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Podcast

Essential listening for upholsters and teachers alike, you’ll hear an eclectic ‘weaving together’ of life and skills as we talk to some of the best upholsterers in our business and provide a forum for those new to our trade.

We’ll delve into a rich tapestry of fascinating stories, experiences, skills sharing, and general ‘chitchat’ on our virtual couch. Because a chat is always a good thing, right?!

Hosted by Robbie Richardson, Master Upholsterer, it’s 100% by upholsters, for upholsters.

Everyone is welcome, so switch on, tune in, grab a coffee or listen as you work.

Published: 28th Sep 2021(About 2 months ago)

In this week’s episode, Robbie talks to Rowena Murphy.

After being housed round the corner from an upholstery shop, Rowena began her journey into the world of upholstery. From being homeless and living on other people’s sofas to working on the AMUSF course at Shoreditch, hear how upholstery helped to better Rowena’s mental health, turned her passion into her work, and how she found her love for the craft.

Published: 21st Sep 2021(About 3 months ago)

In this week’s episode, Robbie talks to Helena, Anna and Lucy who are in their second and third years of the AMU course at the Bristol Upholstery Collective.

Despite creativity running in their families, neither one of this week’s guests planned on going into a career in upholstery, nor could they have predicted just how life-changing it would be for them when they started.

From working in corporate roles to falling in love with the trade, hear how all three ladies swapped their 9-5 jobs for a place on a course at the Bristol Collective and how they’ve found their experience in the industry so far.

Published: 14th Sep 2021(About 3 months ago)

Since helping her Grandad in his workshop as a young child, Sharon has always had a passion for crafting.

During her school years, Sharon loved art and woodwork lessons, and at 16 moved away from home to study a 2-year BTEC course at college. From there, she went on to have a career in fashion retail, whilst continuing to create things on the side for fun.

Tune in to hear how Sharon swapped her retail job for a chance to study at the Ministry of Upholstery and how that has changed her life for the better.

Published: 7th Sep 2021(About 3 months ago)

In this week’s episode of In Stitches, Robbie is talking to Susie Stanway, who has recently completed the BSUF's Advanced Traditional Diploma.

During her school years Susie knew she wanted to do something to feed her passion for creativity but never considered upholstery as an option.  A successful career in fashion marketing followed but, after 20 years, she needed a change.

Tune in to hear how taking a leisure class led to Susie falling in love with the craft and throwing herself in at the deep end, beginning her journey into a new career in upholstery.

Published: 31st Aug 2021(About 3 months ago)

In this week's episode Robbie talks to student upholsterer Debbie Cave.

From being a teenager, Debbie always had a passion for crafting, initially wanting a career in cabinet making. Unable to study the relevant course to enable her to pursue her dream,  she ended up having a ten year career with NatWest and gaining a degree in Psychology and Counselling. 

Tune in to discover how a chance find on Amazon's bookshelves led to Debbie finding Alex Law's course and beginning her journey in to upholstery, and why she thinks you shouldn't let anything hold you back from giving things a go! 

Published: 24th Aug 2021(About 3 months ago)

In this week’s episode of In Stitches Robbie is chatting to Aimee Payton, who is coming to the end of her studies at AMUSF.

Even as a teenager, Aimee had a passion for textiles, going as far as getting a masters in the History of Design and Decorative art to pursue her dreams. Tune in to discover how Aimee had a 12 year-long career working at the Ashmolean Museum, before stumbling upon the world of upholstery, falling in love with the trade, and subsequently making the decision to see where it could take her.


Published: 17th Aug 2021(About 4 months ago)

You probably wouldn’t expect to find a former film lawyer working as an Upholsterer but today’s In Stitches guest, Delyth Fetherston-Dilke, had a very successful career as a lawyer with Warner Bros. before switching paths.


Now the proud owner of Delyth Upholstery, Delyth shares her experiences and thoughts on becoming an upholsterer, as well as explaining what she believes would benefit students/new upholsterers going forward. 


Listen in to find out which career she has found the most challenging (you might be surprised!) and hear about an interesting find she once made whilst tackling an old chair! 


Published: 10th Aug 2021(About 4 months ago)

Chatting to Robbie in this week’s episode of In Stitches is Paula Johnson, a first-year student at the AMUSF.

In her teens, Paula was interested in art, textiles and food, and decided she wanted to pursue a career in food thinking it would pay the best!  Cheekily contacting BBC Good Food magazine to try and secure some work experience led to a career in food journalism working for some well-known and respected companies.

So why did she leave behind a career she loved, what made her turn to upholstery and what’s it like being a student again? Tune in to find out!

Published: 3rd Aug 2021(About 4 months ago)

Next up in the ‘In Stitches’ hotseat is Giuliana Cortese, who is currently a first year student at the BSUF.

Although Giuliana always knew that she wanted to follow a creative career path, Upholstery was not her first choice. A successful work placement with fashion royalty, Vivienne Westwood, inspired a love textiles, shoes and accessories and Giuliana found a career in the fashion industry.

When changes in manufacturing left her feeling deflated, she started her own business in Italian food but eventually found herself looking for a new path. We hear how she found Upholstery quite by chance, why she feels all students would benefit from being given an introduction to running a business, and the excitement of falling in love with something new.

