Picture framing industry speaker, educator and writer, John and his wife Sarah own The Frame Workshop of Appleton Inc, an award winning custom frame shop and gift boutique in WI. John has conducted seminars around the world since 1981. He was awarded the PPFA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015.
The term, busman’s holiday stems back to the late 1800’s, where a man who drives a bus for a living goes on a long bus journey on their holiday. So by definition, it is a holiday in which you spend most of your time doing the same or something very similar to your normal work.
So It should come as no surprise to many picture framers that we do enjoy and have been busted venturing into another frame shop while on holiday – It sort of comes natural within an industry where people honestly love what they do!
So as we head into the last week of June, Sarah and I are heading towards a family gathering in Center Harbor, New Hampshire, but along the way we plan on visiting some old friends and a number of folks in the framing industry, gallery owners and some specialized gift shops. We’re taking a leisurely journey to New England that provides us an opportunity to connect to some great framers and business people.
The journey from Appleton, Wisconsin to New Hampshire will take us to businesses in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine!
Why? Well… most of us recognize that we are bound to learn some new tidbit of value when visiting another business that we might be able to apply and use in our own shop… but these stops represent a little more on this journey. As we now enter into the 7th year of a economic downturn, we’ve seen nothing but survivors remaining among these independent businesses that still have their lights on. And thus I would like to ask them what do they see that contributes to their success and what lessons have they learned in these more difficult times? Stay tuned… this is going to be a learning experience for us.
I have been involved in the picture framing industry since I opened The Frame Workshop in September of 1978 and started teaching to my fellow colleagues in 1981, but I am just now creating a personal blog that is purely about me sharing my thoughts and observations with my colleagues. And although personal I should state that it is somewhat B2B in nature as I am creating this to reach out to fellow professionals within the art and picture framing industry.
Although I have had a full blown online website for our retail business since 2001, this is my first attempt at an online blog… something a little more personal to compliment my writings in the trade journals.
As an educator and industry consultant, I have been very fortunate that I have had the opportunity to teach and share within the picture framing industry in many parts of the world from Perth, Australia to Istanbul, Turkey. I have presented seminars and hands-on workshops in Moscow, Russia as well as Chicago, Illinois. And it is through this diverse amount of experiences that I do know that we never stop learning.
John with Sarah run a retail frame shop, gallery and gift boutique in Appleton, Wisconsin, since 1978.