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Messages - cajunpedaler

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31
General Discussion / Embroidery machine (not a monster one)
« on: March 17, 2015, 05:48:10 PM »
I have always loved all machines that sew.  I've got 2 industrial machines, many sturdy home machines, 3 sergers, etc.  I am wanting an embroidery machine.  Not one that costs thousands of dollars...But I don't know what to look for or what to ask for.  Basically, I want one that I can program (through a card or usb?) to make little designs (no bigger than 1 1/2".
Any suggestions?
Perry

32
General Discussion / Re: A sofa (2) redo...
« on: March 17, 2015, 11:44:18 AM »
I think on this one, I have a good relationship with the customer, so the decorator will have to just suck it up.
I'm curious too, though.

33
General Discussion / A sofa (2) redo...
« on: March 17, 2015, 09:42:36 AM »
I did two huge sofas for a customer in the recent fall...they were well made, mid century sofas.  I enjoyed working on them thoroughly.  However I delivered them to the customer and told her the fabric maybe wasn't what she expected.  I also gave her the original pieces off the sofa in the event she ever wanted to recover down the road.  Well here it is, less than six months later and this is the email I got from her...

Hi Perry,
 I hope that you are well since we last saw you in November. You did a wonderful job with our sofas! Unfortunately, the "commercial grade" fabric that we chose has not held up well at all. Since the second week that we had the sofas, there has been a major issue with pilling and threads coming loose. Luckily, x xxx textiles has recognized this as a fabric defect and is giving us a refund and paying for the sofas to be reupholstered again with a different fabric. So, my question to you is, would you be available to do the job for us again? I'm meeting Caroline this week to order the new fabric. How is your schedule looking? Also, we would like to have the other sofa that I showed you in our keeping room done as well when you have the time. I'm going to order fabric for that one too this week. Let me know your thoughts on all of this - I look forward to hearing from you!
 Thanks so much,
 Maggie L

BTW...this involves the decorator who wanted the kickback last month, so I am anxious to see how this all plays out.

34
General Discussion / Re: Cigarette filters
« on: March 17, 2015, 09:37:24 AM »
I've seen it before.  Didn't like it.  Answer to your question, why?  Probably, someone had access and they were cheap. Why else?

35
General Discussion / Re: arthritis
« on: March 06, 2015, 10:29:41 PM »
I have a severe life threatening allergy to NSAIDS.  I

36
General Discussion / Re: How long....?
« on: March 05, 2015, 12:31:27 PM »
OP?  Are you still there?...I'm wondering what this discussion has answered or not for you...
It was a thought provoking, stimulating topic and I for one am curious if this thread has changed your outlook..
Thanks.

37
General Discussion / Re: How long....?
« on: March 03, 2015, 10:14:48 AM »
I think sometimes upholsterers, especially females (I am female) are seen as domestiques..something that is seen as socially as a domestic service.  Kind of like a maid or a cook..
Couple that with the fact that most of us are self taught to a certain extent and have never taken a business course on how to run an upholstery shop.  Throw in the tidbit, that most of your customers squawk to high heaven if you quote a price that is fair to everyone (how many times has a customer told me "oh, this chair is easy" I think to myself, yeah, and why aren't you doing it yourself then.

I also think that a lot of us have a starving artist gene.  We really like what we do, but get so engrossed in the project that we don't see our kingdom (finances) crumbling around us.  

My husband was raised by a Jewish father and Baptist mother...the faith issue has never come up in our relationship, but the Jewish tendencies to be a spendthrift is always present.  He basically loves the fact that I can sew and make beautiful things, but he hates upholstery from a money standpoint.  (in my defense, he never thinks the glass is half full, it's always emptying with a hole in it)

If your prices are too low, go up 20%.  If you lose 20% of your customers, you are still making the same money for 80% of the work.
Decide what your definition of success is.  Is it artistic, is it financial?  Is it both?  (Ideally both)

It is horrible to go the shop every day, whether you are renting a space or working from home, and feel like you are getting bent over and some customer is going to break it off in your arse..
It is wonderful to be able to tell a customer a fair price, listen to them squawk about high it is, and if they go away, then good you've gotten rid of a nuisance and if they stay and you deliver a good end result, then good, you've trained a customer.  

When I was first in business, thirty years ago...a guy walked in my shop and I greeted him, asked what I could do for him and he said in a bold cowboy voice walking into a saloon that "he heard I was the cheapest around" And I felt awful...I wanted him to say I was the best, or  something to that effect.  That has always stuck with me.

Redefine your success, also redefine failure.  Really examine what you want to happen.
Good luck.  
Perry

38
General Discussion / Re: Arctic blast
« on: February 25, 2015, 10:11:51 AM »
South Louisiana here, near Baton Rouge..we are under the line of freezing snow and ice, but getting hammered with rain.  It's a cold rain. 
We call this the "punish weather". It's the sh*tty bad weather you get before the nice weather.
We must have been really bad, because this is the worst in a while..

I keep thinking of getting one of those day-lights...just to try to offset the doldrum blues...

