uph1Do you wish you could reupholster your junking treasures?! Wish that you knew the tips to finding great pieces and what you should know about fixing up your finds?

Meet Minneapolis-based Cynthia Bleskachek of The Funky Little Chair!

Junk Bonanza is pleased to feature Cynthia at the Junk Bonanza this Fall in Minneapolis, Sept. 24-26!

She will offer tips, advice and share her upholstery know-how with you in free, one-hour sessions each day. She’ll combine a slide show with show and tell to help you get going!


Cynthia, an upholstery instructor at Blue Sky Galleries in the old Northrup King Building in Minneapolis, is excited for her Bonanza classes!

“I love what I do for a living,” she said. “Upholstery is hands-on, creative and different every day. I believe that the best chair is an old chair, and feel passionately about reinvesting in what we own, instead of constantly replacing it. I feel especially fortunate when I get to share this passion with our students.”


That would be YOU! We’re thrilled to offer these sessions with Cynthia, who is as fun as she is smart! Cynthia is working on a pair of chairs to show you at the Bonanza. They will be upholstered in this new, first-edition British transit route sign fabric designed from vintage signage by Bonanza vendor DeWayne Lumpkin Design Studio!


DeWayne has a Kickstarter campaign going to print the first 200 yards of this fabric!kickstarter

(Only 19 days left on the campaign; you may want to pledge, here! Junk Bonanza has! The campaign is a Kick Starter Staff Pick, which is a great honor!)


There are lots of projects waiting for Cynthia at Blue Sky so we are glad she is fitting us in!

Cynthia’s also teaches an online class through Craftsy.com. Here is her official bio:

I’ve been doing upholstery for over 10 years, or up to 30, depending on when you start counting. My mom, Diane of Parlin’s Upholstery (http://upholsterymn.org/parlin.htm), opened her home-based business when I was one, so instead of receiving allowance, I’d head to the shop to press buttons and tear back chairs, all the while wondering why anybody would choose this as a profession???

After graduating college with a BA in vocal performance, I quickly realized that a career in music was not for me. So I sat down and made a list of criteria for potential careers: hands-on, creative, aesthetic and functional, preferable focus on quality and sustainability, flexibility to allow for family. . . . What a shock to rediscover a field I’d rejected at the age of 10.

So I became involved with the PUAM. I learned all that my mom would teach me and sought out others in the field as well. The Twin Cities upholstery industry is vibrant, passionate and full of brilliantly skilled men and women. I gained technical experience, and also came to appreciate how upholstery is about more than fabric: It’s about how we use our furniture, or the stories behind it.It’s about recognizing the quality and potential in our grandpa’s busted down chair and helping others to do the same. It’s about preserving what’s around us and knowing how to make it amazing again, instead of contributing to the age of disposable everything.

I’m delighted to be working in partnership Will Fifer at Blue Sky Galleries (blueskygalleries.com). Will is an amazing woodworker who sought to incorporate upholstery into his services and classes. By working together, we are able to offer clients a unique and complete experience. Whether your project requires refinishing, painting, re-gluing, frame repair or frame modification, we can collaborate to ensure that it receives professional attention from start to finish.

Cynthia, who lives in Mounds View with her husband and two rowdy boys, also teaches fitness at the YMCA and pays library fines on a regular basis.

We can’t wait to share her with you!

See you at the Bonanza Sept. 24-26! Do you have your Early Bird tickets yet?!


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