Art is ubiquitous, but framing is perceived as difficult & expensive due to an antiquated distribution system so we created innovations to make it Fun & Easy - like Build-a-Bear Workshop for grownups
Big Ticket; High Profit Margins; Competitive advantage; Scale-able; Underserved Sector
If I told you that there is a business resistant to recession, ubiquitous, appealing to every age, gender and socio-economic level; where you would have high profit margins and a competitive advantage, in a sector that is under developed and ripe to be disrupted, would that sound scintillating?
Framed art may not sound scintillating, but it is in every home and office, a multi-billion-dollar industry that up until now has been hiding in plain sight. The problem is that the industry is made up mostly of small independent shops that farm out their work orders through an antiquated distribution system, made up of many layers of middlemen, who each take a profit and ratchet up the price, so by the time it reaches the consumer, it is perceived as being difficult to do and very expensive.
People avoid doing things that are difficult & painful, (think taxes) but imagine what would happen if you were able to create a system that eliminated all of the waste and inefficiencies; there would be a vast untapped market with huge upside potential waiting to be served.
Over the past twenty-four years, we have done by creating concepts and innovations that makes the selection of art and picture framing Fun & Easy; once people discover that they can create their own personal masterpiece at a reasonable price, it is like “Build-a-Bear Workshop” for grownups, they love it and keep coming back again and again.
Among our many innovations, our patented racking system and proprietary Order Management System as well as our Hub-n-Spoke business model, which not only gives us a competitive advantage, but also allows our concept to be scale-able on a national level.
In the early ‘90s, I was a commodity broker and one weekend with nothing better to do, I went to an art auction nearby, I thought that I might just buy a couple things for the house. It was a big auction and pieces were being sold for a lot of money; eventually they got to things in the back room, by this time the crowd had dwindled and these were mostly unfinished pieces that were being sold for a pittance; so, to make a long story short, I ended up going home with a twenty foot truck loaded up with art and framing materials and not having any idea what I was going to do with it. I later thought about this, If you are not formally trained in a field, you don't have any guidelines, but you also know no boundaries.
I started doing art shows to sell some of it and at the same time educating myself. I realized early on that picture framing was complicated and time consuming, I thought that if I could use a small handheld computer to do some of the calculating, it would make the process faster and easier. I started tinkering and one thing led to another and after about a year, I had a program that did everything; only then the light went on in my head and I said: "with this almost anyone could do picture framing - it would be a great franchise business". So, that was how it all began; it's funny where life takes you, if you give it a chance and after twenty-five years it is still fun to come to work everyday.
We have been developing and refining the concept ever since and are now ready to step onto a much bigger stage. An analogy we use in our business plan is that: we have built a sports car that can run rings around the competition, all we need now is some gas in the tank, so that we can get out on the track and compete. We have the proof of concept with thousands of satisfied customers and based on our experience, we know that there is a huge untapped market waiting to be served. I am sure that once you view our pitch deck and business plan, you will recognize the opportunity and want to become a part of it.
We live in an uncertain economic climate and there is always the possibility that things could get worse before they get better. We believe as the economy slows and people do have less discretionary income, they will be entertaining more in their homes, which means they will want to decorate their walls and have their homes look perfect for their guests. Others might say “What about the Internet?”, but art, framing and interior design is a “touchy, feely thing”, so unlike most other industries, we do not see that as a “threat”. What we are most concerned about is conspicuous consumption - that is, as we grow and become conspicuous in the marketplace, some big fish will try to consume us. This is why we feel it is imperative to have adequate funding, to build infrastructure, and secure other resources necessary for quick yet orderly growth on a sound footing.
The opportunities before us are significant. By combining our market innovations and sales techniques, with the leveraging and limited risk of franchising, and a regional distribution and marketing network (hub and spoke clusters), we have the opportunity to become the preeminent force driving this market and attaining a major portion of market share. In the 1950s, McDonalds came along at just the right time, with the right product to capture the emerging fast food trend; we see a parallel - only we will provide food for the heart and soul of mankind.