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Frame USA Employees–Favorite Hobby Friday

Get to know Frame USA Employees–Favorite Hobby Friday

From what we have heard from our subscribers, last week’s Favorite Hobby Friday was a huge hit! This week we bring you the favorite hobby of one of our customer service representatives, that many of our customers who have purchased picture frames from us may have spoken with, Kelley Kombrinck.

I sat down with Kelley to discuss his favorite hobby and the talent that was first displayed here.

Kelley, we first experienced your talent when you drew a Unicorn and an elephant on a customer’s order, why don’t tell me a bit more about your hobby!

I’m a guy who likes to draw. Mainly charcoal or pencil/pen and ink on paper. Most of my work is done by hand but I’ve begun using digital media—i.e. Photoshop—to color my pictures. My genre of choice is horror art—ghosts and monsters and such—and my style is mainly comic book/fantasy, but I can still bust out a pretty accurate portrait if I need to.

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Judging by your level of skill you’ve probably been drawing for a pretty long time; When did you first start?

I have been drawing as far back as I can remember, and it was always monsters, always.

So why did you start drawing monsters at such an early age?

As a kid I just drew because I wanted to be like my older brother who also drew really well. As I got older and realized I was good at it I started drawing to break the ice with the people who sat around me in school because I was kind of weird and awkward and it helped to get people on my side right off the bat.

Most creative people are a little weird, so you’re not alone in that— how long has it taken you to become a master at it?

Like most artists, I’m still mastering it and continue to develop and learn. I will say that I really kicked it into high gear in my early twenties when I started incorporating more realistic human anatomy and working harder to understand light and shadow.

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The level of detail in all of your pieces is outstanding, how many hours a week would you estimate you spend drawing?

It depends on the week. Some weeks I don’t draw at all. Other weeks I might put 22 hours in. When I’m working on a hot project I’ll get lost in it.

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Kelley frequently brings in his drawing pad in to the office and work on his craft during his lunch hour—that’s dedication!

22 hours, that’s a long time, you must really enjoy it—what’s your favorite part about it?

For me, there’s a moment where a picture is not quite finished, but where I’ve gotten all the main elements penciled in and they look how I want them to look—the picture still has a way to go and there’s a lot of cleanup and smaller details to add — but I see the most important parts and they are staring back at me as if they just stepped through a door out of my imagination. I go on and finish the picture and its great and everything but it’s that moment halfway through that is my favorite.

Wow, that was really poetic, with how you talk about drawing it’s hard to imagine that this question would apply to you but, none the less, what’s your least favorite part about it?

Oh lord it’s when I get a picture to a great place and then I go one step further and it hurts the picture. Sometimes it’s just something that bothers me and no one else really notices but I’ve occasionally ruined a drawing that I’ve put a lot of time and work into by just not letting it rest when it was done. I also hate when I go to ink my pencil drawing and I make a mistake—ink does not forgive.

Like most artists you appear to be your own worst critic! What has been the most memorable experience?

I’ve had several. One of the most memorable was having my work displayed in a black-room art show at a specialty shop back in 2001. My first— and last — exhibition. I drank all the wine and left early with a headache but I did sell one piece.

Sounds like a successful night to me! What is one thing you have learned about yourself through drawing?

I’ve learned that I can really take a critique without getting my feelings too hurt and turn it into development. People are quick to tell you what you’re doing wrong and sometimes it’s just to be snarky but if I can pull something useful out of it and improve my technique then I’m all for it. Some of my biggest jumps in growth have come out of brutally stated critiques.

That is a great ability to have as an artist— what is your advice for people who may want to start drawing?

I think that if you want to start doing it, you probably already are but if you’re wanting to take it to a level where you want to show or sell your art remember this: your style and subject matter is your own, do what you want, but when your technique gets criticized, listen with an open mind. Even if the critic is a jerk, they might be right.  

I think that is something we could all use, even those that aren’t artisticbe yourself and stand up for what you believe in!

Thanks so much Kelley for taking the time to answer my questions!

I hope you have enjoyed Favorite Hobby Friday so far! Stay tuned next week for our Posterservice Sales Rep David Estep’s favorite hobby!


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Fill The Truck–Frame USA’s December Charity of the Month

December Charity of the Month: Fill The Truck

In our blog post about Frame USA’s Favorite hobby that we posted yesterday, we mentioned that our favorite hobby is giving back to those in need.  We do this selecting a different charity organization to donate to on our website and retail store every month.

