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Everything Old Is New Again - Got It Covered Brings Furniture Back to Life

Jun 27, 2022 04:46PM ● By E. Senteio Photography by Lynn Bohannon.
Is it the fabric or the design? Is it the ability to fashion and shape something treasured and worn into something vibrant and new? It’s hard to pin down Efrán Lébron, owner of Got It Covered, a thriving upholstery shop in Woodstock, Vermont. Yet, there is no question of his creative soul and exacting eye. “Since I was a young kid, I’ve always had my hands in the arts, whether it’s painting, photography, pottery, or fashion design. And now furniture.”

Opening and Offerings

Got It Covered is more than an upholstery shop. Efrán says he likes to think of it as a “mini design studio” where he not only upholsters furniture but also offers fabrics, pillows, chairs, sofas, and rugs. It’s part of what he sees as providing a more holistic “personal and detailed experience.” That starts with determining the furniture’s purpose and location. Is it for a recreational area, a seldom-used showcase dining room, or is it poolside? Is the décor classic or funky-fabulous? “I sit down with each client, and there are hundreds of swatches to choose from. What’s the piece being used for? Do they need something with really high durability, something easily cleanable, or can you put a riskier fabric on it?”

Efrán at the entrance to the upholstery shop at the Gallery Place.

Efrán opened his shop right before the pandemic, and soon after, like the rest of the world, the business hit pause when everyone was in lockdown. But Efrán knew the shop could still be of use to the community. “I started making masks and donating them to hospitals, neighbors, anybody who needed them. We also left mask kits out front that people could just take and make their own masks at home.” Soon after, people were dropping off furniture, and Efrán had a waiting list. People were traveling less and staying at home, so they had more money to spend on fixing uncomfortable furnishings or revitalizing heirlooms. At the same time, businesses took advantage of their downtime for overdue renovations. Either way, Got It Covered had them covered.

There to Here

A circuitous route led Efrán from Puerto Rico to Vermont via Florida and Georgia. “My first job out of high school was working for the State of Florida marking underground utilities.” That would also be the first job where he says, “I quickly knew it wasn’t for me.” He wanted to do something creative, but he also knew he didn’t want to be “a starving artist.” Since he had a passion for drawing and an interest in fabrics, Efrán says, that led him to fashion design. Eventually, his talent opened the door to bridal couture—as a designer, then a buyer. But as a buyer, he was drawn back into design, eventually opening his own bridal shop in Atlanta. “I did that for years,” and wanting to ensure each bride was both happy and beautiful, he says, “I got burned out. It was really intense. Sometimes you’re working with a bride for over a year, and it just became overwhelming.”

Yet, love, Efrán says, is what brought him to Vermont. “I met my partner when he was visiting Atlanta, and we stayed in touch. After I closed my shop, I decided to give Vermont a try. I said I would give it one month.” Efrán has been in the Upper Valley—and with his partner, Arnt Bjorkman III—going on eight years. When he first arrived, he recalls working in retail and an office job until he saw an ad in the newspaper that Pompanoosuc Mills was hiring in their upholstery department. “I said, I suppose that could be fun, and it involved fabric. I applied, got hired, and quickly learned that I really loved upholstery. It just came very naturally. I got it. I liked it a lot. And I decided to focus on it.” 

Efrán's second favorite tool is his Consew industrial machine. Here he is running a double welt cord for a set of 12 dining chairs.


Fortune Favors the Brave

As luck, fate, or random chance would have it, a friend who worked at Dartmouth College found out Efrán was working in upholstery and asked if he’d be interested in making cushions for the renovation of Dartmouth’s Moosilauke Ravine Lodge. “So I brought them a sample of my work and an estimate, and I was hired.” That project and word of mouth created other opportunities, so many that Efrán decided to open Got It Covered. “I rented a barn that seemed perfect. In six months, I needed to expand.” Although the business quickly outgrew the space, it took two more years to find and purchase his current location. “I went online, and just out of curiosity, I checked Woodstock, and lo and behold, I found the perfect place. And the community—everybody has been so supportive, so willing to, you know, give me their business and trust me with their furniture. It’s really an amazing experience.”

Reflecting on his journey to Woodstock and ownership of Got It Covered, Efrán says, “Honestly, I went into this thinking I was going to find abandoned pieces and give them new life, resell them. That was what I really wanted to do because there’s so much waste in our landfills. They’re cluttered with what people think of as disposable furniture. Although I still love reviving an old chair I find on the side of the road, I’ve discovered that working with clients and their pieces has become more personal. I’m glad people are still willing to upholster furniture. That’s what they used to do. My mom probably had the same sofa for I don’t know how many years. I’m glad when people see that a piece still has value and choose to give it a whole new life.”

Whether it’s the fabric or the design, an entire room, a favorite wingback, or a single cushion, Efrán is skilled at resurrection and has the gift of reimagining. Got It Covered is where he works his creative magic, one piece at a time. 

Got It Covered
442 East Woodstock Road Unit 2A
Woodstock, VT
(802) 457-7286

Visit to schedule an appointment, be put on the waiting list, or view the gallery. Got It Covered will pick up and deliver your item(s) from any business or residence.

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