February 25, 2014 at 8:00 AM
MADISON, NJ - For Nicole Francoeur, owner of Rose City Framemakers, the art of framing has not only been her business since 1998, but continues to be her true passion.
“I love what I do because there’s variety in the customers I serve, their needs and the artwork they bring to me. I like funky things, and every piece is unique with some sense of significance and character. When I know I can provide a complimentary framing structure for a piece of artwork and then suit it to any given room or environment, it’s meaningful,” Francoeur said.
“I don’t run a general stock chain shop with the generic black frame. My craft can’t be done online. It needs my eye. It’s something I need to see to provide a unique outcome. For nearly the same price as a chain store, I can provide customers with a better presentation, personalized service and a greater investment,” Francoeur said.
Francoeur cited a story about a customer who came to her after purchasing 15 22K gold frames from another nearby framemaker. The frames were chipping. The customer returned to the original store for replacements or at least repairs, but the store turned her away indicating there was nothing they could do.
“As a small business owner, my service is more specialized than that,” Franceour said. “I simply took a photo of the customer's damaged frames, found the manufacturer, sent the photo and explained the customer’s problem. The manufacturer took complete responsibility for the damages and replaced the frames free of charge.” Needless to say, the customer was really grateful and has been back to Rose City Framemakers many times since.
In addition to her B.A. of Fine Arts in Printmaking and Silversmithing from the University of Delaware, Francoeur shared that she is "fortunate and blessed" to have made contact with the right people at the right time in the industry receiving the very best in training.
“I learned early on that there are so many ways to frame a piece of artwork, but there’s a wrong way and a right way,” she said. “My store is a masking tape free zone. Masking tape is acidic and deteriorates artwork. My technique is archival and reversible and keeps every individual piece in its original form even if in decades to come the customer wants a special change."
What does Nicole Francoeur love about owning a business in Madison? She receives approximately 80 percent of her business from Madisonians. “I love the people here,” she said. “And, my customers are really worldly and extremely loyal to the town.”
Rose City Framemakers is located at 20 Waverly Place in Madison on the second floor. The shop’s hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday noon to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (973) 660-0922 or go to rosecityframemakers.com