Janesville77.4°

Without contest win, upholsterer still feels victorious

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ROCHELLE B. BIRKELO
November 27, 2007
— Jerry Oscarson’s upholstered Parson’s chair didn’t win the Nov. 14 Take a Seat to Toile Design Contest, sponsored by the French-based home furnishings company Pierre Deux.

Even so, the 49-year-old Janesville man and longtime upholsterer said he still feels like a winner.


That’s because his chair was among three—of 10 total—that received bids in a charity auction after the competition.


“My chair had the most bidders and made the most money—$450,” Oscarson said.


The publisher of Traditional Home Magazine bought Oscarson’s chair.


“So it may end up (published) in there some day,” Oscarson said.


Among the judges was a representative from Traditional Home Magazine and Madame Pierre Deux, who came to New York City from France.


“Right after the contest, she made a bee line to my designer (Katie Hawkins of Chicago) and complimented about the wonderful workmanship and design,” Oscarson said of his chair.


She said it was so nice to see someone appreciate the flavor of the fabric, “which was really cool,” Oscarson said.


Winning the first-time contest was a chair created by Lin Lee & Associates from Denver, Oscarson said.


“It was a complete shock to everybody which chair won,” Oscarson said.


“The chair was tan and white, wasn’t anything fantastic, but neatly trimmed, plain and simple,” Oscarson said.


Hawkins entered Oscarson into the contest, sponsored by Pierre Deux that has 10 stores in the United States.


The first part of the competition took place over the past couple of months when four designers were selected from 10 cities to design a fully upholstered Parsons chair using Pierre Deux’s toile fabric.The contest was to promote and showcase the fabric, Oscarson explained in an earlier story.


Hawkins was selected to represent the Chicago market. She and Oscarson designed the chair that Oscarson spent five days upholstering.


The competitors were displayed in a store in Winnetka, Ill., for three weeks when members of the public voted on their favorite design. Oscarson and Hawkins’ chair, with a theme of “romance in Bloom,” won.


That’s how the chair advanced to New York City and the final round of the competition.



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