Crafts background leads to business rehabbing furniture

by Charles Womack

Growing up in the small town of Mount Airy, 25-year-old Ashley Elledge says she was surrounded by “crafty people.”

“My whole family are craft people,” she says, “My granddad worked on cars, my mother owned a frame shop and faux finishes. We all enjoy working on projects.”

After finishing her bachelors degree in interior design from UNCG in 2009, Elledge was not sure exactly what she wanted to do and began taking furniture upholstery classes at GTCC in Jamestown.

During her time at GTCC, an idea sparked and led to her desire to focus on furniture design and upholstery.

“This is where I figured out I wanted to focus on details and small projects designing and re-doing pieces of furniture,” she said.

In connection with her passion, an idea sparked and revved up the engines for her to start up her own business, Little Tweed Chair.

“I officially started the company in January,” she said. “I had this drive to do something more and use my design knowledge and education.”

After teaching herself to sew, Elledge started work on her first furniture project — a sofa that she redid from the frame up.

“Out of all the pieces I have done, I am the most proud of the sofa,” she said. “It was a lot of work and has an eight-way spring hand-tied that I did.”

According to definition, the eight-way handtied is a time-honored construction method using a series of coils, each tied — from front to back, side to side and diagonally — eight times. This traditional method is believed to offer superior comfort, but has lost ground in recent years due to the advent of equally durable systems that are more cost effective and less labor intensive.

From there she has done several chairs, and the list keeps growing.

“I enjoy looking for old pieces being thrown away on the side of the road or at thrift stores and seeing what they can become,” she said. “I am selling them online for a while through my website. One day I would like to have my own boutique.”

want more?

To learn more about Ashley Elledge’s design work, visit www.littletweedchair.blogspot. com. Or call 336.710.8940.