National Upholstery Association

national upholstery association

I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately along the lines of hey what is this Upholstery Association thing you keep talking about? So I thought I’d take a minute to explain to you just what this thing is. Recently I volunteered to be on the board of the newly formed National Upholstery Association (NUA). It is a organization created by Upholsterers with the mission to work together to advance the field of Professional Upholstery. Through support, education, and by working to create a healthy and vibrant Upholstery community. Now that last part to some may seem a little woo woo but to me it is the most important part. It’s pretty much why I got involved. I’ll get more into that later. The Idea for this Association came about when a group formed with the purpose of tackling the problems of the Upholstery Industry. I was not part of that initial group. I came along at the point where they were hammering out the final details. Forming an association is no small feat and this group of determined individuals were up to the task. When it came time to elect a board of directors I eagerly volunteered. The board of the association is made up Professional Upholsterers, Business Owners and Educators. We are all unpaid volunteers. All passionate about the trade, and learning as we go.

Now for the story of how I got involved. As some of you know I recently closed my retail shop and moved myself back to my home studio. I did this for many reasons which I spoke about here. Let me tell you it was the best decision ever for me. After a few months of working alone in my shop though I realized I wanted, no needed some socialization with other upholsterers. I’m in a few facebook groups and that helps but man wouldn’t it be great to have actual real life interaction with people in your trade. Luckily my friend Cynthia from the Funky Little Chair was planning a vacation to Washington State for June and we decided to meet up while she was here. She’s from Minnesota and we had been following each other on social media but never actually met. I asked her hey, what would you think about trying to organize a meet up with other local upholsterers while you are here? She was in. I put out the invite for a PNW upholsterers meet up on a facebook group for Upholsterers and sure enough I got a few bites. I sent them a very passionate email about my vision for this meet up and when Cynthia read it she told me about a group that she was pretty sure I’d be interested in. I was. It was the group of upholsterers who were building the NUA. I was thrilled to get involved. This is a group of passionate, smart ladies that are putting themselves out there. Each one brings something different to the table. Sometimes I think what is it again that I’m bringing to the table? Must be something because they let me play. June 24th was the PNW meet up and about fifteen Upholsterers from all over the PNW showed up. We met for a simple dinner at a local restaurant that lasted 5 hours. It was like a group of old friends not the strangers that we actually were. It was fabulous, we talked about upholstery the entire time. We are hoping to do it again so if you drug your feet this last time join us for the next one.

Back to the Association. Now the first question as an Upholsterer looking to join is surely what are the benefits of joining? What’s in it for me? That is totally understandable. For me the NUA fills all the needs I have been looking to fill. It will provide a listing of other engaged Upholsterers, Educators and Vendors who are passionate about and want to promote the future of the industry. It will provide education through monthly webinars. It will educate the public that re-upholstery is a viable option. It will provide networking opportunities like the Symposium, this September. For a full list of benefits and membership levels click here. As the association grows so will the benefits. It’s kind of a chicken or the egg thing. We need your ideas. We need to know what Upholsterers want this association to be. So if you are on the fence waiting for us to show you the benefits I ask that you join and show us your early support. Click here to join.

I hope you are as excited about this Association as I am. It’s going to be such a great thing for the Upholstery Industry. This Tuesday July 9th, there will be a webinar that is open to the public. The Board of Directors will be introducing themselves and answering your questions. Click here to sign up, I hope to see you there.


Michelle Minner