I started in 1997 at the age of 12 as a school holiday and weekend boy with a family run company called J. Shirlaw Upholstery and Covermaking. Making tea, coffee and general hand boy around the workshop. At the age of 13, I was offered the opportunity to do an apprenticeship with them. Learning the skills to become a marine, automotive and domestic upholsterer. Also to be able to fit convertible roofs on cars and manufacture custom made boat covers.
In 2003 I had completed my apprenticeship and went on to become a Sailmaker, working for some of the leading sailmakers around the world. For example Ratsey and Lapthorn, UK McWilliams, Doyle Sails, Hyde Sails, Hood Sails, Sanders Sails and North Sails. Whilst working for the sailmakers I carried on as an upholsterer and cover maker for them.
In 2012 I made a small workshop in my back garden designing and customising automotive interiors for family and friends. After 3 years, I started to make a good reputation for myself and people was recommending me to their friends and family. So in early 2016 my wife and I decided that it was time to make our own family run business. So when the 1st of September 2016 come, we opened the doors to our company which is now known as 1st Class Covers.
Here at 1st Class Covers we have everything covered. We repair and customised car seats, headlinings, convertible roofs. As well as being the only company on the island that can professionally supply and fit convertible roofs. We also cover the marine industry, by re upholstering boat interiors and exteriors. Custom boat covers and bags. We offer the option to have existing covers a winter service, which includes a deep clean, re waterproofing and repairs.
We are now giving customers the chance to have internal panels that can not be covered/re upholstered, the option to have them vinyl wrapped.