But, according to Kaschel, business at Red's has been picking up steadily for the past few years. "I guess it's getting harder and harder to find someone who does trimming," Kaschel observed. She and Temple have been working together for 28 years. "I wish I could find young people who want to do upholstery," Kaschel said. "I'd like to get someone to do my jobs like pattern making and sewing, but so far we haven't been able to hire someone so I can semi retire."
Leslie Kaschel has been working at the shop for 28 years. She would like to semi retire, but can't find any young upholsters to do her job.
Kaschel said that Temple started doing convertible top installs when he was 16 years old. "He learned just by doing it over and over. Before we bought the place, there was a guy here who did tops. He worked at Chief Pontiac (an old-time car dealership) and worked here and he did tops a few hours a day. Troy just learned from him. Today, Chief Pontiac is Chief Automotive. That guy still works there, but he no longer does tops."
The back shop at Red's is where a lot of the upholstery work and convertible top installs are done.
Dozens of big spools of different color threads are on the workbench. Reels of beading are mounted on the wall. Note long-reach sewing machine.
According to Kaschel, Red's Upholstery did about 10 convertible tops this year. She said the cost of that job averages about $2,000. She said that tops are no easier or harder to do then they were years ago. "It's a good skill," she noted. "We have one customer coming in now for a new top and we have another convertible sitting out there now."
One of the more interesting cars that Red's has upholstered lately was a 1932 Plymouth. "We did the whole thing," Kaschel said. "We had to rebuild all the wood in the body. It was going to be an original car and it was quite a job."
Red's can do repairs to leather, vinyl, cloth and carpets. "We can do the whole car," Kaschel noted. We get $50 an hour, but when we do a whole car, it's kind of hard to charge by the hours. It usually starts at about $6,000 if someone wants to do a whole car. She said that the small shop packed with inventory actually has two stalls where cars can be worked on.