A custom frame around a piece of original art, communicates to the world that you value craftmanship and that you can afford the extra cost attached to it. Reaching a point in life when art becomes more of a priority and obtaining a point of financial success, both point to creating atmospheres that reflect your hard work. There is something about beautifully hanging visual art behind a frame and glass (as opposed to using thumbtacks or nails) that simply feels more legitimate.
Walmart vs La Mesa Frame Shop
Why does an 8 x 10 frame at Walmart cost $15, but a custom 8 x 10 frame from a neighborhood La Mesa frame shop costs closer to $40? Then there are the online options to consider like Framebridge or Simply Framed which offer cost-effective fixed pricing. Very tempting and confusing at the same time. How can these companies offer the same price for a variety of different-sized pieces, but your local framer canít? For those who have finally reached the grown-up phase of life and are ready to invest in framing, the process can seem baffling.
However, the perception that custom framing is too pricey is also a symptom of a different reality for those that have not quite reached the pinnacle of their careers: Millennial consumers ó long past their poster-hanging days ó have less money than previous generations. Young adults are decorating homes and apartments with more budget-friendly art. And while the price of prints may have dropped, the price of frames has not, leaving shoppers to wonder if they should invest in a frame that costs a bit more.
Picture Framing Facts
Letís try to demystify some of the confusion about framing. Itís true that over the past several years, the mom-and-pop framing industry has declined due to heightened competition from online retailers, toy and hobby stores and big-box retailers. These operations also offer a variety of other services and competitively priced products as well as the added convenience of shopping from a digital device. Other less attractive facts are:
ē Currently there are 9,000 local frame shops in the United States
ē Millennial consumers have less money to spend on frames than previous generations
ē Online stores only offer acrylic glazing glass
ē Hobby shops cut corners by buying bulk product
ē The fewer the options, the lower the price
Your local, neighborhood custom framer offers a wide variety of materials and in-person expertise which results in a one-of-a-kind piece of art. This expertise can be invaluable especially when framing older or long forgotten heirlooms. A story about a mom with her sonís Jimi Hendrix poster is a good example. The poster had been signed by all the band members but had been under her sonís bed for years, and she wanted to frame it for him as a surprise.
She was looking for the cheapest route, but after the framer took one look at the poster in hand, he told her, "Donít be the mom who threw away the baseball cards."
The poster is deserving of the highest quality frame that will preserve the value of the poster for generations. Someone online probably wouldnít have the same eye for collectibles or art as a local framer. They are highly trained professionals that offer honest guidance about what you are framing and the best options for what to frame it in.