The one man upholstery shop survives another year. That makes thirty one of them in a row! And I’m only fifty four years old. 2009 might have been the toughest and most interesting year of them all. The tough part was not having much of a backlog of work throughout most of the year. A few times I ran out of work and once I had a two month backlog. That’s a tough business environment. The interesting part was how the Internet became my business lifeline. With the help of all the search engines, Google and Yahoo Local, Merchants Circle, and Upholsteryblog, Joe Gramm Custom Upholstery has become an easy place to find on the Internet for upholstery on Cape Cod. Another interesting change in the business in 2009 is the younger customer base I’m developing. In 1990, my customer base was fifty to eighty years old. In 2009, my customer base has widened to thirty to eighty years old. An expanding customer base is a welcome surprise. Thank you to all my customers who trusted me with their furniture and all who visited my sites and asked questions.
I even managed to have some fun in between. Ultimate Frisbee and the beach were my favorite outdoor activities. I even mixed Ultimate with business by coordinating estimates with Ultimate Frisbee pickup games from Wellfleet to Falmouth. I had a lot of quality time with my family and expanded my knowledge of photography for both business and pleasure.
I hope 2010 will bring new and exciting possibilities for the upholstery shop. My business New Years Resolution is to bring the use of video into my work as well as a shopping cart at joegramm.com for specialty, upholstery related items. If the economy can achieve a sustainable recovery, 2010 could be the greatest year ever for this one man upholstery shop on Cape Cod.
The Ultimate Frisbee upholsterer that is! Sometimes I combine Ultimate with an upholstery estimate or delivery especially if they’re near Falmouth or Wellfleet, both of which have great Ultimate. Falmouth and Wellfleet are about forty minutes away from Dennis, so it works out well when I can complete the Ultimate estimate.
In comes a call for an estimate in North Falmouth. So I set up the Ultimate estimate before our night game under the lights in Falmouth. I arrive at my customer Scott’s house. I do the estimate and everything goes well. As I make my way out, Scott accompanies me to my van and we chat a while. The topic comes up that I’m on my way to play Ultimate. He suddenly scoots back into the house and returns seconds later with a frisbee. Not just any frisbee, a Lady Godiva frisbee. Lady Godiva is one of Boston’s premier women’s Ultimate Frisbee teams, winning more championships than any other womens team in Ultimate history. It turns out that Scott’s wife Liz played for Lady Godiva in the late eighties. Liz played for another dominating championship team, Lady Condors, while living on the West Coast.
When I returned to pick up their furniture several weeks later, I got to meet Liz. It was fun talking for a few minutes about Ultimate and some of the local people we mutually knew. I think it’s safe to say that this was the ultimate Ultimate estimate of my upholstery career, as of yet.
Notes of interest
The frisbee is made by WHAM-O and is not generally used in Ultimate, although the term frisbee is often used in association with Ultimate. The disc of choice is the 175 gram “Ultra-Star” made by Discraft, usually custom designed with team logos and art.
Woods Hole Ultimate Frisbee (WHUF) offers year round pickup and tournaments in the Falmouth and Mashpee area. Check my “Links” section for more info.
Wellfleet pickup runs early June to Labor Day