Bognor student launches upholstery business

Brook Olsen has launched an upholstery business
Brook Olsen has launched an upholstery business

A college student has launched her own business at the age of 21.

Brooke Olsen opened Olsen’s Upholstery in Bognor Regis on Friday, Jue 10, on Durban Road.

She said: “I have my end of year show the following week too, it is all happening.”

Citing her father as an inspiration, as ‘he’s always owned his own businesses’, Ms Olsen decided there was no point wasting time.

“I have wanted to do this all the while I have been learning about it.

“There has to be a point where you get on with it.”

She reasoned: “I love it and I think that is what you have to do - find something that will work for you, then you are set up for life.

“What’s the point of having a job that just gives you enough money but doesn’t make you happy?”

With ‘upcycling’ very much on trend, the demand for Ms Olsen’s skills has already started pouring in - so much so she admits ‘I have had to calm them down’.

Projects in the pipeline include a campervan bed, chair for her sister’s craft room and a two seat settee.

Sadly Ms Olsen admits a common misconception is that upholstery ‘can be done in five minutes’.

She said: “Modern is mostly foam but traditional can be any sort of fibre like vegetable fibre, horse hair even hog’s hair.

“I prefer traditional, it takes longer but it is much more satisfying and comfortable.”

Describing her preference for ‘bold design’, Ms Olsen revealed she has fabric with big parrots on that she wants to use, while her current college piece is reinventing an old Victorian chair.

She said: “I have put some fabric on it which is bright floral and it looks like an oil painting. Sometimes things you don’t think will work really do.”

Ms Olsen is a city and guilds qualified upholsterer and has been studying at Chichester College.

To find out more about her work visit