Your children & your shop


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Apr 8, 2004
Hello all,
Do any of you have plans to give your shop to your kids or have you received the business from a relative?

My daughter is only 10 months old and I was thinking some day she may want to do what Dad does (or did, if I'm still in business)

Just thought this might be an interesting topic.

I have 4 kids. Three girls and a boy. My Son never showed any interest in framing. The 3 girls helped out in the store starting when they were in their teens. They were and are very good at framing. They all went to college. Two of the girls went on to do other things with their lives. One stayed on with me and has made it her career. She is my full partner now. She will take it over someday.
Ha! My kids make more than I could ever think of making for the work involved! The only interest that they show for the financial side of the frameshop is when one of them sees a new framing that they like for their living room, "Wow Dad, that would look GREAT over in that corner by the home theater!!" or "Hey Dad, could you put "something" around this print to make it look better??"

No, I'm afraid that the legacy of the Framerguy's exploits will go by the wayside when he hangs up his ATG gun for good. but that's OK. I have always liked that byline that somebody is using on the forum,

"The object of life is not to arrive at the grave with a perfectly preserved body but to slide in sideways kicking and screaming, "Wow!! What a kickass ride!!"

(Or something to that effect, but I like the concept of it all.)

I've got eight cats and so far none of them has shown an interest in anything, other than sleeping and eating.

Must be the same as having teenagers, but without the arguments.


Now back to serious answers.

Sorry Jb.
My seventeen year old had no interest in framing. She helped for a couple of months before I sold my last store. The customers loved meeting her, she did a good job, and it was nice spending the time with her. But, she did not enjoy it enough to do it every day. Come to think of it, neither do I anymore.
My 23 yr old son brings in his friends and golf buddies and helps them pick out mats and frames, but has no interest in learning what actually goes into a finished piece. As long as he sends biz my way, I'm only too happy to frame whatever he needs Mom to do for him.
I still have the first mat my daughter, The Digital Diva, ever cut. It is significant in that it is also the last mat she ever cut.

Those who are just getting started, or hoping to create some kind of framing dynasty, are free to disagree with me, but I have insufficient confidence in what our industry will look like 10 or 20 years from now to encourage either of my children to consider it a career option.
"Do any of you have plans to give your shop to your kids or have you received the business from a relative?"

I recieved the business skills by force from my father. I did recive the business "stuff" from him too. I will not pass this mess down to my kids. I love them more than that.

Carry on!
Wow...Some of you don't have a lot of confidence in your businesses.

I am not handing down a "frameshop"....I am handing down a very good "business". Our store will be 25 years old in 2005.
My daughter is a business person first and a frameshop owner second. She is a very smart and sharp busness person. If her kids don't want to take it over she will be able to sell it for a very nice price someday.
Thank you Judy.

With the collection of responses received I was begining to think I was considering handing down a prison sentence of my little girl instead of a business.

I hope that when I am in more of a position to hand it down, it does not turn me so negative against something that I enjoy doing.

Whether or not she wants it is up to her. Parents always want better for their kids so whatever she chooses to do I will support and encourage.
Ron, if you would elaborate on your trepidations for our business, that would be great. After seeing sales slump consistently over several years, I am interested in your viewpoint.
I have insufficient confidence in what our industry will look like 10 or 20 years from now
My observation is not a reflection on the quality of Judy's business or even on mine. But I am convinced that the industry as a whole will be a much different beast than it is now.

Certainly some will adapt and thrive. Many will not.

Judy knows she can't do things the way we did them 25 years ago. Technology will become increasingly important in the frame shop. The advantages of scale and volume will become more critical. Customers will want more for less and they'll want it FAST. There will be a lot fewer frame shops and they'll be much larger.

Some of you excel at making the continuous, incremental changes that you need to adapt. I do not, which is why I'm now running a part-time, home-based framing business and specializing in a low-volume of work that I can be proud of. I could not do this without a regular paycheck and good benefits.

You can disagree with my vision of the future, but I have some history to back up my observations.

There will always be people doing picture framing and some will make a very good living at it. But the reasons that many of us got into 25 or more years ago aren't good enough any more.

I'm sorry if that sounds like blasphemy.
I agree with Ron 100%. It will be the savvy "Judys" of the industry who grow a business that will both provide a substantial income and survive in the long run.
We are seeing exactly that trend in our market now. The framer who opened up to compete on price alone is diminishing rapidly in number here. As costs rise, so does the need for production. It is a thin line to tread between pumping work out and keeping your quality up to snuff.
If you look around, you will find that most "mom & pop" operations are going the way of the dinosaur - - - with all the Michael's - Hobby Lobby - Wally-World's etc. that have impacted on our business. In addition to all the governmental red tape rules & regulations that we need to deal with - - -
Although they helped in the store while they were growing up, and I would never discourage my girls from this (or any similar) business - I am so happy that we were able to provide an education for them and they are successful in their respective occupations!