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Frame Championship

Frame USA Championship Match

Update: Final Championship Match: Corporate Narrow Series VS Shadowbox Showcase Series.Expires 4/2 3:45 PM EST.


Update:
 Round 3, Match 1 & 2: 
Corporate Narrow Series VS Glory Metal Series & Deluxe Poster Frame Series VS Shadowbox Showcase Series.Expires 4/1 3:45 PM EST.

Update: Round 2, Match 3 & 4: Deluxe Poster Frame VS Simply Poly Series & Deluxe Certificate Series VS Shadowbox Showcase.Expires 3/31 3:45 PM EST.

March Madness: Basketball Championship

It is about that time of the year again. In less than a week college basketball teams from across the United States will compete for the ultimate title of NCAA National Championship. Universities, big and small will be on the edge of their seats as they cheer on their favorite team. Families and friendships are torn apart based on the team they back. Cinderella stories of underdog teams rising to the top make the entire nation’s hearts swell (Go Dayton Flyers!). They don’t call this time of year, Madness for nothing.

So what does college basketball have to do with an American picture frame company?

We offer over 100 different series of picture frames. Not to mention the picture framing accessories that we have available. So during a time when competition is on everyone’s minds, we begin to wonder, which one of our picture frame series is the best; the ultimate champion of picture frames.

Sure we have a list of 12 bestsellers in the wood category, but that’s one category and the NCAA doesn’t declare 12 champion teams, they declare 1! With the help of our customers we are going to hold our own championship to determine the winner.

the first ever 2015 frameusa.com picture frame championship.

We have begun narrowing down our 100 different series to choose the top 4 series of each of our categories: Wood Frames, Metal Frames, Poster Frames and Specialty Frames.

Each picture frame series will first compete within the category but as the competition progresses they will go head to head with the other categories to find the ultimate champion.

On Friday we will announce which frames we have selected for this championship and why they have been chosen so stay tuned to see if your favorite picture frames are in the running.

This blog will provide you with real-time coverage of the 2015 Frameusa.com Picture Frame Championship.

 

 

Best Friends Animal Society

If this was a TV commercial we would start by showing videos of hurt animals while playing really depressing music, but since this is a blog post so we’re going to give you pictures instead.

Animal Adoption4 Animal Adoption3 Animal Adoption2 Animal Adoption1

I bet you are wondering why a Framing Company is giving a bunch of adorable pictures of animals to their blog readers.

March Charity of the Month: Best Friends Animal SOCIETY

These animals are just 16 out of the 923 animals available for adoption from an organization called Best Friend Animal Society. Best Friends Animal Society is an animal welfare society that sponsored the no-kill movement for animal shelters nearly 30 years ago.

When this movement first began there was nearly 17 million homeless pets that were dying each year in our nation’s shelters. Best Friend’s created a variety of programs aimed to help reduce this number.

According to their website:

“By implementing spray/neuter and trap/neuter/return programs (TNR) to reduce the number of animals entering shelters and increasing the number of people who adopt pets, we’ve reduced that number to around 4 million deaths annually.

Our national initiatives focus on animals most likely to enter America’s shelter system – cats, castoffs from puppy mills, and pit-bull-terrier-type dogs. Our national initiatives address these issues by keeping community cat’s safe and out of shelters with TNR, battling commercial breeding operations, and fighting discrimination against pit bull terriers.”

 

For the month of March we have vowed to help the initiative of Best Friend’s Animal Society by choosing them as our charity of the month.

Frame USA will donate $0.75 for every purchase of picture frames made on our website. As well as this donation our customers also have the option of donating one dollar when they check out online.

Your one dollar could put a stop to unnecessary animal deaths in the nation’s shelters.

Get to know our Specialty Framing Manager: Favorite Hobby Friday

Frame USA’s Specialty Framing Manager on Favorite Hobby Friday

The last time we had favorite hobby Friday we featured our administrative assistant Jill and her awesome guitar making abilities. We’re back again this week for yet another extremely unique hobby. I sat down with the Specialty Framing Manager from our retail store, Jennifer Miller to talk to her about her hobby.

Hobby_felted Soap

Jennifer what is your, What is your absolute favorite hobby?

My absolute favorite hobby is making felted soaps

Felted Soaps?! Oh this is going to be interesting, when did you first start making them?  

I first started making them a few years ago.
 

How did you even get into making felted soaps, it’s such a unique hobby?  

I have been enjoying making wool felted artwork for many years. After finishing pieces, I usually have a tiny bit of wool left. Too little to do anything with; and I’m too much of a pack rat to throw it away. I started brainstorming and looking around for something that I could do with all these little scraps. 
 
I came across an article on a crocheting site that the lady was crocheting these little bags that soap would go into. She explained the benefits of encasing soap in bags: decoration, soap savers, great for exfoliation, etc. I was intrigued and went searching. My research came up with some interesting things.
 