Perry

39
General Discussion / Re: MIL
« on: February 25, 2015, 10:06:10 AM »
Condolences to you and the family dealing with the MIL.  I went through the same thing a few years back with my father and his demise sounded very similar...comfort measures, the predictable forecast of the end. 
He died gracefully, there was some gasping and some discomfort I'm sure. But to die naturally, without a lot of medical and pharmaceutical intervention is a blessing..I saw some patients kept alive and sure they might not have been in pain, but I just felt it was a travesty to hook them up to machines and deprive them of a dignified death...only to have them linger in nothingness. (usually for some monetary gain for the institution)
Celebrate her life and her memories.
Perry

40
General Discussion / Re: How Did You Get Your Start Upholstering
« on: February 22, 2015, 10:50:47 AM »
I am an only child of an only child (my mother).  On that side of the family, it was all girls..and everyone sewed. The matriarchal aunt could look at you and whip up an outfit that fit perfectly without a pattern.

On my dads' side of the family, very mechanically inclined relatives.  Could make a cardboard box run like a Rolls Royce.  
We were all poor, so had to sew and fix everything ourselves.  I did not know that someone could call an outsider to repair something.  My upbringing said you tore down the broken item, discovered what was wrong and fixed it yourself.

Fast forward, in my younger days, I worked for a dentist for nearly ten years. (I got the job because on my application I listed sewing as a hobby and it indicated to my boss that I would be detail oriented)  One night at a company dinner, all the wives were sitting around gabbing and one woman said "need to get home and make some Cabbage Patch doll clothes.  I blurted out (without thinking) "ugh, that's too small, I want to make BIG things, like...sofas" On the drive home, I pondered why on earth I said something so STOOPID, a sofa? com'on Perry...So I followed my curiousity.  

Found an older established upholsterer in the area...walked in and explained my interest.  For a solid year, he let me sit and watch at his shop.  I never apprenticed, or helped, just watched. That was in the eighties, and in South Louisiana, industry tanked, my dentist boss lost patients and closed the practice.  After that year, I took out on my own, worked out of the front room in my house...and the rest is history. Here I am nearly 30 yrs later...still at it.  Still learning.

Interesting aside..Had I known my first marriage was going to fail soon, I would have followed my dentist boss, but I didn't so I all of a sudden was a single mom, scared, broke and hungry and here I am world!  Hear me roar (whine, cry, complain, etc)

From the upholstery trade, I discovered that I also had some talent for carpentry, so I've bought sold flipped a few houses and built both of my own houses that the current husband and I live in.  I go back and forth between needle/thread and sawdust.

Neither of my girl children have picked up the interest, desire or skills to sew...damn electronic media captured them and so I fear the knack will die out with me.




41
General Discussion / Re: This one takes the cake. Decorator, schmecorator.
« on: February 12, 2015, 10:44:43 AM »
It is fully 24 hrs later in this saga, and this decorator's norm has been to be all over the place in the beginning of a customer project.  I sent her my reply and I'm sure it didn't sit well with her...so I'm assuming I can just write this beeyatch off....Hold on, folks, I'm doing my happy dance...!!

Thank you one and all for the suggestions, input, support...now I think I will go in my shop and staple something to smithereens...!!

Perry

42
General Discussion / Re: I want the truth, and I want it now.
« on: February 12, 2015, 08:59:32 AM »
YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH! (somehow that just doesn't have the Jack Nicholson essence it was meant to have)

Sometimes in the shop, with your favorite air stapler, and a job is just rolling along....staples are cheap, you get some aggression therapy stapling the sh** out of whatever.  When I run out of staples, I usually say in a mock cowboy voice..."Hurry, load up Ma! The Indians are coming!!" With my stapler there is some satisfaction in throwing in a new rack of staples and slamming the slide closed and you're back at it.  I personally am a 38 caliber girl, myself.
Perry

43
General Discussion / Re: This one takes the cake. Decorator, schmecorator.
« on: February 11, 2015, 05:45:26 PM »
I re-thought the notion of contacting the other upholsterers in the area. I imagined all the ways that good intentioned visit could backfire. So, for now, I am going to just stay the course. I still haven't heard from the prima donna decorator. If she goes away and never comes back, it's her loss.
Thanks all.

44
General Discussion / Re: This one takes the cake. Decorator, schmecorator.
« on: February 11, 2015, 01:36:22 PM »
I sent her my reply.  Usually she is so all over her phone, texting that you are getting a message while you are still reading the current message that she's sent.  I know she has received it.  I'm sure she is mulling it over.  This will be interesting. 

45
General Discussion / Re: This one takes the cake. Decorator, schmecorator.
« on: February 11, 2015, 11:02:19 AM »
I also think I'm going to contact, in person, the other two local upholsterers.  I want to equalize our prices.  In fact, I might try to make sure that my prices are a bit higher than theirs...I also want to build some sort of solidarity among us upholsterers..that will be a difficult feat.  It's been my experience that small town upholsterers tend to be very skittish about customers, getting customers, keeping customers, always afraid the competition is going to take their customer.  I love it when someone goes somewhere else and THEN comes back...they are so grateful for good honest work.

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