Furniture restorer credits father’s influence in craft

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 23, 2007

NATCHEZ — Furniture polish runs in his blood. As a boy he watched his father breathe new life into abused, broken-down, furniture. Now, three decades later, Natchez native Matthew Robb is doing the same.

Robb recently took over his father’s furniture restoration and upholstery business and has big plans for his small company.

“I’ve been around my dad watching him do this for years,” he said. “He got tired of it and decided to turn it over to me.”

Email newsletter signup

When he was only 10, Robb’s father introduced him to the mecca for the furniture restorer — the flea market. Robb’s father would buy worn-out pieces of furniture, restore and resell them for a profit. Robb quickly learned the trade and when he got older, he began attending seminars and classes to learn more about the restoration process.

“I just love being around furniture,” he said. “I just love it.

The 41-year-old hopes to turn his passion for furniture into a profitable business that gives back to the community. Robb said he hopes to turn his company, Robb’s Furniture Restoration and Upholstery, into a million dollar enterprise.

“I want to grow this business,” he said. “I would love to create jobs for people in Natchez.”

As the company’s CEO, CFO and only employee, Robb said he stays extremely busy.

“I’ve got plenty of business,” he said. “I work a lot of hours, usually 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. I don’t work on Sundays though.”

Spend five minutes in Robb’s Smith Street workshop and it becomes obvious that he stays busy. In one corner, a queen-size bed awaits a complete makeover. In another, a wooden chair with only two legs leans against a wall. Near the entrance, a dirty, stained sofa with broken feet looks forward to new upholstery. There’s furniture everywhere, all waiting to be restored.

Robb wouldn’t specify how long it takes him to work his magic on a typical piece of furniture. Instead, he replied, “I make sure it’s done right. I find the problem and take care of it.”

He was quick to point out, however, that the customer always knows what needs to be done and what exactly it will cost.

“I always call the customer and update them on the progress,” he said. “I tell them how it’s going and what I’m doing.”

The second generation furniture man repeatedly acknowledged his father’s influence and how grateful he is for it.

“This man knows furniture like the back of his hand,” he said. “I learned a lot from him.”

For more information on Robb’s Furniture, visit