My Story: From Office Girl to Upholsterer

I had a revelation the other day – a sort of life changing moment…

I attended this posh event called The Venus Awards in Poole, Dorset. The room was filled with these fabulous glamorous and successful women from across the county. I watched as each nominee was called up on stage to deliver their speech- I kept hearing the same words: Be confident; No one is judging you but yourself; You can do it!; Get out there and make a difference.


Jo Kane Venus Awards

1. My lovely friend Jo Kane, Winning Lifetime Achievement Award at the
Venus Awards 2014

I must admit, I became a little overwhelmed by what us women take on, how we face confidence battles and whats more, go on to achieve, juggling many balls, onward to our own personal successes.

In life its very easy to be one dimensional with our career don’t you think?  What can I achieve? How much money can I make? I suppose I realised that Its not always what I do, but how I do it that can make that difference. In many of these women’s lives they devote their time to giving back and making a difference. I decided I want to start thinking a bit more like that.

My Story, how I went from Office Job to Upholsterer, I feel, is how I can personally give back.

Back when I was in my early twenties, I moved around jobs and knew that deep down I was unhappy. The trouble is once you get your own home and bills to pay you feel trapped and although I was unhappy I continued to work my incredibly stressful and unfulfilling job until…one day I was given an AMAZING opportunity (well, OK, I was ‘let go’ from my job). I chose to see a Career Coach to rediscover what I was really interested in and started on an Upholstery course…and so began my journey to where I am today.

baroque chair

2. This is the very first chair I upholstered in night class

I often reflect back and wonder how my life might be different if I had left school and chosen to do a textile course straight from college? I don’t think that was even an option back then.

So, how am I using my experience? I’ve decided to offer a ‘School Leavers’ Upholstery Clinic’, for those aged 16-18yrs. Perhaps you know of someone who is creative, but has no idea where they are heading right now? I’m currently trying to get some funding so I can provide the course for FREE. Until then, if you are reading this, and a School Leaver…WOHOOO! “Schools out…for the Summer!”

School Picture

 3. My last school picture aged 16 yrs – Can you spot me?!

About Vicky Grubb

Once a kitchen table Upholsterer, now a fully fledged tutor, author and hoarder of vintage fabrics. My Upholstery studio is based in Bournemouth, Dorset, where I live with my husband and two tinkers.

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