Travis Hamilton (left) and Will Chambers at the new U-Fab Interiors store (Photo by Jay Paul)
Late on the night before U-Fab Interiors’ targeted opening date in its new Broad Street location, owner Travis Hamilton was busy sewing buttons onto tufted leather panels. The next morning, just before the 10 a.m. opening, he helped his employees affix the panels to the store’s front counter, just in the nick of time.
“We met our date!” he says, laughing, while showing a visitor around the store on opening day in early October. “It’s been crazy, but we did it.”
The new 28,000-square-foot store at 7921 W. Broad St. represents a major milestone for the shop, which has grown steadily since opening in 2008 in the Fan with just 1,100 square feet. A year later, the business expanded further into its Robinson Street building, moved its upholstery shop and office across the river, and added a second location in Charlottesville. In 2011, it took over more space on Robinson and in 2013 opened an outlet near Chesterfield Towne Center. Now, all of its Richmond employees are together in the same building (the outlet has closed, and its merchandise has moved to the new store). “I’m excited to have everyone in one space so we can focus on getting better,” Hamilton says.
While the fabric selection remains the same, with more than 2,000 bolts in stock, U-Fab’s new space has made it possible for the shop to carry lamps, accent furniture, home accessories and rugs. It also has room to display all of its furniture options that can be customized with any U-Fab fabric. “We had about four sofas and two sectionals in the old space,” says store manager Will Chambers. “You would have to order from a catalog. Now we can show everything.”
About 20 upholsterers and seamstresses now work on site in a state-of-the-art workroom, and there is plenty of room to expand: Look for a woodshop, custom furniture offerings and classes in the months to come.