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Topics - sofadoc

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 14
General Discussion / The whole town is buzzin'.......
« on: March 26, 2015, 09:45:27 AM »
.........about the new Nebraska Furniture Mart opening in the Dallas area.

At the bank where my wife works, all the employees and customers are giddy with excitement.
One girl has already picked out a leather sectional for $700.

They know that my wife is married to an upholsterer. So they ask her opinion. She just keeps her head down and says nothing. What would be the point? Anything she might say would only sound like sour grapes. Besides, they're already bedazzled by the advertised prices, so nothing that she could say would dissuade them.

If they don't buy their junk at NFM, they'll buy it somewhere else.

I've never been to one of those stores. Can some of you tell me anything about it? Do they have some decent stuff as well as the junk?

General Discussion / Counting couches
« on: March 26, 2015, 08:13:37 AM »
I have been hired to recover the patient room sofas at a nearby hospital.

The administrator took me to one of the rooms, showed me one sofa, and said "They're all just like this one". He didn't want to go from room to room disturbing patients.

After my bid was approved, I told him to let me know how many, so I could order the fabric.

3 different staffers attempted to count them........they couldn't do it. They came up with 3 very different answers. Finally, I had to go back and count them myself. It was really easy. I just went from room to room counting "one....two....three.....four...." and so on.

One nurse tried to help me count them, but she got distracted every 30 seconds by another staffer, or a patient. They all seemed annoyed, and couldn't really see the importance of giving me an accurate number.

I did notice however, that when it was time for one of the nurses to go get lunches for the other nurses, she was VERY diligent in taking their orders. Making sure there were no mistakes.

General Discussion / The next door neighbor
« on: March 18, 2015, 10:15:50 AM »
If it weren't for "word of mouth", I would've been out of business many moons ago.

But that "word of mouth" doesn't always translate well to the house on either side of a customer.

Most every time I deliver something, the customer says "I've got a neighbor that wants to talk to you". So I have to wait around for my customer to get her neighbor to answer the phone, then I have to go next door, and walk through their entire house looking at furniture that they're only mildly interested in having recovered.

I quote them a few ballpark prices........their eyes get wide as saucers........and they say "Thank you, I'll let you know".

I would rather that my customers didn't prod their neighbors into something that they're really not ready to do. If the neighbor sees my work, and wants to call me, let them do it on their own.

I've done a ton of work for friends and neighbors of customers over the years. But very few when I simply walked next door after a delivery.

General Discussion / How is YOUR class holding up?
« on: March 08, 2015, 03:56:07 PM »
I've just been added to a FB group for '76 grads of my high school. They're getting an early start on our 40th reunion in 2016.

They've listed all the students that are no longer with us. 54 out of 322. 43 boys, 11 girls.

A lot of people from our class seem to think that number is unusually high. Basically, it means that about 1 out of 6 of us didn't make to age 57.

But it also means that a little more than 80% of us will be around for our 40th reunion.
If someone had predicted that back in '76, I would've been skeptical. So I think the number is probably right in the norm.

Just curious. Do any of you guys have any idea what your class mortality rate might be?

The Business Of Upholstery / Catalogs and price lists
« on: February 26, 2015, 09:34:17 AM »
I have lamented here recently that 2 delivery supply trucks that call on me have folded.

A fellow upholsterer recommended a wholesale supplier in Dallas to me. So I called the guy to set up an account.

I asked if he had a catalog or any kind of price list that he could e-mail to me.

He laughed, and said "No. If we put out a catalog, a competitor would just copy it and beat all of our prices by a nickel. Then we would have to beat their prices, and then they would beat ours again. I'm sure that you understand."

Well........no I don't understand. All I DO understand is..........any time that I buy from a wholesale supplier that doesn't have a catalog or price list, I end up paying anywhere from 25%-40% more than a normal, reasonable wholesale price.
And these places that are selling supplies at a price that falls somewhere between wholesale and retail will sell to ANYONE that walks in off the street. No tax ID, no proof of business of any kind.

It's a shame that I can get most items shipped in from another state cheaper than I can get them from a local supplier.

