46 Years and Going Strong
The History of The Frame & Print Shop
The original store was developed by Jim Heavner following a trip to Boston in the early 70’s where he saw the “original” Print Shop. Jim negotiated the use of the name and a consulting agreement to create a store in the new University Mall that was just being completed. First established in 1973, what was then named “The Print Shop” began its promise- to make people happy with what they hang on their walls. Continuing into the 80’s, The Print Shop expanded its in-house custom framing. This emphasis on framing helped develop the expertise that The Frame & Print Shop is known for today. Village Companies owned the store until June 2015 when it was acquired by Becky and Bob Woodruff.
For some, revitalizing a 46-year-old business within University Place could be quite an endeavor. However, for the Woodruffs, breathing new life into the Frame & Print Shop has made their vision only stronger! Since being acquired by the Woodruffs, the store has transitioned from being a store full of art print/poster bins to the consummate frame store, changing the staff and culture into a high-end frame store rather than a prints and “uninspiring” framing store. Significantly improving the appearance and compensation has resulted in a look and staff expertise not found in our area. Customers appreciate the service and creativity that the store offers, and this is reflected in the sales growth.
Multiple other changes have also made over the past four years to make it a present- day state-of- the- art Framing Operation in Chapel Hill. The name was changed in 2017 to The Frame & Print Shop because the primary business had become framing rather than sales of prints and posters. Last year, The Frame & Print Shop also added printing/scanning services to their repertoire of offerings and offers high end printing on a variety of papers, canvas, acrylic and aluminum. To round out the repertoire of services, The Frame & Print Shop also added delivery & installation as well as Photo & Fine Art Conversation & Restoration Services. The store also has referral abilities to local art appraisal businesses.
Not that one would be able to tell when walking by, The Frame & Print Shop is the only original store within University Place! Walking into its large, inviting floor plan transports the customer experience to the feeling of a beautifully curated museum. The open space is welcoming, bright and clean. It is a refined space that showcases its products, the staff’s multi-faceted skills and local artists. This is without a doubt due to Becky Woodruff’s ability to exceed expectations, while meeting modern demands for quality, product efficiency, ease of service. Customers receive cutting edge, hands on service from walking into the store until the final product is proudly in hand.
Over the past four years, Becky has organized an incredible team of artistic individuals who all have fine arts degrees as well as an accumulated 60 years’ experience between them. Each staff person is not only an artist and experienced framer but also has a unique role on the team. Scott Higgins is the Store Manager who oversees execution of work done. Boasting a BFA, MFA, and an MA in various disciplines of art, he improves his knowledge through opportunities, such as the West Coast Art & Frame Conference, which he shares with the team. Chris Cropley is the Assistant Store Manager and oversees the retail spaces and is Scott’s “right hand” person. Stephen Fischer specializes as the Printing Supervisor. Emily Myers is the Community Outreach Specialist who organizes special events, fund raisers and donations and Karen Latta Cain specializes in Conservation Framing. The staff of five runs like a well-oiled machine. Working in tandem with sharp minds, driven by the shared ideals and respecting strengths each member brings to the collective team is a brilliant service the Woodruffs provide with The Frame & Print Shop. Often Becky buys the staff lunch to enjoy together while they discuss ways to serve customers better! This incredible business cares for its customers, supports its staff and has a heart-centered perspective rooted in community. And to keep up to date with the most relevant art and framing information, regular training is provided, affectionately named “Shop Talks”, ensuring precision, artistry, and quality of the custom framing products for its customers. The staff prides itself in being the best at the “art of framing art” as well as the conservation of precious memorabilia.
The Frame & Print Shop is dedicated to giving back to the community it serves. The store offers discounts to UNC, veterans, teachers, police and firefighters and interior designers. It provides artist discounts, including complimentary glass cleaning before an exhibit. It donates to the SECU Family House as well as various other fundraisers, churches and other non-profit organizations. Each year The Frame & Print Shop fields a team in an annual fund drive for the Spring Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Great Strides Walk. Dedicated to quality, service, happy staff and community- The Frame & Print Shop is an incredible local business to support. For more details about services, as well as some amazing accolades, check out the website, theprintshopchapelhill.com.