Question Choosing frames remotely

Hephaestus

Grumbler in Training
Joined
Dec 9, 2023
Posts
7
Location
USA
Business
Hephaestus Frames
Thank you for the responses to my question earlier today about shipping and glass. My next questions also relate to distance customers.

When selecting frames for a piece that has been mailed to you, do you FaceTime or Zoom with the client, once the piece is received at the shop? Is an iPhone or an iPad (on my end) sufficient for the customer to be able to see what they’re buying? Is it ever the case that they receive the framed piece back and are unhappy with it? What happens then? Also, do you give a very wide price quote before they ship the piece to you? I know there is sometimes sticker shock in person, where the customer decides against having me frame the item. That would be extra unfortunate if the piece had been mailed and now must be returned unframed.

Thanks for all the help as I decide whether to move into distance needlework framing!
 
What is your business model? Is it your intention to offer a full service product in the area of needlework?

Performing the service of custom framing for such items as needlework is totally difference than the "flat" paper items completed by the internet picture framing companies. These companies are mostly offering decorative, short lifespan, items vs family memento's.
 
Yes, I offer full finishing and framing service for needlework. I’ve been successful so far, working with local customers that frequent a stitching shop in town. The stitching shop has a large online customer base and many of those distant customers have inquired about framing. It’s hard for me to wrap my head around some of the aspects of the process in doing this in a video chat since there’s so much time spent with the customer.
 
There is no way avoiding or eliminating the consultation time required for this type of framing. What methods of securing the needlework are you employing? You have to charge accordingly for this time. There is a big difference between selling a commodity product (yarn or a pattern printed piece of fabric vs offering a professional service) as in a stitching(yarn) shop.

Is the work in the hands of the client when this consultation is conducted? If so, do you take the word of the client as to the measurements? What happens when you find a problem upon examination in your studio?

If the work is shipped to you for quoting, who pays for the return shipping charges if they reject your quote?

Caveats that comes to mind is the framer not being able to examine the actual work for many factors, including squareness, the ability to stretch/flex, and the amount of border material that can be used for several mounting techniques.
 
Some of our clients purchase art elsewhere and have it shipped directly to us, some deliver their art to us via courier, others have their art dropped off by a third party or have us pick it up etc...

We contact the client upon receipt and unpack and inspect the art via FaceTime. If the client wishes to be involved in the design process, we put the phone on speaker, put it on a tripod, and proceed to design as if they're in the store.
 
In the rare instances where we do distance designs, we usually come up some designs, and email them to the customer.
Facetime might work as well.

There are some visualization softwares that can let you take a picture of the art, and digitally put a frame on it to see what the end result will look like.

Larson Juhl's website has such a program that will show the products that they sell.

Virtual Framer is a subscription service that works with dozens of different companies products.
If you purchase the service, you can give your customers limited access to the service to design on their own.
For inexperienced customers that may not be the best idea, but it does allow them to see what possibilities are available.
I say this from experience.

Best of luck,
Brian
 
I've done designs via text or email with pictures of my designs. A good visualizer goes a long way in showing your vision but I double down with good detail shots of my samples with their work along with previews worked up via virtual framer or wizards visualizer. I suppose it could be quicker to do FaceTime, but I don't mind waiting for them to mull things over after I show them a couple good designs. I also wait until I have their piece in hand because it's much easier to match colors and textures.
 
Thanks for all of the thoughts! The piece would definitely need to be in my hands before design or measurements could be taken. Fabrics come in a wide variety of stretchiness and stretch is an important consideration, along with the amount of extra fabric needed for borders and pinnng. I didn’t realize that there are visualization software options so I will look into those.

My biggest concern is that, for the customer inexperienced with custom needlework framing, they could well be shocked by the amount they’ll be paying for the service but perhaps a frank discussion beforehand with a wide estimate would be in order.
 
My biggest concern is that, for the customer inexperienced with custom needlework framing, they could well be shocked by the amount they’ll be paying for the service but perhaps a frank discussion beforehand with a wide estimate would be in order.
Add to that the costs and potential risks involved in packing and shipping an irreplaceable item on which the customer has already invested money in materials and a large amount of time, skill, and effort.
:coffeedrinker2: Rick
 
My biggest concern is that, for the customer inexperienced with custom needlework framing, they could well be shocked by the amount they’ll be paying for the service but perhaps a frank discussion beforehand with a wide estimate would be in order.
Words of wisdom, here. What helps me is remembering that I'm not trying to get money out of people.
What I'm doing is giving them all the information, so they can decide. You'll definitely lose some folks when giving
an estimate, but those who stay are your customer base. And even those who don't might come back someday.

A wide estimate also helps me. We don't do much needlework, but for other projects, it can be a very wide
window. I do my best to make it realistic, but sometimes, there are just those unknowns. I also like giving
estimates and receiving confirmation by text or email, because then we have a record of approval.

I'll also add a note about sending design pics. Customers need to know that, if the devices aren't color calibrated
what they're seeing might vary from reality. But, if you already have their art, then since they know those colors,
it's often easier to 'see' the frame design colors accurately.
 
Back
Top