Masters of the Art of Giving Framing Couple Megan Prenderville & Mike Harper BY MEGAN KAPLON
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE Set Goals, Discover Success BY CLAIRE SYKES
Mending the Supplier-Framer Relationship BY ED GOWDA
Consider Rustic Frames BY ELISE LINSCOTT
WINTER 2015 decormagazine.com email@example.com ______ CEO/Publisher: Eric Smith Editor-in-Chief: Megan Kaplon Managing Editor: Linda Mariano Copy Editors: Nina Benjamin, Fran Granville Contributing Editors: Paul Cascio, Tara Crichton, Ed Gowda Art Director: Stacy Dalton Graphic Designer: Lizz Anderson ________ Advertising Rick Barnett Managing Director, Exhibitions & Media Sales firstname.lastname@example.org 831-747-0112 Ashley Tedesco Director of Media Marketing Sales email@example.com 831-970-5611 Rosana Rader Director of Sales & Exhibitions firstname.lastname@example.org 831-840-4444 _______ Operations & Finance Geoff Fox email@example.com ____ Subscriptions Visit decormagazine.com for subscription information. _________ DECOR serves all segments of the art and framing market, including art and framing retailers, picture framers, interior decorators, artists, home-furnishing providers, OEM/volume framers, gift retailers, photo studios, suppliers, distributors, and manufacturers. The magazine features articles and columns from longtime and well-known industry experts and top art and framing retailers.
Cover Image: McKay Imaging Photography
Team Notes WINTER 2015 Each issue, our Team Notes column will offer an inside perspective on art and design, featuring stories and recommendations from members of the RMG team. This issue, we’re looking back at the past year and contemplating which galleries and exhibits stood out to us and inspired us the most in 2015. “I recently visited the new National Geographic Fine Art Gallery in La Jolla, California. I have always loved the photos published in National Geographic, because each picture tells a vivid story and helps create an awareness of issues affecting the world and its various life forms that otherwise we might never have known about. The thing that made the biggest impact on me was seeing those beautiful photographs in such a large format, making them all the more striking. What a great idea to pull these photographs from the archives and allow the public an opportunity to enjoy them in their own homes.” — Kelly McNeill, Exhibitor/Attendee Relations Manager “I had the pleasure of visiting Conde Contemporary Gallery, located in Miami’s historic Little Havana neighborhood, where I was truly inspired by the work of Andres Conde. He is able to materialize the essence of human character, strength, and emotion. Leo Tolstoy said, ‘Art is not a handicraft, it is a transmission of feeling the artist has experienced.’ Conde’s work is steeped in tradition and rich in history, and it shows pride in one’s roots, origins, and family. I am always moved when viewing his work.” — Mira Fox, Operations Manager “I recently had the unique opportunity to slip into Bread and Salt, a gallery space in San Diego, and experience Neil Shigley’s ‘Invisible Drawings and Prints’ in almost complete solitude. It was a moving experience to be able to stand in front of these compelling works with no distractions. Neil has an amazing ability to capture the character and soul of people living on the streets in such a raw way. Looking into the eyes of a person on the streets can sometimes be unsettling and create mixed feelings. Standing in front of ‘Mark’ and looking into his eyes had an unexpectedly strong impact on me—I felt a deep connection to ‘Mark’ and left with a desire to know more about his life.” — Ann Berchtold, Founder and Director of Art San Diego “I recently visited the Taft Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio, where I was impressed not only with the art, but also with the beautiful 1820s historic home the museum was housed in. Walking down the halls and stepping into each room, I got to see works by Rembrandt, Turner, and Corot. The works of art were not just oil on canvas—each had a life of its own. No matter how many shows I have been to or how many artists I work with, I always wonder: Someday, will someone look at these artists’ work the way I do these historic masterpieces?” — Rosana Rader, Exhibitions Account Executive D E CO R M AG A Z I N E .CO M
FROM DEPENDABLE FRAMING SUPPLIERS INTRODUCING THE WRIGHT COLLECTION
HINTS OF VENICE
Fotiou Frames has released a series of frames featuring hand-embellished fresco finishes. Inspired by the colors and culture of Italy, the 2¼-inch-wide Vintage Fresco frames are available in seven finishes at fotiou.com.
