Monthly Archives: July 2014

Road Trip 2014… Back in Ohio!

Our return journey through upstate New York took us into Ohio on I-90 rather than I-80 hence we elected to make a last minute decision and visit one more framer on the Northeast side of Cleveland.  We dropped in on the Framing Goddess, Edith Antl of Art, Etc. located on Murray Hill Road in Cleveland’s Little Italy.  Edie has owned this business for 28 years in one previous location before moving into this quiet and artsy neighborhood.

Sarah sits outside of Art Etc, located in Little Italy, Cleveland, Ohio.

Sarah Ranes sits outside the entrance of Art Etc, located in Little Italy, Cleveland, Ohio.

At first glance her shop appears to be a bit cluttered and “old fashioned” looking, but a closer look reveals that there is more here than first meets the eye.  Edie and I joked during our visit that she is going for the “We’ve been in business for a hundred years look”.  Did I mention that her business has Charm!   Continue reading

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Road Trip 2014… Maine

The Fourth of July, gave us a great opportunity to connect with family at our parent’s old homestead on Lake Winnipesaukee, in Center Harbor, New Hampshire.  This is a wonderful part of the country to celebrate Independence Day although rain and storms extended most activities until the 5th.

Before heading home, back to Wisconsin, we elected to travel onto Maine for one additional stop.  One of our old friends moved from Wisconsin to Maine just a year ago, so being this close – we just had to continue our eastward journey.

We concluded our official visits by dropping in on two frames in Maine….one in Portland and another a few miles north in Yarmouth.  Casco Bay Frames & Gallery is a 35-year-old business operated by second generation owners, Tony and Heather Cox.  The business dates back with three previous owners  including Heather’s parents and takes its name from the bay that produces the harbor of Portland. The multi-talented framers that work at Casco Bay Frames are artists each in their own rights, with their work displayed throughout the frame shop.

This traditional multipurpose room at Casco Bay Frames is used for their CMC and fitting area

This traditional multipurpose room at Casco Bay Frames is used for their CMC and fitting area

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Road Trip 2014… Massachusetts

After a Sunday drive through Pennsylvania and Connecticut, we dropped in on Retail Speaks member, Ann Foley-Collins of Glee Gifts in Mansfield, (Boston) MA.  Her location in a large regional mall area is very visible and she carries several key lines of gifts that are customer draws.  In business for a number of years she is keenly aware of sourcing strong lines to replace some of the trendy hot lines that may be fading in popularity.  Takeaways – One noteworthy observation is that similar to many other independent retailers we have visited, her success was keenly dependent upon the dedication of a key employee.  Not to mention a good location!

Ann Foley-Collins of Glee Gifts in Mansfield, MA with Sarah Ranes

Ann Foley-Collins of Glee Gifts in Mansfield, MA with Sarah Ranes

We then headed up to visit “The Frame Guy”, aka Harry Gaston of Gaston Framing & Art in Shrewsbury, MA.  This outgoing framer and diligent business owner recently purchased an exisiting frame shop and converted it to his second location.  In an adjacent community that has its own identity, this enables him to share his advertising and marketing benefiting both locations.   Continue reading