Process Peek: How We Made It

We put together a behind the scenes look at the making of our April 2019 cover image. Check out the hands-on process that went into framing this bright, fun, floating canvas print.

April 2019 Cover Image

  • Moulding: UMP1708
  • Stretcher Bar: SBAR112 1 1/2” x 1 1/2”
  • Canvas: FC Satin Solvent Canvas
  • Image: by S-O-C-I-A-L-C-U-T (edited)
  • Documentation: Danielle Gonzales
1) Printing

We formatted the image for print, adding two inches of solid colour for the canvas edges. We then printed the file on FC Satin Solvent Canvas with high quality inks and trimmed it to size.

2) Deep 1.5” stretcher bars were cut and joined in our wood plant at exact size.

Deep 1.5” stretcher bars were cut and joined in our wood plant at exact size.

We folded the canvas along the edges and stretched it taught over the joined stretcher bar, securing it with staples.

We folded the canvas along the edges and stretched it taught over the joined stretcher bar, securing it with staples.

We chopped and joined the frame to exact size, specifying an allowance of 3/16” all around to maximize the floating design.

We chopped and joined the frame to exact size, specifying an allowance of 3/16” all around to maximize the floating design.

Strips of 3/16” foamcore were used to create even spacing when fitting the canvas into the frame.

Strips of 3/16” foamcore were used to create even spacing when fitting the canvas into the frame.

We attached the stretched canvas to the floater frame with canvas offsets. For this particular moulding, we chose 3/8” offsets. Et Voila!

We attached the stretched canvas to the floater frame with canvas offsets. For this particular moulding, we chose 3/8” offsets. Et Voila!

Raise Efficiency with Spring Cleaning

Bright and fresh, cherry blossoms are the signal of Springtime.

Bright and fresh, cherry blossoms are the signal of Springtime.

By now Marie Kondo is a household name. The ubiquitous organisational guru is motivating even the most resistant of tidiers to pare down their belongings to items that either spark joy or are absolutely essential. As customers commence their own Spring Cleaning, they may be inspired to bring you sentimental photographs, previously framed works in need of updating, or objects and artwork that have been hidden away in closets and under beds for eons. Take this opportunity to reinvigorate your own workspace.

Get Ready to Sort

Dusting off your matboard samples, frame corners, and other product examples is a great place to start, but going that extra mile to organise your samples can revitalise your space and inspire not only you, but also your clientele. Go through your samples thoroughly. If you have the room to lay out everything of one type at once (matboard, moulding samples…) do it! Being able to see everything in one place will make it easier to assess which items you wish to keep, and which to discard. Start with one grouping of items at a time and be thorough!

Assess Your Samples

Having a large selection of matboard and moulding corner samples is often a point of pride for framing businesses – and this doesn’t have to change – but honestly assessing your sample collection will help you to streamline your consultation process. It can be nerve-wracking to dispose of samples that might result in a lost sale, so try dedicating a drawer to your less popular selections for the odd time that a customer does come in seeking a very specific design. Feel free to discard anything that you know for certain you will never use. If you’re not sure if a particular matboard or moulding is still available, don’t hesitate to contact your suppliers to check on stock and availability.

Organise, Organise, Organise!

Once you’ve purged the samples that you don’t use or are no longer available, it’s time to reorganise! Samples can be organised by a combination of brand, colour, family and/or price code. Find a system that works best for your business. If you’re reorganising and don’t have a number/letter system for your samples, you can now label them so that cleanup is easy and, dare we say, enjoyable.

Revitalize Your Stock and Inventory Storage

Step back and really assess your inventory. Do you have products that are broken, damaged, or dirty? Fix what you can and expel the rest. Donate offcuts of matboard that are too small to use (school programs and print studios are generally accepting), and take the time to trim down or dispose of damaged mats, foamcore, and sticks of moulding. Organising like items by size can be especially conducive to efficiency, since it makes it easier to gauge what you have at a glance, and what you may need to stock up on in order to keep your business running smoothly.

