The Goshi Family Has It Covered

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - October 29, 2008
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(from left) Sav-Mor owner Alvin Goshi, Cafe Sistina owner Sergio Mitrotti and Sav-Mor manager Brodi Goshi admire the cafe’s newly reupholstered bar stools

Color swatches, more than 30 years of expertise in the industry and service with a smile are what the family business Sav-Mor Upholstery brings to the table. The father-and-son team of Alvin and Brodi Goshi make housecalls for furniture reupholstery in homes and businesses. They specialize in antique furniture and can fix sofas, love seats and dining room chairs.

“The best customers are from referrals,” explains Alvin Goshi, who established the company in 1975. “When we go to their house, most times it’s definitely a sale.”

Dad Goshi says one of the keys to his success in sales is to be patient.

“When there are more people involved in the process, it can be more complicated,” he notes.

His son agrees. “Sometimes, if two parents finally decide on which swatches they like, that’s great. Then, if all of a sudden another person like a daughter or son comes in, the whole order could change.”

Cafe Sistina is a customer, and past clientele include the late Don Ho, the late Kam Fong, who played Chin Ho Kelly on Hawaii Five-O , and the late Doug Woo, a KGMB television reporter.

Alvin Goshi, a Roosevelt High School grad, did several things before starting the business. His varied career included the Army National Guard, selling Bison vacuum cleaners on Maui and working with a roofing company. He then got a job giving sales estimates with a company called Liberty Upholstery and, when Liberty went bankrupt, two of the workers approached Goshi to start a company so they could continue to work. Goshi learned from his workers how to cut the fabric and learned how to sew, then he started upholstering seats for chairs.

The family business included all members helping out with the company at some point. Goshi’s wife, Cindy, worked in sales in the 1980s and 1990s. Growing up, all their children - Brodi, Kipp, Chris, Morgan and Kimm - at one time or another may have carried some cushions to a job site. The shop was based in a Dillingham warehouse for about 12 years, and currently there is a workshop at the back of their Pauoa Valley home. These days the workers do the jobs from their own homes or shops.

In 2002, Brodi, a former cab driver, started driving his father to sales calls. Dad gives the estimates still, and these days Brodi has taken on more duties as a manager. He picks up the furniture, buys the fabric, secures supplies, delivers the job to the workers, and delivers the final product to the customer.

“I’m trying to promote the business, increase our exposure and expand the business,” Brodi says, noting that he attends lunch meetings every Friday with a Honolulu Business Network group.

Upholstery makes up the bulk of the business, but they also offer wood refinishing, and can revitalize end tables or dining room chairs by sanding, staining and applying a glossy or satin lacquer, as well as minor furniture repair. They also create and install drapes for windows.

For more information, call 533-6708 or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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