What’s Up With Framing?Read Now
Our framing services are the same, but we have changed our set up a bit. My main goal has been to keep our entire staff working through the pandemic and to do so in a way that keeps our staff and customers safe. There are many new ways that we are creatively filling custom framing needs in a to-go style for those who do not need full custom framing or an in person appointment. We also offer our full custom frame shop services in person, by appointment. This article discusses the history of our frame shop and explores our service options and how to best navigate them. We are excited to keep reinventing as we adapt to the ever changing landscape. The biggest change is that we are now by appointment. I believe this new setup enable us to serve you better, and work more efficiently.
If you need framing, or are curious about our services and history on it, keep reading below.
History & Recent changes in Operations
I'll start off with some history, but if that does not interest you then simply scroll down to the next big titles to find out more on custom orders, appointments, DIY frame kits, mat orders, etc.
Most people are not aware that we used to be two separate businesses. We had Art Supply Center, that our founding father Bob started in 1955, that has been our main "mothership" since the beginning. Bob opened I've Been Framed as a separate frame shop in January 1996 on 10th & Burnside. There were many adventures there for a few years, including my first time working as a full time framer. In 1999 we moved that shop into the art store at the Foster location. We kept the IBF name, not the ASC name, and functioned as one business in that location for several years before opening our Annex store in 2001. We needed more space for our giant selection of ready made frames and all of the operations of framing. The Foster location did not have the space for framing that we needed, it had always primarily been our art supply store. Opening the Annex meant we moved all of our frame production to a larger space and this enabled us to have two frame shops- one was purely focused on framing and the other had both art supplies and framing services. It remained a bit of a hidden gem over in Laurelhurst for many years. Although we experimented with having art supplies over there a few times, it has always made sense to have that location solely focused on framing.
We have been making all of our frames at the Ash St location for 16 years or so. Most people do not know that I drove all the frames over to Foster that whole time. The Annex store has a wider selection of ready made frames and has been our main framing production site for many years. The Foster store had limited space for my picture framers, with 3-4 people sharing one or two tables. It also had several challenges on accommodating the large amount of orders we were constantly working on. There was often a line of customers waiting for their turn to order at our counters. We loved offering framing and art supplies together, but it often had drawbacks in other ways. The frame shop simply outgrew the space it had in our Foster store many years ago. We utilized the Ash St location like our production house, creating as many of the components we could for orders to then transfer over to Foster and be matched up with the final steps in your projects.
Click Read More to find out what happened when the pandemic hit.....
(feel free to scroll past my last stories to the next titles if you just want to know about the details of how framing works now)
When the pandemic hit we introduced curbside pickups and methods of ordering things online. In the early months of the pandemic we had framers stagger their hours so as to not have too many folks in the work space at once. By April 2020 we could see pretty clearly that we’d have to shift the the entire frame shop to our Ash St. store. We got right to work having one framer at Foster working on curbside orders while we moved our tools and equipment and other things over to the Annex location. We didn’t just move tools and equipment either, we shifted our entire staff of 9 framers to work under one roof together at our framing warehouse here on Ash st. We’ve had room here to build each framer their own work table safety socially distanced from their coworkers. What a wild moving adventure!
We revamped our shop here even more and remodeled our counter space for taking orders. By May 2020 we were back up to speed and implemented an easy way to schedule and book appointments with our framers. We were not alone in switching to being by appointment, most of the framing industry has made this shift as well.
The frame shop staff is really enjoying having so much more room and workspace. Customers love the personalized service and one-on-one appointments with our framers. We know there are other challenges in waiting to see us and not being able to just pop over to the shop whenever you want. We do feel that the increased level of personalized service and more efficient workshop have both added value in the big picture. The demand for framing has increased during the pandemic with everyone redecorating their spaces and finding things they want to frame. Being by appointment has enabled us to offer you better, more personalized, one on one service while also improving our high standard of quality craftsmanship. It has been a wild adventure, we are so thankful for your loyal support and encouragement as we have all learned to navigate this shift together.
Entirely removing the frame shop from Foster location is honestly not something we’d ever planned on doing before the pandemic. Thank you for loving us and sticking with us through it all!
As our frame shop reaches it’s 26th year of operation it is exciting to see demand for and interest in custom framing like we’ve never seen before. Much of this has been driven by the pandemic and the amount of time folks now spend at home. We’ll continue to do our best serving as many of you as possible and will continue to grow and adapt with the times. It is important to us to tell our story and honor the long legacy that we carry here every day. We are dedicated to serving all of your framing needs, even if that looks different now. I will be honest in sharing that this is how I see us operating our framing services for the foreseeable future. I am not sure when, or if, the frame shop will return to Foster. Although that brings a mix of emotions to my heart, I try to focus on the exciting task of continually doing things better than we have done them before.
