M&M Upholstery relocates

Family-owned business also adds carpet/furniture cleaning


Dorothy McNish sews a skirt for a chair she is working on in the workroom of her business, M&M Upholstery, which has been in business for 28 years in Gainesville.

SARAH KIEWEL/Special to the Guardian
Published: Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 at 2:45 p.m.

When the owners of M&M Upholstery found out they had to move out of their former location — property owned by Santa Fe College at 115 NW 6th St. — family members didn't have to look far to find a new location.

The business, which specializes in reupholstering residential and commercial furniture and customized interior automotive reupholstering, has moved less than a block away from its former location into a new location at 201 NW 6th St., formerly the Gainesville Gym.

"We were over there for 10 years, and we wanted to move where it would be easy for our customers to find us," said Linda Myers-Daniels, who volunteers at the business owned and founded by her mother, Dorothy McNish. "Santa Fe is selling the building, and we were looking for a better and bigger building to expand our used furniture sales."

Their new location is 30,000 square feet, with a large area to showcase their used and antique furniture sales department consisting of beds, sofas, love seats, diningroom tables, lamps and more.

There also is a fabric room with more than 500 fabric books for customers to choose the kind of fabric they want on their reupholstered items, a sewing area in the middle of the building where McNish works and an automotive area near the back of the building where David Myers does his work as the person in charge of the automotive reupholstering department.

The business was started by McNish, a seamstress, 28 years ago after she reupholstered a couch and a love seat that was in her husband's (Ralph McNish Sr.) apartment before they got married.

"We needed something nice for the house we were moving into, so I just decided to reupholster some of his furniture," McNish said. She said she found out that she liked reupholstering, took a few classes at what was then Santa Fe Community College and went from there.

The business has had several locations, originally opening on SE Hawthorne Road before moving to the Porter's neighborhood on SW 4th Avenue then to its last location.

"I like this building because it is spacious and has central air and heat, so when it gets cold, we won't be freezing," McNish said.

The business is truly a family business.

McNish taught her son, Myers, how to upholster while he was in high school, and he has been doing it ever since.

"I have been doing this for at least 30 years," Myers said. "I started doing this after school with my mom and couldn't turn it loose. I've just stuck with it."

Myers does a lot of automotive reupholstering work on cars, boats, motorcycles and all kinds of vehicles, as well as furniture. He said being able to do multiple things is a key to the success of the business.

"The good thing about it is if the automotive side is down, the home furniture side is up," Myers said. "People are repairing things now instead of buying brand new stuff."

Myers-Daniels said the business also has branched out into the carpet and furniture cleaning industry, with her brother, Ralph McNish Jr., in charge.

She said the business has been a blessing to four generations in her family. She said family members have been able to buy homes, send children to college (David Myers' daughter graduated recently from Florida A&M University in Tallahassee) and is a great way to teach children about the importance of getting an education.

"After most of them work in here in this heat as youngsters, they realize how important getting an education is," Myers-Daniels said. "This work isn't for everybody."

Hours of operation are from 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.

The phone number is 352-376-5728.

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