If you read that post, this will come as no surprise to you, we have selected Fill The Truck as our December Charity of the month on frameusa.com as well as the charity in our retail store. For every picture frame online order that we receive we will donate $0.75. In our retail store, we will donate $1.00 for every custom frame orders. This amount is on top of the donations that we get from our generous customers.

To read more about the past years of Fill The Truck, Check out Monday’s blog post.

Fill The Truck 2014

November 25, 2014 marked the beginning of the 5th annual Fill The Truck.

With help from our corporate sponsors: Planes Moving & Storage, Akers Packaging Service, Inc, iHeart Media, and Krieg Offset, as well as all of our customers, We hope to make this year the most successful year yet.

All of the donations, both cash and physical goods that we receive will be going four different charity organizations: The Healing Center, Valley Interfaith, CAIN, and Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky.

The donations that we are collecting are things that almost everyone takes for granted such as: Toilet paper, personal care items, winter clothing and bedding. All of these can have a profound impact for those who are in need.

In honor of #givingtuesday today, please consider donating $1 to Fill The Truck when you place your order for Picture frames online today as well as throughout the month of December. It’s as easy as clicking a button. Fill The Truck Check Out Page

If you’re feeling extra generous and would like to donate a physical item visit fillthetruck.org!

Get to Know Frame USA- Favorite Hobby Friday

 Favorite Hobby Friday

Last week for Favorite Hobby Friday, our Director of Sales, Chas Hall, was interviewed about his favorite Hobby. Since last Thursday was Thanksgiving, and we were out of the office that Friday, we are bringing you last weeks favorite hobby Friday today! We wanted to take a different spin on it and tell our customers what Frame USA’s favorite hobby is as a company.

Frame USA’s Favorite Hobby is Giving Back to those in need.

On a monthly basis Frame USA chooses charities to support through our website as well as our retail store. We mentioned in our blog post about our November Charity of the month, Free Store Foodbank, that in September alone we donated over 1,500 to our two charities.

However our biggest charity initiative by far is Fill The Truck.
Fill The Truck first started back in December of 2010 by Frame USA’s CEO, Dan Regenold. That December he had a vision to fill a 54 foot semi-truck for a local charity. He put together a team of giving coordinators to make this initiative as successful as possible in under 30 days. By the end of December, Frame USA ended up needing a second truck because they were so successful at getting donations that they over filled their semi by 7%. This equaled 833 boxes and over 30 skids equaling more than $22,200 in donations.

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The truck isn’t just a means of transporting all of the donations that we get, to Dan, the truck represented hope, life and a second chance for people within his community who were down on their luck.

Since that December of 2010 Frame USA has been coordinating Fill the Truck every year. This past Tuesday, November 25, 2014, marked the beginning of the 5th Annual Fill The Truck. The best part about this charity initiative is that it isn’t just a one man show. From now until December 21st when the trucks are delivered to their respected Charities, the employees at Frame USA will have this initiative on their brains and will do everything in their power to make it as successful as possible.
With that being said, Fill The Truck is a massive charity initiative that performs at hyper speed in just under 30 days. All the donations received are boxed and packed by employees donating their time.

Fill The Truck 2011   FTT_2011_2_Frame USA
On December 21st when we deliver the donations, we are delivering a second chance to the people in need. It is this reason that we continue to do this initiative every year, no matter the man power and time that it takes organizing.

Fill The Truck 2012
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One thing that we have learned the past 5 years that we have undertaken this challenge is that no matter how small a donation is, it can completely change someone’s life around.

Fill the Truck - Packing Skids   Fill the Truck - Packing Up the Boxes

Our piece of advice for all of you is that it doesn’t take a large donation of cash to make a difference in someone’s life; something as simple as a hat and glove set can mean the world to someone in need.

Stay tuned every Friday to get to know Frame USA & our employees.

Get To Know Frame USA Employees– Favorite Hobby Friday

Get to know Frame USA Employees–Favorite Hobby Friday

The people who work for Frame USA aren’t just a bunch of drones. We want our customers to know us to be familiar with the people who day in and day out provide you with quality American made picture frames at affordable prices. We thought we would give you an inside look at what our employees do in their spare time. First up: Chas Hall, who is our Director of Sales and our newest employee!

I interviewed Chas about his favorite thing to do when he’s not at work here is that interview.

  

So Chas, what is it that you enjoy doing on your time off?

I participate in something called The Warhammer 40K/Fantasy, which involves collecting, building, painting, custom creating and gaming with plastic, metal, or resin miniatures.

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Impressive!  So when did you first start creating the pieces?

I began this hobby at the beginning of January in 2012

So you’ve been  doing this for almost 3 years now,  how did you get started?

