Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Big Picture

Oh, the movie is coming out soon! I caught a glimpse of some of my framing in the first couple of seconds of this trailer. (I think I framed over 20 pieces all told for this flick, if you'll recall.)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Shout Out

The new issue of Philadelphia Home Magazine, a quarterly supplement to Philadelphia Magazine, includes a great article with designer Kevin Derrick, who is a local authority on the proper display of art. Knows his stuff. Singled us out (ok we're one of 2) as his favorite framer.

Thanks, yo.

PDF of the article can be found here.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Momma's Frugal Framer Loves Shortnin' Shortnin'...

a guestblog by Frugal Frames Owner, Mark Muhlig

hazelnut shortbread

Our customers are real people…not just walking wallets ripe for the picking. Yes we make a profit on what we do, but we pride ourselves on not mugging them. It’s an industry image that we have had to struggle with ever since we opened in 1996. You know the scenario…walk in with a decent poster; get quoted well over 400 bucks for a simple frame job. Bingo…lost profits and a disillusioned consumer who probably won’t step into another frame shop for a decade. Because of this gouging behavior, thousands of potential customers have been thrown away and I have never even met them, let alone quoted them a price.

But alas, this post is not about money. No, quite the opposite.

It’s about cookies.

Delicious home-cooked-from-scratch cookies, brownies, lemon bars…anything that comes from the heart, requires a little effort, and tastes like a slice of heaven.

We love our customers (most of them anyway). We will go the extra mile for them whenever possible to show them that we value their business. The problem is, we don’t have a chart that quantifies that little something extra. Sure we could put a timer on it and ask for cold hard cash. But we are not Taxi Drivers.

Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about. A Lady customer of ours realized that in a short three days her Wedding Anniversary was coming due. She had nothing but an old Blue Print of a Ship that her Husband had under the bed, hoping one day to frame it. She grabbed it and rushed it to us wondering if it was possible to get the job done.

Mind you, this was not some quickie dry mount with a cheap metal frame job. She wanted double matting, a fine wood frame, a good mount and quality glass. My wife was taking the order as I listened from the production room. It all sounded reasonable to me, but since I was going out of my way, I wanted something for my efforts.

I leaned out of the small room and asked, “Do you bake?”

She glanced at my wife, puzzled, and then back to me, “Uh, you mean like cookies or brownies?”

“Yes,” I responded, “I am a terrible baker and my kids love to eat ‘em. If I’m going to make you very happy in three days, could you bless me with some of your baked goods?”

She lit up with a big smile, “Absolutely, no problem, consider it done.”

In three short days, she had her husband’s present and my wife and kids had a tin full of home cooked brownies (with and without walnuts).

Now this sort of transaction pleases me in so many ways.

A] My kids have brownies
B] I’m a great cook but a terrible baker
C] The customer and I have entered into a relationship that doesn’t involve money.
D] It’s awful neighbourly.
E] It reminds me of times long past.

This brings us to our latest confectionary treat: Elaine is involved in several local groups (mostly involving mommies and/or crafts) where the subject quite often turns to art and subsequently framing. Now this is Center City Philadelphia, with a ton of fine restaurants, chefs and bakers. A few of which happen to be in these same circles. Elaine came to me with a request. Can she offer a bit of a discount to her friends in these groups?

This put my inner Ferengi into a little conflict. I thought about it for a moment…and asked,

“Do they bake?”

Valhrona chocolate