S&Y Handicrafts factory

Room 611,Guaner’Yongtai Building,Congyun Road,

Yuanxia tian,Baiyun district,Guangzhou,China

Tel:86-20-86000438

Fax:86-20-88551378

Email:daniel@syhandicrafts.com

 

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Home > brings old furniture back to life

BARNEGAT — When you walk into Johnny‘s Upholstery, tucked into the edge of a small strip mall on Route 9, it looks as if somebody had ransacked the place. Pillow guts and fabric tatters cover the floor. Yellow wire-like tubing hangs from the ceiling. Misplaced cushions pile around upturned chairs.

But there‘s a method to the disarray. The piece of slip cover under the sewing machine needle, for example, will soon be part of a cushion. And the half-finished wing chair in the corner is slowly but surely donning a black diamond-print covering.

 

 

But there‘s a method to the disarray. The piece of slip cover under the sewing machine needle, for example, will soon be part of a cushion. And the half-finished wing chair in the corner is slowly but surely donning a black diamond-print covering.

"You take something old and make it new again. It‘s kind of like art," shop founder Johnny Thrunk, 29, said, explaining why he enjoys the business. "Everything we tackle is something different."

Thrunk and his brother Jeremiah, 27, have been working with furniture since high school. Back then, at their uncle‘s shop in Toms River, it was more stripping furniture and making deliveries — the crawling stage, so to speak, before mastering the craft.

About six years ago, Thrunk decided to go his own way. He worked out of his garage in the Ocean Acres section of Stafford for a year before building up the business to where it was feasible to lease commercial space in Barnegat.

Thrunk‘s brother and friend Rick Allan, 28, who also worked for the uncle, followed. The three now stay busy making headboards, recycling curtains and upholstering the old furniture of families relocating to the area from North Jersey.

Sometimes, they have to get creative. Thrunk remembers using a woman‘s drapes to upholster her wing chair and rigging a boom to hoist a sofa and love seat from a third-story deck because they didn‘t fit through the front door.

The three rely heavily on a core base of customers who like their furniture enough to replace the thinning material rather than throwing the couch away. That‘s not as common as it once was, with more people preferring a cheap plywood chair they will toss after five years.

"It does hurt business," Thrunk said. "We have people now saying, "I‘m going to Value City and get a cheaper piece than what you charge to upholster it.‘ "

As a result, few of the pieces Johnny‘s works with are younger than 10 years.

"The quality‘s just not as good today," Jeremiah Thrunk said.

Business is there, nevertheless. When not doing private furniture, the shop is hired to reupholster booths in local restaurants such as the Stafford Diner and Caffrey‘s.

And though Allan admits, "It‘s a dying trade," the three partners don‘t plan on getting out anytime soon.

"I‘d like a bigger place, actually," Thrunk said.