Rachel Fletcher owns Knox Upholstery in Knoxville, Tennessee and is the founding President of the National Upholstery Association.
Rachel moved to Knoxville, TN with her husband in the mid-2000’s. Her husband accepted a position as a scenic designer at the University of Tennessee and Rachel began work as the Props Assistant at the Clarence Brown Theatre the following year.
Singing from an early age, Rachel Fletcher grew up in the theatre. She accepted a scholarship from Millikin University where she majored in Vocal Performance to become an opera singer, before abandoning the degree for a B.A. in Communications and graduating in 1999.
After graduation Rachel held a host of positions that spanned the gap from major newspaper to non-profit work and on to work for a prominent bank, all while residing in St. Louis, MO. Her background from this time includes: marketing, advertising, promotional events, public relations and development. She also held a brief position promoting toilet paper in the Arizona heat in the dead of Summer, but that’s an entirely different saga she wishes to ignore.
After moving to Knoxville, TN., during the recession she was having a hard time finding a position within her expertise and was fortunate enough to be offered a position at the Clarence Brown Theatre as the Props Assistant. She quickly fell in love with the position and the creativity and flexibility it afforded her. She was taught the bare-bone basics of upholstery by the Props Master, but quickly learned deep button tufting and fell in love with the trade.
But, she almost didn’t go into upholstery! She had begun to work part-time as a development assistant in the Development department at UT. When her temporary position was offered to her, full-time, she found a choice to be made - get back into corporate culture or take the giant leap and take to upholstery. Despite her husbands concerns, she declined the development position and hung a shingle on her 2.5 car garage door where she still upholsters to this day.
I sometimes miss working in an office setting, but then I remember the commute and having to do the bidding of a boss. These days my commute takes me past the kitchen and a few pats for the pets. My boss can still be a PITA, though.
Rachel Fletcher resides in Knoxville, Tennessee with her husband, dog, cat and too many plants, to count, as collecting rare and unusual plants has become a budding new hobby.