How to Start an Upholstery Business

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If you really love and enjoy giving a new life to the old furniture, you may consider opening your own upholstery business. Kent Kreiter says that one of the great things about starting an upholstery business is that it can fill a lot of money making niches including a marine upholstery which is popular for being a higher paying niche. 

He further said that a marine upholstery is a perfect business for entrepreneurs who live nearby a waterbody or a marine. You might also want to offer reupholstering, and upholstering repair services desperatly required for restaurant chairs & booths, hotel furniture, automotive, office furniture, movie theaters, and recreational vehicles. You can even do an occasional repair or replacement of pool green fabric and billiards tables as well.

Let’s learn about the advantages and disadvantages of an upholstery business before we walk you through the steps to be taken for starting an upholstery business. 

Pros and cons 

If you have no dearth of space, you could successful run an upholstery business from your own home. You can also break into several niche markets to generate more profits. This type of business requires a large workspace and a vehicle. You will be responsible for the furniture of other people if something goes wrong.

Identify your clients

Besides the niche markets mentioned previously, your clients may be antique dealers who need old furniture reupholstered, interior designers who need a custom chair, or flea market bargain shoppers who’d rather pay to have something reupholstered than buy new.

A potential client may even be your next-door neighbor who can’t get those ugly jelly stains off her favorite kitchen chairs. Anyone who needs to have a piece of furniture reupholstered or custom upholstered is a potential customer for your upholstery business. You may also find potential clients for your upholstery business at:

Antique Fairs
Arts and Crafts Fairs
Consignment Stores
Home and Garden Shows
Car and boat Trade Shows

Getting started

Getting started with an upholstery business will require enough space to work on large pieces of furniture comfortably and safely. You will also need enough space to organize your machines, fabrics, tools, and materials. If you are transporting furniture to your business, you will need a large van or covered trailer as well. Specific skills are also required. To run a successful upholstery business, you must know how to properly measure, cut, sew, stretch, tuck, staple, tack, and more.

Reupholstering a previously upholstered piece of furniture requires you also know how to safely remove the old fabric without damaging the furniture of the fabric. You must be knowledgeable about fabrics, threads, needles, sewing machines, and upholstering techniques. You will need commercial sewing machines, and the proper tools required for the type of upholstery business that you start.