Contemplating a Picture Framing Business.

Shreveport LA

Grumbler in Training
Jun 23, 2005
Shreveport, LA
I took an early retirement from my job. I'm thinking about starting a picture framing business. I love art and have framed a few pictures at my house. If you had to do it over again, would you still choose this career?
Yes. I don't think I could have stood the stress of being a brain surgeon. :D

35 years ago it was maybe a job, maybe a calling.

Things have drastically changed since then, now you are going into a "business", NOT just being an artist.

And it isn't getting any less of "a business". Those whe view it as a business that needs to be run as a business will be the ones to survive the next 10 years. Those who see it as a nice way to keep busy in retirement . . . need to get a life. It will suck the retirement out of you and eat your 401K for lunch.

Welcome to the Grumble.
Yes, I would do it all over again - framing is my life and one of my artforms - but I am not a business person and I am hanging on by the skin of my teeth - but I love (almost) every minute!

There is a lot more to the trade than the tricks of the trade.

Welcome - you will get a lot of feedback from the Grumble - it is the BEST framing resource bar none!
Yes, most probably i would..but maybe on a much much earlier start. Framing is well, sort of therapeutic and sort of numbing at times but you just have to get over these lows and look ahead.
Some days you'll just be grateful you hang on.

Welcome to the G.
It's all I've ever done. Since the first day out of high school in 1972, until today - a framer. Nine years for someone else, a 5 year sabbatical (to have babies) and then ever since as a business owner.


I don't do it just because I "love" it. My business has grown to encompass a lot of things, and if I didn't make money at it, I wouldn't do it.

Like Baer said, if you're not willing to make a "real" business out of it, you can forget making it a success.

"Framing - it's not just for fun, anymore!"


"This is not your father's frame shop."

Would I do it again? In a heartbeat! I love this business!

Oh, you'll also note that for most framers, this is not their first career.

Look at the thread under "Picture framing business issues" that covers this same topic.

If you have an early retirement from a government job, that would mean you are getting as much now, or more, than you did while "working". If that is the case, then heck, go for it. It can be a hobby for extra money, may even turn into a business. As long as you honestly do not have to worry about income, picture framing is fun and relaxing. If it turns into a business, great, if not, have fun and enjoy it.

Will it matter to you that you will be able to set your prices much lower than the folks who have an established framing business in your neighborhood, even if they depend on it for their living?

If that is a concern to you, please consider looking for a location that will not affect someone else's livelihood. This will actually help you as well. You will not anger others in the trade, and that helps a lot when your starting. It pays to have friends in the industry.

All of these comments are so right...I don't know if I could survive the framing business if it was my only source of income...but have had some lucky breaks especially the latest one...Get some framing classes or have someone knowledgeable to teach you. Read and practice everything a couple hundred times. The learning never stops with this business. You have a really nice guy right in Shreveport who is a distributor...I buy a lot of stuff from him...and Welcome to the Grumble, these folks are the greatest
I've been in business almost 17 years and it was the best when I was small enough to do it all myself and really look at and enjoy the things I framed. I really love the art! Enjoy the work but don't buy into the hype and think you've got to kill yourself trying to grow. As people come, leave happy, and talk to their friends, new customers will come and you'll grow. I wish someone had told me this!!!

BTW, ignore this if you're into business reports, inventory, and hiring employees. :eek: Welcome to the Grumble!!! :D
This reminds me of the joke about the farmer who won millions in the lottery.

Asked what he planned to do with the money, he replied, "Aw shucks, I dunno, guess I'll just keep farming 'til the money runs out."

I, too, have never done anything else, but this is a hard time for small businesses. But, then again, maybe it always is...

It's a lot of work, heartache and responsibility, and it is worth it most of the time.

edie the noregrets goddess
It's alot of work and you will be reminded about that. But it is a lot of fun too. I am new to framing also, but I love it.

Welcome to the grumble :D :D
Your first year at least will be more stress than enjoyment, more bills to pay than those you recieve payment from, and more solicitors coming through the door than customers.

Once you get past that, you might start to sleep a few hours at night.

Best of luck in whatever you decide but I would recomend even with classes that you work for someone else first to get a real idea of what you are getting yourself into before you make a big financial investment.
Welcome to the Grumble,

I started framing in Bossier City LA in 1986. I worked in a place Called Knots-n-Needles. Do you know if it is still in business. And I also worked at Deck the Walls owned by Gary Abraham. Do you know if he is still in business? OK enough about me...

My advice is to go for it, But do it with someone else since steady income is not an issue. That way you can still enjoy some of your retirement.

It also will give you more time to market if you really wnat to grow your business.

My shop is my own, but it is only a second income, We could not live off what I bring home.
but It's a nice second income .

I think it is the perfect retirment job. My daught just started helping out and we have alot of fun.

You will love it.

Also before you open, Go to Atlanta and take a few classes. September is the big Decor show and it is a great place to start and meet all the suppliers.
I's a must. Good luck to you,