Bridge Upholstery and Drapery was founded by Robbyn Bybee and Manda Brandt. Robbyn attended Drury College and obtained a bachelor degree in elementary education. After teaching school for 5 years, she and her husband, Scott, started a family and Robbyn stayed home with her now 17 and 15 year old sons and 9 year old daughter. Manda attended University of Missouri at Columbia and graduated with a degree in civil engineering. After college, Manda worked in highway materials research and in highway construction. When she and her husband Matt started their family, Manda stayed home with their children. She’s been blessed to stay home with her children who are now teens, a 17 year old daughter and a 16 year old son.
Robbyn started sewing when she and Scott bought their current house. She wanted fancy, custom curtains and knew she could figure out how to get them done. Robbyn practiced on her own home which spilled over into helping friends out with their homes and grew into a business from there. Robbyn owned a curtain business, named Accent Décor, for the past several years and completed many custom curtain projects for local decorators and friends.
Manda grew up with a mom and grandmothers that sewed often and very well. Manda’s mom sewed custom clothing for others from home and always made any clothing or home decor item that she wanted for herself or her family. Manda learned to use a sewing machine beginning at the age of 8 and received training through a series of projects. She started with a 4-H terry cloth wrap project, moved on to teen clothing and decor, recovered sofa cushions to update a newlywed sofa, made bedding for both of her newborn children, and sewed all of her master bedroom bedding as well as draperies in multiple rooms of her current home.
Why We Sew
Sewing is our creative outlet. We love the challenge of recreating looks we find in magazines and online. We find great satisfaction in the happiness of our clients as we sew and construct draperies and upholstery that not only meet the client’s desire to update a look or coordinate with a remodel but also meet many functional needs. Our draperies provide privacy, light control and insulation all while greatly improving the look of the room. Our reupholstery projects restore the client’s furniture to be both comfortable and functional, but also tasteful.
We both love to solve problems and learn new things. We love to research new techniques and work to master new skills and best practices. We bring a depth of experience to our projects and love to find new, unique ways to sew and construct our draperies and upholstery.
Why We Love to Do Custom Projects
Our custom projects are tailored to exactly what the client needs and wants. This means no two projects will ever look alike. We love the variety of sewing completely unique projects each day. No two days in the shop are the same. We could never work in a factory where we made the same curtain or chair cover day after day!
We also love the challenge of combining client desires, drapery designs, fabric choices, drapery hardware and window size limitations to create a drapery that showcases the client’s room and windows in a unique way. Each project is a puzzle to be solved and ends with draperies that bring our clients great satisfaction.
We have success in our custom projects because we pay attention to every detail of the drapery construction. Look at the draperies in our photo gallery to see how each custom drapery project reflects our obsessive attention to detail. Notice the placement of fabric patterns in our custom draperies. We work to place fabric patterns on draperies in a way that coordinates with the pleats to make our finished custom draperies truly extraordinary.
The Start of Bridge Upholstery and Drapery
We started sewing together after Robbyn, and Accent Décor, acquired a few large sewing jobs and asked Manda to help her sew them. We knew each other from church and knew we shared some of the same creative passions. Working together on those first projects, we learned that we sewed very well together. Manda was a thinker that often spent more time thinking about a project than it would take her to sew it. Robbyn was a brave soul that jumped in and figured it out as she went along. So together we balance planning with sewing and have great success.
Those first sewing projects included draperies, roman shades and often window seat cushions. This was the start of our upholstery experience. When Robbyn’s mom asked us to recover an oversized club chair, we jumped at the chance. Armed with a Spruce Guide to Upholstery, our fledgling upholstery knowledge and our mad sewing skills, we tackled the chair as our first reupholstery job. It turned out great, so be bought a wing back chair to reupholster. With tools, foam, fabric and the chair itself spilling all over Robbyn’s basement, we decided it was time to find a workspace where we could work then leave our projects out and ready to tackle day after day. We happened upon the perfect little basement shop in downtown Springfield by way of some friends and were housed there for our first year of business.
Our second year of business started out with a move to 202 E Commercial Street in Springfield. We’ve grown with the space and have continued to make beautiful draperies and recover some great pieces of furniture. To see some examples of our recent projects, head on over to the Photo Gallery page.
Contact us if you’d like the Bridge Team to help with your next upholstery or drapery project.