A friend of mine was familiar with my interests for painting and building things. He was also aware of my competitive nature when it comes to playing chess and checkers and quickly realized I could apply each of my interests into one hobby, which I immediately developed a passion for.

That’s a pretty involved friend, How long did it take you to become a master at it?

Because there are so many challenging aspects and areas of the hobby it can be difficult to master all areas. However, if there is a specific aspect that I feel I’ve mastered it would be custom creating projects. For example, I would be taking a kit and fully converting the product in a unique way, which is opposite of what the manufacturer or instructions would suggest.

  Warhammer Fantasy_Chas

You’re saying that you start majority of your pieces completely from scratch, that must take up a good chunk of your time, How many hours a week would you estimate you spend?

At least 45 minutes per day in a 7 day period.

Warhammer 40K_Employee Hobby

So that is roughly about 5.5 hours a week! What is your favorite part about it?

My favorite part about it is custom creating something or converting a product that is not a direct representation of what is included within the kit.

I can tell you’re really passionate about this hobby, with that being said, do you have a least favorite part about it?

The gaming aspect is my least favorite because there are so many rules, terms and Warhammer 40k/fantasy lingo to learn, which can dramatically slow down game play. There are also constant updates within game rules that may affect a player who is not completely familiar with his/her rulebook, which can also delay game time.

That would be difficult to stay up to date with, so what has been the most memorable experience with Warhammer 40k/Fantasy?

Without a doubt that would be winning painting and/or conversion contests in tournament entries!

If you’ve won tournament entries you must be pretty talented, what is your advice for people who may want to start participating in it?

Have patience and have fun! Don’t expect to become great at custom building, painting and/or gaming over night, it takes time. Encourage your friends to participate so that you can continue to learn and grow together!

So since you’ve been doing it for a couple of years now, what is one thing you have learned about yourself through mastering this?

One thing I have learned about myself is that even when it comes to having interest in a hobby, I have a pretty solid ability with attention to detail, specifically with painting schemes, instructions, etc!

Thanks so much Chas for taking the time to answer my questions!

Not only does this allow for our customers to get to know our employees but it allows for our employees to get to know their coworkers on a level that they may have not had the chance to.

If you have any additional questions regarding his Hobby, leave us comment  and we’ll get it answered for you!

 

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Stay tuned for the next Favorite Hobby Friday!

Frame USA’s November Charity of the Month: Freestore Foodbank

For those of you who don’t know, Frame USA is extremely dedicated to helping those in need. The Monthly Charitable Gift Program started many years back and ever since then we have supported local and national charities in a number of different outlets. We not only donate money, our time and other needed resources but we use our website and retail store as a way to  make these deserving charities known to the masses. Unlike other companies that choose a charity, not only does every single penny that is donated by our customers go to that respective charity, but we as a company use our success as a way to give back. For every purchase of picture frames made on our website, no matter if the customer themselves donates, we donate $0.75.  In our retail store, for every custom framing order we donate $1.00. In the month of September, we donated over $1,500 to our two charities of the month.

The Month of November has the lucky opportunity to be a month where people everywhere think about just how thankful they are for everything that they have been given. I’m sure that everyone can agree that there is nothing more wonderful than sitting down with your family and friends as you all fill yourselves full with a nice warm meal and feeling the warmth of their love. Some people aren’t this lucky, in fact, 1 in 6 neighbors in our Tri-State area of Cincinnati is at risk of hunger.  Of that number, nearly 100,000 are kids. This statistic shocked us and really solidified our decision for our November Charity of the Month. This November, for our charity we have chosen The Freestore Foodbank.

Freestore Foodbank November Charity of the Month

The Freestore Foodbank was started in 1971 by a worker at Cincinnati’s incinerator named Frank Gerson. Gerson saw in his profession useable household items being tossed away. He began to collect those items and give them away to families in need. He was so passionate about this that he quit his job and opened for business in his apartment called the Free Store.  8 years later the Free Store became a founding member of Feeding America. It was around this time that the Free Store evolved into the Freestore Foodbank. Today, it is under the leadership of Kurt Reiber and it is one of Ohio’s largest food banks. Annually, this organization distributes 20 million meals through a network of about 260 community partner agencies serving 20 counties in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. The vision of The Freestore Foodbank is to be the leader of a community mobilized to end hunger and address its causes.

We ask that as you begin buying your holiday presents, and start thinking about how thankful you are for the people and things in your life that you consider being the reason someone else is thankful this holiday season. We’ve made it as simple as clicking a button (Here’s a little secret for you: that is in fact what you do to participate, you click a button to donate $1 as you are completing your order of picture frames online). 