With his expertise in architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright, the king of mid-20th century design, built a large following of admirers and imitators. In his honor, custom framer Larson-Juhl has created a line of moulding with rich wood tones, metal accents, and wax finishes. Available in four profiles and two finishes, the Wright collection is available at larsonjuhl.com.
NEW FROM URBAN ASHES
SUSPEND YOUR ART
Urban Ashes continues to expand its offering of reclaimed and repurposed home decor items with the Suspension Frame and the Valet Tray. The Michigan company repurposes maple floorboards and plaster lath boards from Detroit into beautiful goods that also keep usable resources from going into landfill and create jobs for ex-felons. You can find the new items at urbanashes.com.
Wexel Art’s floating frames allow your artwork to make a statement. The frames use single or double panes of acrylic to suspend artwork and make it easy to change the item on display. Wexel Art frames are available in all standard sizes at wexelart.com.
NEWSMAKERS ATTEND EUROPE’S FRAMING EXPO
If you’re looking for a reason to journey to Europe next year, you might want to consider the FamaArt Trade Show. FAMA Europe, the European consortium of picture framers, organized the show, which will take place in Bologna, Italy, March 4-6, 2016. It will showcase some of Europe’s top frame manufacturers, as well as fine art, machinery, moulding, and digital printing devices and accessories. In 2015, buyers from 50 countries visited the event. For more information, visit famaart.it.
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THE GUERRILLA FRAMER
Corporate Sales The Other Half of Your Framing Business By Paul Cascio There’s no better way to dramatically increase sales than through a corporate sales program. Corporate sales are so important that I often refer to them as “the other half of the framing business.” A good corporate sales program provides an additional opportunity to make money. In essence, it’s like having another business—and another profit center. Despite the benefits and profit potential, most retail framers pay inadequate attention to developing and maintaining their corporate sales programs. Framers who neglect corporate sales tend to always have an excuse for their actions. “I’m too busy,” they say. “I opened a retail store so that customers would have to come to me,” “I just don’t have enough
having customers who buy from you on a weekly, not yearly, basis and who buy dozens of frames at once, instead of just one or two. Corporate accounts are the gifts that keep on giving. Your best customers will be your corporate accounts. Sure, it takes effort to start a corporate sales business, but that investment in time and effort produces handsome returns. I consider the investment to be minimal relative to the benefits corporate sales offer. For this reason, I encourage you to place more focus on corporate sales. If you are still not convinced, take a look at some of the advantages of corporate sales in comparison to retail sales. First, corporate customers spend more—sometimes, a lot more. Big sales,
Imagine having customers who buy from you on a weekly, not yearly, basis and who buy dozens of frames at once, instead of just one or two. Corporate accounts are the gifts that keep on giving. hours in the day,” or “I’m not in a big city.” In my opinion, none of these excuses provide adequate justification for leaving so much low-hanging fruit on the trees. Whether you operate a retail store or a home-based business, a corporate sales program offers opportunities that have too much potential to ignore. This situation is especially true when you look at all the benefits, direct and indirect, that a good corporate sales program offers. To envision corporate sales, imagine
as you know, equal big profit. Business customers also tend to spend more often than the typical retail customer. It’s not unusual to have a corporate customer buy from you on a weekly basis. Also consider that retail customers often frame items that they already own, whereas corporate customers often buy the art in addition to the framing. Even if it’s only poster art, the additional profit can be significant, and taking an order for art requires only a small amount of time and effort.
Corporate customers have other advantages over retail customers, too. Many corporate customers have a go-to frame that they use repeatedly. This practice enables you to buy frame moulding in box quantities, which reduces your cost basis and adds to profit. Although it’s only a minor consideration, in my experience, corporate customers seem less picky than retail customers. They are less likely to care that a particular gold frame doesn’t perfectly match another shade of gold in their decor. And when it comes to design, a corporate customer often simply instructs you to, “Frame it appropriately.” You still want to do a great job, of course, but you may be able to do it using a moulding that you already have in stock. I always provide free basic installation service on corporate jobs. This practice can become a sales opportunity because employees of the business customer will sometimes ask the installer about framing items for their home or purchasing art. Installations that go beyond a simple picture hook hammered into the wall while the installer’s feet are firmly planted on the floor do incur fees. Art installation can even become a significant part of your business should you choose to become proficient at it and if you are willing to take on the risks involved. Corporate installations also provide great exposure for your work. A lot more people will see your framing in the lobby
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of a hotel than in a retail customer’s family room. One final advantage of corporate sales is that it’s not seasonal. Your corporate customers will buy from you year-round. Now, let’s take a look at the excuses that framers typically offer for not putting more effort into a corporate-sales program. I’M TOO BUSY. Can you really be too busy to ignore something that could potentially double your income? I OPENED A RETAIL STORE SO THAT CUSTOMERS WOULD HAVE TO COME TO ME. This excuse is legitimate only if you’re happy with the number of customers coming through the door and the amount of money you’re making.
