New year announcements, volunteer recognition and more!
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Please join us in welcoming Andrew Bodjanac, Grace Reff, Harmony Maraldo and Lewis Mabon to the NUA Board! The Board is a cohesive group of individuals who are hell bent on improving not only the lives of those employed in the upholstery field but the trade itself. We look forward to benefiting from their passion and wisdom.

Some of our brightest upholstery stars gathered for a virtual discussion on Dec. 11 for the NUA’s Upholstery Symposium. We invited back last year’s panelists from our pre-CWC event for a lively conversation around challenges, pivots, how to stay positive, and their plans for the future. Elizabeth DeCrescenzo of Nailed It Upholstery skillfully moderated the group, which included Cynthia Bleskachek of The Funky Little Chair, Bruno Lopez of Atelier de France, Rachel Fletcher of Knox Upholstery, & Grant Trick of Grant Trick Furnishings. Topics ranged from the surge in appreciation of upholstery; to who's replacing large workrooms that have closed; challenges with talent shortages and creative ideas to work around them; marketing on social media; how price is an opportunity to educate; and the infinite potential of custom collaborations. Thank you again to our special panelists and to everyone who joined us. 

If you have visited the NUA website lately, say, to renew your annual membership, you already know it’s had a makeover! The refreshed site not only looks great, but is much easier to navigate. Take a visit and let us know what you think. Special thanks to NUA volunteer Lindsey Ring for her technical wizardry. While you’re there, don’t miss the brand new Reference section, where you can find hundreds of books and reference materials listed by category, such as Carriage & Auto Upholstery & Trim, Cushions & Pillows, Marine, Soft Furnishings, and more. Special thanks to Lewis Mabon for generously sharing his personal collection of furniture resources.

The NUA Board will kick off 2021 with a strategic alignment meeting. We will be prioritizing our efforts in the coming year to align with and act in support of the goals listed in our three year strategic plan. We look forward to continuing to serve our members while building on last year’s successes. Thank you again for supporting the NUA and believing in the future of the professional upholstery community.

Membership Updates

Annual membership is good for twelve months. If you were part of our first wave of members last year, it's time to renew! Renew today so that your access to membership benefits, such as industry webinars, trade resources, and community meetings continues uninterrupted.
Renew or join now!

Make Community Connections

Monthly Upholstery Community Meeting
Jan. 26 at 1pm EST

Communicating with Customers: Pricing (Part 1 of 2)

Practice with colleagues before you’re caught not knowing what to say to a customer. This is not a conversation about what to answer, as pricing is determined by each business, but how to answer to portray confidence in your pricing.

Register here to join us
Member's Only Virtual Book Club

Who made reading more a New Year's resolution? We can help! Members are invited to join in at any stage of the discussion whether you have read the entire book, or are just picking it up.

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Thank You Volunteers!

NUA volunteers are the lifeblood of the organization. In recognition of our colleagues’ stand-out efforts, the Board has established two designations for honoring that work. In each quarterly newsletter, and at the end of each year, one volunteer will be recognized for work that goes above & beyond the call of duty. 

The two volunteers honored below have not only delivered more than was expected, they have done it with a friendly and positive demeanor. Thank you both for shining your light and raising our spirits with your presence!

Jill Ragan Scully
Volunteer of the Year 2020

Jill took up the task of webinar host in the first days of NUA’s existence in 2019, as the inaugural Board & Committees sought to establish high value member perks. As webinar coordinator and host (with early help from Linda Miller), Jill has not flagged in bringing meaningful monthly conversations - about skills, tools, business acumen, and so much more - to help members advance their own knowledge in the workroom and office. 

Jill is being recognized for her undying dedication to planning, producing, and publishing of the webinars for permanent member access. The three most popular webinars have been Wood repairs with Scott Bennett, Once Upon a Hide with Carla Bluitt of Crest Leather, and Upholstered Furniture Design with Lewis Mabon. We can’t wait to see what’s next! Members can log in to access webinars at any time. If you’re not a member, you can join here to take advantage of this valuable resource. 

Jill will receive a recognition gift for her service.

Lindsey Ring
Volunteer of the Quarter, Q1 2021

Lindsey joined us as web administrator in September 2020, and she has shown us the true meaning of ‘proactive’. A full website rebuild was mentioned as an 'eventual' goal at that time, and Lindsey took this as an immediate call to action, exploring ways to improve the NUA’s website. By November, she had established a test site and wire diagrams showing how the website could be improved for drawing traffic and for creating a more intuitive flow. She offered to make the transition happen over the Thanksgiving holiday, and with help from Rachel Fletcher, Audrey Lonsway, and Michelle Minner, she worked her magic. You can check out her handiwork here

Lindsey will receive a recognition gift for her proactive website management.  
Nominations for volunteer recognition may be sent to any time during the year.

Want to help? Contact to find out how you can join our volunteer team!

Thought Leadership

The NUA's Webinar Committee collates fresh content every month to highlight the expertise of our community and to enrich our members with tools, skills, and resources.


Our next webinar is Tuesday, January 13 at 1pm EST: Fast Furniture and its Discontents. This lively discussion between an upholstery educator and a critical observer of furniture waste will shine a light on this taboo topic and examine why upholsterers should be paying attention.
RSVP for the Webinar
Members can view all past webinar recordings here.
Have an idea for a webinar? Email us!

Recognition of Retirement

Claudia Buchanan, an industry icon, early supporter of the NUA, and current owner of Home Fashions U, The Workroom Resource Group, and Home Sewing Depot—in addition to her Etsy and Amazon stores, is retiring. Her successful career in the soft furnishings industry began in 1999, when she started her custom slipcover business, "Sew What! Slipcovers." She expanded her skills by taking courses at the Custom Home Furnishings Academy and went on to teach various courses at the Slipcover Summits presented by Slipcover America. Claudia has been a valued participant of and contributor to many industry conferences, including the Custom Workrooms Conference. In retirement, she is looking forward to play time with her two German shepherds, and to working on her own home projects for a change. Thank you for your valuable contributions to our industry, Claudia. We will miss seeing you at industry events and wish you all the best!

What We're Reading

Industry News

What's your state's design style? FurnitureToday

Room & Board's Domestic Strategy Pays Off FurnitureToday

Americans Yearn for a Sense of Nostalgia FurnitureToday

Her Name is Henry! FURNITURE WORLD

Style Spotters Winter / Spring 2021 Style Report High Point Market

NUA Members in the News

On the up in 2021: Three Black business owners growing revenue, staff and real estate next year Knox Upholstery

Local businesses making your ‘stuff’ last Cosecha Textiles

New to the ‘Rightnowish’ Podcast? Start Here: Oakland's Street Sofas and the Bay Area Housing Crisis Furniturecycle

Been in the news? Let us amplify your good work! Email your press clips to

Join the NUA today!
The NUA was founded in 2019 to inspire a rebirth of the upholstery profession. Our mission is to work together to support and advance the field of professional upholstery. Membership benefits include Continuing Education, Networking, Member's Only Resources, and more.
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