Frame USA has been using a product called styrene—which is a plexiglass type material– in our larger picture frames since we began operations over 30 years ago.
For most of this time the styrene used in our picture frames has been purchased domestically from a large plastic manufacturer in the United States.
In the 4th quarter of 2013, this plastic manufacturer, through its distributor, came to us and let us know that they were raising the price of our styrene product by 67% over the first six months of 2014. This huge price increase came despite almost no increase in raw materials prices or resin increases. According to the sales manager at this manufacturer, “we believe the styrene product was undervalued in the marketplace” and this lead to the incredibly large 67% increase that is taking place.
“We want our customers to know that we are shocked at our vendor’s behavior which has lead to a major increases in our product prices effective today”, said Daniel P. Regenold, CEO of Frame USA. We are even more shocked that a vendor we have worked with for such a long time would take such negative action.
This increase in price is happening after consolidation in the clear styrene market took place in the last several years.
Frame USA is taking every step possible to find a more stable source of plastic material that will go in our picture frames in the future. We will not allow one company to artificially move the market price of material used in our American Made picture frames to the detriment of our customers. We are sorry about the need to increase our prices of our picture frames because of this unwarranted large raw material price increase.
We had a great turnout this year at the West Coast Art and Frame show in Las Vegas. Getting to meet with the nations best artists and framers was a great experience, and we were glad to share it with them!
Pictured below are a few photos of our display at the show. We met with vendors and other craftsmen about our frames, products and poster/printing services.
For more information or to see more about what the West Coast Art and Frame show is all about, visit us on Twitter or search under the event hashtag #WCAF. If you joined us at the show and would like to submit a quote for any of our products, fill out our custom quote form by clicking here!
Next week, we’ll be traveling to Las Vegas for the next installment of the West Coast Art and Frame show. We’ll be joined by some of the biggest names in the industry (Larson Juhl, Tru-View, Pictureframes.com, etc.) as well as hundreds of small business owners, custom framers and artists. We’re excited for this opportunity to interact with others in our industry!
The art and framing industry is constantly changing, and it’s a great time to be a part of it all. Be sure to follow us on Twitter for updates and the latest news from the show. For a live feed of how things are going, search for #WCAF (our official hashtag for the West Coast Art and Frame show). We look forward to seeing you there!
Check out some of last year’s photos below! This year’s booth is #1039.
Some fast framing facts:
In 2012, out of 2,600 American consumers, half of them made some form of purchase in regards to wall art, decor, or some sort of framing.
The top 3 factors influencing a customer’s purchase of a custome frame job are trust, confidence and choice of materials.
45% of customers who classify as “collectors” have multiple items waiting to be framed.
Custom framing customers once had an older audience – the most recent reports show that 56% of customers are at the age of 44 are younger. Customers also tend to be male – about 59%.
HGTV Uses Frame USA Picture Frames in HGTV Magazine’s DIY Feature
If you haven’t seen the recent post by Molly Mesnick (Bachelor ’13 winner), you may have missed the exciting DIY projects that our customers have been doing! (Don’t worry, you can find her blog post right here!) Along with the cool projects Molly mentioned, we also had a customer from HGTV order some of our Clean Cut White frames for a special segment on DIY picture frames!
Our frame can be seen in their flash card example – They spray painted our Clean Cut White frame to match the color of the card! How cool is that?
Needless to say, we were thrilled to see both posts! Aside from being obvious good business plugs, we love seeing our frames put to use in creative ways. From matching colors with spray paint to re-wrapping our moulding with colorful patterns, we’ve seen a lot of great DIY concepts for our picture frames. In fact, many of our products end up on Etsy stores, where customers will use our frames in their artwork or craft projects and sell it as its own photo frame! Even better is the price point, where customers can make a nice profit from their work from simply decorating a frame to their heart’s content!
What exciting kinds of DIY projects have you found? If you haven’t caught up on this trend of cost-saving and niche design, have a look at Pinterest (making an account is free!) and search “DIY”. You’ll find some great inspiration for your own hand-made projects, whether that’s picture frames or making your own furniture! You can also follow us on Pinterest while you’re at it, where we not only share information on picture frames, but also DIY inspiration as well!
What other sorts of fun projects have you taken lately? Leave a comment below and we’d be glad to feature it in a future blog!
Artists who think that art frames itself (or customers will) may face some harsh reality.
For many artists, it’s no foreign concept to make that final brushstroke against the canvas and feel an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. All that hard work and your masterpiece is even better than you expected. If you’ve painted or drawn on stretched canvas, your work is ready to sell! If your work is on flat, 2-Dimensional paper, however… you may find yourself wondering how you’ll sell your piece. You could sell your work just as it is, letting your customer worry about presentation. This method, however, runs the risk of not getting the best value for your art, or worse, not selling at all because presentation can be just as costly! For this reason, art frames are a wise investment for any budding or experienced artist.
