Rachel Fletcher owns Knox Upholstery in Knoxville, Tennessee. With a bachelor's degree in communications from Millikin University, her career before upholstery included marketing, advertising and promotional events. Rachel learned how to upholster while working as a theatrical Props Assistant at the local university after moving to Tennessee. After falling in love with the trade she began her upholstery business out of her home in 2010. Rachel is also a co-moderator of the Professional Upholsterer's Network on Facebook.
Audrey Lonsway owns Sewing Den LLC in Ashburn, Virginia. Providing both upholstery and workroom services, she enjoys the variety in her shop. Audrey has a degree in Music Education from Shepherd College and spent ten years as a National Park Ranger (complete with the Smokey the Bear hat!) at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts as well as two other DC area National Parks. She’s a mother of two young boys and wife to a tall Ranger husband.
Louise CornickBritish born Louise Cornick owns Upholstery Education and Sitting Pretty Upholstery Services in Southern California. While offering bespoke upholstery services to individual customers through Sitting Pretty Upholstery, Upholstery Education offers the highest quality training by Master craftsman to Professional Upholsterers as well as anyone interested in the art of Upholstery. Louise lives with her husband Rob, in San Diego, CA and has two daughters and four Beagles.
Joan Bonzon is a retired CPA with 25 years of experience with small business and government contractor clients. She graduated with a degree in Communication Arts from the Ateneo de Manila University. Joan is currently an upholstery student focusing on mid-century modern pieces.
Cynthia Bleskachek began her upholstery education as a child in her mother’s basement workroom. After graduating college, she turned her casual upholstery experience into a serious career.
In 2016, Cynthia turned her Facebook page, “The Funky Little Chair” into a physical business, focusing on hands-on education for serious hobbyists and aspiring professionals. Now, a nationally recognized resource for modern upholstery training, The Funky Little Chair welcomes dedicated students from all across the country.
In addition to teaching, Cynthia is the workroom manager for Grahn’s Upholstery (Minneapolis) and a Technical Consultant for Design Industry by Grant Trick (Birmingham).
Elizabeth DeCrescenzo, the owner of Nailed It Upholstery, successfully integrates her creativity with her logical and practical skills as she passionately fulfills her upholstery customers’ dreams. Her artistic traits were developed by a life long interest in sewing, her training in architecture and her experience in design, while her pragmatic detail orientation developed as a result of her college degree in accounting and many years of working in accounting and finance. She prides herself on delivering high quality client services that combines elegant appearances with a budget-friendly cost. Upholstery is both her artistic outlet and a time honored trade that she believes must be celebrated and perpetuated.
Carla Pyle owns Natural Upholstery based in Livingston, Montana. An obsessive explorer, she has worked as a wildlife biologist, textile artist, and upholsterer. She and her woodworker husband developed a line of mid-century style accent chairs before turning to restoration of existing furniture. Taking a cue from the generosity of her upholstery mentor, Carla teaches beginner workshops, and educates all levels in the use of natural & organic foundation materials in the modern method. In her mind, the trade stands as a captivating testament to our cultural history and holds infinite potential as a medium for artistic expression.
Rhonda Shanahan owns The Whimsical Chair in Castle Rock, Colorado. She has always loved colorful textiles in furniture and clothing. She received her degree in fashion merchandising and worked in retail sales and display for many years. Her love of sewing and fabrics sparked an interest in upholstery 9 years ago. Upholstery is her second career and passion. Taking family heirlooms and turning them into a statement piece for her client's home is her specialty. She started her business through Facebook in 2014. Since then The Whimsical Chair has grown into a successful home based business. Rhonda loves living in Colorado with her husband and 3 children.
The NUA Founders would like to acknowledge the generosity of other individuals that have helped make the NUA a reality. Some gave their time, others gave monetary donations, but all gave invaluable advice and encouragement along the way. Those individuals include:
Lindsay Orwig, Kim Chagnon, Bill Chagnon, Michelle Minner, an anonymous member of the Professional Upholsterer's Network (PUN), Susan Woodcock, Rodger Walker, Kara Greimel, Karen Huset, and the late Ken Allatt (Chairs B Mann).