New Businesses in 2019: Katie’s Art & Frame
Why was 2019 the right time to open your business?
After working for 13 years in the art and framing industry, the perfect location became available to open my own custom frame shop on Village Road in Leland. With the added experience in graphic design, printing, marketing and finance, I felt like I had all the tools I needed to launch a successful business of my own. I worked many years for George Murray of Murray Art & Frame. When George closed the custom framing portion of his business, Leland residents and businesses were left with no local framing options other than a trip to Wilmington or Southport. The quality and reputation of my workmanship built over the years working for Murray and the following of residents in the local community gave me the confidence that I would do well for myself when I was ready to open shop.
What made Leland the ideal location for you?
It’s where I’ve worked in the industry for 13 years; my customer base is right here. It is my hometown. I have lived here almost all of my life and I love how it has evolved and grown. Leland is booming with growth and opportunity, as seen in the past decade. With the influx of new residents, there is a high demand for my services to help adapt to different styles of home layouts and decor.
What services and products do you offer?
I offer expert custom framing of items like diplomas, shadowboxes, needlepoints, posters, giclees, family photos, baby photos, wedding photos, magazine articles, news articles, fine art, original paintings, pastels and more. I offer printing services like digital to print or scan to print, framed or mounted for presentation. I offer custom graphic design to print solutions like photo collages, photo restoration, quotes, name labels and full customization. I offer art copy-scan and print services for artists, including prints on paper and canvas. I also offer photos to canvas and paper, a similar process as art copy. Shipping options are available also.
What separates you from the competition?
This is my passion. I love to bring joy with the things I create. As a painter, my first passion with art led me to having my artwork scanned and reproduced to sell, which exposed me to the other facets of the industry, including framing. Shortly after I understood that the presentation of artwork by the framing solution is an equally important part of the quality of the piece. Exceeding customer expectations is my goal with each piece I frame. When creating a home space, it is important to surround oneself with things of emotional and sentimental value, and I treat each solution with the care of the client’s tastes. Also, I offer in home/on-site residential and commercial consultations and deliveries for those who need it. One just can’t get that kind of service from a big box.
What has been your leading success so far?
Offering quality creations at affordable prices, listening to the clients’ needs and surpassing their expectations has generated a customer trust and loyalty, much like finding a good dentist, doctor or hairdresser that you stick with for years. A lot of my “lifers” drop off artwork and say, “Just work your magic, I trust you!” Repeat business and word of mouth referrals have been essential in building my business.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?
Finding balance between launching and building a business and running a household with two energetic sons keeps me running in all directions seven days a week. It is challenging to switch gears constantly throughout the week with work and home demands, along with new opportunities that keep coming down the barrel. I am grateful for the challenges, because with them I have gained wisdom and growth.
What can we anticipate from you in the future?
I am planning expansion into a hybrid business that serves the digital demands of the consumer from design concept to product delivery on more levels. In today’s digital world, projects aren’t always as simple as framing a print. Consumers want variety, such as images on metal and acrylic for example. I hope to serve the community with the best creative solutions for enhancing their homes and businesses that the area can provide.
What’s a fun fact about yourself that you’d like to include?
As a teen, beach lover and uninhibited artist, I started painting a hibiscus flower by my signature in my paintings. The hibiscus in my logo serves as a self-reminder to stay true to myself and to maintain the level of authenticity, creativity and imagination that I’ve had since childhood.