Home » History

History

Founded by Jim Craig, Craig Upholstering specializes in the reupholstering of all styles of home furnishings and offers custom window coverings, cushions and pillows, and other interior design services to its clients. Currently owned and operated by the second generation of Craigs—Jim’s daughter, Cathy, and son, Mike—this family business has drawn upon the services of all 10 of Jim’s children over the years, as well as a host of cousins, nephews and nieces.

Craig began his first upholstery job at Hershel Upholstering Company that same year, later moving on to a position at Peoria Mattress and Awning before finding a home at Cohen Furniture in downtown Peoria, where he honed his skills and became manager of the repair shop. After developing a loyal base of customers, Craig went into business for himself, founding Craig Upholstering in 1976. The company operated out of the Cohen warehouse until 1984, when, having outgrown the space, it relocated to the building at 2612 North Sheridan Road, where it remains today.

Cathy Craig recalls how her father would pick her up in his truck, and together, they would drive to a prospective customer’s home. “He would take a large book of fabric samples,” she recalled, “and look at their chair, sofa—whatever they wanted to have upholstered—and show them the samples…[Then] he would throw the chair or sofa in the back of his pick-up truck…and start tearing it down and working on it the same day.”

Such excursions illustrate how Cathy and her siblings got involved in the business at a young age. “When you’re a kid,” she remembers, “you’d come in with Dad and help sweep the floor, clean the bathroom or file stuff.” Gradually, she began to take on a larger role in the business, and after graduating from high school, she started working in the store showroom while taking classes at Illinois Central College.

Meanwhile, her brother Mike had become a skilled upholsterer himself. While Cathy took care of the front of the store, Mike worked behind the scenes, supervising and carrying out a wide range of upholstery repairs.

After graduating with a degree in interior design, Cathy Craig did return to resume her position at Craig Upholstering. By 2002, two of her older brothers—who had taken over the business when Jim Craig retired in 1980—were also ready to retire, and Cathy and Mike became co-owners of the shop.