Written By Audrey Lonsway, VP NUA
Have you had a chance to attend one of the NUA’s Community Meetings? They’re a great chance to talk to other upholstery shop owners around the country - face to face! - via Zoom. NUA members and non-members are welcome to participate. Each month there is a topic that helps center the conversation, but it’s cool how participants use it as a great jumping off point to ask questions and share their ideas.
This month’s topic was “Community Support”. Everyone shared ways that their business supports their community. From discounts for special groups, such as students and churches, to donations of fabric tubes and foam for schools and businesses that use them in some non-traditional ways. Someone even saves their foam for a local artist to use for shipping their pieces! How cool is that?! Auction pieces and gift cards were also a topic of conversation.
The discussion turned to how upholstery shops receive support from their communities. Sure, the natural thought is how clients support us with that little thing called money, but there was a great brainstorming session on what support is out there for small businesses. Small Business Administrations, Chambers of Commerce, SCORE mentors, networking opportunities for women-owned and veteran-owned businesses - so many ways to get support! Let’s not forget the NUA :-) The NUA offers webinars, discounts, and new ways to advocate for upholstery professionals to other industries.
Next month, the August NUA Community Meeting’s theme is “Moving In or Out” with discussion about having a store front vs. in-home business. Pros/cons? Also, I’m personally excited about September’s theme of “Shop Set Up”. Everyone will get a chance to show off their work space! What’s something that really works for you? I hope you’ll join us for these upcoming Community Meetings - See you Soon!