"I came to America in 1982 and that’s when I started learning how to do furniture upholstery. It took me about eight years to master. Once I learned well, I started working for myself in the basement of my mother's house."
"In 1994, I started working for a big upholstery shop in Washington, D.C. One day, furniture came in from the White House and the owner of the shop chose me to fix all of it.
The furniture was all made with specially woven horsehair fabric—no staples, no foam, no rubber—only horsehair. Everything had to be sewn by hand. I did the first sample and the White House staff told me to do the rest of it the same way. It took me one week to do one chair."
"Later, there was one particular wingback chair that had a broken arm, and this time I was invited into the White House to fix it. One of the interior decorators left me in the bedroom alone while I was doing my work and I had to go to the bathroom. I went into the hallway and asked the guard where the bathroom was. He pointed me to a bathroom right across from him.
When I got out of the bathroom, the same guard wasn’t there, it was another guard. He asked me what I was doing there, but I was caught off-guard and said “I don’t know”. Then he said, “What do you mean you don’t know?” and he reached for his gun."
“I was able to keep my cool and told him that I was working with the White House decorator in the master bedroom. The decorator got in a little trouble for leaving me by myself but then the guard walked me back to the bedroom to finish working on the chair.”
“I was able to keep my cool and told him that I was working with the White House decorator in the master bedroom. The decorator got in a little trouble for leaving me by myself but then the guard walked me back to the bedroom to finish working on the chair."
“After my experiences working at the White House, I got asked to work full-time inside the Capitol. They offered me $12 an hour but I was already making $18 an hour at another company, so I had to turn down the job.”
“I haven't worked at the White House in a number of years, but if you ever find yourself in the Blue Room, every piece of furniture has my signature of completion on the bottom.”