re: researching picture framing business as a career


Grumbler in Training
Jan 4, 2005
Hi Everybody,

I am currently researching the picture framing business as a possible career. I was wondering if anyone could suggest a book for me to read as a good starting point. Also if anyone knows of a class and organization in New York City as well as a magazine publication I could look it into, I would greatly appreciate that.

Additionally, if anyone would like to share any pros and cons of the business, I would also greatly appreciate that.

Many thanks,
Run away! Run away!
Haven't you been reading this forum?

Actually, most of the information you need is on old threads, do a few searches, and you'll find plenty.

Your best starting point, of course, is to go into a few frame shops, and talk to framers.
AJ -
Two of the best trade magazines are "Picture Frame Magazine" (Click on "Homepage" at bottom of this page) and "Decor" - If you meet a certain criteria, the subscriptions would be free.
United Mfrs Suppliers, the sponsor of this forum, offers framing classes in NY. I'd start there if I were you.

PFM and Decor subscriptions are important if you become a framer, but might not help you decide whether framing is the career for you.

Visit frame shops and talk with the owners. You'll hear discouraging words from a few who aren't doing well, and some will think you're preparing to put them out of business. But if you ignore those, you should be able to find several who will be honest about framing as a career.
Go to a SCORE Meeting. They are a group of retired execs that will help you get together a business plan and help with the general questions of "is it worth it?"

They may get into the demographics needed, help you put together a (realistic) Break-even analysis for your business.

But the question is, are you a framer or just looking for "an easy job" where you can "charge a lot of money for doing nothing". Hint: this aint it! We charge a lot yes, but there's more to it than you think!

I have read other similar threads and a common reply suggested getting a job at a frame shop and learn what is needed there. Don't just jump into it and hope for the best (Personally just exactly what I am doing! but that's a topic for another thread!)

Decor has classes and they are on the Island, United does classes and they are close. I'd say don't limit yourself to proximity, but you can find a lot in NYC area! I took a course at the Indian River Framery in Keene NH. Learned a lot. I had a woman come in to "brush up on her skills" (read: free labor!). She had taken a class with a "nationally known" frame instructor. She didn't know squat after that course. After she'll be good, enjoys the work, but she'll need a lot of help before she can go and open her own place.

Call Evan in Keene, ask if "Dusty" is still teaching, he is good and gives the class what they are ready to learn. My class flew! We did basics, touched on frame style history, shadow boxing, lacing, double triple multi-opening mats. We took apart matcutters, point guns, the chopper. We jsut went nuts and learned everything he felt like throwing at us. It was pretty cool! Noone really knew a lot, but everyone wanted to learn a lot!

I guess you get what you give.
this is posted in the commercial post and equipment for sale on this forum they are all good books;

used C+H Mat Cutter and Framing Books for sale

also try
If you go into other frames shops, do it Outside of the city in which you will be doing business.

They will be more helpful.

As a matter of fact, I had a boss who went to another city and worked as an apprentice for a framer who knew her intentions and helped her tremendously. She was at least opening 4 hours away so he knew she wasn't going to compete with his business. I think she signed a non- compete form of some form.