October '16

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44 THE SHOP OCTOBER 2016 I f you were to poll the hot rod com- munity to determine which auto trimmers they admire most, Shannon Walters of Interiors by Shannon would surely make the shortlist. We were honored to interview him in 2012 for the fourth installment in our "10 Questions" series, where we pose 10 questions to a master, innovator or busi- ness leader in the field of auto upholstery who we believe our community of auto trimmers can learn from or be inspired by. Based in Alexander City, Alabama, Wal- ters has dedicated many years to designing and building the highest-quality hot rod interiors. His all-American, blue-collar work ethic combined with natural artistic abilities and an uncompromising devotion to perfection has earned him accolades the world over and the respect of his peers. Walters is, without a doubt, a leader in the auto upholstery industry. And though he's too humble to admit it, a master of the craft. Read along, as he tells us about how he learned to upholster, where his inspira- tion comes from and what his plans are for the future. THR The Hog Ring: How did you learn auto upholstery? SW Shannon Walters: I attended Southern Union State College in Opelika, Alabama and received a degree in Uphol- stery. The classes were 90-percent furniture upholstery. I learned how to fit, sew and use a sewing machine. I knew I did not want to cover furniture for a living, but I had to start somehow. I was able to do three cars in the two years I attended upholstery school. After a day trip to M&M Hot Rod Interiors, I dove in and started teaching myself. THR : What aspect of the craft took you longest to master and how were you able to finally get it right? SW : I don't consider myself a master at any of my work and try to improve along the way. There's always room to learn and better myself in this trade. I do put a lot of work in my seats and feel I'm getting the hang of those. Each year I learn more about building seats, creating shapes with foam, and sewing new cover styles. THR : Since founding Interiors by Shannon in 1996, you've been extremely suc- cessful. What's the best business advice that you've ever received? If you could share one piece of advice with current or aspiring auto trimmers, what would it be? SW : Try your best to stick to the part of upholstery you want to excel in. Whether it's hot rods, boats, bikes or furniture upholstery. Also, create a website or 10 Questions for Master Trimmer Shannon Walters By Naseem Muaddi, Shannon Walters has dedicated years to designing and building the highest quality hot rod interiors. HOT ROD & CUSTOMIZATION

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