Magazine Article


Custom Framing Provides Profitable Niche

Wizardís Integrated Framer Visualization Software allows customers to see what their photos will look like matted and framed within minutes.
Ocean Exposureís Chris Smith cuts a mat on their Speed-Mat unit.
Jon Weiner installed the Wizard system in January and has been happy with the results.
Ben Ham, owner of Ben ham images, said that the framing business helps complement his photo business and the majestic masterpieces he shoots.
With ten different frame/mat combinations, available corner sets, and the inclusion of a three-tiered Elevations Mat, Framing Made Easy gives users a custom frame without the hassle of being custom.

"This is precisely where LexJet's Framing Made Easy (FME) program fits," Ried continued. "FME enables photo retailers and labs to focus on their core, capturing additional profit margins that previously were being realized by someone else. With 10 different frame/mat combinations, available corner sets, and the inclusion of a three-tiered Elevations Mat, Framing Made Easy gives users a custom frame without the hassle of being custom. Now instead of chopping frames and trimming mats, they can assemble the print (ready to hang) in less than five minutes."

The complete Framing Made Easy frame kit includes a high-quality frame, an Elevations mat, adhesive-backed mounting board, clear glass, saw-tooth hangers, and turn buttons. The frame line features 10 combinations of frames and mats: MK Black, MK Bright White, Dark Brown, Black Lacquer, Carmel Burl, Soft Gold, Smoke Green, Soft Silver, MK Warm, and Whitewash.

"The beauty of the Framing Made Easy line is its simplicity," Ried said. "This is not a 'some-assembly-required' kit where the customer receives an instruction sheet and a million pieces and parts to figure out. Instead, it's a complete frame kit that's ready to go right out of the box."

Fletcher-Terry Makes the Cut

The Fletcher-Terry Company designs, produces, and markets equipment and tools used in the picture-framing, glass, photo, sign-making, hardware, and craft markets worldwide. For the imaging industry, the company offers the Fletcher-Terry MatPro CMC 150. The CMC 150 gives retailers the capability to cut intricate mats that they wouldn't want to attempt by hand.

Earlier this year, Fletcher-Terry and Valiani SRL announced the revolutionary new i series line of computerized mat cutters-the first and only CMCs to offer the versatility of rapidly interchangeable cutting tool heads. In addition to the standard 40-degree front-cutting head, the i series system offers more dramatic 45-degree front- or rear-surface bevel cutting heads, two types of 90-degree straight-cut heads for sizing either mat or foamboard, and a unique embossing tool for creative decoration of the mat surface. Framers can now offer the design flexibility of cutting with different bevel angles, sizing of mat or foamboard with a 90-degree cut, and even embossing of the mat surface, all at a fraction of the cost of high-production dual-head CMCs.

Framing Software Solutions

For shops looking to offer framing services, nuTech's ezFramer business software allows users to adapt a framing business program to suit their shop's individual needs.

"The market for photo labs and custom framing has shifted over the past years," said Liz Trementozzi, president of nuTech, makers of ezFramer Picture Framing Software. "With larger companies offering these services in convenient 'one-stop shops, it can be hard to compete if a smaller retailer only offers one service.

"There are tools available that can help enable a retailer to first learn about what options they have and then to implement them in a strategic and well-thought-out plan," she continued. "Our business software is designed specifically for custom picture framing businesses. In an effort to help retailers who are starting out or perhaps in a transition period where funds are tight, we offer one of our packages for free. This allows any user to keep track of their customers, any orders, and even create and generate mailing labels. As the business grows, they can upgrade their software to include more business management options."

nuTech recently released Avonto Direct Connect purchase ordering software that allows wholesale vendors and retailers to automatically receive and record their customers' orders anytime, day or night, 24/7, 365. Customers simply use the software to select which items they want to order from each of their vendors. The software automatically creates and sends the purchase orders directly to the appropriate participating vendor's own wholesale version of the software, where the order is received and processed.

"We have found many of our customers who specialize in custom picture framing services are beginning to consider new areas they can expand into and that
would be considered an added service to their current existing customers," she concluded.