Greetings, NUA friends and supporters! We're back from the Furniture Manufacturing Expo 2023, and boy, was it an event to remember! The National Upholstery Association (NUA) graced the expo for the second year running, leaving a trail of inspiration and innovation in their wake. Below is a recap.
Education: Upholstery Track
As proud sponsors of the Upholstery Track, the NUA went all out to empower attendees with knowledge and expertise. Board members Lewis Mabon, Jonathan Bennett, and Marta Powers, took the stage, leading captivating educational sessions on both days of the event. From cutting-edge upholstery technology to the art of fabric matching, from designing plywood frames in 3D CAD to sewing with vinyl from a custom upholstery perspective—every session was a goldmine of insights and skills.
One highlight of the Upholstery Track was the in-depth panel discussion led by Marta Powers, where the importance of ongoing training in the upholstery industry was passionately explored. Attendees soaked up wisdom from seasoned professionals including Susan Woodcock (Custom Workroom Conference), Rick J. Shew (Caldwell Community College), and Brian Craig (Catawba Valley Furniture Academy & Alexander Furniture Academy) gaining fresh perspectives and igniting their passion for the craft.
Marta also led a discussion with Ewa Powell (Modern Fabrics), talking about sustainability and her efforts to keep overrun yardage out of the landfill. All of Modern Fabric’s product offerings were once slated for the landfill and are currently being resold to homeowners, upholsterers, interior designers and hobbyists who believe in the reuse of furniture and reducing their global footprint.
Micro Plant Event: A Trailblazing Journey
Breaking new ground, the NUA sponsored the all-new Micro Plant event in collaboration with other FME exhibitors. This immersive journey took attendees on a marked path around the show floor, offering a firsthand experience of the chair construction process.
The tour began at the NUA Booth for the design step, where attendees could view a book of drawings that made the manufacture of the chair possible. Next came the selection of premium wood, followed by expertly cutting the frame to match the design flawlessly. Attendees witnessed the meticulous selection, cutting, and sewing of leather—every step carefully executed to craft a masterpiece. Finally, the skilled artisans at Domenick's Furniture Manufacturer assembled a complete chair right before the audience's eyes!
Bill Richards, the Sales Director with Zünd America, took charge of guiding tours through the Micro Plant on both event days. His enthusiasm and expertise added a touch of magic to the experience, leaving attendees in awe of the craftsmanship behind every chair.
YouTube: Bill Zund describes the Micro Plant event at FME
Micro Plant Auction: Giving Back to Upholstery Community
FME’s commitment to the upholstery community extended beyond knowledge-sharing. At the end of the two-day extravaganza, the show coordinators held a special silent auction for the two completed chairs from the Micro Plant event. All proceeds from the auction will be generously donated to support the NUA's mission of fostering excellence in the upholstery domain.
The auction was an opportunity for attendees to take home a tangible piece of the event while contributing to a noble cause. This act of giving back exemplified the spirit of camaraderie and collaboration that defined the expo.
Thank you to the Volunteers Behind NUA's FME Exhibition
Acknowledgments to Leslie Hug for her support in running the NUA booth at the Furniture Manufacturing Expo. With her warm demeanor and vast knowledge, Leslie connected with attendees, fostering a sense of camaraderie that epitomizes the NUA's mission. We extend our deepest gratitude to Leslie for making the trade show experience truly exceptional and unforgettable.
The NUA also thanks Lewis Mabon, for his invaluable assistance in planning and coordinating the association’s presence at the Furniture Manufacturing Expo. His efforts were crucial to the success of the show, and the NUA genuinely appreciates his contributions.
A Resounding Success
As the curtains draw on the Furniture Manufacturing Expo 2023, the NUA reflects back with pride and fulfillment. Their dedication to promoting education, innovation, and connection within the upholstery world was evident throughout the event.
Kudos to the National Upholstery Association and its volunteers for orchestrating such an outstanding presence at the expo! We can't wait to see what they have in store for us next year.
Dominic Amador and Daniel Valentin of CS Osborne / Massasoit Tackband, one of NUA's Gold Industry Partner members
The 27 Piece Puzzle: Attendees try their hand at assembling a plywood chair frame
Ewa Powell from Modern Fabrics discusses her business' goals of precycling and sustainability
Karsten Siewert of Enkev, speaker on natural upholstery alternatives
Last stop on the Micro Plant tour - upholstery in action
Hector the master upholsterer - last stop on the Micro Plant tour
One of two chairs auctioned from the Micro Plant event
Finished Micro Plant chair