About Custom Home Furnishings
In 1993, Cheryl Strickland began a life-long mission of educating and elevating the professionalism of an isolated and secretive industry by publishing the first SewWhat? Newsletter and, shortly thereafter, establishing the Professional Drapery School and online drapery forum. Her determination persevered and she far exceeded and fulfilled this mission. By 2000, to recognize the expanded fields of concentration and growth, the newsletter, drapery school and forum were respectively renamed Custom Home Furnishings magazine, Custom Home Furnishings Trade School (CHF) and the CHF Forum.
In 2005, Ms. Strickland sold the school, magazine and forum to Margie and Andy Nance who renamed the school Custom Home Furnishings Academy and moved it to Charlotte, NC. The new facility continued in the inspiration of its origin, raising the quality of education and professionalism of the industry.
In 2007, the industry sadly lost Ms. Strickland, but her legacy continues. She will forever be honored and respected as a well-known industry expert and educator, creating pride and professional in the custom home decorating trades of drapery, upholstery, slipcovers and associated fields. In 2008, in honor of Ms. Strickland, the magazine was renamed DRAPERY & DESIGN PROFESSIONAL as a lasting reminder of Ms. Strickland’s mantra of “I am a Professional”, which she insisted every class or conference stand and repeat.
In 2009, to fulfill the growing needs of the academy and support daily operations and future development, CHF Academy LLC, a separate management company, was formed by the Nance’s, Jeanelle Dech and Michele Williams. In 2010 Terri Booser, Cheri Mulhare, and Jill Robson joined the team.
CHF Academy continues today as a strong and steadfast educational facility and support network, and is proud to be celebrating its 20th Anniversary in 2013! Past and present owners, directors and instructors share a powerful dedication to education and unyielding desire to empower Custom Home Furnishings Academy students and every member of the DRAPERY & DESIGN PROFESSIONAL network.
The dedicated staff at CHF Academy works attentively to ensure that each student receives a rewarding educational experience. Terri, Peggy and Andy truly are a team, working as a cohesive unit towards a unified goal of student satisfaction.
Terri Booser, Executive Director, is devoted to CHF Academy’s vision and mission and works avidly for its affective implementation and execution. Her passion for the industry is evident in both her daily duties as director, and in the classes she continues to teach. Combining a B.A. in Education with over twenty years in the custom furnishings industry, Terri is honored to lead the talented instructors and dedicated staff of CHF Academy.
Peggy Brewer, Education Coordinator, handles the administrative aspects of the student experience including inquiries, registration, scheduling and store purchases. In addition, she serves as executive assistant to the director and instructor liaison. Peggy is known for her integrity, kindness, patience, and attention to detail.
Andy Nance, Facilities Manager, handles the managerial aspects of the student experience as well as all facility requirements. His wide variety of responsibilities includes school store management, class preparation, and building maintenance, while also serving as the instructor for IN101B Professional Drapery Installation. Students enjoy Andy’s quick humor, positive attitude and unending helpfulness.