The renown owner of Gomez Upholstery LLC has traversed a long path to get to be known as one of the best artisans in Central America. José Gómez grew up in the small town of Siguatepeque, in the municipality of Comayagua, Honduras. His parents, Pablo Gómez and Lidia Guzmán, were humble, hard-working and honest people, that from a very young age taught their children the importance and the value of hard-work. José is the fifth kid of six children. From a very young age, he became interested in nature and the arts, which is not a surprise given that he grew up surrounded by the tropical warmth, the Mayan culture, and the rural traditions that were characteristic of his hometown.
From a very young age he learned how to carry out hard labour. As in every humble family, the children help their parents with different kinds of tasks. It is through this that José, at the age of 10, learned the art of upholstery. The memories and skills forged in this stage of his life will always be in his mind and heart, especially when they remind him of his father, who taught him how to do upholstery. “My greatest teacher” – that’s how José Gómez refers to the man that gave him his life.
When his father passed away in June 1980, José and his siblings had to take different roles at home, which is why they started working in upholstery, baking, and selling fruits, with the sole purpose of helping their family. What he did not imagine, though, is that the art of upholstery would propel him and turn him into one of the best upholsters abroad.
At the age of 18, José got a job with Royal Caribbean Cruises, not imagining that he was about to begin the biggest adventure of his life, one which he started full of hope and ambition. He traveled to New York and started a new trip of nine months with the cruise line previously known as SS Galileo Galilei. At that moment, this was the most exciting adventure he had ever embarked in, because he was away from home, and because he visited places like Bermuda, Cancún, Jamaica, and San Tomás. After nine months of hard-work in the ship, José decided to settle in Miami, Florida. He was a young man full of new expectations, and curious as to what was expecting him far away from the land of his parents. In his settlement process, José found different types of jobs in different sectors of Miami. One year, he worked as a waiter in Latin American bars and restaurants. However, he remembers with much pride a particular job that taught him a lot about humility, and that reminded him that his dreams where not limited to his present. Instead, he knew that his present would give him a boost to continue to grow. Working under the intense sun and heat, José got a job in a hot dog booth, where he had to spend many hours giving away flyers while wearing a Hot Dog costume and showcasing his dancing skills to catch people’s attention. After acquiring experience in different type of jobs, José was finally able to find his true passion, the one he inherited from his father: upholstery. Thus, Florida allowed him to improve his skills and get meaningful experience and opportunities, since he was able to work for different celebrities from the Latino community, such as Walter Mercado, Cecilia Boloco and Julio Iglesias. José spent ten years in Miami before deciding that it was time to head into a new adventure. He packed his bags and decided to make a road trip to St. Louis, Missouri, to visit a friend. With all the hunger and curiosity of the world, he accepted this new adventure that would lead him to his new home.
These experiences have motivated him to success, and have contributed to his dedication in his entrepreneurial projects. In his road trip to St. Louis, somewhere in Tennessee, while he got lost in his thoughts, José remembered one of the most transcendental moments that helped define his life: a conversation with himself in which he prayed to God and asked him for a new beginning. However, he could have not imagined that just one day after arriving to St. Louis, he would get all of his belongings stolen, leaving him defenseless but with more grit to start everything from scratch. Nevertheless, he does admit that he felt defeated and defenseless at the moment. However, as days went by, he was able to understand that it was a sign, some sort of omen, telling him that he was in the right place at the right time, which was why he needed to seize this opportunity that life was giving him. Filled with motivation, he took over the challenge that was starting in a new city with a language that he barely spoke. It was the moment to seize this opportunity to rebuild and reinvent himself. In the following years, the young Honduran found employment in different upholstery stores. Overcoming the invisible yet very real language barrier, and learning to navigate a new city to better himself. “It was hard at first,” he remembers. “I did not speak English very well and I had to learn how to use public transit. I learned how to use the bus and the train, even though I got lost many times trying.” In addition, he refined his skills and absorbed everything he could about commerce as a sponge would with water, allowing him to do what he loves the most and take precise decisions that have allowed him to expand the business he owns today.
In 2001, José Gómez opened Gomez Upholstery LLC in the Chippewa and Watson intersection. Today, Gómez, with his unchallenged
dedication and effort, has built a legacy of customer service, fine upholstery, and is thus well-known for his high quality
and integrity. Gomez Upholstery does the best work in upholstery in the Mid-Western region, having customers all around the
country. Similarly, he has expanded his catalogue of fabrics, allowing him to create original and unique pieces,
including sheep skin, calfskin, velvet, buffalo, among others.
In 2013, José expanded his artistic efforts and opened a private gallery under the entity Art by Gomez. Today, he has numerous paintings exhibited in selected spaces around the city. With a prosperous business, José found peace and comfort by expressing through painting. His style is bold, colourful, and unique.
His origins, his story, his procedures, his childhood in his town, and his life experiences in high tides and in American soil provide him with most of the inspiration that this great artist uses in his creations. Since his teen years, José expressed his art by painting what he saw around him, without knowing in that moment that what he was taking as a hobby would become a passion.
Art by Gomez has pieces for clients within and outside the United States and is available for shipping in any part of the world. Gomez’s upholstery is a notable example that shows that dreams are not unattainable, and no obstacle is big enough if you have the heart and vision to overcome it.
“I want to make people feel something when they see my art. I want to give people something that they will love. I want to provide color and warmth to the world through my art, [and] through my furniture. With so many problems and pain in the world, I hope to provide some type of relief to people. I wish to share the beauty that I see in the world with everyone else.”