From Commercial Aircraft to… Hot Rod Upholstery!
Jason Sherman has always had a passion for cars, but started his journey working on commercial aircraft with West Star Aviation in Grand Junction, Colorado. For almost 20 years, Jason worked with leather interiors and soft goods on 20-50 million dollar commercial aircraft.
In aircraft, everything is custom tailored and sculpted. Consistency is vital, and fresh out of his apprenticeship program with Riverside Upholstery in Durango, Colorado, Jason had a lot to prove. He was offered a chance to sew a test panel at West Star, and impressed them with his french seam. That was his “in” and he spent the next few decades learning as much as he could. Working with aircraft gave Jason the ability to work with state of the art designs, and really hone his skills. The designs are often extremely intricate, and reverse engineering the designs can be challenging. Jason had the ability to work on projects truly from start to finish- stripping the foam down to the frame, making sure the frame is functioning properly, applying all new foam- and using different different densities and configurations of foam to achieve the desired result.
Jason said that this type of work can take an upholsterer with average skills, and really elevate their thinking and their craft. He is incredibly grateful for the experience he gained working with aircraft, and for the opportunities it has afforded him. Jason sees upholstery as a beautiful art form. A natural creative, he feels he can really express himself with his work. It is an extension of himself, and the respect he has for the craft is apparent.
Through the years, Jason had acquired the equipment needed to branch out on his own. With shifts in his position, and his wife Debi needing extra support at home after a surgery, it seemed like the perfect time to take a leap of faith.
A Leap of Faith into Hot Rod Interiors
Not long after Jason had ventured out on his own, his father moved to Grand Junction from the Telluride area, and bought a home close by. A custom hot rod shop, Whitt’s Rod Shop, was right around the corner and Jason felt drawn to the shop. After his father told him he had a feeling Jason should check out the hot rod shop… Jason took the hint, and went to introduce himself. A father and son own the operation, and Bruce, the father of the operation introduced himself. They began talking, and Bruce threw his hands up in the air, and said “he had been praying for an upholsterer.” They became fast friends and business partners. Jason states that he "gives glory to the Lord" for his success, because "he has been his rock, and the answer to his questions for 25 years."
These days, Jason takes on work exclusively through Whitt’s Rod Shop in Grand Junction, Colorado. Living less than five minutes away makes it simple for Jason to bring these projects to him home workshop. He feels that their work really complements each other, and that it has been an easy fit from the start. Whitt’s specializes in custom hot rod builds, and classic car restorations. Jason has really found his niche with hot rod upholstery, and classic car interiors- taking advantage of the diverse experience he brings from those decades working with leather interiors on aircraft.
Jason’s skills have translated seamlessly (pun intended…) and he is able to take ideas from a rendering, and bring them to life. Jason fabricates and upholsters, adding modern comforts to beautiful classic rides. Pilots often asked for a two inch lumbar, and he has found that they are equally popular in hot rod upholstery. Side bolster build ups and custom lumbar really make a hot rod ’s seating more comfortable. This focus on functionality and comfort with an eye towards style and aesthetic, means Jason can give customers the look they want, with little luxuries that go a long way- like seat warmers.
Why Leather for Hot Rod Interiors?
Of course, this knack for day-to-day usability comes from Jason’s aircraft background. Even before focusing on hot rod upholstery, Jason has had the privilege of working with high-end leathers over the years. Finding there is no replacement for quality leather, with excellent hand, and very few flaws. Jason has found our Automotive Leather Collection meets the high expectations he developed over the last few decades. He said he has not found another company that meets his standards, at even close to our price point. Not to mention our customer service (we’ll stop tooting our own horn now… if we have to :)...)
Although one of his favorite leathers to date is our Urban Hollywood Red that he recently used in a 1954 Corvette, he has also been a long time fan of our Dakota and Essentials leathers. The feel, the thickness, and the workability of the Hollywood Red made his recent project that much better- and that much easier. He enjoys passing the savings he enjoys on our leather, to his customer.
The Couple that Sews Together... Stays Together!
One of the biggest takeaways from speaking with Jason is that "he puts all of his faith and trust into Jesus," and the second is his love for his wife. Through the years, they have done everything together- from riding ATVs, to motorcycles, and now sewing. Debi recently left Corporate America, to work at Hi Fashion Sewing Machines and Quilt Shop. A local shop long beloved by both of them.
If you need something sewn, stitched, or upholstered- the Sherman house is the place to be! Between Jason’s workshop, and Debi’s sewing room, they have you covered. Their passion is obvious, and they consider themselves a “true sewing family.”