Of Heritage and Heirlooms

CRAFTSMANSHIP LOVES COMPANY. It invites artistry, mastery and perfection to join forces and help create items of lasting beauty.

In the work done by Supreme Upholstery, founded by Errol Julies 25 years ago, you can see and touch these qualities. Good old-fashioned craftsmanship, honed and refined through generations. Furniture that will please the most discerning buyers.

It started out in a humble workshop in Idas Valley. Errol Julies was a craftsman of the old school who understood the need for attention to detail and the discipline his craft demanded. No shortcuts. No slipshod work. These were the values on which he built his business. And these were the values he imparted to his eldest son, Ricardo, when he joined the company as an apprentice in 1993.

Their clients responded to the quality of their craftsmanship and the business grew like a well tended tree. The workshop with five artisans in 1990 soon made way for a modern factory. Today, Supreme Upholstery is the largest Black owned company of its kind in the Western Cape and employs almost 100 people. The company no longer specialises only in upholstery, but has added furniture-making and will create custom made pieces.

The spacious showroom on the second floor of the building in Rand Street, Plankenbrug, displays their finely crafted work. Clients vary from people wanting to decorate their homes from top to bottom to those looking for affordable key items. They are all welcome to consult the company’s four qualified decorators for free. Supreme Upholstery offers an impressive range of styles, from seductive to functional, from classic to modern. To the ancient craft of the carpenter and upholsterer have been added modern comforts such as spring edges, coil-sprung units, unicurl filling and feather cushioning.

The quality of Supreme Upholstery’s work is evidenced by the fact that the Mediclinic Group uses them as the sole supplier of sleeper and recliner chairs for their facilities nationwide.

Supreme recently completed extensive work at the Lanzerac Hotel, where they manufactured and supplied bespoke cabinetry and upholstered pieces for the deli and the newly built venue and 7-star suites.

It hasn’t always been plain sailing for the Julieses, but family values and old-fashioned determination have proved to be their mainstay. Barely six years after starting his business Errol passed away. Ricardo and his mother, Belinda, were faced with tough decisions. How to go from there? They decided to build on Errol’s legacy, with sister Cindy and brother Jason joining the company soon after. Ricardo is still running the business with the support of his siblings and his wife, Jill. Cindy is in charge of production and Jason of logistics while Jill is the sales manager. And sitting in reception, greeting all customers, Belinda is always there, the warm heart of the family.

After a quarter of a century the Julies family is still creating heirlooms. What better way to honour the legacy of that master craftsman – their father, Errol Julies.


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Ricardo and his family warmly invite architects, interior decorators, designers and the public to visit their showroom at 1 Rand Street, Plankenburg, Stellenbosch, or browse their photostream (Flickr:supreme uphol- stery) for an idea of recent pieces. For more information, email info@supremeupholstery. co.za or call 021 887 2756.