Soap holders are a well-established craft dating quite far back. And one of the main ways these encased soaps get made is by using a wet felting technique. Since soap is small, my little scraps can be used to make this fun and colorful craft. People give me an odd look when they get a felted soap bar as a gift, but when they use it; they get hooked!

That is so awesome! How long did I t take you to become a master at it?  

I first learned wet felting techniques about 8 years ago.
 
Hobby_Felted Soap Process

So you’ve had this capability for quite some time, how many hours a week would you estimate you spend on making these felted soaps?  

It depends on if I’m working on a felted sculpture. Currently I am, and I take a few hours to felt the soap after I’ve finished the sculpture. So I usually make a few bars a month. The sculptures are the main focus of every waking hour; the soap happens to be a fantastic “bi-product”.

 

I would say so! I’m so intrigued by this hobby, what is your favorite part about it?  

I love how the colors mingle together and the very unexpected nature of wet felting. Plus the soap gives off wonderful aromas that make my place smell nice.

 

Oh that is wonderful, what is your least favorite part about it?  

When looking for handmade soaps, finding a bar with a funky aroma and it makes you wrinkle up your nose.

 

Oh that stinks! Pun definitely intended. What has been the most memorable experience with this hobby?  

Since I give my felted soaps as a gifts; I love seeing peoples’ smiles; and hearing from them later that they’ve used the soap for either decoration or for cleaning.

 

That would be a lovely feeling! What is one thing you have learned about yourself through mastering this unique hobby?  

Wet felting helps calm me down. It can be very meditative. Picking out soaps for certain people; deciding if the wool will more represent the soap aroma or the person I’m giving it to; or maybe it will just simply be a miss-mash of wool scraps. All the repetitive motions of wet felting process helps me to focus on the motion; how the fibers are intertwining; even how the soap suds squish around my hands. And all of that helps me tune out the rest of the world.

 

That does sound like a very calming hobby, what is your advice for people who may want to start doing it?  

HAVE FUN!!

 

Thank you so much for enlightening our readers and myself about this beautiful art form.

 
If you have a favorite hobby and would like to see it featured on our blog, Email our SEO Coordinator at [email protected]!

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Glass Alternatives: Prevent the 7 Years of Bad Luck

Prevent the 7 Years of Bad Luck:

Frame USA gLAZING OPTIONS

No we’re not talking about the glazing on donuts, glazing to the framing industry is just a fancy word for the material that stands between your piece and the outside world. Primarily it is known as glass to the consumers however that is not always the material used. We’ve written previously about the different types of glass we have available in our retail frame shop but what exactly does that mean for our loyal internet customers? This question along with many other glazing related questions brings us to our next topic of Frame USA Q&A.

Thanks to our handy concise guide to Frame USA Products that we wrote last week you now know what your frame comes with, so now it is time to explain the material that protects the piece you are going to be framing. Frame USA has three options of glazing for our readymade frames: Standard Glass, PETG, and Acrylic. So what is the difference? We’re here to tell you!

First things first: what type of glazing is going to come with your frame? Find out below!

Glass Infographic

 

The reason that majority of our frames are shipped with PETG (formerly Styrene) is because PETG weighs roughly half as much as glass and is more shatter resistant than glass. We view shipping glass as most people would view giving glass to a toddler, you just wouldn’t do it, the likelihood of damage is high, and the likelihood of injury is even greater. Using PETG not only prevents your frame from arriving damage but it also reduces shipping costs.

If you HAVE to have glass in your picture frames when they are 11×17 and larger. Please call and speak with one of our customer service representatives at 1-800-577-5920.

In certain cases such as you are purchasing a large quantity that is able to be shipped via freight or you are able to physically pick up your order from our warehouse.

The glazing that is used by Frame USA does not reflect ultraviolet light. Reflective glazing is used primarily for conservation framing. In contrast, the products sold by Frame USA are generally for decorative framing purposes.

The PETG ships with a thin plastic film that protects both sides of the plastic during shipping and retail display. The protective coating is the material that protects your piece from scratches, scuff marks, etc. from the outside world prior to arriving to you!

When you have picture frames hanging in your home they are bound to get dusty or dirty over time so the best way that you can clean them depends on what material you have. Glass can be cleaned with a glass cleaner however, Acrylic and PETG should only be cleaned by warm water or a soft cloth, not a solvent. The solvent in most cleaners will actually cause them to disintegrate over time.

Now that you have all the information about the material you can make a better decision on the type of frame you would like! Stay tuned next week as we discuss some specific products in greater detail.

