The proud owner of Gomez Upholstery LLC has had no short journey towards being known as one of the best craftsmen in the Midwest. With his beginnings in a village town of Siguatepeque, Comayagua Honduras, Jose was born the fifth of sixth children and as a younger sibling he learned of the reward of hard work from his parents and older siblings.
From a young age Jose Gomez always possessed an affinity for plants, animals, and art. The tropical forests, and deep valleys of his hometown provided plenty of imagery and inspiration for much of his aesthetic and artistic value input in much of his art. As a teenager Gomez tried his hand at painting his surrounding environment. From the different flora and fauna Jose recalls planting and harvesting the now fully grown apricot, avocado, lemon, fig, and mango trees at his home. These skills and memories would forever be etched in his mind and his heart. Jose was no stranger to hard work. He learned how to upholster from his father who shared with him everything he knew about the trade. By the age of 10 he was working alongside his father who Jose says, "was his greatest teacher". Papa Gomez passed away, and young Jose began working in different shops around town. He did upholstery, sold fruit, worked in bakeries, and did what he could to help his grief-stricken family. Little did he know that his future work in upholstery would gain him recognition as one of the best tradesmen in the world.
By the age of 18, Jose landed himself a job with the Royal Caribbean cruise line. He embarked upon the next phase of his life with a heart full of aspiration and ambition. He flew to New York and began a nine-month journey working on the former cruise ship SS Galileo Galilei. At the time it was the most exciting thing he had ever done, as he was able to sail around the Caribbean Sea visiting places like Bermuda, Cancun, Jamaica, and St. Thomas. After nine months of arduous labor on the ship he decided to settle next in Miami, Florida. As a young expat in a new country, Jose found work and employment in various sectors of colorful Miami. One year he worked as a waiter in various Latin bars and restaurants. However, one job that has stayed with the artist, is the one in which he worked at a hot-dog stand. Jose recalls working in the south Florida sun and 100-degree temperatures dressed in a hot-dog suit, showcasing his dancing skills for people to come and try some delectable hot-dogs. So here we have a young man that has sailed the salty tropical seas, waited tables, bartended in nightclubs, and danced in a giant hotdog suit on the busy avenues of Miami. These experiences have remained a vital part of his motivation towards his current success and have contributed to his uncompromised work-ethic and dedication to his business projects.
After working all these different jobs, he eventually returned to the trade that he loved the most: upholstery. He worked at a few different shops around the Miami-Dade area. And while enhancing upholstering his skills in the colorful and bustling metropolis of southern Florida, he acquired an extensive client list which included some well-known personalities in the Latino community by the likes of Walter Mercado, Cecilia Boloco, and Julio Iglesias. Jose spent ten years in Miami before deciding to take a road trip to St. Louis to visit a friend. With a hunger and curiosity of the world he gladly accepted and found himself on a two-day road trip towards the city known as "The Gateway to the West". Upon the drive to St. Louis, somewhere in Tennessee while lost in his thoughts (about halfway there), Jose recalls a life-defining moment. He recalls a conversation that he had with himself, in which he prayed to The Most High god and asked for a new beginning. The very next day after he arrived in St. Louis his car with all his belongings was stolen from him, thus his new start was granted. Though he admits he felt defeated and helpless at the time, as the days passed, he understood this to be a signal unto himself, a sort of omen that he was in the right place at the right time. Jose was since filled with a type of ambition that allowed him to take advantage of a newfound opportunity to rebuild and reinvent himself in a new place. Very soon afterwards in the subsequent months and years, the boy from a small village in Honduras found work in various small upholstery shops. All the while overcoming an invisible but very real language barrier and learning how to navigate a brand-new city and support himself. "It was difficult at first," he recalls. "I did not speak a lot of English and I had to learn how to use public transportation. I taught myself how to ride the bus and train and I got lost quite a few times".
He further refined his skills and absorbed everything he could about the trade like a sponge. And in 2001 Jose opened Gomez Upholstery LLC at the intersection of Chippewa and Watson.
Today Jose with his immovable dedication and effort, has built a legacy of optimal customer service, fine craftmanship, and thus is well known for his high standard of quality and integrity. Gomez upholstery has the best work in the Midwest region. Boasting customers from all over the country. He has mastered and conquered his craft of innumerable fabrics and skins including sheepskin, calfskin, rich velvet, buffalo, and many other types including all types of materials embroidered and otherwise. In 2013 he expanded his artistic endeavors and opened a private gallery under the Art by Gomez entity. The same year he was featured in an article of the St. Louis Post Dispatch and the prominent St. Louis Home Magazine. In 2016 he was contacted by the St. Louis Home Magazine for another feature in which he agreed. He has numerous paintings on display in select spaces around the city. With a thriving business Jose has found peace and comfort in expressing himself through painting. His style is bold, colorful, unique. You cannot deny the uncanniness of a Gomez painting as he is known for his use of deep blues, reds, and yellows. "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 bring some color and warmth to the world through my art. With so much trouble and pain in the world I hope to provide some type of relief for people. I wish to share the beauty that I see in the world with others." Art by Gomez has patrons and clients in and outside of the U.S. and is available to ship anywhere in the world.
Gomez Upholstery is a remarkable example that dreams are not impossible, and no obstacle is too big if you have the heart and vision to overcome it. Jose Gomez is a self-proclaimed canine lover. He especially loves Dalmatians as he has been the owner of 3 in his lifetime: Bruno, Polo, and Nicolas. Both Bruno and Polo are both deceased. Jose is passionate about the helping stray and rescue dogs. He has worked the local non-government organization called the PAWS Program (Pets Are Wonderful Support). Since 2018 he has participated in the program's annual fundraiser called Art of PAWS. The program, sponsored by Purina and ran by the St. Louis Effort for AIDS, has a weeklong charity fundraiser event in the summer. They host auctions selling one-of-a-kind art pieces as well as sports memorabilia. Gomez has donated paintings for the charitable fundraiser. The St. Louis Effort for AIDS teams up with the PAWS Program to provide dogs as pets for those effected by the AIDS virus in the St. Louis area. Gomez also makes charitable donations to smaller canine rescue and sanctuary Caracas, Venezuela known as 'El Hogar de los Angeles" which translates to "The Angel House". He has expressed his interest in helping organizations that do not receive funding or are not as well known and wishes to expand his philanthropic ventures and projects.