Large format inkjet printing has not only been a life-saver for Picture This Gallery in Hermitage, Tenn., it’s also led to the custom frame shop’s recognition as both an innovator and as one of the top businesses in its market space. Picture This co-owner Donald Chambers says the gallery’s diversification into inkjet printing has allowed it to grow in a tough economy.
“Printing has brought a lot of new clients in and has kept our business in the forefront of people’s minds. People don’t frame every day, but they need other things besides framing. I get so many comments about how convenient we are as a one-stop shop; our clients love the fact that they don’t have to run all over town to get everything done,” explains Chambers. “We have diversified our shop so much from being just a custom framing business to offering all kinds of services, like scanning, artist reproduction work, printing canvas and fine art papers, photo restoration and all kinds of graphics work. All of LexJet’s equipment and media ties into our success and it’s one of the things that kept our business going through the hard times. There were a lot of small frame shops that dropped by the wayside during those hard years.”
It’s this holistic approach to Picture This Gallery’s business that was instrumental in winning DECOR Magazine’s Technology Integration Award for the second time (Picture This won the inaugural award in 2006). The award is given to the frame shop/gallery owner making the best use of technology. According to the magazine, “The annual DECOR Top Art & Framing Retailers Awards recognize excellence in 11 specific categories: best interior design (two winners), best backroom design (two winners), marketing, technology integration, best store website, best e-newsletter, best local community outreach, best artist’s show, and best new services.”
In addition to technology diversification, another successful program has been Third Thursday, a free art event held at Picture This every (you guessed it) third Thursday. The event draws between 500 and 600 people each month who come to see local talent at the shop’s 4,000 square foot art gallery and sample wine and hors d’oeuvres.
“We feature two different artists each month and rotate our gallery every two months. We work with two other local businesses here – a wine store that provides our wine and a French bistro that provides all the hors d’oeuvres. We have an email list and we drop a couple of ads each month for it. It’s something else that keeps our store in people’s minds,” says Chambers.
Winners of the annual DECOR Top Art & Framing Retailers Awards will be profiled later this month in the November issue of DECOR Magazine and at its website: www.decormagazine.com.