Upholstery King

 

Juki Industrial Sewing Machine

 

If you live in the Greater Toronto Area then chances are your sofa, love seats or beds were made by my father over the past 40 years. Working in the world of luxury fashion I admire the time and skill that it takes to create beautiful merchandise. I deciced to interview my father to honor his legacy and his contribution to fashion and upholstery.

Natalie: Daddio, I always receive complements about my vast knowledge of textiles I have you and Pauline to thank.

Upholstery King: That’s great I made a lot of custom chesterfields in my life.

Natalie: How old were you when you became a tailor and what inspired you to design?

Upholstery King: Oh my goodness, when I became a tailor? I started at the age of 16. Nat, I just went to school it was something that I needed to do.

Natalie: Who taught you how to sew?

Upholstery King: I don’t remember my teachers name it was several years ago in Jamaica at a tailor school.

Natalie: Did you know that you would have a lifelong career working with fabric?

Upholstery King: No, no one thinks that way! The professionals say that careers change every 10 yrs. I couldn’t predict that I would make a career out of this.

Natalie: Why did you decide to leave tailoring and enter the world of upholstery?

Upholstery King: The Market changed and became mass produced. Factory’s took away our trade. When the market changes you have to adapt to change or you get left behind.

Natalie: How many years have you been in this industry?

Upholstery King: For over 53 years

Natalie: As young children we would have to go with you to showrooms and fabric stores that were closed to the public. I didn’t realize then what a privilege that was. Touching textiles, piping, learning about different needles to use for leather etc.

Upholstery King: I didn’t realize that you guys would learn from that! I wanted you to become something else and not a tailor I didn’t realize that you guys were watching me!

Natalie: Your very business smart and you know your worth. What’s your recipe for negotiating your price?

Upholstery King: Know the cost of what the materials are going for. Here’s an example, if the material is $20 per yard vs $5 you need to charge accordingly. It is very important to charge based on the fabric that you use. If the person doesn’t like it then bye, bye they can work with someone else I am too experienced and my time is valuable!

Natalie: Your talent speaks for itself and vendors always seek your talent for collaborations. How does it feel?

Upholstery King: I feel ok about it!

Natalie: What advice would you give young designers?

Upholstery King: Stay the course if you set your mind to something stay the course it’s a tough job but if you have the mind for it then why not!

Natalie: Dad that’s great you are going to help a lot of people with this I cannot wait to share! Congratulaions on your retirement

Upholstery King: Well that’s great I hope that you have my check!

 

*Photo credit Dani Blue

**Special thank you to Super K, BenjiRich, Miss Bev, Pauline and Disco

***Ken thanks for not spazzing out when I wore your clothes I was the coolest Tomboy in school because of you! I learned so much in menswear and your influence did not go unnoticed. Miss Bev thank you for teaching me everything that I know about luxury!

11 replies
  1. Kenroy Eubanks
    Kenroy Eubanks says:

    I was reading ur interview and just realized that ur speaking about one of the greatest men that lives my father . Great interview Nat .

    Reply
    • Natalie
      Natalie says:

      Thank you Super K! He is the Greatest that ever did it! Fashion skills and Upholstery skills on top of that he builds! Super K I need you to work on that bigger one for me in Yard! 🇯🇲

      Reply
  2. Tee
    Tee says:

    This is such an amazing interview! !! So pure and encouraging. It’s great that the family has a talent man like this and all have grown to be talented individuals in theit own way!!!!
    Thank you for sharing this personal family story with everyone!

    Reply
    • Natalie
      Natalie says:

      I couldn’t believe the conversation that my father and I had! I learned so much about him. We normally talk about the usual stuff the weather his grandchildren, home improvement but we never talk about his contribution to the homes and lives of thousands of people! It was one of those things that you see him doing it but don’t have to mention it because it was routine to us.

      Reply
  3. Ebony
    Ebony says:

    Hey Nat great interview. At first I wasn’t sure you were speaking about your super creative dad my awesome cousin and when I realized it was him I was so proud of you. Way to go!!

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] and my sister Pauline click the story about my Jamaican dad and his influence to fashion here on http://luxshop4u.com/upholstery-king/  !  Thank you for nominating me for a 2017  Boston Fashion Award in the Wardrobe Stylist […]

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *