I have been teaching DIY upholstery workshops in their current format for three years now. My first attempt at teaching was an absolute disaster, in my opinion. I completed my apprenticeship in 2006 and went on to work for myself for a year with clients like Edit (Paddington NSW), Crystal Palace (Bowral NSW) and from a local interiors store, Ellen’s Interiors (Summer Hill NSW).
My first attempt at training someone was with a fellow employee in Sydney, who had undertaken an upholstery apprenticeship. I had recently completed my own apprenticeship, and I understood the process because it was so recent for me. But, my patience was not there yet to guide her through the learning process. My expectations were too high.
When I moved back to Adelaide I gained some serious experience in some challenging employment roles. Since then, my approach has altered. I feel it is a peer to peer relationship, mutually beneficial, not a senior to junior relationship. I learn so much from my students. I observe different learning approaches and continually try to adapt to make sure we have every chance of completing our projects and understand the steps along the way.
Along with being one of the most rewarding parts of my business, teaching is the most challenging. There is a need to always be thinking on the spot and problem solving, or needing to approach a problem from a different perspective. There is a lot of adrenaline. But what satisfaction when something is completed and transformed. What a rush!
My drive is to get things done, but not rushed. Weighing up time invested, materials, comfort and ability. When these all come together, we make something spectacular.