Meet The Owner, Erick Negrete
Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today. You can include as little or as much detail as you’d like.
My father first introduced me to upholstery when I was 13 years old. During the summer, he would take me to an upholstery shop he was employed in. My father did not own a shop at the time, but he was an amazing upholsterer with 20 years of experience under his belt. He took pride in his work and always paid attention to detail. An upholsterer is only as good as the quality he demands. Fast forward to 2012, I graduated from high school and immediately after enrolled in college to take business classes. From here, I made it my mission to master the craft of upholstery! My father and I started the business with as little as $2,000 and no clients! It was a tough journey but slowly we created a strong online presence. With my father as my mentor, I was able to learn the art of restoring furniture of any style. He instilled high standards and work ethic onto me. As he always said, "Make it nice or do it twice." Now that the business has been passed down to me, I continue to instill top quality workmanship in everyone that works in my shop. My passion is upholstering any piece of furniture and bringing it back to life.
Has it been a smooth road? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The biggest struggle was starting our business with few personal finances. Having no online presence, it was difficult for clients to trust our newly established business. Therefore, we opted to give the lowest prices in Dallas in order to reach new potential patrons. It was tough restoring pieces using the best craftsmanship and materials with low-profit income. However, I knew that with every job finished, we got closer to gaining a better online presence, clientele, and enough confidence to expand our business in quality work. Now I am blessed to have a steady workload coming, which has allowed me to hire more help for the growing demand.
Tell us about your business/company. What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you
known for, etc. What are you most proud of as a company? What sets you apart from others?
My company, Don Javier's Custom Upholstery, is a small local business. We specialize in
recovering any piece of furniture big or small. I do a little bit of everything in my shop. From
cleaning, upholstering, supervising, and social media, the market is constantly changing and so
are we with innovative ideas.
I grew the business to what it is now following my dad’s teachings and will continue to do so. I am known for taking the quality of my work seriously for every piece that comes out of my shop to ensure my clients are 100% satisfied every time.
What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
There are a couple of things I am proud of regarding my career. For example, being able to take any piece of furniture and recover it with confidence. To learn the upholstery skill was not easy but it was worth it; seeing my clients leave happy as they pick up the reupholstered piece they entrusted in me makes me feel proud and motivated! Also, I am proud to take over the business my father started. He is the type of individual who does not trust others to do his quality of work. Earning his trust to run the business has been so empowering for me. He knows I am an entrepreneur by heart and that I am extremely ambitious. I enjoy growing the business and having the flexibility to spend more time with my family.