General Discussion / Arctic blast
« on: February 25, 2015, 09:39:23 AM »
Northeast Texas is getting one. At least what "passes for" an Arctic blast around these parts. You guys up north would probably consider this pretty mild.

The temps are in the 20's. The streets are icy. And for southern drivers who aren't used to it, they can be a little treacherous. The schools have been closed for 2 days, and are opening late today. Most big retail stores are open while the small mom & pop stores are closed.

Activity in downtown Greenville consists of the Police station, the Court House, a few bail bondsmen, and some moron who has an upholstery shop. Everything else is closed.

What I've been hearing the most from people, is how they're going stir crazy from being cooped up for the last couple of days.

I always wonder how you guys deal with being hunkered down for much longer stretches of time. And how do you convince your clientele that life really DOES go on while we experience a little foul weather.

I'm quite the opposite of the "norm" around here. I don't see why people want to pull up to my shop with a truckload of furniture during the hottest part of the summer, and stand outside in the 105 degree heat and talk about it at great length.
THAT'S when I want to go into hibernation. They could take August off the calendar, and I wouldn't miss it one bit.

I've always bought supplies in bulk from delivery trucks in order to avoid shipping costs.

My grandparents/parents who started the family upholstery business used to order supplies as needed. So they paid freight charges on every last little item. I thought this was foolish. So when I took over, I immediately ceased this practice. My goal was to pay shipping charges for fabric only. And for many years, I accomplished that goal.

But lately, a couple of my supply trucks have folded. And a couple others have reduced their inventory to the bare essentials. Foam, batting, staples, thread, etc. Plus, they have cut back to quarterly deliveries instead of monthly.
One of them has hinted that he really isn't interested in coming my way unless I order EVERYTHING from him alone.

I've already shifted most of my foam/batting orders to an out-of-state company that ships for free on orders over $100.

But now I find myself paying shipping on items like glue, welt cord, webbing, button molds, etc.

Are you guys seeing this problem (fewer choices from supply trucks) on the rise?

General Discussion / Interesting POV
« on: January 08, 2015, 07:19:20 PM »
There is a factory here in town that manufactures church pews. They've been in business over 60 years, and ship their pews all over the US.

I've had a very good relationship with the owner for the last 30 years. He subs out his small cushion jobs to me.

He was in my shop today. He says that business has been way down the last 2 or 3 years. Most new churches are comprised of members that split off from an older more established church. Usually a younger crowd, that wants a multi-purpose building that will serve both as a sanctuary and activity center.

In other words.......no pews. Just movable chairs.

Over the years, he has observed many changes in the "business" of religion (yes, he considers it to be nothing more than a business now). Churches are taking a more relaxed stance on many lifestyles that they previously left no "wiggle room" on. I don't have to tell you guys what lifestyles I'm talking about, and I'm NOT trying to spark a debate on them. He firmly believes that churches have eased their standards simply to "put more butts in the seats".

I used to do at least 1 large pew cushion job a year. It's probably been 4 or 5 years since my last one. I've bid quite a few, and found out later that the cost caused heated arguments at budget meetings.

Do you guys get many church pew jobs? And without getting into a religious debate, are you seeing your local churches doing more to affect their bottom line? Even if it means relaxing their beliefs?

General Discussion / Folding gauge for double welt
« on: December 05, 2014, 09:44:06 PM »
I bought some used stuff off a salesman yesterday. He got it from a shop that was closing and owed him money.

Among the stuff was a double welt folding gauge. I've always been leery of them because I've been told that they must be custom made to fit a specific weight of fabric. I've been playing around with this one, and so far, I kinda like it. Although it doesn't achieve a real tight wrap on thinner fabrics, and thicker fabrics are harder to get started.

But here it is. Take a look.

Here's a thicker fabric:

I actually could've sewed much faster, but I was fumbling with the camera.

You have to cut the strips approx. 1 3/4" to 1 7/8" wide, depending on the thickness of the fabric.
It will mount on most any industrial machine, walking foot or not (as long as you have a DW foot).
You can use the 5/32 DW cord, or two single cords.

It also did a nice job of sewing across a seam where 2 strips were joined.

