, I was looking more at selling them as a dealer. Alot of the owners are DIY'ers as part of the hobby is working and maintaining their coaches.

Title: Re: Your Opinion
Post by: MinUph on April 23, 2013, 09:17:13 PM
  I can see the business of coach makeovers being quite lucrative. And in your case very enjoyable. Seeing the "better half" wants to do the windows treatments that is another story. Good or great idea. The shades you would be taking on the road to shows and selling them out of your bus? Are there many sizes to stock? Or are you thinking of just drop shipping them as ordered? I never felt good at drop shipping as it places your reputation on the stock of another company. Given the quality is top rate. Been there done that in another life.
  So buddy, sounds like you have some good ideas to add value to your existing work.
Title: Re: Your Opinion
Post by: timtheboatguy on April 23, 2013, 10:29:36 PM
A friend once told me to be successful; "Do one thing and do it very well". Although I have never followed this to the letter, the further I get away from this principle, the more stressed I get while NOT making more money.

Just my .02 worth, no pun intended.

Title: Re: Your Opinion
Post by: Rich on April 24, 2013, 06:10:39 AM
My thoughts Chris;
Having been in the reupholstery business (officially) for 36 years, I've done just about any type of reupholstery work you can name. At times, I followed the trends when they were profitable. Home furnishings, custom show car interiors, van conversions, Mercedes, Jaguar and Rolls Royce interiors, elecric moonroofs and simulated convertibles, later getting into dental and medical seating, restaurant seating, fitness equipment recovering and others I can't remember. Currently and for the last 24 years I have essentially worked alone (wife does the bookeeping PT) and I can tell you that what I am doing is selling my time,  that's all. You may be in the same position and if so, and you are busy most of the time and the work looks like it will continue into the forseeable future, to take on different work for yourself could cause unintended headaches. You might want to hire a helper (To me, that's a headache I don't need or want, BTDT) or, you might want to find some other shops you could sublet the work to or better yet, take a fee for referring it to them. If the work doesn't require much of your time (as in labor) it might be worth it since you already have the connections with the owners of the coaches.
Keep us posted.
Title: Re: Your Opinion
Post by: Mojo on April 24, 2013, 06:32:16 AM
This is the reason why I posted this thread. To get all of your input and I have gotten some very good input.

All to often we get an idea in our head, focus on bringing that idea to fruition and in the process get tunnel visioned. We miss things, we overlook the obvious and sometimes we just need a kick in the seat of the pants to makes us stop and re-think our idea.

I am extremely busy. I have built a very good business from nothing and carved a niche in an industry where few tread. I have built an amazing reputation from high quality products and over the top customer service. But I am burned out from sewing these damn toppers and awnings. I am sick of seeing acrylic fabric and am about to be sick with vinyl coverings as well. I need a change yet I cannot allow what I have built to slide by the wayside. Nor will I compromise quality in any way. I still have plans on building a big shop which will allow me to hire someone part time. But I need more income and the boss is hell bent on paying cash for the shop. So I need to make more cash. :)

Thanks again for the input. Keep it coming. :)