Fishers Resident Runs Custom Upholstery Business in Fortville
Photography Provided by Josh Brown & UpCycled Interiors
“I have always had a heartbeat for refinishing old furniture,” Haxton says. “Even when I was a little girl, my neighbor, who was kind of a grandmother-type figure, taught me how to keen chairs. Then, I learned how to refinish wood furniture. And I’ve always done a lot of sewing.”
Located at 12 South Main Street in Fortville, UpCycled Interiors is a custom upholstery service business that also sells uniquely up-cycled home furnishings and décor. Additionally, Haxton also teaches classes in her space, sharing her passion for upholstery with the public.
Originally from a small farm community in North Central Indiana, Haxton has been around textiles all her life, from custom clothing to vintage furniture. Upon trying her hand at custom upholstery, she quickly discovered she had a knack for it.
“When I, as an adult, took professional upholstery classes it was kind of a marriage of all of that: working with furniture, working with the fabrics and textiles and making that all come together,” she says. “That’s how I fell in love with re-upholstering. I think it was a bit of an intersection in all of those worlds.”
With a master’s degree in healthcare administration, Haxton worked professionally in that field while operating a vintage retail shop in Noblesville as a hobby. For this space, she’d flea market pieces and then fix up or repurpose them. However, after acquiring some more upholstery supplies, she found that the demand for her work was much greater than she originally thought.
“Very quickly, I started getting a lot of requests for custom pieces to be done, so I shifted in a fairly short period of time,” Haxton says. “I got out of my vintage shop, and I went full-time with custom upholstering. That’s when I really made the decision to treat this more like a business and not a hobby.”
After operating UpCycled Interiors out of her home for four years, Haxton moved the business to its current home on Main Street in Fortville. For her, the storefront space made sense for many reasons.
“I was looking for a larger workshop space, and I looked all over,” Haxton says. “I just happened to run across this space here in Fortville. It’s only about 10 minutes from my home in Fishers, so that was huge for me.”
“I teach decorative pillow design, which is a one-evening class,” she says. “I teach a box cushion construction class, which is a two-evening class. And then, I teach upholstery, which is a six-week series.”
In addition to bringing people into UpCycled to check it out, these courses also allow Haxton to meet like-minded do-it-yourselfers, too.
“I wanted to teach, and I have so many people that are interested in do-it-yourself projects,” she says, adding that those who are interested can find out about classes via the UpCycled Interiors Facebook page. “It’s just super fun to teach people how to do this type of thing for themselves.”
By offering such a unique service, Haxton is able to cast a fairly wide net with UpCycled Interiors.
“Most of my business is custom upholstery projects, and those customers aren’t necessarily from the Fortville area,” she says. “My market is Zionsville, Carmel, North Indy, Westfield, Noblesville, Fishers, Geist, and I’ve got some Central Indianapolis customers, too. So that’s really my market, and it is not driven by my location at all.” More impressively, Haxton has achieved her success via word of mouth.
“My custom business is fully based on word of mouth and repeat business, she says. “I don’t really advertise my business at all. Right now, I’m booking projects in October, and since I’ve gone to a full-time focus on this business, I have always had projects booked out two or three months at a minimum. So getting the work has never been a problem.”