A Concise guide to Frame USA Products

So You Want to Buy Frames:

A Concise Guide to Frame USA Products

The topic of question that we continually receive an overabundance of was regarding what exactly comes with a Frame USA Frame. On our website under every series we have listed a handy key that tells exactly what comes with our products. The letters in this key correspond with letters that follow each size in the volume order form.

Product Key

Product Listing

Since we do get this question we thought we would give our customers a simple guide that explains how each listing is laid out. This handy guide is also listed in the FAQ section of our website.

Product Naming

This is what comes with all of our readymade picture frames. If you would like to purchase an easel for those frames that come with a sawtooth hanger or vice versa they are available for purchase on our website.

 

If you are interested in purchasing just a frame without all of the materials listed above you are looking to purchase what we in the industry call a “shell”. Shells are available under the custom sizes tab that is located next to the volume order form. Don’t be deterred from ordering shells because of the word custom. Frames are available in all readymade sizes, so just put your desired size in the length width boxes and you’re all set!

Shell Only Location

wANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT OUR GLASS OPTIONS?
rEAD OUR gLASS aLTERNATIVES: pREVENT THE 7 YEARS OF BAD LUCK.

Frame USA Q & A: Knowledge from an Industry Expert

Frame USA Questions & Answers:

Knowledge from an Industry Expert.

Recently we asked our customers what questions they had about our products, about our company, and about framing in general. We loved the feedback we have received so far because it allows us to know what our customers are wondering about and gives us a chance to help them out. So over the next few weeks we will be answering these questions along with questions our customer service team receives often on our blog. If you have a question or would like to know more about a topic email, Facebook, tweet, call, comment, write a letter, send us a carrier pigeon,etc. (the last two however we do not recommend as it may be quite some time before we receive them!).The point is we love our customers and we love the feedback we get from them because it allows us to cater to them.

So give us some questions to answer so that we can improve your shopping experience and give you some tips and tricks!

What comes with a Frame USA Frame? 
What type of glass options do you offer?

Charity of the Month for February

Our Charity for the Month of February

It is hard to talk about something so serious when all your brain really wants to think about right now are Katy Perry’s Sharks. Sometimes, however, for the greater good of the world you have to talk about the difficult things.

If you are lucky you have never and will never have to deal with a loved one’s life being taken by a life threatening disease such as cancer, most of us, unfortunately, are not that lucky. If there is one thing that everyone can agree with it is this: Cancer Sucks.  What makes matters even worse is that these diseases like cancer don’t discriminate, there is not a single person on this planet that is safe, including children. Children haven’t even had a chance to live their life before having to fight for it.

The one defense that people have against cancer and other life threatening diseases is that we have teams of Doctors and Scientists working day and night to find a cure and treatment for them. One of which, and probably the most well-known, is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

According to their website:

“The mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of our founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay”

St Jude is internationally recognized for “its pioneering research and treatment of children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases.” It is one of the best pediatric cancer hospitals in the country and is the “first and only national cancer institute designated comprehensive cancer center devoted solely to children.”

Frame USA wants to help you help the world. So for the month of February we have chosen St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as our monthly Charity.

Frame USA will donate $0.75 for every purchase of picture frames made on our website. As well as this donation our customers also have the option of donating one dollar when they check out online.

February 2015 Charity of the MOnth

Your one dollar could save millions of children’s lives.

Frame A-Tee Introduction

Introducing Frame-A-Tee: Frame USA’s T-Shirt Frame Product Line.

The Newest T-Shirt Frame Product Line: Frame-A-Tee

Throughout a persons lifetime it is inevitable that they will have been given and or purchased a large amount of T-shirts.

The T-Shirt hording probably started in high school during pep rally’s and concerts. Continued on after graduation, maybe you went Greek in college and got a new t-shirt every event, or maybe you were an avid sports fan and really represented your college well with spirit wear.

After college and probably even before you may have participated in a charity event/race and received a T-shirt for participating or you wanted to rep your favorite professional sports team with T-shirts. Next thing you know you have an entire dresser filled with just T-shirts. If you’re like me, you probably only wear a quarter of the T-Shirts you have in your possession.

So what do you do with the other T-Shirts!? 

If none of your T-shirts have any sentimental value attached you could just donate them to goodwill or a homeless shelter.

If you have a large group of shirts you can’t bare to part with you could take them to a seamstress and have them made into a blanket, so the memories are still there but the shirts aren’t taking up space.

However you are bound to have at least one or two T-shirts that you couldn’t bare to part with or the idea of them being chopped up tears you up inside. Thanks to a Frame USA Employee you now have a way to properly display and protect your beloved shirts: Frame-A-Tee

We took one of our popular wood moldings, In-Depth and turned it into an outlet for clearing out your closet, and decorating your home!

Frame-A-Tee comes in 2 classic colors, Natural, and Black.

