What Inspired You To Create Re-Luv’d Custom Upholstery?
It was always in the back of my mind to have my own upholstery business one day when I started learning upholstery in my early 20’s. It took time, years in fact, before I was able to make that dream a reality. I was working for someone for over 10 years whose passion wasn’t in the business for me to finally step up and leave to do it for myself. I couldn’t have done it without the support from my amazing husband Ron and my family and friends, as well as the business and client relationships I have garnered over the years from working in Georgetown. It’s a great feeling to get the recognition for my work instead of someone else. I take a lot of pride in what I do and I can see for myself now the reactions of my clients when they see their piece re-loved. It’s also how I came up with the name Re-Luv’d Custom Upholstery.
Re-Luv’d Custom Upholstery Recycles Old Chairs Into Creative Works Of Art, Please Share With Us Your Process…
It all starts with finding a piece that is still in good enough shape structurally to save. Most of my pieces are found on the curb on Big Garbage days here in Georgetown. I have found some through scouring antique markets, here and in the US, for really good deals as well as friends and family that find pieces for me. For me, this may sound weird but, furniture speaks to me. I have an idea in my head of what I would like to do and it may take some time before I find the right fabric I want for that piece. Sometimes it’s making do with what’s on hand and seeing what I can create. Other times I start out going in one direction and then change it up because I have seen something that makes me think “ooooh I would like to use/try this instead” and the outcome is even better than I would have originally imagined.
A Typical Day In Your Life?
I would never think that any day for me is typical. I get up, usually late because I have a habit of working late into the night, unless I have an appointment, then I am definitely up! I check that our fur kids – we have 4 cats we have adopted through the Upper Credit Humane Society – have food and fresh water before I make myself a tea and go and turn on my phone to check for any emails and phone messages. I find my hubby, he is an early riser and always up before me, give him a good morning kiss and hug and organize my day into responding to messages, running errands and work. I don’t have a set schedule of 9-5 anymore, my business is 24/7 which is ok when you love what you do… and work from home!
Do You Have A Daily Routine Or Rituals?
I start off every morning with a cup of tea. I feed the squirrels if they are around, only because our elderly neighbour Vic, who sadly passed December 7th of 2015, coerced my husband into doing it a couple years ago when he went away for 2 weeks to the east coast to spread his wife’s ashes. Vic didn’t want the squirrels to go without peanuts so my husband said he would do it for him and we’ve been feeding them ever since. Our cats love watching them from the front windows and even when they are outside they seem to get along, I have taken a lot of photos and videos and it is quite entertaining to watch their interactions.
Tell Us About Your Recycling Program?
Recycling has been something that has been in my life since I was a child so it’s kind of fitting how my life has led me to where I am doing something that is also recycling. Upholstery is recycling. When I upholster a piece I strip it down to the bare frame. Every staple I pull, every piece of metal I remove, the metal tack strips, clips, and springs, are saved up to donate to the Upper Credit Humane Societies metal recycling program. I average about 25-30 pounds of metal a year but this year I have almost 50 pounds, that’s a lot of staples! Any cardboard I find, I do not use cardboard in any of my work, is put in the blue bin for recycling. I save up all my used spray cans and glue containers for hazardous waste day to dispose of properly. I only use foam that is soy based and CFC free and determined “Green”. Cardboard tubes from fabric orders are returned to my supplier as well as the plastic it comes in I save to use for painting or to wrap clients furniture in and to store scraps. Until there are programs in place to recycle the fabrics and other upholstery materials I will continue recycling what I can.
A good quick job will not be cheap.
A cheap good job will not be quick.
A quick cheap job will not be good.
What Lessons Have You Faced And Overcome Along Your Business Journey?
When hiring a photographer make sure they aren’t just doing it as a hobby or part time. If you want quality photos of your work done invest the money and time with someone professional, it truly makes a difference.
I would like to give a big thank you to Steve DiMonte of Change Your Life Photography, connecting with him by chance at a Chamber of Commerce after hours Business Networking night was great. His work is exceptional and we just gelled from our first meeting. I knew then that he was the one I was looking for to capture what was in my head and bring it out into photographs for my website. I am working on re-designing my site to give it a more personal touch, and with the photos Steve took, it will give potential clients a better insight into the benefits of upholstery over buying new as well as highlight the level of quality I put into my clients pieces and my recycled designs.
What Are You Reading Now?
I used to read… a lot. I haven’t found any authors that have piqued my curiosity lately. Suggestions?
Your Inspirations / Role Models And Or Mentors?
I see inspiration all around me. In everything I watch, read, hear and touch. In the people I meet and talk to. Ideas and inspiration are always there, you just have to be open to receive the ideas and perceive the possibilities and use what you’ve absorbed when you create.
Which Personality Traits Do You Admire In Others?
Honesty, Compassion and Humour.
What Is Your Dream Vacation Destination?
Africa. First to Egypt to see the Great Pyramids and then to Nairobi Kenya to visit the elephants at The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
Your 5 Most Desirable Dinner Guests?
Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick, Robin Williams, Elon Musk, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Bob Ross
What’s The Best Advice You Have Ever Been Given?
Always stay true to yourself.
My latest favourite restaurant is The Mess Hall Poutinerie. Love that they use and source fresh local ingredients as well as their commitment to the environment.
Something You Have Learnt Recently?
When something is not going the way you expected take a moment to step back and Google how you can fix it. I had a painting mishap recently and was getting more and more frustrated that everything I tried didn’t work. I wasted a lot of time being stubborn instead of stopping and searching Google to see how others had dealt with the problem. Once I did that and mish mashed a few solutions I found together the painting mishap will never be repeated. Lesson learned.
In What Manner Do You Relax And Unwind?
Working on my recycled designs. Some may see that as more work but for me being able to let my mind create something is relaxing. I also find gardening and photography relaxing.
Is Your Glass Half Full?
I like to think of it as always full.