With business going well at Bellingham Frameworks, Paul Hemminger was thinking about expanding. Fortunately he did not have to go far to find a bigger space.
The picture framing company recently moved into 1415 Cornwall Ave., which is just a few feet away from its old space at 1421 Cornwall Ave. At approximately 3,000 square feet, the new space is about double the size of the old location, allowing the company to expand its custom frame selection and create a gallery space. The gallery was put together by Linda Gardner, former owner of Lucia Douglas Gallery.
“This is what I wanted to do the first time, but didn’t have enough space,” Hemminger said, referring to a previous move from across the street years earlier. “I wanted to create a nice, warm feeling with this space.”
The longtime locally owned retailer has been able to fend off online competition and grow, partially because of the trust factor, Hemminger said.
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Much of the work Bellingham Frameworks handles is artwork and pictures that are prized by the customer, such as an important family photo or a collectible movie poster. Customers are much more comfortable meeting the person doing the framing work rather than sending it away, Hemminger said.
When he was pondering expansion, Hemminger wanted to stay in the downtown core and was concerned about moving too far from his original spot. He learned through experience that many of his regular customers can go months between visits, so he wanted to make sure the store was easily found in the coming months.
“I wanted to be within eyesight of the old location,” he said. “We’re lucky that we found a great place close by.”
The company does all its work at the store, including canvas stretching, custom framing and glass cutting. Details about the business can be found on its Facebook page.
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