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I JUST DON’T HAVE ENOUGH HOURS IN THE DAY. If you open your store at 10 a.m., you still have an hour between 8:30 and 9:30 to pick up and deliver from your corporate accounts. That’s typically all it takes once you’ve established the accounts. And, if necessary, you can hire someone to handle deliveries for you. I’M NOT IN A BIG CITY. Although larger cities certainly have the potential to produce greater sales volume, they are also likely to have more competition. Corporate accounts are everywhere. They exist in the form of restaurants, hotels, large employers, government institutions, and more. I got my start in Hartford, Connecticut, a city of only 125,000 people, and I did well. Don’t be deterred by the fact that you’re not in a big city.
Stop making excuses and start making money. If you don’t have a corporate sales program or if the one you have is generating less than half of your total sales, make a commitment to increase this important segment of your business. There’s no better time to do it than right after the holidays, when retail sales slow down. The only significant investments are time and effort, but the payback can be tremendous. Make a strong commitment to making corporate sales the other half of your framing business. ® Paul Cascio is the lead instructor for The American Picture Framing Academy (pictureframingschool.com). Cascio also provides business and sales training and consulting. Contact Cascio at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Suppliers need framers, and framers need suppliers, so how can we all work together for everyoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s benefit? By Ed Gowda Lately, I have been hearing complaints from independent than expected. Disappointed customers spend less money framers that the quality of products they receive has been and come back less frequently, leaving the independent frame on the decline. There is a lot of speculation about why this shops with a smaller market share, less demand for their prodmight be the case. uct, and less money to spend with the suppliers. From my perspective, it appears we may be stuck in a One way of getting around these quality issues is by keepdownward cycle. Independent framers order less due to ing more materials in stock. This may not be realistic for many decreased demand, loss of market small independents, as it requires extra share, and disappointment from cusspace, but it helps keep the customers Independents need tomers over quality and increased happy. The huge discount framers get to find a way to show turnaround times caused by quality for buying moulding by the box, for the suppliers that issues. Suppliers in turn rely more example, is intended to compensate they are important to heavily on supplying big-box stores for the fact that the box is uninspected and larger online framers that pay from the manufacturer, so there may be themâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;not just a whiny less for the materials, restock less fresome bad sticks or spots that need to be inconvenience that the quently to save on shipping and storage cut around. The price usually more than suppliers have to deal costs, and use materials that they may makes up for the inconvenience and with until they can do have rejected in the past to maximize waste, however. Having the moulding without them. sellable supply. in stock means that if there is someUnfortunately, these actions cause thing wrong with the piece intended for framers to be more observant about the quality of the mate- the customer, it can be tossed aside and there will still be plenty rials they are receiving. Increased scrutiny combined with left to get the job done in a timely manner. an actual increase, no matter how slight, in distribution of Framers may also need to give the suppliers a bit of a break questionable material causes a dramatic increase in sensitivity on what they find acceptable. Some complaints I have heard are and complaint. Framers are forced to either use the materials just unreasonable, and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m sure suppliers would agree. Some as well as possible or return them, causing customers to get of the leaders in our industry have called for a zero-tolerance either a lower quality product or a longer wait time to get the policy when it comes to damaged or flawed materials, but I replacement materials. Customers are then disappointed if prefer more of a situational acceptance. If, for instance, the top the product is not up to their standards or has taken longer and the bottom sheets of foam board in each box have marks
