Harmony Maraldo is the owner and upholsterer at Tack & Tuft. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and is also employed as the Pricing Strategist for a multinational company. Over the course of her career, she's held several positions in operations, management, finance, sales, and marketing, mostly in analytical roles. Her corporate expertise is in process improvement and B2B pricing strategy.
In search for a creative outlet geared toward those with a technical mindset, Harmony first found her passion in textiles and needle-craft. She is an accomplished knitter and an adequate crocheter, quilter, and weaver, and her knit pieces have been sold in juried art shows. She began her journey into upholstery in 2018, attending workshops at the Furniture Institute of Massachusetts. Frustrated with the lack of formal upholstery education in her area, she sought out every book, blog, post, and video on the topic, eventually finding her way to the National Upholstery Association. Her focus is traditional upholstery, although she's learning modern upholstery methods in tandem.
Harmony is a California native but currently resides in New Hampshire with her husband, a period furniture maker and educator.
Audrey 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.
Grace Reff is the Development Director at Peters Valley School of Craft, a national center for fine craft education in New Jersey. She has 10 years of experience in arts nonprofit development roles, including at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC); the Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (NC); and Penland School of Craft (NC). She holds a Masters in Decorative Arts, Material Culture, and Design History from Bard, where she completed her thesis on a butaque chair design.
Grace is currently a bright-eyed student of upholstery; she took her first class with Mike Mascelli in early 2020. She is enthusiastic about thinking through how we can support and advance the future of the upholstery field in the United States through education, advocacy, and building community.
Board Members at Large
Rachel Fletcher, Owner of Knox Upholstery in Knoxville, Tennessee, is globally respected in the upholstery trade. She is an instructor at the Custom Workroom Conference and administrator of the Professional Upholsterer’s Network, a global group of over 2,800 professional upholsterers. In January 2019, she joined a mini-think tank to help build what is now known as the National Upholstery Association (NUA). In May 2019, Rachel was elected President of the NUA, unanimously, by her peers. Under her leadership, the NUA has grown to 200+ members and provides robust educational offerings.
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 University of Tennessee - Knoxville. After falling in love with the trade she began her upholstery business out of her home in 2010.
Kim has owned and operated Kim's Upholstery Shop in her home town of W. Lafayette, Indiana since 1999. After graduating from the Defense Language Institute and serving in the US Army, she returned to Indiana to live and work. Taught by her grandmother to fashion custom slipcovers, she loved hearing the stories behind people's furniture and why the individual chair or sofa meant so much to them. It motivated her to help people make their family heirlooms beautiful to use by expanding into the field of furniture upholstery. It turned out to be a vocation she really loved, and which had the added benefit of allowing her to be with her 4 children at home while working to support them.
As her business grew, she moved the workshop to a building just 2 miles from the house she grew up in, and has been successfully in operation at that location for 16 years. Her main focus is on residential upholstery, slipcovers, and commercial seating.
Kim taught cushion construction for Slipcover America from 2006 to 2009. Seeing a need for further peer support in the field of upholstery, she organized the Upholstery Fair in 2010, a 3-day conference with classes taught by prominent upholsterers and soft furnishers, and attended by tradespeople from around the US and Canada.
Andrew Bodjanac is the General Manager of Fabric Showcase located in Cleveland, OH as well as Creative Custom Upholstery in Oakland, NJ. Both companies share a workroom and common goal of “Restoring yesterday's furniture for today's world” and to create beautiful soft furnishings and pieces for those who seek quality materials and have a custom design. He has been in the upholstery trade since he was 13. Having grown up in his father's upholstery shop, the furniture industry and those experiences have taught him some very important life lessons. The standards of a strong work ethic, high attention to detail, and desire to please each client give perspective on what it takes to be successful in the upholstery industry. A graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10K Small Business Cohort 16 and heading multiple large scale projects and workrooms he continually seeks out challenges to learn as much as possible about the many facets of his trade. These leadership skills have led to continual business growth over that past 15 years in an ever changing economy and workforce. While not at work he enjoys time with his wife of 13 years and 3 kids, being involved with the youth at his local church, and outdoor activities.
