Lewis and Sons Upholstery article

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Lewis and Sons Upholstery article


Business and Industry


Newspaper article about the success of Lewis and Sons Upholstery. The business began in the family's garage as a part-time venture and grew to a business that was relied upon by private and business aircraft to fix the interiors of their planes.


ca. 1960


Hartshorn-Jones, Estelle


news clipping



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Lewis and Sons Upholstery: Hard Work and Innovation

St. Paul, Minn. -- The Lewis family works together at a business.  Through their combined efforts, Lewis and Sons Upholstery has grown from a part-time operation in the family's garage to a business that is called upon by the owners of private and business aircraft to redo the interiors of their planes.  That growth has been the result of hard work and innovation by the Lewises.

Robert Lewis began the business as a hobby nearly 30 years ago.  He customized interiors of luxury cars for several Minneapolis auto dealers.  Then he went to work for Garelick Manufacotring Company as supervisor of the upholstery department for 13 years.  

When he left that company, he had one thing in mind--to have his own business.  He started small, working out of his garage.  minnesota winters tried to stop him cold, but he simply moved his business from the garage to a storefront on Selby Avenue. 

In 1968, Lewis received a small business loan from the Community Development Corporation, an organization founded to assist minority business people.  "The loan, and the assistance we received from John Myers of Hoerner Waldorf in bookkeeping, advertising and business management were responsible for our growth and success," Lewis says.

The growth of the business has involved more than just Robert Lewis.  Gloria Lewis, his wife, is an active partner in the business.  She does the bookkeeping, orders carpet and draperies, maintains catalogs on the new lines of furniture direct from the factory the Lewises now offer to their customers, offers advice to their customers on carpet, drapery and furniture selection, figures estimates for all the upholstery and customization jobs the Lewises handle.  Robert and Gloria's son, Dennis, works along with this father on the larger upholstery jobs.  Since the business has grown from small upholstery jobs to commerical work, airplane interiors (from carpet to seats to headliners) and...

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