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Messages - kodydog

Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 185
The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Declining
« on: March 06, 2018, 07:28:49 PM »
I think most people view a brick and mortar as professional. They want to know where their furniture is going and that they can drop in anytime. Rose and I have had some interesting conversations about this. I wanted a commercial location she wanted to work from home. I'll bet we looked at every piece of commercial property within our budget. We knew our budget was a fixer upper type buildings. Everything we looked at either needed too much work or was inappropriate for an upholstery shop. In the end we opted for an at home business. This saved us about $60k.

We have compensated by making our website look professional. Often when a new customer drops by they are surprised we work at home. Nowhere on our website does it say we have a home based business. Most of our business is done at the customers home anyway. If they ask I simply tell them my shop is at my house in High Springs. This seems to satisfy them.

The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Declining
« on: March 06, 2018, 09:39:07 AM »
So 65, when someone calls you and says they have 6 dining chairs to recover. Then they say, I will pay you $20 each? That would be odd.

When a customer calls Rose they ask how much to recover something. The first thing Rose asks is can they send a picture? Rose will then work up an estimate from the photo and call them back. If they tell her so and so down the road will do it cheaper Rose explains things we do that others may not. If they say they can buy new for less Rose explains the problems with buying cheap furniture. If they simply cannot afford us there is no point in going any further.

Lord knows we turn away more jobs than we get. But we get enough jobs to stay busy. We have a nice group of regular customers who know the value of reupholstering. Our prices aren't outrageously high but we don't have to worry about paying the bills either.

General Discussion / Re: Photos
« on: March 05, 2018, 01:06:41 PM »
I've said this before. Some times I'll consider posting with an image. If its late, If I'm tired or if the post isn't important I may decide its too much hassle and skip it. This is another reason we do not see the traffic on the forum like we once did.

General Discussion / Re: Photos
« on: March 05, 2018, 09:30:12 AM »
The bad thing about photo bucket is every time someone wants to look at your photo they have to go through the same spam quagmire. If you have a Google account you can use Google Photos to store pictures.

1. Once you are on Google Photos click upload, top right corner. This will open your photos file from your computer. Double click the photo you want to upload.
2. When uploaded find your photo and double click on it.
3. Next click the share icon. The share icon is at the top right and looks like 3 balls with 2 lines connecting them.
4. A white box will appear. Click Get Link. The link is already highlighted in blue. Right click on it and copy.
5. You can now post the link on the forum.

Perhaps One Drive has a similar link option.

General Discussion / Re: Friday funny
« on: March 02, 2018, 10:36:42 PM »

But the best one is when you do remember, write down a note and then forget where you put the note later.
Getting old sucks.


The best part of getting old is being able to start a story saying, back when I was a your age...

General Discussion / Re: And the fun begins: Retro Loveseat
« on: March 02, 2018, 10:31:09 PM »
The needle I use for tufting is 18" long. I have owned this same needle almost as long as I've been upholstering furniture. I'm sure I could use a smaller needle to get the job done but the 18 incher comes in handy for many other uses like stringing buttons through the ends of a bolster.

I also own a needle similar to the one you ask about. Like Paul said it is used to replace a button. I have replaced many buttons, for a fee, using this tool.

General Discussion / Re: And the fun begins: Retro Loveseat
« on: March 01, 2018, 11:16:45 AM »
My experience tells me the deeper the holes the better the pleats lay. And the firmer the foam the better the pleats and the whole job look.

The thickness of the back foam will be dictated by how much room the seat has. Set some different sizes in there and decide what feels best. 2" or 3" are my favorites.

Do the same for the density of the foam. I would not use a soft foam but on the other hand you don't want it so firm it is uncomfortable. Keep in mind those marshel units will make it feel a little softer and keep in mind the tufting will add some firmness to it.

You can top it off with Dacron but my favorite is cotton.

The best advice I can give someone who is starting a tufting job for the first time is don't pull the fire out of the buttons when first poking them into the fabric. I like to pull them about 3/4 of the way into the hole. This lets you go back later and make adjustments as needed. When your done there will most likely be 2 or 3 buttons that will need slight adjustments, vertically or horizontally. This will require removing the button and re-poking it. You will be surprised how a 3/32nd inch adjustment makes a big difference. 

General Discussion / Re: And the fun begins: Retro Loveseat
« on: February 28, 2018, 05:26:32 PM »
Just my two cents worth here. Before poly foam tufted backs were stuffed with cotton. I'm guessing it was a time consuming process that required much more skill than working with foam.