After college, Lewis had the opportunity to apprentice under a Master Upholsterer, traditionally trained in Germany. He quickly progressed and eventually managed the upholstery department. He then apprenticed in the area’s oldest auto upholstery company, learning auto upholstery and designing custom interiors for show cars.
The next chapter was performing over 1,000 upholstery repairs a year while working for the largest furniture retailer in the country. This job included working closely with the Engineering Departments of furniture manufacturers to improve their products. It was during this period that he joined both the National Guild of Master Upholsterers and the National Association of Professional Upholsterers; and wrote articles for both of their publications.
Lewis then started to work for the manufacturers of upholstered furniture in various positions of product development engineering, management and furniture design, while along the way inventing and receiving patents. Following a life-long pursuit of knowledge, he has amassed a furniture library of over 3,000 books and probably the best collection on upholstery.
Kevin is what you might call a self-made artist, and he has always owned his own business. For many years, he was in construction and when his company began to fall on some hard times, he began looking for other things to do. It was during this time that he began the art of taking furniture that had long been forgotten and bringing new life into it. His first project was a beat-up chair that he purchased for twenty dollars. It was in bad shape, but he loved the design of the chair and the “bones” of it were good. He took the chair to a friend’s workshop and began watching videos and reading books on upholstery. Once he finished the chair (many, many weeks later), he found that he was getting compliments from not only his friends, but from complete strangers. That encouragement gave him what he needed to experiment with other pieces of furniture.
As he began to develop his style and skills, he found an upholsterer who was willing to teach him better techniques.
"I’m not the world's best upholster but I run a great shop. My passion is 'the hunt' of finding just the right piece of furniture to fix up and I also enjoy spending my time in the fabric store going over different materials and patterns. I get a lot of joy creating opportunities for others. Restoring and renewing furniture is more than just a business for me. It is a passion, and it brings me great joy and satisfaction to create something that is truly one of a kind."
Owner of Manda Marie Upholstery, Manda has been in the upholstery trade for over 15 years. She started out learning on corporate jets working at Gulfstream Aerospace and got to work on planes for many famous people and Fortune 500 companies. From there, Manda went on to Vintage Concours Ferrari Restoration. She was their only in-house coach trimmer and has had interiors in multi-million dollar cars competing in concours shows worldwide. She's learned so much through so many amazing mentors, "to say I have been blessed is an understatement!"
Manda started her coach trimming business about 5 years ago in her garage outside of her house. She has now moved twice and has doubled in size each move. She works alongside her husband Nick and their friend and employee, Mike Imgrund. They now do all sorts of automotive interiors and even have some small planes on the schedule, too.
"We have some big plans for the future and hope to be making one more final move in a few years. We would love to bring an apprenticeship program to our area for those serious about learning and passionate about cars and working with their hands to create beautiful works of art."
Keaven Willa Hartt
Keaven Willa Hartt was born in Bar Harbor, Maine, raised in northeastern Vermont and now lives in beautiful Portland, Maine, with her husband and three dogs. She started her upholstery business, Willa Hartt, in the fall of 2019, with a small studio in her backyard and a serious passion for upholstery.
Keaven first moved to Portland to attend the Maine College of Art (MECA), where she graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Woodworking & Furniture Design. In addition to learning how to design and build furniture from the ground up, she completed her self-directed thesis in upholstery, restoring an 1800s loveseat. Her love of upholstery continued to evolve in her post-school years, as she worked on family pieces in her basement while she searched for more full-time work and upholstery education. She apprenticed at a store in Portland, eventually becoming their Chief Upholsteress. She also took a week-long intensive with Upholstery Education, studying the traditional style Tabouret Carre with Gareth Reese.
Keaven believes in advocating for inclusiveness in the trade and is eager to share what she knows with anyone interested to learn. She has offered workshops in upholstery basics to current students of the Woodworking BFA at MECA as well as students of the 9-month Comprehensive course at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine. Keaven has also hosted several would-be upholsterers in her shop, teaching everything from slip-seats to box cushions. She joined the NUA at the beginning of 2021 and is excited to be part of a group of like-minded peers.