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Meet the Makers: Upholstery

Designed to live outdoors year-round, our High Performance Cushions are constructed to endure the elements, beautifully. The sewists in our Richmond, Virginia workshop construct each cushion to order, just steps from its intended sofa or chair. This proximity allows us to tailor our upholstery with meticulous care, for a custom shape and fit that’s truly unparalleled.

We optimize fabric cutting using the latest computer navigated technology. But for sewing, nothing compares to expert hands. Our accomplished sewists gauge each fabric’s response based on its texture and drape. And with each stitch, they reveal a skilled understanding of textiles and superior attention to detail.

Another point of pride, stripes and patterns: we calculate fabric repeats to carefully align seams to perfection. This attention to detail brings a seamless fluency to our bespoke trims, throw pillows, and snap ties. Matched only by the craftsmanship of our solid aluminum furniture, our sewing capabilities are exceptional because nothing less will do. Quite simply, we make the world’s finest cushions because we make the world’s finest outdoor furniture.

Get to Know Sarah

Sarah has been with McKinnon and Harris for two years and even recruited her mom to join the team! Sarah is our upholstery quality specialist and seamlessly transitions across various jobs in this department.

What do you do at McKinnon and Harris?

I originally worked in cushion stuffing and I’ve spent time in shipping and packing, as well as finishing, sewing and inspection.

What inspired your work as a sewist?

My mom has been sewing my entire life—she made my wedding dress and sewed our clothes, growing up. She also works here as a sewist. Although I don’t have formal training, I have always been familiar with the craft.

Which of our furniture collections is your favorite?

I like the clean simple lines of the Couper Collection. Its edges and angles are beautifully structured.

What about our fabrics?

Summer Camp. I really like stripes. The fabric has a nice structure that doesn’t fray easily.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I have a 15-year-old daughter and a 6-year-old son. In my free time, I like to craft and crochet.

What's the best thing about living in Richmond?

Being close to family! Richmond also has everything you need—shopping, plenty of activities. It’s a fairly big city but, drive 20 minutes, and you can be in the country.

Favorite food?

I love Latin food!

Get to Know Xander

Xander has been a member of the McKinnon and Harris team for over two years and especially enjoys working with fabrics that have a unique pattern or a bright color.

Where have you worked at McKinnon and Harris?

I’ve worked mostly in sewing–I truly learned the skill at McKinnon and Harris. I have also stuffed cushions and worked in packing.

What’s your favorite piece of furniture?

The duVal-Alexander Club Chairs. They’re so inviting and comfortable.

What do you do for fun, outside of work?

I like to draw, write, and read. I also have a dog, Tubs, a lab mix that I rescued from the SPCA.

Do you have a favorite book?

I enjoy history, especially any book on Richard III, King of England.

What’s your go-to dish for celebrations?

Pozole. It’s a new Mexican dish that my family makes every New Years.

If you could participate in any Olympic sport, which would it be?

Hockey. My entire family played growing up.

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