Published: 28th Jul 2021(About 4 months ago)

In this week’s episode, Robbie is chatting to Helen Buckley, who is nearly at the end of a 3-year Diploma at the British School of Upholstered Furniture.

Helen has always had a passion for fabrics and colours (and a bit of an obsession with chairs), so after being given a taster session with the well-known and respected Upholsterer Wendy Shorter as a birthday present, she was well and truly bitten by the upholstery bug!

We hear how important the support of Helen's family and her fellow students has been whilst completing the Diploma, why it’s important to take compliments on board, and how taking a step back when you’re struggling can help bring things into perspective.

It's fascinating insight into the life of a student Upholsterer!

Published: 20th Jul 2021(About 5 months ago)

It’s time for a new season of In Stitches, and this season we’re chatting to upholsterers whose introduction to the trade came much more recently than some of our previous distinguished guests.

Up first, Robbie chats to Petra Gadsby of Gadsby Design.  Listening to how she came to be an Upholsterer and her reasons why she chose the trade, Petra’s enthusiasm and passion is inspiring. We hear about the journey she took from student to business owner, and Petra shares her thoughts on how students and established upholsterers can work together to ensure the longevity of the trade.

Whether you’re a student, professional upholsterer, or just a hobbyist, Petra’s story is entertaining, inspiring and full of great tips.

If you’re an upholsterer who is interested in sharing your story on future episodes of In Stitches, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with us at: Hannah@richardsonandpaige.co.uk


In this week’s episode, Robbie chats to Iain Stephens, Senior Conservator - Restorer of Upholstery at The Royal Household

With several degrees in subjects as diverse as Biochemistry and Inorganic Chemistry through to Biblical languages, Iain has worked in several countries and in a variety of roles but it’s his enthusiasm and love of Upholstery which shines through in this episode.

There are some great tips from Iain for anyone wanting to pursue a career in Upholstery, as well as a fascinating insight into what fuels Iain’s passion and what he feels the challenges are in the trade today.

Published: 30th Mar 2021(About 8 months ago)

In this week's episode of In Stitches, we are delighted to have the honour of talking to Mr David James.

Having started his career back in 1954 at the tender age of 15, David has seen many changes in the world of Upholstery and has a wealth of experience which he is still putting to good use now.

David shares his story with us, from starting with G Plan as an apprentice through to becoming a published author of 7 books, one of which is still the go-to guide for Upholsterers today. We hear how working with students at Nottingham University recently gave him so much joy and David shares what he loves, and what frustrates him, about the trade.

There aren't many who could rival his 67 years experience in the trade so David's story is both insightful and unique!

Published: 23rd Mar 2021(About 9 months ago)

Michael didn't fancy following in his father's footsteps as a plumber, as (he openly admits) he didn't fancy unblocking other people's toilets!   But with a mum who made a living making loose covers and curtains, it's probably not surprising that he enjoyed his work experience in a seating company and it started him on the path to becoming an Upholsterer.

In this week's episode, we hear how, despite enjoying his early experiences, Michael's true passion for the trade didn't really develop until several years later when he learnt the art of Traditional Upholstery and was in the company of upholsterers like Bruce Jack, making him appreciate why it's so important to surround yourself with 'the right sort of people'.   

Michael also shares how he nearly left the trade around ten years ago but was inspired to carry on after seeing the innovative work of students coming through the British School of Upholstered Furniture.

Published: 16th Mar 2021(About 9 months ago)

This week, Robbie chats with the gentleman of upholstery, Mr Bruce Jack.

Entering the trade at the tender age of 16 on a Youth Training Scheme (because it seemed more fun than working as a gardener in a stately home and didn’t require him to learn Latin!), Bruce quickly realised it was the perfect career for him.   Now, having been a member of the Guild of Traditional Upholsterers for over 30 years, his experience speaks for itself.

In this episode Bruce shares some golden nuggets of advice for all those just starting out in the trade but his story is fascinating for both novices and experts alike. 

Published: 9th Mar 2021(About 9 months ago)


In this week’s episode, Robbie and Alex chat about their experiences of having dyslexia, and how they haven’t let it stop them from carving out successful careers, despite the challenges it brings.

We find out why Alex believes that Upholsterers are merely custodians of knowledge, on which they should make their own mark before handing it over to others.

And we hear how an introduction to beach cleaning has resulted in some surprising (and environmentally friendly!) projects for Alex.

If variety is the spice of life, you definitely won’t be disappointed with this week’s episode!

Published: 2nd Mar 2021(About 9 months ago)

A self-confessed cruiser who likes to take a day at a time, Armand's life has seen him working in some unusual and interesting places, but things haven't always gone to plan! And with a black belt in Karate, Armand is the upholsterer definitely not to get on the wrong side of!

This week's episode has a feel of 'two blokes in the pub chatting over a beer' about it, and with it comes with some great tips for anyone starting out, not just in upholstery but in business too.



Published: 23rd Feb 2021(About 10 months ago)

This week, In Stitches goes International, as we are joined by the fascinating Bruno Paulin-Lopez, all the way from the USA!  

