Our business is a real family affair started in Bristol by three generations of the Ball family in Grandad John’s garden shed.
John, Andy & Ryan all worked together undertaking seating repairs and recovering for buses and coaches. In the early days this was part time work on evenings and weekends alongside John and Andy’s regular jobs but Ryan had a burning passion for business from a young age and so took the plunge to take on the business full time and learn the trade alongside his Grandad, driving it forward from their garden shed to where they are today.
Left to right: John, Andy & Ryan.
After months of convincing John, a large workshop is built in John’s back garden and our upholstery business is born. At first we undertook small works for various companies, parking small minibuses on his driveway and offering full seating refurbishments and repairs. We also undertook dining chairs, pads and so on for the public.
Ryan ignores careers advice and quit college and his part time job to focus on his ambition for the business. He spent day after day sending out leaflets and making phone calls to potential customers to promote our upholstery services, working closely with his Grandad to learn the trade.
Our work really picks up and it’s clear we have outgrown our garden workshop when we upholster a large social club in Bishopworth. John leaves his regular job and joins the business full time. We move to larger premises on Cater Road above “Uncle Tony’s” scaffolding yard. Here we have more room to grow, offering more services and a yard to take in larger orders for upholstery on vehicles.
We win contracts with many bus and coach companies refurbishing seating. Demand for our upholstery grows which sees Andy leave his job and join the business. We take on more staff to keep up with our increasing workload and expand our services to boats, caravans, restaurants and so on.
We start having 2-4 buses or coaches at one time to work on. We decide to move to a large manufacturing unit in Ashton Vale which allows us to increase our order output with more staff. We tailor our operation to turnaround the recovering of single or double deck bus seating in one day as well as working with a number of pubs and restaurants.
We see a downturn in commercial work and the business moves to a smaller unit in Hengrove, Bristol. We diversify into new markets offering our upholstery services to the public as well as trade. We become an incorporated company.
We successfully acquire “Bobbie Burns Upholstery” of North Street, a well-known upholstery brand and open our 1st shop to grow our public business after a major refurbishment of the building.
Our lease ends at our Hengrove unit, which see us move completely into our North Street shop forming our shop and large workshop under one roof – we are excited to have our workshop right on the high street. We develop a range of furniture for bespoke upholstery building everything from the frame up.
We open our second shop in Clifton Village, BS8, offering upholstery services and brand new furniture to our customers further expanding our high street presence and offering our customers a showroom experience.
We purchase our North Street shop and workshop rooting solid foundations on the high street in BS3 and begin a major overhaul of the building. We literally gutted the shop and started again giving our customers a unique experience.
The business continues to grow with the hard work of our 13 staff and loyalty of our customers. Our future as a family business is very exciting!
Quality and service remain our number one priority as we expand on our range of services to public and contract clients across the UK.
The business continues to settle into its new workshop and we see further growth dealing with new customers from across the UK for all types of upholstery. Our excellent team are key to our continued growth.
Welcome to South West Upholstery, the home of high-quality Bristol Upholsters. Our family-run business started out 18 years ago in a small garden shed in Bristol. Since then we have steadily grown to become the most recognised upholstery business in Bristol for quality and service. Our Bristol upholsters expertise has enabled us to offer a wide range of upholstery, re-upholstery and soft furnishings services. We are very proud of Our Story, why not visit our dedicated page to find out more?
We offer a wide range of upholstery and re-upholstery services for every project, from small armchair upholstery to upholstery of three-piece suites, to the creation of bespoke furniture. Our Bristol Upholsters really can do it all. We also provide upholstery services for contract customers including pubs, clubs, hotels, and restaurants, as well as reupholstery for motorhomes, caravans and boats, foam replacement, gym pad upholstery, furniture spraying or French polishing, and so much more!
We are your one-stop-shop for all your upholstery needs regardless of where you are in the UK and look forward to hearing from you. Get in touch to speak with our team of friendly Bristol upholsters!
Meet the Team
Marketing & Sales
Collection and Delivery Team
A STITCH IN TIME
A short summary of where we came from and how the business has grown over the past 20 years.
A large workshop is built in John’s back garden then our upholstery business is born. Offering full seating refurbishments and repairs for small minibuses as well as dining chairs, pads, and so on for the public.
Ryan dropped out of college to focus on the business, sending out leaflets and making phone calls to promote our upholstery services. He works closely with his Grandad to learn the trade.
John left his regular job and joined the business full time. We moved to new larger premises, offering more services and a yard to take in larger orders for upholstery on vehicles.
We moved to a large manufacturing unit which allows us to increase our output. We tailored our operation to the re-covering of single or double deck bus seating in one day as well as working with a number of pubs and restaurants.
We acquired ‘Bobbie Burns Upholstery’, a well-known upholstery brand and after a major refurbishment of the building, we open up our first shop to the public.
We opened a second shop in Bristol, expanding our high street presence and offering upholstery services and brand new furniture to our customers with a showroom experience.
We purchase our North Street shop and workshop, rooting solid foundations on the high street in BS3 and begin a major overhaul of the building.
We outgrew our workshop, so we purchased a 11,000 sq. foot unit for our upholstery operation. After some TLC, our team was thrilled with the extra space and better set up to serve our customers across the UK.
Our approach to you
Pop in, email, or call for a quotation. We will fully understand your requirements and help to select materials.
We will provide a written quotation with a clear breakdown of costs, and it is valid for 30 days.
Our team will clearly communicate with you to handle the logistics of your requirements for a stress-free experience.