I think it is because I really can’t draw or create artwork that I throw myself into the designing and creating of all framing projects. Framing is my art!
Since I love of what I do, it is the only job I have ever done and I couldn’t be more blessed. It is my passion for what I do, that is the reason why I have earned the loyalty of my customers who voted us “Best Of” Frame store three years in a row.
By educating my customers about what materials are needed for their projects, they become more invested in the outcome. To quote the late, great Sy Syms “An educated consumer is our best customer”.
Framing should be a “one shot deal”. It should be made to last a lifetime. I don’t believe in overselling materials that aren’t needed. However, I won’t put the wrong materials on a framing project either. Framing should protect the subject matter or items being framed, and make it look timeless.
If you frame a piece for itself and not necessarily for the room it’s it is going in, it should work no matter where you put it. And if you have to reframe something because it’s faded or now doesn’t match the room you’ve move it to or redecorated…your picture framer has failed you.
When designing for our customers, it’s important to listen to the story behind what they have brought in. It enables us so we can make it memorable and emotional, especially when they bring us a family heirloom or achievement, even something as simple as needlework.
All work is done on location and all materials are ordered directly from our manufacturers. By doing so, we eliminate the middlemen and can be competitive with even the big box stores.
Rarely do we have sales or coupons (though we won’t rule them out completely) because we are “old school”. When I started 43 years ago, there weren’t gimecks. You did a good job for a fair price. In other words, no game playing. We won’t more than double our price so we can offer our customers a 50% off.
In 1974, I half-heartedly looked for my first job. I went to a farmer’s market. And while exiting out of a hamburger joint, a gentleman asked me what I was doing there. When I told him I had just applied for a job. He grabbed my wrist, brought me to his framing shop next door, a place that my family had use for years. After asking his manager if they needed any help, she responded “No.”. And with that, he hired me immediately.
It was a creative outlet that I never suspected existed because I can’t draw my way out of a paper bag!
I used my framing skills, working at high end framing shops to pay my way through college. I earned my BA in Psychology. Immediately after I graduated (1980), I was a manager at Fine Arts Gallery (Heisman Gallery) on the mainline.
In 1986, I opened my business in English Village Shops (North Wales) as a sole proprietor. With our name taken from a Shakespeare play “As You Like It”, it seemed to be fate!
After 9 years, I outgrew that location, so I moved the business to Chalfont. And after 20 years, I found myself being drawn to be closer to New Hope and the river.
Moving to Lahaska (next to Peddler’s Village) in 2015 seems to be a perfect fit for my creativity, being surrounded with its artsy residences. I feel blessed to have my loyal customers follow me from my first 2 locations. They have come from Coopersburg, Philadelphia and even as far away as Maryland! I think they have followed me because I truly love the customers and the wonderful challenges they bring me. I’m know for my creative ways of framing heirlooms, memorabilia, awards, and of course all types of artwork including photography.
My attitude is playful while educating my customers. And by educating my customers, it make it easier the next time they come in to design something for them. Listening to my customers’ hearts…their stories, allows me to create an emotional experience that can…and has brought tears to their eyes, just looking at it. Which is why my slogan is, “We frame emotions!”