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from the corrugated cardboard, I use those sheets to make spacers, filler, or any number of other things for which I need full sheets of board but for which smoothness is not critical. I really don’t need the suppliers to tack on the extra expense of lining the boxes with sheet metal or whatever other nonsensical solution has been suggested. I certainly do not feel compelled to return every sheet of foam that is not in pristine condition. I buy it by the box, not by the sheet. If the entire box were unusable, that would be a problem. If a sheet or two has to be repurposed, the box still has the same value to me. On the other hand, I would hope that suppliers would also take into consideration the best interests of the independent framers who for years have been their main supporters. It may seem easier for suppliers to focus on the low-maintenance big-box stores because they don’t have the time to argue over the minutiae, but it’s important to remember that the big-box stores’ ultimate goal is to eliminate the suppliers. Independents need to find a way to show the suppliers that they are important to them—not just a whiny inconvenience that the suppliers have to deal with until they can do without them. Suppliers need to understand that we independents are their greatest supporters and genuinely care about their
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continued existence. The big boxes and online guys are just buying from them until they can set up their own facilities. At that point, both the independents and the distributors will face the possibility of extinction. Let’s all try to have some sympathy for the other guy’s situation. I think that most framers understand that the suppliers are doing what they can to survive an uncertain period in the history of our industry. I also hope that the suppliers know that the loss of market share, the appearance of favoritism toward the big buyers, and what we see as a slip in quality control have caused some paranoia among the independent framers. Offering certain products exclusively to specific buyers, dramatically changing discount structures, pursuing large corporate clients and retail consumers, openly posting wholesale prices, making justified returns difficult, and shipping more unacceptable product aggravates our growing distrust. It might be time to step back, take a breath, and evaluate and communicate where we each need our industry to go. ® With three Framing Palace locations in Maryland, Ed Gowda has specialized in custom framing for more than 25 years. One of his passions is to share information and ideas within the industry. Contact him at framingpalace.com.
J O I N U S F O R F O U R D AY S OF CONTEMPORARY A RT & E NTE RTA I N ME N T I N T H E C OAC H E L L A VA L L E Y
MARCH 17–20, 2016 INDIAN WELLS, CA
OPENING NIGHT PREVIEW Thursday, March 17: 5:00 – 9:00PM SHOW HOURS Friday, March 18: 12:00 – 7:00PM Saturday, March 19: 12:00 – 7:00PM Sunday, March 20: 12:00 – 7:00PM
LOCATION Renaissance Indian Wells Resort 44400 Indian Wells Ln Indian Wells, CA 92210
APRIL 14–17, 2016 I PIER 94 I NYC
Lisbeth Sterling / And Be Merry / Mattson's Fine Art
Elizabeth LaPenna / Templeremnants / ADC Fine Art
CONTEMPORARY ART, PAINTINGS, PHOTOGRAPHY, SCULPTURE, GLASSWORKS & MORE TRADE DAYS Thursday & Friday
TRADE REGISTRATION ArtexpoNewYork.com/VIP
INTERESTED IN EXHIBITING OR ATTENDING? CONTACT US TODAY.
VIP OPENING NIGHT PARTY April 14th: 4PM–7PM
SHOW HOURS April 14th (Trade Only): 12PM–7PM April 15th: 12PM–7PM April 16th: 10AM–7PM April 17th: 10AM–6PM
SETTING GOALS Draw your road map to success and achieve your business goals with these tips By Claire Sykes
It’s wonderful to wander if you’re rambling down country roads or strolling leisurely through the mall, open to whatever catches your eye. When it comes to your framing business, however, you probably won’t get far if you don’t know where you’re going. Successful business owners set goals for themselves. They know where they’re headed and why, and they know exactly how to get there. When you set specific, realistic, and measurable goals, you create a road map for yourself. With it, you can steer your business in the direction that you want it to go, and you’ll be more likely to reach your destination.