Below are some brief summaries of the framing services we currently offer:
DIY Supplies & Frame Kits
Our famous black econo kits, other styles of frame kits, custom mats, glass, and other supplies for DIY framing can be ordered online! Think of it like a loose order form that you can add as many details or comments into and even upload a photo for us. Does it cover everything you might want to tell us? no. It covers the basics though, and is pretty easy to use so you can place orders with us 24/7 anytime you want. We follow up with text, email, or a phone call, and answer any questions to confirm details with you. We have the option to pickup at either location since we transfer curbside pickups to the Foster store every Friday. Here are some tips:
Frame kits- pick the general color option for the frame you want and tell us about the style. Simple, rustic, ornate, etc. These options are just general things to help fine tune the options and help us find you a frame faster. Some options we may have ready made and other options will be custom but there are many ways to save a trip and order frames this way.
Mats- simple black, white, or off white are the only options here since other colors vary so much. If you arent super picky on exact match and have a request for something else feel free to attach a photo and ask for it. It never hurts to ask! Generally speaking white, off white, and black are the most widely used and versatile so we keep it easy here.
**TIP** when measuring your window opening size, make sure we know if it is exactly the paper size or not. We typically go in 1/8" to make sure the image fits good behind the window.
Glass- Just need a piece of glass to go? this is a super easy way to order one custom! If you need museum quality or other options not on our form just note that clearly in the notes and we will see it. We kept the form simple and only used the most commonly ordered options.
Hardware- send us a pic of ones you want to match or order by name.
Super simple way to order custom components for framing. The form requires that you enter your name, contact info, preferred method of follow up, preferred pickup location, etc and the rest of the order form just use what you need and don't worry about anything you don't need. Our staff gets back to you in order received, typically this is within a few days. Feel free to leave us as many details or comments that you want. We love reading your notes and getting you exactly what you need. Click the button here to check out our To-Go Order Form for framing kits & supplies.
Custom framing is a personalized service that we love to offer. While making the change to being by appointments was different for us too, we have grown to love it. It makes us feel like we are able to give you our undivided attention at your appointment and that helps us serve you better. We frame everything from pictures of grandma or the kids, to dried flowers from your wedding, shadowbox memorials, canvas stretch projects, photographs, original art, band posters, military uniforms, and even fireman's axes. We thoroughly enjoy all of the unique projects you bring our way!
By appointment only means we cannot accommodate walk-ins. Please schedule an appointment to meet with our framers. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we are excited to provide more personalized service for your projects. At your appointment you will have one of our expert framer's undivided attention. This helps us focus on finding the best way to protect, preserve, and display your project in the desired manner that you want. When your project is ready to pickup you do not need an appointment- we will call you to let you know it is ready and explain how pickup works.
Appointments can be 15 min, 30 min, or 60 min. If you need more than 60 min simply reach out to the shop and we will work that out with you. Most things can be handled in the time slots we have chosen. We have descriptions on our scheduling spot that describe each time slot in case you are not sure which one to pick.
Shop our frames in person at an appointment! You do not have to place a custom order at your appointment. You can shop our frames, get a quote, or just get advice from a framer at your appointment. There is never any pressure from us, we are simply here to serve you and find solutions for your framing projects.
Booking appointments is easy and can be done 24/7. They are easy to cancel or reschedule if you have something come up. We often have cancellations so if you are wanting to see us sooner than your appointment check back on our calendar regularly for new openings. Cancellations usually open at night or in the morning and are immediately available once open. Snag a new spot and cancel your old appointment easily.
We typically run 3-4 weeks in turn around time. Some projects get done quicker but this is a general timeline you can expect. If you have a specific date you need something by please let us know! We can often accommodate deadlines but they may require a rush fee. So plan ahead to save money and be aware of our standard turn around times. We work very hard to keep these as short as possible but we serve a lot of customers and have many projects in our to-do book. We pride ourselves on handmade craftsmanship from start to finish and that does take time.
Book an appointment by clicking the button below to meet with our framers.
So I know that was a LOT of words. I hope it was helpful to you and answered some questions you may have. I find myself talking about this a lot so I wanted to take the time to properly address it here. Thank you for trusting us with your framing projects, we love helping you protect, preserve, and display your treasures.
12/14/2021 12:09:32 am
Thanks for sharing this. Patronizing the shop for as many years as we have (I think we first dropped in around 2002 or maybe 2003, my first purchase was a orphaned proportional divider, and I think it actually WAS from Bob himself) it's quite arresting to know that we didn't start pestering you too long into the Foster-IBF era.
12/14/2021 07:22:12 am
Thanks Sam! I go back and forth on sharing too much of our nostalgic history but I can’t help myself and love sharing that. Thanks for the encouragement there. I’m hoping to share lots more but somehow find a way to have it be more bite size and not so wordy, haha. Your first purchase was likely from Bob himself!! He sold it to his some Mark in July 2003. He worked there for a few years after that but sounds like you came in when he still owned it- how cool! Thanks again, I always love hearing your stories too!
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