Upcycle and Sell

Do you have stuff on your walls that hasn’t budged in years? How about old pre-joined frames that are desperately out of date? You can repurpose old frames with new artwork, or give stale mouldings a fun refinishing job. Get creative and make a display! Most importantly, don’t be afraid to let go of what is no longer serving you. You’ll be grateful that you did!

 

How To Increase Sales During Slow Times

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With the holiday shopping season long over, you might find that February is a slower time for your shop. But, just because you’re seeing fewer customers or slower days doesn’t mean you need to suffer. Switch things up while you have the time, and you might find that you can turn a slow season into a spectacular one.

Celebrate a Holiday

February is the perfect time to promote picture framing. Between Valentine’s Day and Family Day, there are many reasons for your customers to celebrate and then to commemorate their loved ones with gifts of framing. Use window displays, social media, and email to suggest framing for these holidays that centre around sentiment. As a framer, you specialize in preserving their best memories.

Increase The Average Ticket

If traffic is slower, you need to be able to increase the value of every sale. While upselling can be tricky – you don’t want to seem disingenuous – you can make simple suggestions to increase the price of every ticket. Conservation matboard instead of white core is an easy way to do this. So is showing the differences between regular glass and anti-reflective. You don’t always have to aim for the most expensive materials. A 5-10% increase on every order is achievable for you, not likely to scare customers away, and adds up over time.

Prepare For Busier Times

If you find yourself with spare time, make it work for you. An hour or two without a customer doesn’t need to be wasted time. Instead, use your downtime to clean, reorganize, and update. Make sure your pricing is up to date, and contact your suppliers for any new samples. You can even use the time to research and learn new tricks!

Some days are busier than others, but that doesn’t mean your entire business needs to stop on those slow days. Find ways to generate more business, and work on those things you’ve been putting off. You’re bound to see the results as shoppers start heading back to stores.

What’s Your Story?

Page2Image1Gone are the days when you could simply rent a retail space, open the door, and expect to bring in customers. Instead, you have to strategically compete with any number of brick-and-mortar and online retailers vying for the same framing business. Every day, you have to stand out, so that customers see you amidst your competitors. There are many little ways that you can achieve this, just by personalizing your business. It doesn’t matter how big or how small your company is, telling your story is an effective way to emphasize what sets your business apart and is a valuable tool to help get customers through the door.

Who Are You?

You know who you are, but do your customers? Let them in. You can be as detailed as you like, but you want to focus on why you chose the picture framing industry and what it means to you. This can include your education, your motivation, and why you are the right choice to preserve your customers’ art and memories. You can add personal touches wherever you see fit. It’s about being personable so your customers can relate and connect with the people behind the business.

What Do You Do?

Do you have a specialty? Talk about it! You want your story to touch on the things that you’re an expert at. Being a picture framer requires more than the job title suggests. Make sure your biography and your story reflect this. List what you and your business specialize in and why it’s important to the core of your business and to your customers’ needs. Do you have a design background and want to help people beautify their space? Do you want to help preserve treasured family keepsakes? Are you interested in fashion and cutting edge techniques? Expanding on any of these suggestions tells a different story and caters to a different clientele, so use your story to appeal to the kind of customer that you want to work with and who would be intrigued by you.

What To Avoid

There are many stories that are simple and true but aren’t necessary to include in your business’ story. You maybe be family run or local, but so are many of your direct competitors. What makes your business stand out? If you want to emphazise that you’re family owned, tell your customers about your family. Why did they get started in the industry? Was the business passed down through a generation or more? Make it interesting and personal, otherwise it’s not a significant enough detail to include.

Share your story wherever you think it’s applicable. It can be a strong marketing tool in many ways. An “About Us” page on your website, in your logo or branding, or as a tagline can get your story out there. It helps to add a face to your company name, and give your customers a way to relate to you.