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT You may think that your framing business is cruising right along, but it could be merely coasting—or even stalled—without your realizing it. Setting goals gives you a more focused view. If you want to achieve certain goals, you tend to notice those things that can help you and those that can hinder you. Goals give you control so that you can drive your business forward, instead of drifting aimlessly. They also help you set priorities, making you more aware of what tasks to take on and when, given what you ultimately want to accomplish. All of these goals feed your motivation by providing the vision of a desirable
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WITH YOUR GOALS IN SIGHT, YOU CAN TRANSPORT YOUR BUSINESS FORWARD, DRIVING YOUR DREAMS AND THOSE OF YOUR BUSINESS TOWARD YOUR DESIRED DESTINATION. outcome. Even the most mundane tasks take on meaning if they help you reach your goals. When you set goals, everyone associated with your business benefits. Employees feel encouraged to set their own job goals that can in turn help you achieve those of your business. This technique stretches staff members’ capacities and allows them to feel that they are part of a team. Setting goals contributes to more effective interactions with customers and vendors, who will enjoy doing business with energetic and organized companies. WHAT IT TAKES Along with ambition and a sense of purpose, setting goals that yield successful results requires the following qualities: A positive attitude. Attitude begins with supportive selftalk about your abilities and dreams. Write your affirmations in the present tense and read them aloud daily. This exercise trains your subconscious to accept your statements as true. Imagination. Each day, take quiet time to visualize yourself reaching your goals. Look at magazines and newspapers for pictures of your desired results and display them next to your written affirmations. Compatible goals. It’s not appropriate to ask staff about their personal goals. But if they’re saving for a car, an engagement ring, or a vacation—and they enjoy working with you—they will likely feel motivated to do their best, which only helps further the success of your business. Motivation & commitment. The drive to succeed requires desire and perseverance. Find ways to build and encourage these qualities in yourself and in your staff by providing the right support, motivation, and rewards.
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Incentives. Know what gets you and your staff going. Maybe it’s going for a quick run before you tackle those invoices or playing upbeat music for your warehouse staff. Contests and games also create fun and encourage everyone to work as a team toward their goals. Positive reinforcement. Reward your and your staff ’s successes with praise, cash bonuses, dinners out, or days off. Give employees public recognition by posting their accomplishments on a break-room sign or by awarding an employee-of-the-month title. Organization. Successful goal-setters keep strict track of their progress and wisely manage their time and tasks. Help yourself achieve this organization by running your framing business in a systematic, standardized, and orderly fashion. Independence & self-confidence. Are you and your staff self-directed and self-assured? Those qualities help you maintain the motivation and resolve to stay on course, especially when the going gets tough. Flexibility. If you’re poised for change, you can adjust your goals in response to uncontrollable obstacles and unexpected opportunities that any business may face, such as a weak economy or a large-volume customer. Perspective. When you can manage and respond to the smallest details while maintaining a focused view of the big picture, both within and outside your business, you have the vantage point from which to better achieve your goals. BREAKING THROUGH THE BARRIERS In any journey, you’re bound to come up against some roadblocks. Whether they’re mere potholes in the pavement or
READY, SET, GOALS! Your personal goals, such as starting a family or traveling the world, can influence those of your business. Your business goals support your personal ones and reflect what you consider to be successful for your company. Your staff members’ personal and professional goals motivate them toward their own definitions of success and can help you reach your own goals. With those points in mind, use the following steps to achieve your goals: LOOK WITHIN. Identify where you are, so you have a starting point on which to base your goals. Determine what you really value, how you can improve, the impediments in your path, and how you can overcome them. VERIFY YOUR VISION. Make sure that your vision reflects your values and connects with your core goals without conflicting with related goals. Imagine accomplishing your goals and the success that doing so will yield. LOOK AROUND YOU. Imagine yourself responding to threats, such as an economic downturn or increased competition, and opportunities, such as a financial windfall or increased industry support. SET YOUR GOALS. You’ll never reach your goals if you don’t name them. Afterward, you can figure out how to attain them. PRIORITIZE. Define long-term goals that you can reach in one to five years and short-term goals that you can achieve on a monthly, weekly, or daily basis. Manageable steps will enable you to master skills to push you forward. BE SPECIFIC. Write your goals with enough detail so you’re sure about what you want to achieve. Doing so will give you a clear and complete map to lead you along a focused route right to your destination. BE REALISTIC. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many goals. Your goals should stretch you beyond your comfort zone so that the challenge feels exciting—but not so far that you can’t reach them. ESTABLISH A TIMELINE. Choose daily, weekly, and monthly deadlines for each step to motivate you to stay on schedule. Set aside time during the day to work toward your goals. MONITOR YOUR PROGRESS. Note whether each step brings you closer to your goals. Keep track, giving yourself rewards as you go. Revisit your goals daily so you can adjust them as you face changes. MEASURE YOUR RESULTS. Your results may come in the form of monthly revenues or favorable customer comments. Whatever your goals, document tangible evidence of the outcome so it’s clear whether you’ve reached them. 64
extensive detours, you need to know how to navigate them. From faltering faith to fear of defeat, self-doubt can make for a bumpy road for even the most determined of goal-setters traveling through unknown territory. Therefore, fortify your affirmations, restock your imagination with fresh views of your vision, and distance yourself from anyone who doesn’t share your belief in your dreams. Family issues and illness, a struggling economy, and business problems can all obstruct your path. Accept them, work toward a resolution, and adjust your goals accordingly. Then, with eyes forward, maneuver around any boulders ahead and don’t let them do you in. If these barriers prevent you from attaining your goals, reevaluate your goals. Decide whether they are unrealistic and evaluate any miscalculations you may have made. Perhaps you didn’t start with the right resources, and you need to seek out people and information that can better support your efforts. No matter how you arrive at your conclusions, remember that all your efforts still count. Taking any reasonable risk strengthens you because doing so shows you where to make changes. This attitude helps you turn a potentially negative experience into a positive one. A NEVER-ENDING ROAD There’s no single route to achieving your goals. If one road reaches a dead end, take another. Just before you arrive at your goal, set new goals that push your limits and prod you forward. When you and your staff successfully reach your goals, savor the satisfaction that comes with achieving what you’ve set out to accomplish. Then, ask yourself why you were so successful, so that you can apply that knowledge to future goals. Finally, reward yourselves with that dinner out or day off. Make goal-setting an integral part of your business. Enjoy the journey, stopping occasionally to take in the view. And be ready to swerve in an unexpected direction should an opportunity inspire you. With your goals in sight, you can transport your business forward, driving your dreams and those of your business toward your desired destination. ® Claire Sykes is a freelance writer in Portland, Oregon. Her business management articles appear in dozens of retail trade publications. She also writes about graphic design, photography, the visual arts and music, health and wellness, philanthropy, humanitarian aid and development, Native Americans, and other topics for national publications.
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Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Miss the 3rd edition of
DIGITAL PHOTO PRINTING
BolognaFiere 4-6 March 2016 After the successful last edition Famaart 2016 is back in Bologna with three days of business networking and market trends!
In collaboration with
l Touch a on s er P
AFTER BELOVED SHOP DOG CHOPPER WAS DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER, FRAME TO PLEASE OWNERS MEGAN PRENDERVILLE AND MIKE HARPER OPENED THEIR HEARTS AND THEIR DOORS TO A VARIETY OF CHARITABLE CAUSES A family tragedy inspired framing couple Megan Prenderville and Mike Harper to add charitable efforts to their business plan three years ago. Ever since, the owners of Frame to Please in Red Bank, New Jersey, have expanded their involvement with charities, and they’ve reaped the rewards in their bottom line and in the immense satisfaction they’ve gained from giving back to their community. This is their story as told by Prenderville to Art Business News editor Megan Kaplon.
