Sim Fern is the Principal of Upbeat Designs, a provider of custom furniture design, upholstery, and high-end millwork services.
Combining his desire to create with his career history in reupholstery, restoration, and refinishing projects, Sim Fern’s team is able to envision and handcraft high-quality custom furniture and millwork for clients throughout the New York City metro area.
Sim Fern’s career journey was (and is) driven by the need to better himself and grow as a professional, whether it be through his relationships with educators, mentors, peers or skilled partners. Along the way he’s distilled the lessons and core values that not only help him, but are valuable for success and growth in any industry.
In Sim’s case, one of the biggest “aha” moments came when he figured out how to do what he loves while also working up to a steadier, more lucrative business. He’d always been interested in working with beautiful, functional furniture — but how could he translate that interest into a stable career? How could he make the switch from being the “fix-it guy” for one-off clients to establishing a proactive and stable presence in the design world?
For Sim Fern, it was a matter of observing his own business practices and those of the professionals around him. He began to cull through the massive amount of opportunities that the industry afforded, figuring out which aspects promised long-term growth and which were all but dead ends. Ultimately, he was able to make a decision that met his own creative needs as well as those of professionals in the industry: he expanded his services and began to create custom furniture and millwork. This way, he could cultivate long-term relationships with a smaller but more reliable clientele of designers, architects, and contractors.
Sim Fern is the first to admit that figuring out a sustainable business plan is easier said than done — particularly in the fast-paced world of design. One of the most valuable lessons he’s learned is the power of learning the trade inside and out. Much of that starts with networking with others, who can give firsthand experience or advice not always available in reference materials.
Now, as Principal of Upbeat Designs, Sim Fern continues to collaborate with his clients and expand his professional network all the time. He created this blog to share what he’s learned about entrepreneurship, business growth, and more in the design world.