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.

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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.

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