T-Shirt Frame Black    T-Shirt Frame Natural

After testing these frames out we have come up with 3 standard sizes that work for all sizes of T-shirts: 12×12, 14×14 and 14×18.

Each T-Shirt Frame will include the following:

  •  A Frame
  • 2 pieces of Black Foamcore
  • 2 pieces of Cardboard
  • wire kit for hanging
  • Assembly Instructions

All of our employees are so excited about this product and we think our customers are really going to love these. So pull out your T-shirt collection, choose your favorites preserve the memories with Frame USA’s Newest Product: Frame-A-Tee.

A Day In The Life of A Customer Service Representative

A Day In The life Of A Customer Service Representative as told by a Customer Service Representative

Last week I gave my account of a day in the life of a customer service representative at Frame USA. Today I got one of our real life CS Reps to talk about what its really like.

The title, “Customer Service Representative” may not sound glamorous. It probably makes you think of dead-eyed office drones answering calls with the same, canned responses while they fiddle with their social media. At Frame USA, however, that is not the case at all. As a Customer Service rep here, there are so many different tasks and responsibilities, that we couldn’t be robots, even if we wanted to.
When it comes to answering calls, there’s no possible way to throw out tired, pre-rehearsed phrases and clichés. The custom nature of our products makes for a wide array of different questions and concerns from customers, many of whom are unfamiliar with framing, matting and production. With so many different frame styles, virtually every call is a different story and we have to know what we’re talking about so we can represent Frame USA with confidence and to make sure the customer is getting exactly what they want.
In addition to phone calls, we here in customer service are also fielding emails of every conceivable nature. Customers looking for price quotes; sales reps placing large, complex orders; poster questions; returns and assistance with damaged items…the list goes on.
The customer service team at Frame USA also works closely with every other department to make sure that processes are working smoothly and customers are receiving what they need in a timely manner. We run up and down stairs, around corners and throughout every nook and cranny of the building to get things done.
Being a customer service rep may never garner us magazine covers or inspire songs to be written but it is a daily adventure at Frame USA and it’s never boring.

A Day In The Life of A Customer Service Rep From an Outsiders Perspective

A Day in the life of a Customer Service Representative from the eyes of an outsider.

Like any other company Frame USA Employees go through training when they first get hired. They spend time with their manager and go through what they are supposed to do day in and day out. Frame USA however has a different training process, instead of having a training day or two day training, Frame USA employees have an entire week of training. They spend time with each department and learn how to do each part of the company. The employees won’t become masters at each process but they will become familiar with it.

This training week comes incredibly in handy when we have employees out of the office, whether it’s for a trade show or for personal reasons. Other areas of the departments can fill in for them if they get really busy throughout the week.

This week we have 2 employees that work in our customer service/sales department out of the office at a Trade Show. This leaves only 4 other employees to man the area. That’s where I come in.

Since my job primarily involves not conversing with customers or vendors and requires me to be on the computer the full day I make the perfect candidate to jump in and help out the customer service sales department while still accomplishing my day to day tasks.

The day of a Customer Service Rep begins like all of the office employees at 8:15 A.M. EST. They spend their morning before we open to customers checking emails from the previous day, processing internet orders that have been placed. Having meetings with their superiors.

Then it happens, the clock hits 9:00 A.M. EST and the phones click on. Some days this is like the stampede scene in the Lion King, silence and then all of a sudden BAM all the phones are ringing at once. Other days there is a steady trickle of phone calls throughout the day.

The Bigger companies that offer a live chat service on their website most likely have a bunch of different teams doing each different part of a CS representative. At Frame USA our team of 6 customer service/sales reps handles it all from live chats, to ordering, to answering shipping questions, and answering billing questions. They do however have help from all areas of the building answering some of these questions.

The same friendly individuals that talk with you over the phones are the same knowledgeable folks answering your questions over live chat.

In between answering phones and live chatting, customer service reps spend their time entering orders from customers as well as outside sales reps. This process although fairly simple can also be challenging, when you have humans entering in orders, you run the risk of human errors happening, for a number to be off resulting in the wrong product being ordered. Frame USA has employed a system to prevent these by having all orders checked over by someone other than the person who entered it.

At first glance, the job of a customer service representative seems fairly easy, but when you get down into the position, as I have this week, you discover that the job of customer service representatives is much more complex. They are the contact to customers. They are the people that can make or break sales. A rude customer service rep, as many of you have probably experienced turns an opinion of the company to a negative one. The job of a customer service rep requires a patient, self-motivating, hardworking individual. Not everyone on this planet has what it takes to hold this position, but in my opinion as an outsider, we have found the 6 who do.

If you would like to give a shout out to one of our reps that have helped you we would love to hear from you, Just leave a comment!

Stay tuned next week as one of our 6 talented CS Reps gives an actual account of a their day.