My name is Jeff Kies and this is my studio frame shop in Atwater, California. I've been in the framing business pretty much for thirty years. When I started, it as a college job for me, and I moved on to my life and then I came back to it, so thirty years I've been doing it. The picture framing business has always drawn me to it because I can be immersed in art pretty much all day and then it doesn't drain me so I can do art when I get home.
When I first got here it was mainly hair salons and a couple of coffee shops on Glendale Boulevard. And since then more restaurants and more coffee shops have been popping up. And the people seem to be getting younger. I'm concerned that I don't own a building, but that's just the nature of the game you know. Just try to get the longest lease you can and hope you can survive it, you know. And then when you survive that part of it, you hope you get another lease you know.
I started my business out of the garage of my house. And I did that for maybe ten years. So I knew when I moved, I eventually had to move that business to another location, I would have a certain amount of people automatically following me.
I pretty much use word of mouth as my model for business. And it just seems to gradually grow every year. And I know from this location it's very convenient compared to where I was. I was up in the hills of Hollywood which was really hard to get to. Now it's much easier for people to drive up, pick up, order, and there are other things for them to do. They can schedule two or three stops as they're coming to see their picture framer.
The above interview is transcribed and edited from the following interview:
Northeast Los Angeles