For more information about this month’s Charity of the Month and the different programs they are involved in on top of their main mission, please visit their website at http://freestorefoodbank.org/.

 

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Frame USA Sponsors “Tee Off Against Breast Cancer”

Breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women during their lives — a frightening statistic, considering the cancer’s devastating effects. Whether women experience it directly or help their friends and family deal with the shock, organizations like the Bethesda Foundation are reaching out to help. That’s why we at Frame USA recently sponsored and attended the TPC River’s Bend Ladies’ Golf “Tee Off Against Breast Cancer” event.

The golfing event went to directly support the Mary Jo Cropper Family Center for Breast Cancer — a center that does far more than raise awareness. All donations go to assist in cancer research, direct medical care for affected patients and general support for those going through this life-altering disease.

It is because of these reasons that we were (and still are) proud to support the above foundations, and plan to do so whenever we can as a company. To learn more about the Mary Jo Cropper Center, click here.

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From their website:

As the Tri-State’s leading breast care facility, we provide compassionate and comprehensive services, including screening, diagnosis, research, and the most current treatment options for breast conditions in one, convenient location. Our facility stands out because:

  • We are the only local breast center accredited by the prestigious National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC).
  • SealOur team provides comprehensive services, including 3D digital tomosynthesis mammography, ultrasound, MRI, breast biopsies, and breast cancer rehabilitation.
  • We have an expert multidisciplinary team involved in breast care and disease treatment.
  • We offer convenient hours and facilities. Our Center provides on-site radiologists and surgeons. 
  • We offer Breast Health Navigators to educate you and coordinate care, ensuring that you have a supportive team of specially trained nurses to advocate on your behalf.
  • The Mary Jo Cropper Family Center for Breast Care actively participates in clinical research to ensure the most current treatment of breast disease. 
  • Our staff strives to allay patient fears by delivering compassionate care in a nurturing, comfortable environment.
labor day sale frame usa

Labor Day 2014 Savings – 10% Off All Sites!

You work hard for the money, so take a break with 10% off site-wide!

This year for labor day, save money and enjoy your day off! Use coupon code labor10 at the checkout. You’ll save big money on FrameUSA.com, Posterservice.com, FrameCloseouts.com and MatDesigners.com all weekend long!

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Posterservice “Beer” Poster on A&E’s “Brandi and Jarrod: Married to the Job”!

We had the privelege to show off our very own “Beer” poster on A&E’s Brandi and Jarrod: Married to the Job!

For those who have never seen the show, the couple Brandi and Jarrod are originally from the show Storage Wars on A&E. This couple’s constant tension and interesting dynamic has created an interest in the couple’s day to day life, resulting in their own reality show called Brandi and Jarrod: Married to the Job. It was only several weeks ago that we received an email from the A&E studios asking if they could show our very own image on their next episode. We were more than happy to oblige!

Here is the image to look out for:

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If this item strikes your fancy after seeing the episode, you can purchase your very own poster here.

To see yesterday’s episode, click on the image below. You can see more on their website, too!

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Raving Fans and Customer Comments

We take customer feedback very seriously here at Frame USA, whether that involves us replacing a faulty order, thanking a customer for their kind words about our services, or… drawing unicorns on a box?

That’s right–one of our more eccentric customers frequently asks for any number of random drawings on their packages, and our team has really had fun with this in the past (we can recall doodles of a dancing penguin and a mummy/pirate duo playing jump-rope).

This time, we had our customer service representative (and talented illustrator) Kelley Kombrinck create the box art for our customer. Needless to say, they were very impressed!

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A more detailed view of the illustration. All because of a comment left in the “notes” section of our checkout process!

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This time, the customer asked for an elephant to be drawn on the box. Again, Kelley delivered…

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You can find our latest  customer comments here, which is updated every 2-3 months.

Custom Framing and Displays at Wholesale Prices

When you need a custom frame job, we take it seriously — down to the very last detail.

Our customers at City Gear have used our products for quite a few of their stores. The urban apparel store recently requested a large custom order for frames that would be able to “comfortably” fit some of their jerseys and t-shirt brands. You can also see our frames in use on the upper walls, which were poster frames also bought from us!

The recent custom order was particularly interesting, however. Our team was tasked with finding an affordable option to frame their items (in this case, our In-Depth series), add custom D-ring attachments and provide special instructions on how to build exactly what they wanted in their stores. The result was so great, they shared their experience (and photographs) with us.

 

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A full view that showcases both our products and theirs:

 

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Need a large-scale custom framing job? Contact us: [email protected]. We can offer advice, volume discounts and alternative hanging methods to suit just about any method of display you need!