The most obvious solution for 2-D artists and photographers everywhere is purchasing custom art frames. Framing can be just as daunting a chore as any in the art world, the reasoning behind which is that the LAST thing you want to do is distract the viewer from your artwork. As Jason Horejs said in his recent post from RedDot Blog, “Framing art is time-consuming and expensive, and just when you think you’ve found the right frame, your clients let you know otherwise.” Even more discouraging is putting in the time and effort, only for “…a client [to] see [a] piece of artwork, fall in love with it, and then say, ‘but that frame has got to go.'”
Luckily for most artists, picking out a frame is simply an extension of their artistic eye. Find something that makes your piece “pop” instead of distracting the viewer, and don’t try too hard to match the colors of your art to the color(s) of the frame. Aside from the picking out your frame, the other important factor in selecting a frame is the price. Taking your art to a professional framer can set you back hundreds, even thousands of dollars. However, there are several ways to avoid this cost:
1. Build your own art frames and mats
Using materials such as wood, nails and stain/finish bought from your local hardware store, assemble your own frames! There are plenty of tutorials that can be found online, and we suggest looking around Pinterest to find even more creative solutions to DIY art frames.
2. Create artwork to fit a specific frame size
While limiting in a creative capacity, this process will save you time and money down the road. If you like to create art in series or with a certain color, then ordering in bulk may be your best bet. This will force you to restrict your sizing, but for the most part, this is a great investment either way. Frame USA offers volume orders and discounts for businesses as well – fill out our quote form and see just how much you can save.
3. Order custom-sized, wholesale picture frames from Frame USA
As we referenced in 2, ordering a specific size in wholesale can be a great time and money-saver. We also offer a Build A Frame service that allows you to upload an image or select an image opening, add mats and a frame, backing and glazing. We then assemble your frame and send it to you! Give it a try and you’ll see just how much you can save when compared to your local frame shop.
What’s your opinion on framing art? How do your frame your work? Leave a comment for us in the space below!
Our poster division, Posterservice Inc., is very fortunate to have such a diverse customer base. Music stores, museums, smoke shops, poster distributors, Spencers, college book stores and educational resource vendors all depend on Posterservice for the hottest images in poster printing and publishing.
One service that our customers particularly enjoy is a service offered by Posterservice called plaque mounting. Plaque mounting is a display option that allows you to preserve your image my mounting an image on wood, followed by laminating the image in a transparent seal that turns an ordinary wood mount into… well, a plaque! Chances are, if you’ve visited any home decor shop, you’ll find a great assortment of beautiful art prints inside of a plaque.
Kandy Myny – artist, entrepreneur and our number 1 plaque customer – has used Posterservice for just a short period, since February 2011. In this time she has placed an average of 6 orders a month, each order totalling a substantial amount of plaques. It’s customers like Kandy that any business is proud to serve. She loves our wood mount product so much that it is one of the main items she sells showcasing her beautiful art!
About the artist:
“I am a self taught mixed media artist creating original paintings, collages and reproductions. I love to express the whimsical side of things by using a rich and colorful color palette. My whimsical mixed media style is created using paint, paper, charcoal, and a variety of textural elements to create unique, one of a kind pieces of art. Whenever possible I enjoy using recycled materials both new and old to incorporate into my work. My portfolio includes a whimsical world of colorful neighborhoods and landscapes with trees that resemble lollipops, birds with stilt like legs, owls, quirky homes and girls with inspiring messages. In just a few short years I have created Bit O’ Whimsey Design Studio, travel to juried art fairs, sell to galleries and boutiques, manage an Etsy shop and I have created a wholesale line. My art has been well received and is in homes across the country and the world…”
Later this month, Cincinnati local artists will start giving 24 Metro bus shelters, downtown and in Over-the-Rhine, a face lift. Back in January the Cincinnati City Council voted to ban advertising on public right-of-way. The idea was to get rid of the garish billboards and bus stop bench advertisements. The unexpected consequences of this is that all Metro Bus shelters were required to remove all advertising, leaving the bus shelters barren and unsightly. In the end the decision caused the unintended effect of leaving the downtown shelters without advertising, but looking abandoned. Spots where the old bus benches had set are now just scars on the sidewalk. In the end, Downtown Cincinnati Inc. (DCI) found that most folks had a negative perception of safety around bus shelters.
In steps ArtWorks and the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA). Instead of seeing this as an aberration they saw this as a grand opportunity to do something new and unique. Starting later this month Cincinnatians downtown will begin to re-purpose this old space with the help of local Cincinnati artists. 24 of the bus shelters in Downtown and Over-the-Rhine will receive new murals representing works of literature.
“Through this collaborative partnership between ArtWorks, SORTA, the Main Library and DCI, these 12 bus shelters will receive a playful facelift and add to the public art vibrancy in our Central Business District,” explained Cait Barnett, marketing manager at ArtWorks.
