Christine King: #8216;It#039;s never too late to find your dream#039;

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 29, 2007

As parents from all over the state

send their children back to the classroom, it's easy to forget that there are other students who are also looking to reach a goal. The adult student.

Christine King of Luverne is a shining example of how the dreams and goals of anyone, no matter the age, can be fulfilled. The owner of King's Upholstery in Luverne since 1998, King did not always have the opportunity to put her skills and love of sewing into an entrepreneurial reality.

A 1966 graduate of Woodford Avenue High School, King is the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. John Cantlow of Luverne. After graduating from high school, King spent three years in New York as a nurse's aide, and then returned to Crenshaw County. She spent the next two decades working at Luverne Shoe Division, Alatex in Brantley, and Vanity Fair, remaining there with Healthtex until it closed in 1995.

&#8220I wanted a better life,” King said. &#8220I felt a need to go back to schoolŠThe factories in the area were closing, but I knew I loved to sew, and that was the first thing that came to my mind.”

At 49, King enrolled at McArthur State Technical College in Opp, and graduated in 1998 with an Associate's degree in Upholstery Designing Interiors. That same year, she opened King's Upholstery at 111 Cantlow Road and has been living her dream ever since.

&#8220My mom really encouraged me the whole time I was in college,” she said. &#8220She was sick and living with me at the timeŠ.I'm just very thankful that both of my parents got to see me graduate.”

King added that her husband, Henry, was her biggest &#8220cheerleader” during her college years. In fact, King has so many work orders now, her husband and their grandson Jamal Galloway have to help her.

&#8220I've loved to sew since I was a little girl. My grandmother and my mother made most of our clothesŠThe old pedal sewing machine used to fascinate me,” she said, with her soft laugh.

But even as a teenager, King had a keen eye for fabric and furniture, and she recognized a professional, &#8220finished touch.”

&#8220My mom went to flea markets and would get used furniture to reupholster, but somehow, they just didn't look like the items that came out of the store in the end, but I never told her that.”

Not only does King reupholster furniture, sofas, chairs, car seats and ATV seats, but she also makes and designs decorative sofa pillows, and refinishes antique furniture.

But, in order for this dream to come true, she had to first complete her degree.

&#8220I couldn't believe I had finished two years of college after being out for over 30 years,” King said. &#8220There are no words to describe how I felt the night I walked down the aisle to get my diploma.”

&#8220I had to step out in faith and trust the Lord to help me, and He did,” she said. &#8220I want others to know that if I can do it, they can, too. I'm a living example of how it's never too late to do what you really want to do.”