Business Close Up: Diane’s Frame Shoppe keeps up with trends
Diane and Ray Dodge are beginning their tenth year as business owners. Diane’s Frame Shoppe has been a downtown fixture since its beginning, but walk in the door and it’s clear there is nothing static about the shop.
“We’ve followed trends noticing when there are needs to be met,” said Diane. “We’ve recently added good quality painting supplies, like brushes, paints, canvases. Our customers asked for it, so we wanted to help them out.” Diane also carries a line of embroidery floss, which can’t be found anywhere else.
Over the past year and a half, Diane has featured local artists monthly, holding an artist’s reception. This gives the artist an opportunity to display his or her works, and the public a chance to get to meet them, learn about their craft, and make a purchase. The popularity of the local art has given Diane and Ray a new direction to consider. Throughout the holiday season, November and December Diane’s Frame Shoppe will be the go-to place for unique holiday gifts.
“We’re planning to display art from twenty local artists,” Diane said, “to let people know we are more than a frame shop – we are also kind of an art gallery, at least during the holiday season.”
Currently on display, and for sale are oil and pastel paintings, birds hand carved from bass wood, works from a metal smith, pottery mugs, bowls, and plates and bowls from a process called wood turning.
The frame business is their bread and butter, and even there they are staying ahead of the curve. A computerized mat cutter in the work room has become invaluable not only to Diane and Ray’s business, but to the framing and artist communities all over the Northwoods. “We will get calls from framers all the time,” Ray says. “They need a specialized mat cut that would take them hours, but we can do it for them much quicker, accurately and less costly.”
In addition to custom framing, they have also begun building their own ready-made frames in standard sizes which provide better quality frames at a price point more affordable for some of their customers. When asked what the up and coming, most popular trends in framing today are, Diane doesn’t hesitate to answer.
“We are seeing a lot of old family photos coming in to be framed,” she said. “It’s like people are going through drawers and closets finding these photos they want to display.” And, displayed in the more ornate, antique looking custom frames. Customers with photographs that are damaged or faded are in luck; Diane can send the treasured pictures out to be copied and digitally restored. She said they have amazing results.
It doesn’t take long to realize that Ray and Diane Dodge are in business to earn a living, but also because they enjoy what they do, and enjoy helping others. Ray said they have a strong need to be part of the community and help Rhinelander grow. As an added benefit, they may just help community members grow in their appreciation of local art as well.
Diane’s Frame Shoppe is located at 6 N. Brown Street in Rhinelander, and can be reached at 715-369-1400.