With over 40 years in the trade, Bruno’s experience speaks for itself. His skills are frequently in demand around the world, but he hasn’t always been the Master Upholsterer he is today!

Hear why his first paid upholstery job didn’t quite go to plan, and what made him move from romance and beauty of Paris to bustling streets of New York. 

Also listen to why Bruno thinks the furniture has to approve of him when he’s tackling a piece with a long history.

Published: 16th Feb 2021(About 10 months ago)

With a great-grandmother, grandmother and mother who all excelled in making beautiful pieces of headwear/clothing, it was almost inevitable that Katerina Gibb would end up working creatively with her hands, but her road into Upholstery wasn't a straight one!

From working as an Assistant Costume Designer in Ridley Scott's UK Production company to having a joint venture with the Jim Henson Company, it initially seemed that the film and TV industry was going to be Katerina's calling.  So what made her leave all that behind and why does 'peeling back the layers' fill her with so much joy?  

Find out and listen to more of Katerina's story in this week's episode. 

In this, the first episode of season 2 of the In Stitches podcast, we hear how life the life of an Upholsterer can be tough! From doing piece work in a workshop in Edinburgh, to having to supplement his income by unloading articulated lorries, Greg's journey hasn't been easy but we hear how hard work paid off in the end, with perseverance and passion!

Published: 18th Nov 2020(About 1 year ago)

As series one of In Stitches closes, this week the tables are turned on host Robbie Richardson as he becomes the interviewee with Gareth Rees asking the questions!

Find out what makes Robbie tick, why he now understands why knowing his business' numbers is so important, and why he believes investing in his team is key.

Published: 3rd Nov 2020(About 1 year ago)

Growing up in London in the 60's and 70's was a very different experience to what it is now with career paths being determined more by attainment than effort and determination.  

In this week's episode, find out how Steve proved his teachers wrong when they said that he would never amount to anything and built up a flourishing Upholstery business whose services are in demand around the world.  

Published: 27th Oct 2020(About 1 year ago)

With an established career as a Geo-Technical Engineer already to their name, becoming an Upholsterer is probably the last thing you would expect someone to do but that's exactly what Michelle did after undertaking an upholstery course whilst living in New Zealand.

In this week's podcast we hear all about Michelle's swift journey from trainee upholsterer to business owner and find out why she recommends that all those starting out should have someone to share thoughts and ideas with along the way.

Published: 20th Oct 2020(About 1 year ago)

Joanna's love of upholstery was born when she was sent to visit an upholsterer whilst working as a journalist for Homes and Gardens, as she instantly fell in love with the smell of the workshop!

In this week's podcast, Joanna shares her story and gives some fantastic tips for anyone just starting out or interested in a career in upholstery, as well as sharing some of the interesting things that can be find down the back of a sofa! 

Published: 13th Oct 2020(About 1 year ago)

Becoming an Upholsterer is probably not how you would picture a former Army Officer making a new career but that is exactly what Kirsty did.  Since qualifying, her path has taken a few sharp but interesting turns, the latest resulting in her becoming part of the Royal Household looking after all things upholstery (with a brief spell making bar stools for 007 in between)! 

How does a person go from being PA to one of the "greatest filmmakers in cinematic history", Stanley Kubrick, to becoming a Master Upholsterer and leading the training for Upholsterers of the future.  

Wendy tells all in this week's podcast and shares some great tips for anyone who would like to get in to the Upholstery trade.  

Published: 29th Sep 2020(About 1 year ago)

Ray's journey in to upholstery had a few twists and turns, with ups and downs along the way but with his work featuring on not one but two television programmes and his own range of bold fabric designs in production, this week's podcast is a fascinating insight in to how he has overcome the difficulties and built a business to be proud of. 

Published: 22nd Sep 2020(About 1 year ago)

After studying fine art and using art to help the community to then becoming pub landlady,  when Leigh-Anne wanted to get back to her creative roots she fell in to upholstery almost by accident!

In this week's podcast, we hear more about Leigh-Ann and how Bristol Upholstery Collective was born, as well as why it's so important to Leigh-Anne that social values are at the core of everything they do.

We also find out how she became a regular on BBC One's 'Money For Nothing'.

Published: 15th Sep 2020(About 1 year ago)

Hannah's childhood dream of being Fire Fighter was shattered due to not meeting regulation height but their loss is the Upholstery world's gain!  Listen as Hannah tells us how she got started in Upholstery and how that lead to her featuring as an expert on the highly acclaimed BBC TV show  'The Repair Shop'.  

Published: 8th Sep 2020(About 1 year ago)

In this week's episode we hear how Nic Thomas went from owning a business hand-making lingerie to becoming a highly-skilled upholsterer whose work has featured in blockbuster movies such as Spectre! And we find out how Stanley Kubrick's former PA influenced Nic's choice when it came to selecting an Upholstery school to study at! 

A fascinating insight in to the world of teacher and master upholsterer, Gareth Rees' extraordinary journey that led him to joining forces with Gregory Cupitt-Jones to form the British School of Upholstered Furniture, with the trials and tribulations he faced along the way.