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Meet Lisa Davis of Lisa Davis Upholstery in La Jolla

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lisa Davis.

Lisa, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I graduated from Cal State University Long Beach with a bachelors degree in drawing/painting. Once out my first job had me making a couple paintings for a restaurant which would eventually match the tablecloth color they had chosen for their restaurant, and I realized then that I did not want to market my self as a painter. I looked around for something I could do that would still allow me a creative outlet, and discovered the world of upholstery.

I took a class from a master upholsterer, who worked on restoring the old model T’s. He was an awesome teacher, and I spent a year picking his brain and learning all the old traditional techniques of upholstery. That opportunity allowed me to see that upholstery & reupholstery is like functional sculpture. I could shape and recreate a piece of furniture, retie the old springs, work with my hands, and move into a 3-dimensional creative space, and get paid for it all at the same time.

I worked out of my house for the first year and then got a space on Adams Ave. and worked there for about 20 years, and relocated to the space I’m in now a couple years ago. We began making our own frames and needed a bigger more industrial space. I’ve developed my business with a focus on coordinating the right fabric to the right piece of furniture that brings out the character and charm of each piece while helping the customer bring out their own personal style as well. I see it as an interactive art for your home/commercial space. I’ve worked with designers, architects, and many homeowners who appreciate my approach to upholstery as being an art form.

I’ve had the opportunity to create a piece of furniture that acted as an artistic accessory to a room filled with an individual’s personal art collection, I’ve helped to restore upholstered pieces for museums, and I’ve got to work in brand new construction, helping to create furniture ideal for a commercial restaurant chain.

It’s been a challenge starting my journey as an artist and segueing into a business owner, but I realized early on that I was an artist creating a business, and that I could shape and form it into how I wanted it to be from all aspects. It has been a great learning experience, and the most rewarding job I could have chosen for myself.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It’s been a challenging road for me. There were many times when I had to learn things that I had no idea on how to handle them, and it pushed me to learn and grow as a person. I based running my business on the principle of how I would want to be treated, if I were the customer, and structured it that way.

There were many times when I had to make blind decisions about business development, and hope they were the right ones and was usually rewarded with new customers. I often had to go outside of my comfort zone, to learn new things in order for the business to continue on its path, and allow it to grow and develop into what it needed to be.

I believe that everything that is put before me is an opportunity to see just what I am made of. How best I can solve a problem rewards me with the same amount of effort I’ve put forth in working to solve the problem. If I was brave enough to try I was rewarded with progress.

Lisa Davis upholstery – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We see upholstery as a form of art, furniture art for your home. We specialize in matching and continuing the pattern on the fabric, so that where ever there is a seam, the pattern will continue on, and you won’t see a break in the pattern. Matching and continuing the pattern like this makes it look like it is just one piece of fabric laid over the furniture, and there is no break in the pattern at all. It’s an art to cut/sew the fabric together just right so as not to cause any breaks in the pattern.

We also work with designers and architects to help come up with ways to create new pieces of furniture. A lot of times we’ll have to come up with completely new ways on how to upholster something, given the new designs.
What sets us apart from most upholsterers, is that we are willing to think outside the box and love the challenge of working with other professionals in the field who are looking to create something not out there already. Viewing upholstery as a form of art is really what sets us apart from others in the trade.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success for me is reaching a goal that I have set for myself and reaching it in a way that benefits myself and others around me who were involved in the process. Being successful in my work effects everyone around me and the reward is knowing that success has helped others as much as it’s helped myself, while also creating something that benefits the world from which my business exists in. Success is a win/win situation and the work I put into reaching my goals always pays off with success!

Contact Info:

  • Address: 5076 Santa Fe Street, Suite C, San Diego, CA 92109
  • Website: www.lisaDavisUpholstery
  • Phone: 858-270-5429
  • Email:

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