Welcome to Bespoke Life: the upholstery blog of Julie James!
I LOVE upholstery, but I don’t think it gets the respect it’s due. In order to highlight the art and benefits of the crafts of upholstery and reupholstery, I’ve decided to write this blog. I hope you find this blog interesting and educational; but most of all that you gain new respect for the kingpin of interior design, creature comfort, and craftsmanship – that’s what upholstery is, after all.
My story (in brief):
Most of my career has been spent in IT, in a sales and marketing role. I left a lucrative job at Microsoft Canada (to everyone’s amazement and consternation) to embark on a new career in the decorative arts to pursue my passion. In order to learn the craft of upholstery, it meant starting with the experience of a lifetime: going to England for training (since upholstery training is no longer available in Canada.) Off I went, (quite happily) for an 8 week intensive course in traditional English upholstery in Kendal, England (the Lake District). I studied 6 days a week to complete the practical requirements at Kendal School of Upholstery. I had completed the academic qualifications – a research project on 20th Century furniture in advance of the trip. At the end of my sojourn, I was accredited by the AMUSF (the Association of Master Upholsterers & Soft Furnishers of the UK) with a Level 2 upholstery certificate. (For those so inclined, you can read more about my adventures in Kendal on my personal blog here, here, and here.)
I returned home to Toronto, Canada and found work at a series of upholstery shops before starting my own fledgling business. I still have a lot to learn about upholstery, design, furniture, fabric and materials; but I have begun this blog to document this learning and to share the art.
And that’s where you come in. Please share your comments, questions and upholstery resources. Enjoy!