the world was not going to save our poor little Chopper, but we wanted to reach out and help animals that did have a chance. Chopper is still with us nearly four years since his initial diagnosis. He has been examined by several veterinarians, and they’ve brought up his case at national conferences, but there’s no medical explanation for why he’s survived. I think it has something to do with the fact that people come in on a daily basis and ask about him and his brother, Yoshi. Creating the Paws for a Cause kiosk and donating to Save U.S. Pets Foundation fulfilled my heart so much that I decided ••• to expand this mission of giving back to the community. So last When I was a senior in high school, I was very much involved in December, in the other hallway kiosk in our building, we opened and enthralled by the arts, and I took a part-time after-school job up a booth called Art from the Heart. We choose artists with the in a picture framing shop. I’ve pretty much been doing it ever since. same passion for the community that we have, and we feature My husband, Mike—an illustrator who had stopped illus- their work in a 60-day show. We don’t take any commission from trating because of technological advances that came with the these shows; instead, that money goes directly to a foundation computer age—and I decided to start a picture framing busi- of the artist’s choosing. ness out of our basement. Within five years, it had grown to the The only restriction we put on the charity each artist point that we needed to move to a chooses is that it has to be a retail brick-and-mortar shop, and legitimate 501(c)(3) foundation. Charity and art seem to work we’ve been in the same location in so well together. They’re both such Right now, we have illustrator Red Bank, New Jersey, ever since. Mike Kupka showing in the personal choices. Art speaks to We have two shop dogs that Art from the Heart booth. His people differently—it speaks to their we bring to work every day, and show, “Capturing the Game,” they are very well-loved, special features Kupka’s sports illustraheart, and so does charity. dogs within the community. In tions. When we asked him what 2012, one of the dogs, Chopper, was diagnosed with cancer and foundation he’d like to support, he immediately said pediatric given four to six weeks to live. The experience of dealing with cancer, so, together, we selected the Ashley Lauren Foundation. his medical care inspired us to convert one of the kiosks in the Katie Benson, a paper-crafts artist, was another one of the hallway into a pet-boutique shop we dubbed Paws for a Cause artists we featured in the Art from the Heart kiosk. She does that would benefit the Save U.S. Pets Foundation, a charity that these amazing little paper crafts, and she makes adorable aprons; grants money to people who can’t afford emergency health care she is just über-creative in everything that she does. She went for their pets. It seemed like a good fit because all the money in into the kiosk and just magically transformed it. It was very
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McKay Imaging Photography
Clockwise from above: Mike Harper and Megan Prenderville with chopper and yoshi outside Frame to Please; Prenderville with artist Katie Benson; Mike Kupka's Art from the Heart opening; Prenderville, Chopper, and Yoshi with photographer Kim Levin; Harper at another Frame to Please charitable event. dreamlike, what she had created, and I was really shocked and very pleased that she did so well with that show. She chose to donate to the Save U.S. Pets Foundation as well. We have a book signing by photographer Kim Levins coming up in the Paws for a Cause booth. She just published her 20th book, and since Chopper and Yoshi have been included in one of her books, they’ll be at the signing too. There have been happy coincidences along the way when our charitable efforts have really benefitted our business. Mostly, though, we enjoy sharing our networking group with the artists and with the foundations they choose. It’s about bringing three circles together and creating a larger circle. We give the artists access to all of our social media and our press releases, and we hold an opening for them. Charity and art seem to work so well together. They’re both WINTER 2015 EDITION
such personal choices. Art speaks to people differently—it speaks to their heart, and so does charity. We’re so grateful to have been in business all these years, especially since Red Bank is such a competitive area. We feel that we’ve set ourselves apart by having two stores that give to local charities—not to mention that it’s just a socially responsible thing to give back and thank our customers for patronizing our stores. It’s a little bit different from just going into a big-box store where you make a purchase and that’s it. We’re different; we continue on our relationship with our customers. ® SINCE ABN CONDUCTED THIS INTERVIEW, CHOPPER PASSED AWAY. MEGAN AND MIKE PLAN TO CONTINUE RAISING MONEY FOR SAVE U.S. PETS IN HIS MEMORY, AND IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE CAUSE, VISIT SAVEUSPETS.COM.
