For Hector and Ana Barbacone, moving to Dumbo was an accident but staying in Dumbo has been entirely on purpose. Their passion for furniture upholstery and restoration stems from three generations of craftsmen in their native Argentina but since they set up shop in Brooklyn over fifteen years ago, they can’t imagine being anywhere else. “Our business was born in Dumbo,” says Hector. “We’ve seen many come and go but we’re proud to still be here.”
Their most popular restoration item? “Fine chairs,” says Hector. “People love their favorite chair.”
Most difficult restoration? A fiberglass glass loveseat with horse-hair padding: no tacks could be used.
Most unusual restoration: a very rare King George III chair that was so valuable, Hector took it home with him every night.
H&A Upholstery prides itself on being one of the first retail stores in Dumbo. The winning combination of a loving husband and wife team, a dedication to their technique and a desire to share their products with locals is what keeps H&A in such demand. “We’re still here because people appreciate the work,” explains Ana. “We enjoy seeing every piece we finish. Even if it’s a simple piece, we’re proud of it.”
But for Hector and Ana, it’s about more than just the furniture. “She doesn’t just have a lot of customers, she has a lot of friends,” Hector says of his wife. In the world of factory stores and generic furniture production, Hector and Ana are creating more than just a product. They’re creating relationships. “We like the people of Brooklyn,” says Anna. “We feel very special. We really love what we do here.”