Rebuild The Upholstery Place - Sanford Dam Failure

The Upholstery Place and Design has been a fixture in Sanford, Michigan for the last 30 years. My aunt, Kendra Pelletier, is the proud owner of this much needed business and despite the sometimes overwhelming challenges of being a small business owner, she has poured her heart and soul into her “shop.” It has really been her home away from home ever since she went into business for herself in 1995. In the beginning, it was a family business as many of us were employed there. However, ten years ago, my grandma (her mom) passed away and then my grandfather (her dad) two years later. After their death, both her sister and brother moved away. Then sadly, three years ago, she was diagnosed with both breast cancer and lung cancer that spread to her spine, pelvis, and skull. During this time, the intense chemo treatments depleted her energy and left her unable to do what she loved most – bringing joy to her customers by recreating their most beloved pieces of furniture. She loved to see the smiles on their faces when they were presented with their “new” furniture.

Praise the Lord, she is strong and still fights the fight against cancer while back at work joyfully serving the needs of her clients. Unfortunately, her world was turned upside down once again - this time when her business was completely destroyed by the flood waters of the broken Sanford Dam. The water came right up to the top of the windows, submerging her entire building. Thousands of dollars of industrial equipment, as well as beautifully recovered furniture that was ready to be delivered to her clients, were destroyed and unsalvageable. She also had a van parked outside that was full of beautiful antique pieces that she had intended on restoring that was also ruined.

As if the loss of property wasn’t enough, she only had two months remaining on her 30- year mortgage and was eagerly looking forward to finally having it all paid off after such a long commitment. Now, the moldy plaster walls are disintegrating, the floors are warping, and the insulation is destroyed. She worked so hard for all these years and now all is gone and she has nothing to show for all those years of blood, sweat, and tears because it was not covered by insurance. She recently learned that her entire building will be demolished - which means she has quite literally lost everything! Her heart is broken as many of the items she lost are irreplaceable. Her heart also grieves for her fellow business owners who have lost their life’s work as well. Kendra is one of the most generous and loving people I know and is always willing to help whoever she can. 

Although the building that housed her shop will probably be condemned, her passion to serve her community through her upholstery business is still very strong. She has no intention of giving up and it is her intention to rebuild her business so that she can keep helping her community. There’s no doubt that she can thrive no matter where she is because her faith in God is strong. The flood may have taken away her building, but it didn’t take away her spirit or the talents that God gave her. Please help my aunt get her business back up and running. Any amount you could give, no matter the size, would be greatly appreciated. Thank you and may God richly bless you for your kind sacrifice.

*Any donated funds will be used to purchase or repair (if possible) affected equipment - sewing machines, air compressor, button machines, staple guns, and other pneumatic devices and to remodel a space within her home where she can work as her shop is scheduled for demolition.




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  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 1 mo
  • Anonymous 
    • $250 
    • 2 mos
  • Eric Krzywosinski  
    • $30 
    • 3 mos
    • $50 
    • 3 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 3 mos
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Organizer and beneficiary

Mellisa Hoffman 
Ooltewah, TN
Kendra Pelletier 
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