In a 2012 article titled “How Did You Learn Auto Upholstery?“, Naseem shared the story of how he came to be a professional trimmer; and invited members of The Hog Ring community to share their stories as well. The comments section of that article is still, by far, my favorite part of this website.
The reason why I enjoy reading about how others got their start in this craft is because I see my family’s story reflected in theirs. Sure, no two trimmers are alike, but we do share a lot of the same core values. We come from humble beginnings – and never forget it; believe in earning an honest day’s pay; and recognize the inherent value in family.
The story behind Bob’s Upholstery in Hurricane, West Virginia is no different.
Recently profiled in the Sunday Gazette-Mail, it’s the heartwarming record of how Bob Smith, a handicapped father, and his admiring son Tim overcame a series of difficult obstacles to own and operate one of WV’s most reputable upholstery shops.
Here’s a short excerpt…
“We started out with this old truck, a 1949 Chevrolet pickup truck. Every time we would deliver something, we would make sure we were on a hill so it would start. Sometimes we weren’t, so I would get out and push the truck, and he would pop the clutch. He finally got his first van.
“The business stayed in our home for 17 years, until 1990 when we moved down here. We were running out of room at the house. In the mid-’80s, we had branched out into marine stuff. … Now we do work for all the marinas.
“He wasn’t real keen about the move here. I told him we needed the space. Now we’re running out of space again.
“He retired a few years after that. He still comes down and works about three days. He will be 80 in December.
“You know what my dream was when I was a kid? My parents being deaf, I always wished he could hear my voice, and I wish I could hear how he would sound. He’s never heard the sound a bird makes. So many things. He has a voice. He can scream with the best of them.
“Think about it. In today’s world of I-can’t-do-this-or-that-because-it’s-too-hard, here’s a guy who got out of school with maybe the equivalent of an eighth- or ninth-grade education. They concentrated on teaching them a trade. He actually built a house. It’s amazing what he’s done.
To continue the story of how Bob and Tim Smith strengthened their bond and established a successful business, read “Upholstery shop built on father-son rapport“. Trust me, you won’t be sorry.
And, if you haven’t already, please share with us the story of how you got your start in Auto Upholstery in the comments section below.