Sep 3, 2023
Jenny Ellis is the owner of The Artful Chair
. She spent her childhood in
Ohio, then moved to Boca Raton, Florida in 1968, in a
hurricane! After High School, she secured a scholarship at
Texas Christian University where she studied Fashion Design,
Clothing Construction and Textiles .
Jenny was always a creative maker, even as a child she learned
how to make pillows and crafty things, but she was very fond of
textures and textiles. Initially, she thought she'd be in the
fashion industry, making beautiful ball gowns and party
dresses. And initially, she did.
When she bought thier first house, Jenny started to look at
those windows to be "dressed" ..you know how every homeowner
She decided they must be easy to make, compared to the curvy
complicated dresses and gowns she was doing. She set out to
find out and decided to get her window treatment certification
(WTCP) in South Florida at the Master's level. There she
started "Designs by Jenny G" ( when Kenny G was popular, it was
catchy) she found that window treatments and soft furnishings were
way more lucrative and less stressful than dressmaking.
in 2002 Jenny became Macy Furniture Store's window treatment
specialist and they included her in their trips to High Point
Furniture Market. Her eyes were opened. The creative
ideas were just exploding. Jenny thought about how she could
make high fashion chairs with her arsenal of dressmaking
Fast forward to a move to Asheville, NC in 2004, and she had
the opportunity to, as her new husband called it, "reinvent
herself". Jenny did try a few different things. Initially, she
thought she would just do soft furnishings, and window treatments
again, but she was not feeling the same about the market as she was
in south Florida. Her husband then asked her the most
memorable question: "What have I always wanted to do, but never had
the opportunity to?" She told him her idea of upholstering
beautiful artful chairs, like she made dresses, and told him about
her vision from High Point Furniture Market. Her husband gave
her the blessing to follow her passion and she enrolled in
upholstery classes for 2 years at a local technical school. Then
Jenny launched her crazy unique business, The Artful Chair
in 2013, at age 57.
It was definitely a niche; people never saw anything like it.
Her creative chairs made everyone smile. She could have done
"regular" upholstery because she understood the rules. She did the
learning. But her vision was so different she thought she
could create amazing upholstered furniture and sell it. Jenny
had to push through a lot of barriers, and setbacks, but finally
she found her ideal customers.
This year Jenny is launching online learning classes of her
most popular designs, as well as offering beginner basics. She is
so excited to open up this wonderful, fun world of upholstery for
creative DIYs everywhere. It's a long way from her
dressmaking years, but she could not be any happier about the
journey she has traveled. If you ask anyone in the upholstery
industry, it is becoming a lost art or trade. Jenny is here
to revive it in a big way.
Jenny's Motto from Vincent Van Gogh:" Learn the rules like a
pro, so you can break them like an artist."
Links and Resources;
Some of the links I provide,
specifically to Amazon and a few others, require me to let you know
that if you use those links and make a purchase, I will make some
money. I won't make a million dollars, but I might be able to
get a cup of coffee, so thank you!
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