Confessions of an Upholstery Apprentice 1

Tessa as a cake girl

Tessa Cooper as her sugar paste self


So after six years of working in public relations, event planning and production, and finally advertising, I found myself not really liking the marketing world. Oddly, it took doing what my degree was in, advertising, to realizing this line of work was not for me. I remember telling my soon to be manager at the ad agency during one of my interviews that I longed to produce something, whatever it may be, that I was proud of. At the time I thought that would be amazing ads that I, as the account manager, would help create. Unfortunately, I never found a interest in what was being produced, nor was I proud of the finished product.

During my interview with Spruce for the upholstery apprenticeship, I shared this goal and found lots of smiles and nods to this ambition that made me feel like everyone here had a similar wish that they saw come true daily. They also told me during the interview that this line of work would “ruin your hands” and I smiled and nodded back to indicate I was ready for it.

As I work through my first weeks of the apprenticeship at Spruce, I find myself both proud of the finished products I am helping make, and also devastated by the condition my hands are in from manual labor. Bye bye manicures for typing and taking diligent notes in client meetings – and hello stronger hands that create beautiful furniture!

LESSON OF THE DAY: It is OK to bleed on the burlap. It is NOT OK to bleed on the Schumacher fabric.