Today we’d like to introduce you to Lucia M. Minas.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started working at Crimson when I was 21. I was a student at Boston University majoring in business and was just looking for a part time job for pocket money. There was just something about this company that made me fall in love with this industry. I was lucky that I could see so many aspects of design – from starting as an assistant to our own interior designers to working with the upholsterers to becoming an interior designer and having my own clients to running my own showroom. Being with a team of people that become your family just makes you enjoy coming to work that much more. After almost 18 years of being with Crimson I recently became one of the owners of the company. It just seemed like a natural progression. I always loved my company and the work that I get to do every day – my mentality never changed in that respect. I do what I do to keep my company going and my clients happy. You never know at 18 what’s going to make you happy – I was SO incredibly lucky to have stumbled into this company at such a young age. I can’t imagine doing anything else.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has definitely not been smooth sailing, when I first joined Crimson in 2002 the economy was great. For years we enjoyed steady work and constant growth. In late 2008 when the recession hit that came to a grinding halt – it was a stark lesson to me. I could see how we were a luxury to people – when finances get tight the luxuries tend to fall by the wayside. I had never been through a downturn like that – I went one entire month without a single inquiry. Having juggled anywhere from 25+ clients steadily that was a huge jolt. Seeing other established retail design companies having to close was even worse – I didn’t know how we were going to keep our doors open. There was a meeting between the two owners and myself and we all agreed that we were going to keep our company going – we had to lay off a few of our employees and all three of us worked for almost 18 months without a steady income. I was incredibly lucky that I was living with my parents at the time – I could afford to be without a steady paycheck. I think that was when I knew this was something I loved. I couldn’t give up on this company without trying my best to keep it going. I keep that lesson in the back of my mind all the time – even when I’m too booked up to have a day off or I’m answering emails at midnight. . .there’s always the thought of “I would rather be this busy than go through that again”.
Crimson Upholstering Co. – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We’ve been lucky in that over the years we’ve expanded our offerings – from just an upholstering workroom we now have a full showroom in addition to our workroom and offer upholstering / custom built furniture / slipcovers / custom banquettes / cushions and window treatments. We were always known for our custom upholstering but our custom built furniture division has been increasing steadily for the past 5 years – it’s so amazing to see a final tangible product come from an idea.
I’m most proud of the reputation we’ve built up – decorators and designers use us as a workroom and I don’t think there’s any better compliment you can get. That others in the industry trust us enough to allow us to service their clients is such a vote of confidence. The individual customers that come back to us time and time again is another compliment – it’s so great to know that clients loved what you did and remember you years later for their next project.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
There were two moments that were the proudest for me personally. The first was when a project I worked on was published in New England Home magazine. That was in 2007 and I was on pins and needles waiting for the issue to hit the newsstands – I think I bought every copy they had! The second and most recent was when we won Best of Boston for 2016 as Best Upholsterer and then again in 2017 for Best Fabrics. I never expected our company to be recognized like that. Again I think I bought up every copy that the newsstand had!
- Address: Crimson Upholstering Co. Inc.
175 North Street
Newton, MA 02460
- Website: www.fabric-showroom.com
- Phone: 617-244-1750
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org