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Beachley takes up reupholstering

Beachley Furniture's West View Upholstery Service is going after commercial jobs, but also might one day make its services avail

Beachley Furniture's West View Upholstery Service is going after commercial jobs, but also might one day make its services avail

June 10, 2007|By PEPPER BALLARD

Facing competition from interior designers working for large furniture factories, Hagerstown-based Beachley Furniture of Maryland has developed a reupholstery service that it plans to offer to the public soon.

"What reupholstery has done for us is open doors," said David Beachley, co-owner of Beachley Furniture in Hagerstown. "We can do big jobs, small jobs ... We're able to offer the (interior design) industry more. We've become more important to them."

Since beginning operations in March, Beachley Furniture's West View Upholstery Service has reupholstered 60 pieces of furniture for a Hagerstown hotel, furniture for a local dental office and furniture for a Maine interior designer. The workers are preparing to reupholster 250 pieces of furniture for an assisted-living center soon.

"We are really looking to go after the commercial jobs," said David Wolf, operations manager for the upholstery service. "... Eventually, what we'd like to do is open it up for demonstrations and have classes, maybe find potential employees."


Beachley said no time frame has been set to begin the demonstrations and classes, but they are a part of the plan.

He said his family's 120-year-old furniture company deals primarily with interior designers along the East Coast, but, like every company, wants to grow.

Large American furniture factories are starting to target the interior design industry for business to help their companies grow. That shift has affected companies such as Beachley Furniture, which works largely with those interior designers, he said.

"We want to continue to grow as a company," Beachley said.

To do that, the company looked at the skills and talents of its employees and came up with the reupholstery concept.

"The (reupholstery) business is going to grow tremendously. With the big push for 'green,' people are tired of filling up landfills with old sofas," and want to refurbish them instead, said Wolf, who has been reupholstering furniture for 25 years in addition to his work at Beachley Furniture.

Beachley Furniture, which has had its headquarters at 227 N. Prospect St. for 100 years, converted a room in its neighboring building - the former Goodwill building - for the reupholstery service.

Wolf said it took workers about two months to set up shop in the 1,900-square-foot room.

On this day, worker Mandy Wallace was using a staple gun to fasten fabric to a chair while worker Gebreamlak Kahsay ripped old fabric from another chair.

Wolf said they were in the process of reupholstering 21 pieces of furniture for a designer in Maine.

"Our goal is to become the biggest reupholstery shop on the East Coast," Wolf said.

The company is charging between $650 and $700 to reupholster a couch and about $150 to reupholster a footstool, Wolf said.

He said that the company promises a four-week turnaround for its reupholstery jobs.

Wolf, who was trained to upholster furniture in Hickory, N.C., said the company will train workers who want to learn the trade.

"A big part of it is the sewing. Sewing across the United States is a dying art," he said. "Sewers are valuable. The upholsterers are only as good as the guys and girls who cut and sew in front of them."

Wallace learned how to reupholster while working in the props department of an Indianapolis theater.

"This is what I really enjoy doing," she said.

Wolf said the company's reupholstery service is also able to draw from the employees in the main building if they need help to finish a large order.

The most rewarding part of the job is seeing a torn piece of furniture transform into a finished piece, Wolf said.

"It's involved, but very rewarding," he said.

More information on Beachley Furniture can be found at

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