This fall, as the leaves were starting to turn and the weather was becoming cool and crisp, I took a ferry to Nantucket Island, 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick describes the island as “an elbow of sand.” In the summer, Nantucket is a playground for the rich and famous, but it’s also home to many skillful artisans, and downtown galleries proudly display the works of local artists
along the cobblestone streets. I especially enjoy visiting Nantucket in the fall, when most summer visitors have left and the island returns to its peaceful, quiet state. As I was browsing the town’s Farmers and Artisans Market—the last one until spring returns—I found two beautiful photographs by local artist Kaity Farrell. One photo was of Great Point Lighthouse, which is on the northern tip and the most remote part of the island;
it requires a four-wheel-drive vehicle and at least 20 minutes of driving on the beach to reach it. I have special memories of spending long summer days with friends there and winter days when the only other people around were serious fishermen casting off from the beach. When I saw the photo, a giclée print with a scene of the lighthouse just before sunset and with a flock of gulls overhead, I knew just the kind of frame I wanted: a
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Julia Ardaran/Shutterstock.com; Lapina/Shutterstock
THE STEADILY INCREASING POPULARITY OF DRIFTWOOD AND RECLAIMED WOOD FRAMES By Elise Linscott
rustic, reclaimed, or driftwood frame with natural tones to complement the tones in the beachscape. And, as I found when I visited local frame shops, I wasn’t the only one. Rustic styles have become more popular in recent years, as trends have shifted away from the more formal and traditional styles of the past. More consumers are looking for natural-looking and reclaimed wood for both home and business interiors, including frames that complement a rustic design. Nantucket is no exception. Its grayshingled homes are naturally weathered, and artists often carve reclaimed wood from its shores into art. As other trends have waxed and waned over the years, rustic frames have held their own, slowly yet steadily gaining popularity. “I love the reclaimed wood frames,” says Blake Richard, owner of Nantucket Frameworks. “I love the look of them, … and I sell quite a [few] of them.” Since opening Nantucket Frameworks 15 years ago, Richard’s clientele has expanded to include galleries, shops, and designers, as well as individual customers who want to frame prints and paintings for their homes. Of the 200 frame styles Richard stocks, only two are truly reclaimed wood frames, and 15 more are driftwood or rustic-looking; still, the rustic frames that he stocks do well. He estimates that the rustic-style frames are in the top three or four most popular frame groups he offers, with plain white being the most popular at the moment. The rustic frames Richard carries are mostly in varying shades of gray and white, though he stocks a couple of black driftwood frames as well. Though these frames have some obvious applications for such things as my print of the lighthouse and beachscape, for example, beach-themed artwork isn’t what sells most of Richard’s rustic frames. Richard says he’s framed more mirrors than
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artwork in the reclaimed wood frames. If customers are interested in the rustic or reclaimed frames, Richard will often show them more than just a corner sample to make sure they know what they’re getting. “With the reclaimed wood and even some of the other driftwood I have, a lot of times I’ll pull a full stick of it because sometimes a corner sample doesn’t actually show the full detail, like nail holes right through the top of the frame,” explains Richard. “Every time I sell a reclaimed wood I say, ‘Just so you know, this is part of the character of the frame; it might have nail holes or other imperfections.’ ” For customers who like the idea of a rustic frame but don’t want actual reclaimed wood complete with nail holes, Richard offers a selection of factory-produced driftwood frames, which are also popular. These frames have clean lines, no flaws, and no nail holes or nicks. Some of Richard’s frames are preassembled, but many require cutting and sizing, and some of the authentic reclaimed wood frames require additional work in that regard. “[The gray reclaimed wood frame I stock] starts out as a larger piece of wood, and they run it through a saw to make it 1.5 inches wide. It cuts into the inside of the wood, which is not naturally weathered like the outside, so when I’m doing those, I use a gray stain [on] the inside lip of the frame, so it has a gray look like the rest of it,” he says. “I’ve seen people who don’t take the time to do it, but I think [omitting] it looks terrible.” These rustic, reclaimed, and driftwood frames are becoming popular across the country. As I wandered through my Seattle neighborhood this fall, I stopped into a few local frame shops to check out their selections of rustic frames. The shop owners all say the same thing: Rustic frames are popular and have been gaining steam in recent years. Most frame shops
I visited, however, don’t carry any truly reclaimed wood frames. Art that incorporates rustic-style and reclaimed wood is not a new trend, either. My mother, a fine artist who paints still lifes, remembers meeting another artist at a show years ago who did some of her paintings on reclaimed barn wood. Those pieces always sold out, she told my mother. Some style trends fade quickly. Take gold frames, for example. “Ten years ago, gold frames were flying out the door,” says Richard. “Now, they’re only about one of every 40 framing projects that I do. But reclaimed woods and driftwoods have held their own, and their popularity has even slightly gone up.
“I think [the demand for driftwood and reclaimed-wood frames] is probably going to become stronger as the years go on,” he continues. “I figure the white has to phase out eventually, and the reclaimed and driftwoods are going to step up even more then.” ® Elise Linscott is a freelance journalist based in Seattle. A Massachusetts native and Western New England University grad, Linscott previously worked as a staff reporter for a newspaper, and she loves getting outdoors, meeting new people, and exploring.
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