I have taken apart many tufted backs with stuffed cotton in them. Sometimes this cotton is still in good shape and if I'm very careful to leave it in place I reuse it. More often than not it falls apart when I strip the piece down. In this case I throw the whole thing out. I'm guessing this is what happened when you took you loveseat apart and why you didn't save it.

I have never attempted to recreate a tufted back using cotton. Foam is so much easier and probably less expensive. Maybe some of the older folks have different ideas. Sure would like to hear them.

Ha! I turned 60 last Sunday. Rose told me I don't look a day over 65.

General Discussion / Re: And the fun begins: Retro Loveseat
« on: February 28, 2018, 01:28:34 PM »
The old tufting didn't have foam underneath it?

General Discussion / Re: Salon chairs
« on: February 27, 2018, 09:23:11 PM »
Well done.

General Discussion / Re: Back Splash
« on: February 27, 2018, 09:21:38 PM »
Drives me crazy trying to fix someone's sloppy, poor fitting glue job.

General Discussion / Re: Advice
« on: February 26, 2018, 08:18:24 PM »
When you say the ben I guess you mean the dump. I understand your health issues, no telling what is in that old mattress. But couldn't you discard the mattress and save the frame and buy a new mattress? I'm guessing if it is from the 20"s-40's it is worth saving.

[quote author=sofadoc link=topic=14710.msg119745#msg119745 date=1519587699
And I REALLY REALLY don't understand upscale customers buying fabric from discount stores. Why would they want the same "cookie cutter" fabrics that everyone else is buying?

I agree. They can afford to buy any fabric they want. But like everyone else they are trying to save a buck. Even some of the decorators we work for are getting cheap. It always floors me when they bring me fabric ordered from Green House. Some even bring fabric from JoAnns. We work for one decorator who buys furniture from Rooms To Go. This furniture is so cheap she can bring it to us, recover it in her fabric and resell it to the customer.   

Around here it doesn't matter if they are high income or middle income. They are all comparing our price with new furniture. We try to educate  them about the advantage of recovering their mid-century furniture or, if they're buying new, at least buy in the $2000 to $3000 range. And some customers take this to heart. But most are just looking at the bottom line. If they can buy a brand spanking new sofa for $1000 then why would they want to spend $1500 to $2000 to recover their sofa. I'm guessing this is a big reason Sofa does mostly commercial jobs these days.

So if I can help the customer save a little money, not on labor but on their fabric, I point them to discounters or on-line stores. And when I show them how to save 50% or 60% at JoAnns they get excited. And I get the job.

This is why I asked Floyd where he is located. It's not that I doubt him or that I want to move to his location, I love where I am at and I love the fact that some upholsterers can still sell fabric. But it really intrigues me how he or anyone else can sell their fabric only, at full price and stay busy enough to keep a full schedule.

My only other question would be do you go to the customers house to show them fabric or is it mostly done in the store? This is a good conversation one we should have more of. I would love to have the extra income of selling my fabric.


I agree 100% on marketing to upscale customers. If I could tell my customers "we do not accept COM's" I surly would. Here in central Florida upscale customers are looking for a good deal too. Our business plan is to make our money on labor and let the customer save money by buying online or at the discount stores. And they appreciate that.

Maybe things have changed. When we sold fabrics, over 15 years ago, the fabrics in the books were the same quality as the fabrics at the discount stores. The fabric we bought from Greenhouse had just as many flaws as the fabric the customers brought us. Greenhouse sends us fabric in 2 or 3 pieces and the discount stores do the same.

It was nice to get the fabric sale, it was like icing on the cake but the prices in the books kept going up while the discount stores stayed the same. We often wondered how they could sell so low. I can go online and find designer fabrics like Kravet or Scalamandre for 1/2 price. In North Florida upscale customers will not spend $100/yard when they can get it for $50/yard.

But what really made us decide to go COM only was customers would have Rose show them her samples and then would buy their fabric someplace else. It was frustrating. it was the same fabric Rose was showing them for 1/2 the price. We couldn't hardly blame them. The only way we could sell our fabric was to sharply discount it. But then we weren't making any money. For us showing fabrics was a waist of time. We have done much better by raising our labor prices and let the customer buy their own fabric.

We still have a few customers who insist on buying fabric from us. They want us to do the whole job. For them we say, go online and look at Greenhouse website, select 2 or 3 fabrics and we will get them samples.

We all have unique ways of running our businesses, this works for us.

General Discussion / Re: Friday funny
« on: February 23, 2018, 10:14:38 PM »
Side dykes, staple puller and scissors on one side and staple gun on the other. Of course none of them are ever in my tool belt because every time I use them I set them down on my work bench. :)

Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 185

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