Frankford, as we all know, is much more than meets the eye. One of the many special shops right here in our business district is Gilbert’s Upholstery, 4529 Frankford Avenue. They not only reupholster furniture, but have a large collection of antiques and a warehouse full of sofas, chairs, and more right behind their shop.
Though the shop is currently run by Gil Pons and his brother, Rick, their father, Gilbert Pons Sr., started the business in 1970, a year after he moved to the United States from Santiago, Cuba. Gilbert was nine years old when his family moved to Philadelphia, and he and Rick would head to their dad’s shop after school each day to learn the family trade.
Gil and Rick took over the shop in 1982, and their father officially retired in 1998. Both brothers love the upholstery business for a variety of reasons. But, most importantly, satisfying their clients is what gets them out of bed each morning. They consider their store a specialty shop, and work to ensure they return each piece to their customers’ exact taste. Gil also enjoys the challenges involved in his work: each piece has its difficulties and surprises, and he loves working with his brother to figure out how to overcome those obstacles and give their clients the best possible product. Recently, Gil and Rick have become a part of the nation-wide “green” trend. For two years they have been using sustainable materials and practices, and they are even a distribution point for GRID Magazine, Philadelphia’s premier magazine dedicated to issues surrounding environmental sustainability.
That’s not all, either. Gil is working to take his store online! Friend him on his new facebook page – search for Gil’s Antiques – and visit www.gilbertsantiquegallery.com. You can always do things the old fashioned way and call the shop at 215.744.5385. Maybe one day they’ll be on twitter, too!
But don’t just follow Gilbert’s Upholstery online. Stop by the shop and meet Gil and Rick for yourselves. We know you’ll love their gallery of antiques as well as their workshop.