For many years, local businesswoman Dara Fajardo has been involved in what she considers an infrequently practiced skill and art in the modern world, upholstering and custom drapery work.
“This has been a great experience for sure. I love what I do,” she said. “Every day is new, every project.”
A Roswell native, she said she learned the business from her former father-in-law, catching on fairly quickly on how to deconstruct, rebuild and reupholster indoor and outdoor furniture by herself. She also does bedding and auto seats and makes drapes, working for both individuals and commercial clients.
After 25 years of business, with some breaks along the way — and about nine years as an active downtown merchant — she is selling her business, now located in a leased space at 320 N. Main St.
“I am walking out on a good note,” she said. “Business is good.”
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Fajardo said she will be traveling to different countries in North America with elderly relatives for a while. She plans on leaving sometime in July. She bets she will be back to retire in Roswell, where she has many relatives, including a daughter, but she considers it a “once in a lifetime opportunity” to live in new parts of the world for a while and spend some time with her relatives.
Fajardo said she thinks the downtown location is a great one for watching people and traffic.
She agreed that the business is somewhat of an anomaly today. Many people would rather just buy new items than reupholster something worn or unsuitable to a new décor. But she says that often new items are not as well built as older items, and that even 150-year-old items can be refreshed.
“It is not a cheap process, but it makes things as good as new because I rebuild and replace,” she said.
Dara’s Upholstery has been an active member of the downtown merchants that work with MainStreet Roswell, said Kathy Lay, that organization’s executive director.
“She was one of the businesses that helped during the New Mexico True tour, when we were seeking a New Mexico True certification,” Lay said, referring to the New Mexico Department of Tourism promotion campaign. “She did an instant art project, a make-your-own-pillow project.”
Lay added that Fajardo also has participated in First Friday events, which seek to bring shoppers to the downtown area on the first Friday of each month by offering special incentives, extended shopping hours or interesting activities. For the event this Friday, Fajardo plans to have an Instagram celebrity pet, “Angel the poodle,” dressed in a chef’s outfit.
Fajardo intends to sell her business, not just walk away from it, and she thinks her landlord, a local restaurant owner, already has some contacts for new tenants when that time comes.
The ground-level of the downtown Main Street area is now largely occupied, and Lay predicts it will stay that way, at least for the foreseeable future.
“We get calls all the time about whether any properties are available down here,” she said, noting that well-priced vacant spaces on side streets are filling up quickly now, too. “That’s what makes me think that there would be plenty of offers if any space does come up for lease or sale.”
Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at email@example.com.