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Michael Woodham Ė The Upholster

(1/2013) Donald Woodham was a postman who began an upholstery business as a hobby in the early 1960ís, working out of the basement in his home. He enjoyed it so much, in 1965 he and his family moved into a bigger home with a bigger basement to aid the expansion of his business. About three, maybe four years later Donald received a deferred annuity from the government and began following his dream full time in Tacoma Park. However, this article isnít about Donald, this article is about his son, the man I interviewed and the man who took over the business full-time when his father passed in 2007. Michael Woodham is a tall man who has one very grand thing in common with his father: a great passion for upholstery.

Michael began working for his father as a kid, doing small jobs such as sweeping the floors and stripping furniture, and then when he got his driverís license he began driving to do pick-ups and deliveries. "Of course I went through the rebellious phase where I said ĎAh, I'm not working for my father,í" Michael explains, "but somehow I always stood in this type of business." Makes sense, like father like son.

Michael worked in other fabric shops and furniture shops as a young adult during the aforementioned Ďrebellious period,í but in the early 1980ís he became a full-time employee of his fatherís when Donald bought a shop in Westminster, the failing Wood Valley Furniture, and made it the new headquarters for the family business. "My father saved twelve jobs when he bought out that furniture store," Michael says proudly, reminiscing the old times with his father. In 1988, the Westminster shop was folded and the family moved into a home on the Taneytown Pike with a small shop to the left where work could be done. It is there you can find Michael Woodham hard at work.

The holiday season has come to a close, and many have purged their budget splurging on nice things for themselves or for others. Homes have been cleaned and spruced up, and people are returning to their normal lives once again. Yet, a homeowner can never sit around and forget about their homes needs and task lists going into the spring. One of the benefits of the cold winter months is that outdoor and other spring patio furniture is currently not being used. Sometimes, this furniture can get warn down or the fabric can get dirty simply because the furniture is outdoors. Rather than buying an expensive new set of furniture Ė a time-consuming and expensive task seeing as the most local retail furniture store is out in Westminster Ė you should have Michael swing by and take a look at the furniture and come up with a way to design it. Michael makes house calls, and is willing to help you with any vision you have through the use of sample books and the ingenuity that comes with fifty years in the industry.

In fact, if you decide to use Michaelís services, you do not even need to leave your home. Michael can pick up the furniture, take it to his shop where he will work on it, and then bring it back when it has been re-upholstered. Fabric is available at any local fabric shop, and once that decision is made you can leave all the rest of the work to Michael. Itís a one-stop-shop, everything is done locally and all the materials that are used are USA made.

Some readers now may be thinking, "I have enough money and enough time to just simply go to a furniture store, so why not do that?" Thereís a simple answer: the furniture isnít built as well. "Most people that are looking to reupholster have older pieces of furniture that are built better, they have stronger skeletons," explains Michael, continuing to add that the ability to choose your own fabric and custom style is a much better alternative to going to the not-so-local furniture store and "settling for what they have." Re-upholstering the older furniture is cheaper, and the pieces will last much longer.

Iíll tell you what, if I wanted something that was going to be a prominent piece in my home redone, I would want the job done by someone who really cares about what he or she is doing. "One thing my father kind of distilled in me, we have a passion for the work. I mean, I know a lot of people who get up for work every day and make a lot more money than I do, but they hate their job. I like what I do, itís different." Thatís true passion. Passion that has been breeding since before the NFL introduced the Super Bowl. Passion can breed versatility in the work as well, as Michael is also good at wood treatments, window treatments, and his sister Mary works with him as a seamstress.

Michael is just another man who found his vocation and can provide great services for your home at a friendly rate in a location near you. You can never have enough of that in your town, and it should certainly never be taken for granted. Michael impressed me as a man and as a worker in many ways during our brief interview, not that my opinion matters much, but I think if you gave him a call, he could impress you too. When you get a chance, check out the work he did in the pavilion at the Antrim 1844 Bed & Breakfast in Taneytown. That should be a solid indicator on the type of fantastic work he puts out on a regular basis.