Tradewinds owner working to reopen upholstery shop

Published 4:35 pm Thursday, June 6, 2013

Owner of Tradewinds Upholstery in Clanton is working to get his shop back in order after a car crashed into the front portion of the store on May 30.

Owner of Tradewinds Upholstery in Clanton is working to get his shop back in order after a car crashed into the front portion of the store on May 30.

Exactly one week after a driver crashed into the front part of his store, Charlie Schoenvogel with Tradewinds Upholstery is trying to pick up the pieces.

“The place is definitely more crowded than it used to be.”

Schoenvogel stood near the front of his shop on Wednesday with antiques piled on top of one another, broken glass strewn about the floor and pieces of mangled furniture resting in small crevices of the store from the impact of the vehicle crash.

Due to insurance purposes, Schoenvogel was asked to not move any of the furniture until the damage could be assessed and has closed the shop this week due to having no room for customers to walk around.

A hot-pink poster board sign reads “drive-thru” on the outer portion of the store explaining to those passing by what happened to the shop and the store entrance has a handwritten sign telling customers the store is closed.

Schoenvogel said the motorist driving the car was traveling at a high rate of speed when he hit the front portion of the store and the impact from the car caused some of the furniture including a China display cabinet from 1880 to be heavily damaged.

“I am just going to have to trash that piece of furniture because I am not going to be able to salvage that,” Schoenvogel said. “I also have a walnut bed that was completely trashed resting in the front portion of the store.”

The crash occurred on May 30 shortly before 3 p.m. when a Hyundai Santa Fe car that was traveling south on U.S. Highway 31 crossed over one lane of traffic, hit the curb and crashed into the front part of Tradewinds Upholstery located at 1703 Seventh St. S.

No customers were in the shop during the time of the crash and Schoenvogel had just taken a seat in his chair toward the front of his store when the furniture inside the store started closing in on him.

“I heard tires screeching and the next thing I realized was the furniture surrounding me was closing in on me,” Schoenvogel said. “I am just thankful no one was hurt because that could have really caused some damage.”

Schoenvogel said he has seen several car crashes occur along the street directly in front of his shop due to motorists often speeding on the road.

A speed limit sign of 40 mph is posted a few feet away from the Tradewinds shop.

After the insurance company assesses the damage, Schoenvogel hopes to start repairing the front part of the shop and moving the furniture.

The driver of the vehicle was OK but told authorities including Clanton Fire Department and Clanton Police Department at the time of the crash he lost control of his vehicle.

Schoenvogel is still working on orders placed in his shop prior to the crash but the turnaround time for furniture reupholstering has slowed down by a few weeks.

“The crash happened on the two year anniversary of this shop being opened and it had been a good two years up until all of this happened,” Schoenvogel laughingly said.