“In 2011 I was made redundant from a job I thought I’d loved for 25 years. I was devastated but also strangely excited.
Could this be an opportunity to make some long overdue changes in my professional life and realise a long held dream of being self-employed?
Around this time a friend invited me to a fortune telling night. Now, I’m generally sceptical about these things, but as I was at a bit of a crossroads I thought I’d go along and see what the spirits had in store for me. The fortune teller told me she saw me surrounded by pin cushions, needles and chairs. Crikey!…am I going to be an upholstress?
Over the next few days the idea started to sink in….and feel right….really right. In fact, it felt amazing! I could get out of the rat race. I could be self-employed. I could be an upholstress! I took the plunge and two weeks later I started 18 months of training with the Association of Master Upholsterers.
The first time I picked up a tack hammer I knew…this is the job for me!!
One year in and I set up my own upholstery business; North Wales Upholstery. It was during a tea break from a particularly challenging chair that I was looking at the sheep in the fields surrounding my workshop and mused ‘they look like little footstools. Hmmmmmm…sheepskin covered footstools. Oh yes!’
I spent several months developing the idea and ensuring that every detail of the product is high quality. The frames and legs are made by skilled craftsmen. The sheepskin is always premium grade and only ever from UK flocks. I source the best upholstery materials and upholster each Baa Stool using a mix of modern and traditional methods. This is important because I want my customers to enjoy a product that is the very best it can possibly be.
I started selling Baa Stools at local artisan markets and county shows and they quickly developed a following. I noticed that the sheepskin cover upholstered on the footstools made people stop in their tracks, look closer…then, inevitably, smile. This quickly became the overall aim of every new design… to make people smile when they walk into a room.”
Last month we asked you to send in questions you’d like to ask Michelle, and you sent us some flocking fabulous ones!