Premier Furniture Upholstery Company

Knops Upholstery Inc. is one of the most established and trusted service providers in the Greater Bay Area, having served communities for more than three decades.

Our Mission is to treat everything we touch like a work of art.

Looking Back at Knops Upholstery’s Journey Over the Years

In 1958, David and Ethel Knops established Knops Upholstery Inc. Ethel helped with the books while David ran the workroom and accommodated the clients.

An Innately Skilled Person

Jose has always been great with his hands and was always the first to finish even as a young boy.

Becoming Synonymous With Excellent Craftsmanship

David always stressed quality workmanship. With the help of long-time employees Maria Marquez, Joe Avalos, and Jose Rodriguez, the company quickly became a name people could trust!

Passing the Torch to Jose Rodriguez

David retired in 1987. He then entrusted his company to Jose, a part-time employee at Knops for many years. Jose accepted David’s offer to purchase the shop.

Jose’s Background and Experience

Jose started working in the upholstery business in 1970 when he joined Kroehler Manufacturing Company, which builds production-line furniture. Required to finish 100 or more pieces of furniture per day at work, he learned to be extremely fast.

He developed his speed and became one of the fastest workers in the company. On many occasions, Jose would get paid for piecework. He would finish his number and go home early.

An Innately Skilled Person

Jose has always been great with his hands and was always the first to finish even as a young boy.

Working at the National Upholstering Company

In 1972, Jose left Kroehler for a more challenging career opportunity.

He started working at a high-end furniture manufacturer called National Upholstering Company, which has showrooms across the United States and is famous for building some of the highest-quality custom furniture available.

Getting a Quick Promotion

Jose was there to help them establish that reputation. He started working as an outsider, and three months later, he got promoted to a full upholsterer.

In a short period of time, he was promoted to shop foreman in charge of 30 upholsterers, overseeing the production of over 100 employees.

A Diligent Worker

He quickly became one of the owner's most trusted employees because of his honesty and incredible work ethic. He was one of the company’s strictest foremen, never letting anything go that wasn’t done properly.

Major Contributions as an Employee

He helped the National Upholstering Company upholster many of their showpieces, which were photographed and advertised in catalogs and magazines all over the world.

He helped acquire large manufacturing contracts by simply producing a better product than the competition and has taught so many in the industry.

Learning the Trade As Jose’s Son

My name is Victor Rodriguez. Jose is my hero and father, as well as the fastest and best upholsterer I know.

In 1986, I started to learn the trade in the basement of our home. My dad would bring work home from Knops, and we would finish it together in the evenings and on Saturdays.

Following in My Father’s Footsteps

I graduated high school in June of 1987 and went straight to work at the National Upholstering Company. There was a big difference between reupholstering an existing piece of furniture and building a piece of furniture from the bare frame.

I was confused, and when I had a question for my dad, I would have to wait because he was all over the company, answering questions in different departments. I felt pretty worthless. Here’s the boss's 17-year-old son, who didn’t have a clue.

Finding the Motivation To Excel

I remember one day waiting for my dad and looking around the company, trying to find him. I made eye contact with one of the journeymen. He saw that I was waiting around and shook his head in disappointment.

It gave me the spark I needed to push myself. My dad didn’t help my situation then because when I would finish a job and ask him for the next one, he would always give me the more difficult jobs to do.

I would ask him, “Dad, can you please give me the easier jobs?” He would always say, “If you learn to do the more difficult things first, then everything you do will become easy.” He was right.

Becoming a Fast Learner

Dad gave me a notepad and told me to write down each sofa style and any instructions he gave so I wouldn’t forget. In three months, I started working on jobs that some of the journeymen were doing.

I began working on a costly premier line of sofas in less than five months, first upholstered in muslin and primarily constructed of hand-stitched hair, earning full five-year journeyman pay.

Delivering Outstanding Results

My dad also started to give me some of the company’s showpieces and samples. They were photographed and advertised in premier magazines all over the world. Every time I would finish a piece, I would put it on the floor.

The same journeyman that shook his head at me just several months before would walk over to my piece, look it over, and say, “Man, you do beautiful work.” Other journeymen would comment that they had never seen anyone learn so much so fast!

Knops Upholstery Inc. Under New Management

On January 1, 1988, Knops Upholstery Inc. opened its doors for the first time under the Rodriguez family name.

Along with my dad, Jose, me, my brother, Samuel, who is one of the best furniture finishers in the business, my sister, Patricia, who is working part-time, and my mom, Margarita, the nicest person you could ever meet, we went to work.

Over 35 Years Later

Now, we have two new generations that have become our own. We have continued to build the name of Knops by treating everything we work on like a piece of art and offering the best craftsmanship available.

We have serviced the Greater Bay Area from Palo Alto to Tiburon, from Berkeley and Oakland to Danville and Pleasanton, and as far up as Napa, Antioch, Tracy, and Modesto.

What You Can Expect From Us

We would now like to bring our very old-school tradition and expertise to blend with our modern times. With the help of my newest and oldest partner, my wife Stacy, the Rodriguez family welcomes you to our new website!

From our family to yours,

Victor Rodriguez

Have Questions? Talk to Us!

Reach out to our staff for additional information about our services. We’d love to hear from you.