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Photo by Chris Casella

Shop Talk: Begley Upholstering/North High Furnishings

Something old, something new, something custom-made for you…

We may have just written the perfect jingle for one of the more unique businesses in Columbus, a combination of a classic occupation and a modern business model.

They have a slightly different address, but Begley Upholstering Co. and North High Furnishings share a roof and a mission: to fit each and every furniture need of every customer that walks through the door.

The beauty of their custom collaboration? Neither might be in business today without the other. Begley, who has been a Clintonville staple since 1968, is now in the hands of Fortner and Justin McAllister—although son Robb Begley still handles a majority of the imprint’s custom upholstery work. Fortner’s major renovations precipitated the opening of North High’s showroom, and now, the two-in-one business is reaping the benefits of a consumer overlap.

“The old and new can merge—we do it very well,” said North High owner Nicole Ayers said. “Not only do we provide the best talent in the upholstery business but we have new furniture that is high quality without the high price tag.”

Now, a customer could have an old chair with sentimental value restored to working, beautiful condition, and/or fall in love with a piece of furniture made in Ohio.

“If a customer comes in wanting new furniture, they may not have realized that upholstery is still here and present and an option for them,” Ayers said. “Who wants to have to travel to multiple locations to get projects done when you can stay in one place and support a local, small business?”

Apparently many choose the latter.

In fact, North High’s very first customer when they opened was a young father who came in for upholstery work and mentioned he and his wife were also looking for a sofa.

“We got to be part of bringing life to something old and being part of something new in that small family; our first sofa sale is part of their first child growing up,” Ayers said. “It just does not get any better than that.”

Customers can swing by the North High shop between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, or browse the showroom virtually at northhighfurnishings.com. Have projects for Begley? Send an e-mail with photos and dimensions to begleyuph@aol.com, or for more information, visit begleyupholstering.com.

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Travis Hoewischer

I've been working in journalism in central Ohio for more than a decade, and have been lucky enough to be a part of (614) Magazine since the very first issue. Proud to live in a city that still cares – and still reads.

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