Despite a tough year due to the floods in 2019 and a pandemic, TopStitch Upholstery is thriving in its first year in a new location, owners Matt and Heather Giffrow said.
TopStitch Upholstery does auto detailing and auto upholstery. The business is housed in the old Mead Lumber building, 1158 26th Ave. in Columbus, which the owners refurbished and was previously located south of the Loup River where Island Supply Welding Co. is.
The two are from Sioux City, Iowa, and Omaha, respectively, and have lived in Columbus for three years after living in Omaha. They've been in business for six years.
“We had a really good year,” Matt said. “…You just (have) to stay positive and just kind of roll with the punches. I mean, you’re going to have your days and your hurdles and you just (have) to pull together and get through it.”
Business has been good enough that TopStitch has been able to hire.
“We’ve been fortunate to where we were able to bring on a shop manager,” he added. “(The shop manager) kind of helps with our day to day, keeping things rolling.”
After the experience with the historic floods, where Matt said insurance didn’t pay for everything that was lost, the couple was not happy when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The last time, he noted there was no help for them.
Matt had previously told the Telegram the business had over 3 feet of water in the building.
“'I can’t do this again',” he remembered thinking. “But everything kind of kept rolling, so we just kind of kept things going. I knew we couldn’t afford to have another bad year.”
Dealing with the floods had been awful, Heather noted, but this past year, the store was successful and “business as normal.”
“I think people were doing more projects and had a little bit more time on their hands,” she said. “They were able to focus more on that kind of stuff… and still supporting us here locally.”
Part of what has helped their business was the move to a new location.
“We were pretty fortunate, too, because we had our construction project that was done when we opened downtown, Jan. 2 of 2020,” Heather said. “We were very fortunate that we did some quick planning and rolled an open house together in February of 2020, you know, right before the virus really started to impact everyone.”
The timing really played on their side, she noted.
Plus, the building is big so social distancing is not really a problem.
“We can stay pretty far away from each other in this building,” Matt added. “We’re around cleaning stuff all day long.”
The couple is also focused on using social media to promote TopStitch, something they say has been huge during the pandemic.
“Facebook has helped us a ton, we’re always trying to post stuff on Facebook, from specials that we’ve got going on or just letting people know what’s going on in the shop,” he said. “With people being quarantined, you find yourselves on your phone more.”
As the business heads into 2021, Matt and Heather are grateful and looking forward to continuing to bring new services to the community. The business can be reached at 402-740-4225.
“What we’re trying to create here is just a one-stop shop for everybody,” Matt said. “You can bring your car here, we can clean it, we can do the inside. We’re getting ready to add on remote starts.”
Carolyn Komatsoulis is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.