Meet the Maker: Behind the Scenes with Roger

Curious about who’s behind the superbly crafted frames at Picture Frames Direct? Meet Roger, our master craftsman. As part of our dedicated team in our family-run business, Roger, along with his sons, applies his wealth of experience and extraordinary attention to detail to every frame. In our workshop, Roger’s passion and precision transform simple materials into exceptional pieces, expertly tailored to preserve your most cherished artworks, memorabilia or photographs.

With us, creating frames is more than just a process—it’s about delivering uncompromising quality and care with each piece we create, ensuring that from our family to yours, you receive nothing but the best.

What inspired you to start Picture Frames Direct?

‘We already had a bespoke framing shop, but it isn’t practical for people to send artwork, photos, needlework and so on through the post for us to frame. Not everything is a standard size, so you can’t always pick up a ready-made. Therefore, we decided it would be a good idea to be able to manufacture frames and custom-made mounts to the client’s specifications and send them out by courier for them to frame their own artwork. Also, some people prefer to frame their own art, especially artists and memorabilia sellers. Not to mention cost-saving!’

Can you describe the moment you decided to turn your passion for framing into a full-fledged business?

‘We had always sold ready-made frames, and quite often, artwork or photos weren’t standard sizes. So, we started cutting mounts to enable the artwork to fit into standard-sized frames. After two or three years of doing this, one of our reps showed us some display cases for collectables, and it turned out they were made from picture frame mouldings. He suggested we look into manufacturing our own frames and put us in touch with a framing equipment company—that’s how it all started.’

What sets Picture Frames Direct apart from other framing companies?

‘We are a completely family-run business, where you’ll speak directly to the craftspeople making your frame. This direct line ensures all of us are extremely particular about the quality of our end products. We use high-grade cutting and frame-joining machinery and top-of-the-range computerised mount cutters. It really is about providing our customers with the best products for their most cherished items, whether it’s a photo, their own artwork or a piece of memorabilia like an autograph or signed poster. We really care about doing things properly and ensuring the highest quality in every piece we craft.’

How do you ensure that each frame you create meets the bespoke needs of your customers?

‘The ordering process has been designed to try and keep it as simple as possible, but with enough detail to give us your exact requirements. In a frame order, you would start with the image size, whether having a mount or not. Then, choose the frame style. Next would be if a mount is required—single or double. The overlap section is a very important part of the order process. We need to know this information when a mount is chosen. Choice of glazing is next, and then finally, any optional additions can be added.’

Outside of framing, what are some of your hobbies and interests?

‘Though running the physical store and the online side of things takes up much of my time, I love getting outside and walking the dog, along with visiting pubs, sometimes both at the same, of course!’

Is there a particular artist or style of art that you’re drawn to personally?

‘Barry Hilton or similar styles—I’ve got a real love for moody skies over colourful fields.’

What does a typical day look like for you at Picture Frames Direct?

‘My day usually starts at around 7 a.m., and I’m quite often the last one in at that time! My first job is emails; sometimes, the overnight orders have already been printed by then. One of us, often the very person who will craft your frame, goes through the questions quite often asked, and replies are sent. This hands-on approach ensures that materials are available to fulfil the orders. Then it’s down to manufacturing for the rest of the day, where every frame is made with a personal touch in our family-run workshop.’

A typical day for Roger involves answering emails and dealing with customer queries before manufacturing.

How do you balance creativity with the demands of running a business?

‘We all have particular types of jobs that we tend to do on a regular basis, but we are capable of doing each task. Getting time for new products is essential but also quite difficult in a busy environment. We try to have a balance, but customer orders are a priority.’

Where do you see Picture Frames Direct in the next five years?

‘In particular, we would like to increase the range of mouldings on offer and introduce other types of frames, such as box frames and canvas tray frames, in the future. Canvas floater frames and canvas tray frames are very popular ways of framing stretched canvas. It creates a totally different look, putting that finishing touch to your artwork. As we grow, we aim to maintain our small-business ethos, ensuring that each frame continues to be made with the same care and precision as always.’

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and how has it influenced your business approach?

‘Don’t be afraid to try something new—you need to keep evolving.’

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