To Infinity and Beyond - I mean from Upholstery to Logistics

Jesse Simmons Fabric and Upholstery

I’m a Junior – That’s dad’s name on the business.  Dad wanted me to take over the business.  I took an early retirement from the Army and moved home to Hampton Virginia to do just that!

My experience with the upholstery business was short.  I was excited about continuing the legacy.  I learned quick!  I was good at upholstery.  Dad taught me a lot. Dad taught me everything!

I scared him.  He was old school.  He didn’t understand technology (computers, scheduling, and credit cards) at all.  He didn't want to grow or expand the business like I did.

Dad had been doing his upholstery business for 25 years.  It supported him and mom just fine.  I had a family to support, so I needed to do more.

I was seeking large contracts and wanted to hire more people.  I wanted to get a larger building. I wanted to sell furniture, as well as cover it.  I wanted to sell custom furniture.  I wanted to be the Interior Decorator’s dream! 

Dad had a routine.  He taught me that routine.  He didn’t understand why I didn’t follow his routine. Automation changed the routine.  Finances and scheduling was done by computer now.

We worked together for two years.  One day, he asked me if it would be okay if we closed the business so he could retire.  I was sad about it, but okay with it.

I toyed with the idea of continuing without him, but this was his business. I managed it, but it wasn’t turned over to me yet.

We closed the business with little fanfare.  I wrote a press release for the local news paper, “Local Upholstery Business Closes after 25 Years”. They didn’t care. It never got publish.  

Within a short time, I got a Job with a logistic company called INNOLOG, Innovative Logistics Techniques.  That was the beginning of a long career and that is what brought us to Hopewell and then us finally settling in Chester, Virginia.


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