42 Years in the Framing Biz

July 15, 2016

As we celebrate 42 years of picture framing in the San Francisco Bay Area, we look back on the experiences we've had getting to know our loyal customers from back when we were still a do-it-yourself frame shop, and we look forward to more years of servicing our clientele.


The framing industry has been shrinking over the past decade.  Our two stores in San Francisco and Berkeley are now going through many changes to keep with the trends in our clients' needs, particularly their requests to have more quick, inexpensive readymade options.



In years past, from back when we opened for business in the '70s, picture framing had been considered a necessity.  The founder of Frame-O-Rama, Peter Gumina, recognized the need for affordable picture framing; he even acknowledged and addressed the value of the DIY picture frame, allowing customers to learn the skills of framing in order to get all their art and photos up on their walls time after time.  This idea materialized in the form of the first Frame-O-Rama, located on Polk Street in San Francisco.  Do-it-yourself framing was the way to go, and people came in parties just to get everything done up right.


We grew quickly, opening up stores in Berkeley, Mill Valley, Palo Alto and Burlingame.  With those stores opening, and with changes in customers' needs, we expanded our stores' offerings to be full service high-end picture frame shops.  Our clients no longer were as interested in doing it themselves as they were in paying to get it all taken care of for them.  With that, we grew and honed our skills in the specialties of framing, doing all types of framing and displays, hand wrapping fabric mats, gold leafing deep beveled matting, creating relationships with artisan frame moulding companies, and so much more.  Our outlook was "anything can be framed", and it seemed a large part of our clientele agreed--or at least tried!



Nowadays it seems people are more and more likely (or used to) keeping their photos in their phones and picture framing seems to have become more of an option rather than a necessity.  We, however aren't looking toward stopping but instead are ever dedicating ourselves to preserving your memories and showing the beauty of holding and hanging a piece of art on your walls.  Customers that visit our stores aren't commonly framing with as much intricacy as they used to (although we still offer all the same options as before); many are now seeking those readymade and DIY options once again.  Because of the growing demand, we continuously find ways to address your needs and to appreciate those that are coming in to frame photos and art by offering the full range of picture framing.

It may or may not be known, but our Berkeley store on College Avenue is in transition.  We're bringing in more readymade products, reorganizing our custom framing options, and even are taking over the space next door to house more readymade frames and open back frames. (Stay tuned for more information on this transition!)


Our Frame-O-Rama in San Francisco (still on Polk Street) is doing the same in terms of expanding the selection in readymade framing and supplies.  In the past few weeks, we finally brought in pre-cut mats, 13x19 Fillmore concert poster frames, and readymade frames up to 20"x24".


We are trying to offer the most in picture framing and display, encouraging customers to once more take their photos (off their phones) and put them onto their walls, even if it means we're printing them out for them (which we now also do)!



Wherever the picture frame industry is going, we will be here!  We've been here for 42 years, and we will be for many more!  We always try to take input from our loyal customers and take notice of what our clients are seeking.  Despite any changes that may occur in the area, the economy, and in technology, we will always be here to encourage you to get your photos, art, collectibles, anything(!) in a frame!  Preserve your memories and create a wall represents you and your style.  We'll be here to make it happen.





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