Barnett went on to say that SORTA will clean and paint the shelters and the lead artist for ArtWorks, Ryan Little, and youth apprentices between the ages of 14 and 21 will design graphic prints for the empty spaces.
The 24 literary works that will be the themes for the bus shelters were voted on by the community through a survey conducted by the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County through June 30. They include:
“Roots: The Saga of an American Family” by Alex Haley
“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” by J.K. Rowling
“Moby Dick” by Herman Melville
“Six Dinner Sid” by Inga Moore
“Harold and the Purple Crayon” by Crockett Johnson
“Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens
“The Color Purple” by Alice Walker
“Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak
“Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll
“Dracula” by Bram Stoker
“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl
“Flat Stanley” by Jeff Brown
“The Odyssey” by Homer
“The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank
“The Man in the Iron Mask” by Paul Mantell
“Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White
“The Scarlet Letter” by Nathanial Hawthorne
“Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain
“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams
“The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum
“Rainbow Fish” by Marcus Pfister
“The Tortoise and the Hare” by Aesop
“Tao Te Ching” by Lao Tzu
“The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck
The Metro Art Shelters project has also been championed by the Downtown Residents Council (DRC), which is hoping to raise $5,000 for public art throughout Downtown. Those interested in giving to the project can do so through the DRC’s power2give webpage.
According to ArtWorks, all donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar by The Johnson Foundation.
We’ve talked about real wood picture frames vs. our eco-friendly composite frames on our blog before. The information holds true–if you’re looking for your frames to look more rustic or have a real wood grain, then you’ll want to by a real wood frame. If you’re looking for something that is smooth, sleek and all of the frames need to look identical, go with our eco-friendly wrapped frames.
Frame USA CEO Dan Regenold took some time to discuss the difference between the two as it applies to wholesale buyers. Have a look and see what’s best for you!
For more information, fill out our quote form and we’ll do our best to help you find what you need at a great price!
So let’s say you need some picture frames for your next project… Well, SOME is an understatement. You need hundreds, or even thousands! But these can’t be any run-of-the-mill frames, they need to be perfect. You need craft store quality picture frames at “Made In China” prices. Unfortunately, we all know what happens when you outsource a frame job: bad joins, poor quality and an overall disappointing experience (not to mention the fact that you didn’t buy an American product!)
There are dozens of other online retailers for wholesale picture frames, but none that commit to quality and price like we do. We’ve done the research and strengthened our framers to bring you the finest product and price you will find in the United States. Don’t believe us? Fill out our custom quote form and we’ll give you an estimate. Then do the same with one of our competitors. Time and time again, our customers are thrilled to receive such a cheap price point on our high-quality bulk picture frames.
For even better deals, visit our Frame Closeouts site. From there you can choose between wood, premium wood, metal, poster, and polystyrene frames–All at discounted prices! The only catch to these prices is that the frames are a “grab bag”, there is no way of knowing which series of frame you will receive. For colors, feel free to submit a custom quote and let us know your needs. We will do our best to assist you in any way we can!
Real Wood or a Wrapped Frame – What is best for you?
Many times we are on the phone speaking with customers and giving them guidance about the best kind of frame that they may want to use for their project. Frequently, when we bring up our “wrapped frames” we might get the comment from customers that “wrapped frames aren’t real wood, so we don’t want to use them.”
Real wood frames are great and we have many manufacturers around the United States supply us with moulding made from ash, poplar, basswood, oak and other woods that customers are familiar with. The beauty of these mouldings is that they come from a real tree and they show the beauty of the wood that is associated with them.
The problem with real wood is that is can show many of the splendors and birthmarks of Mother Nature. The wood might show knot holes or streaks or other imperfections in the wood that simply can’t be glossed over or removed. If we are running a group of 25 or 50 frames for a customer it is possible that there will be minor color variations in the real wood frames. If the customer is willing to accept these subtle differences real wood is fine and we have several real wood frames at great values.
However, several higher end customers – in this Pottery Barn world that we live in—want all frames to match exactly. They don’t want any imperfections or differences. For these kind of customers Frame USA highly recommends our “wrapped wood picture frames”. Many of them are labeled Bonanza Wood or with an eco-friendly symbol in our catalog or on Frameusa.com.
The thing that makes wrapped frames so great is that every single one looks exactly the same—from 1 to 1000. If you put them all up next to each other on the wall they will match perfectly. Perhaps people get a little off track when they think about “wrapped frames”. These do come from real wood—just pressed wood glued together—it’s just a totally different concept. And the beauty of these wrapped wood picture frames is that they are far more “Eco-Friendly” for today’s world.
Changing to a wrapped frame might require a little bit of a mindset change on your part, but for the price and value, and almost perfect quality I suggest you consider trying one of our wrapped wooden frames next time you have a project. We think you will be thoroughly happy with your choice. If you are die-hard wood fan, that’s OK to stay the course. But change, in this case is not bad at all. Call or email one of Frameusa.com’s sales consultants to discuss or live chat on line with us NOW!