Burch fabrics sells these for about $110 + shipping and tax.

You have to start with a full bobbin. Because if the bobbin runs out, or the top thread breaks for any reason, there's no backing up.

I think this thing will come in handy on large DW jobs. But for smaller jobs, it may be too much trouble to set up and adjust.

General Discussion / Thursday is the new Friday
« on: November 28, 2014, 09:33:20 AM »
I drove by Wally World just before 6PM yesterday. If there was an empty space on the parking lot, I didn't see it. The line awaiting the doors to open was out to the highway. And a lot of pushing and shoving had already commenced.

I did the 6AM "doorbuster" thing a few times back when my daughters were kids, and there was always some hot toy that was in short supply (Cabbage Patch, Tickle Me Elmo, Gigapet). But I'll be damned if I'm going to risk my life to save some money on a bunch of crap.

Take those idiots who trample each other just to save $200 on a TV set. If you offered to hire one of them for 1 week at their normal salary PLUS $200, they would probably turn you down.

I had thought that the "Gray Thursday" crowd would be a little more subdued with their bellies full of turkey. But no-o-o-o........they appear to be feistier than ever!

A large group of Blondes and Brunettes went on a sightseeing tour in London. They boarded one of those double decker busses.

All of the Brunettes sat on the bottom level, all the Blondes sat on the top.

The Brunettes were have a great time laughing, drinking, and taking in all the sights. One of the Brunettes suddenly realized that they hadn't heard a peep out of the Blondes, so she went up to the top to check on them.

When she got up there, she found all the Blondes sitting frozen in their seats, gripping the handrails, looking straight ahead, with terrified looks on their faces.

The Brunette said "What's wrong up here? We're having a great time down below."

One of the Blondes said "Well, of course you're having a great time.......you've got a driver!!!

General Discussion / "Little Johnny" joke
« on: October 25, 2014, 07:41:14 PM »
I used to love "Little Johnny" jokes. You don't hear them too much anymore.

The teacher was writing a very long assignment on the chalkboard. So she started high at the top.
When she stretched up high, one of the boys started giggling.

"Patrick! What's so funny?" she demanded.
Still giggling, Patrick said "Tee-hee, I saw your garter"

Angrily, the teacher shouted "Get out of my class! You're expelled for 3 days!"

She resumed writing on the board, when she heard another boy laughing.

"OK Billy........what's so funny now?"
Billy said "Tee-hee........I saw your other garter".

The teacher was furious. "That does it! Get out! You're expelled for 1 week!"

As she started to continue writing on the blackboard, she dropped her eraser, and bent over to pick it up.

Little Johnny burst out laughing......... got up.........threw his textbooks in the trash can, and began walking out of the classroom.

"Little Johnny! Where do you think you're going?" said the teacher.

Little Johnny said "After what I just saw........my school days are OVER!"   

General Discussion / We should all look like this when we work
« on: October 23, 2014, 10:43:25 PM »

General Discussion / Only in America
« on: October 19, 2014, 11:46:53 AM »
"I am a proud black man!" said the black man.

"I am a proud Mexican woman!" said the Mexican woman.

"I am a proud Asian man!" said the Asian man.

"I am a proud gay man!" said the gay man.

"I am a proud transgender!" said the transgender.

"I am a proud native American!" said the native American.

"I am a proud white man!" said the racist.

General Discussion / Thursday Tickler
« on: October 02, 2014, 04:38:05 PM »
A husband and wife are shopping at a grocery store.

The husband spots a 24 pack of Bud Light for $10. He immediately grabs one and tosses it in the cart.
The wife says "What do you think you're doing?"
The husband says "24 cans for only 10 bucks! That's a good deal!"
The wife snaps "But we're on a budget, and can't afford anything that we don't absolutely need! Put it back!"

Reluctantly, the husband obeys.

Down the next aisle, the wife grabs a small jar of face cream that costs $35 and puts it in the cart.
The husband protests "I thought you said we can't afford anything we don't absolutely need".
The wife replies "We do need this. It will make me look young and beautiful for you".

The husband retorts "So will the beer, and it's only 10 bucks!"   

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