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The Village Framer - A Small Business Review - Small Business Saturday

Updated on July 27, 2014
The Village Framer in downtown Waynesville, NC
The Village Framer in downtown Waynesville, NC | Source

In Honor of Small Business Saturday

Small business are the lifeline of the American economy. They employ countless people across the US and help make each village, town, or city a unique place.

November 24th is Small Business Saturday.

It's a special day that highlights the world of small business and encourages consumers to buy locally so that their money supports local merchants, local families and the local economy.

One of my favorite small businesses is the Village Framer in downtown Waynesville, NC. It's a fun frame shop that has been in business for over 30 years. It has a special story and one that I hope will encourage consumers everywhere to consider the time, love and genius that goes into running a small business.

Jeannie wrapping a gift for a prized customer.
Jeannie wrapping a gift for a prized customer. | Source
5 out of 5 stars from 2 ratings of Village Framer - A Small Business

The Village Framer

Meet Jeannie, the owner of the Village Framer. I had the pleasure of interviewing her recently as she worked helping customers.

As soon as you go into the store, you can see her decorative touch. Frames of paintings and local art adorn the walls, local pottery sits on several tables, and even local artists sell their cards and other gifts on consignment.

It is a store that pulses with the beat of community, entrepreneurship and courtesy.

Jeannie bought the store in the summer of 2011 after the former owner retired. The store itself boasts 3 decades of service, and Jeannie was an employee there for ten years before she had the opportunity to buy it.

You can tell she's a true professional, putting her expertise and thoughtfulness into each piece.

In fact, she said that one of her favorite things about the work she does is "the love and thoughtfulness I put into each person's order. It takes time and effort, but I believe in providing the best service to anyone and everyone who walks through my doors."

The Village Framer

A marker56 N Main Street Waynesville, NC 28786 -
56 N Main St, Waynesville, NC 28786, USA
get directions

The Village Framer is a framing boutique on the SE side of Main Street

Small Businesses are Vital!

Indeed! As I sat there on a beautiful November Saturday afternoon, people from all over the community kept poking their heads in, greeting Jeannie.

More than once, I kept thinking that she must know everyone in Waynesville. People she knew came through the door one after another, and got a hug, a greeting, and Jeannie's full attention.

If she didn't know the person, she still came forward, introduced herself and shook hands.

With this store, you might enter as a stranger, but you'll be leaving as a friend.

I don't recall something like that happening in one of those big-box stores. Ever. That could just be me. However, even as I sat there in an interview context, I still felt like I was receiving incredibly personal service.

In fact, I went to Village Framer a couple years ago for the first time. I had made a giclee photo for my husband as a gift. I needed the artwork matted and framed - promptly.

The service was impeccable and I was able to give my Christmas present to my husband on time.

I became a customer for life. Since I have a lot of photography, Jeannie's shop is definitely my pick.

The Village Framer - a framing boutique
The Village Framer - a framing boutique | Source

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Interviewing the Owner

I asked Jeannie a few more questions in the interview.

(Me) What's the best thing about operating your business?

(Jeannie) - "I absolutely love working with people. I also enjoy the 'quality control' because I can make each piece special for each person."

Somehow, judging from the amount of people bustling through the door, I just knew that would be her response. One woman stopped by just to tell Jeannie a story about spilling coffee down her shirt. They both had a great laugh.

(Me) Is it hard work owning your own business?

(Jeannie) - "I want to be clear how much I love this. I spend about 60-65 hours a week here, sometimes more. I do everything myself and since everything is my responsibility, I want to be sure all my products and services are top-notch."

I can relate. I have a writing and photography business and to really make a go of it, you have to put a lot of muscle into it to ensure success. Adding that personal touch goes a long way, too.

Jeannie with her handiwork - she truly cares about her framing business
Jeannie with her handiwork - she truly cares about her framing business | Source

More Questions

(me) How did you get into doing framing?

(Jeannie) - "My mom was an artist and before I decided to work here, I already knew a little bit about framing and matting beforehand."

(me) - Did you ever think that when you started here that you'd own the store someday?

(Jeannie) - "No, I had no idea I would be owning the store, but I love Waynesville and doing business with the people of the community. This is a great place to do it."

(me) - What's your vision for the future?

(Jeannie) - "I want to keep producing quality framing for the people of Waynesville and also branch out so that I can showcase and represent talented artists. I often think about that higher, arching dream of helping local artists and want that to be integral to my store."

I love this idea. In fact, Jeannie's already doing that. About a year ago, she hosted me as I did one of my first-ever art shows.

While I was there, two other artists came into the store and I listened while they talked about how they want to help Jeannie do a little remodeling and rearranging to help her fulfill her dream of showcasing local arts and crafts.

Jeannie already supports local artists, but she plans to "kick it up a notch" in the coming months.
Jeannie already supports local artists, but she plans to "kick it up a notch" in the coming months. | Source

Conclusions

Jeannie's framing boutique is incredibly inviting and friendly. I think she'll be in business a long time to come because she knows how to connect with people.

Her small business, however, is not unique in its approach in treating people right, with respect and dignity.

Up and down Main Street, other small businesses are thriving. As people step into each one, no one is a stranger.

Perhaps it's because Waynesville isn't a big city, but it's a wonderful feeling walking up and down the road knowing you can walk into any store or restaurant and get personal service, and a friendly face.

This is indeed, what we want to support as we participate in Small Business Saturday on November 24th.

© 2012 Cynthia Calhoun

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love stories like this about small businesses. Having had a couple, I find them interesting and endearing. Good job Cyndi!

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Calhoun 4 years ago from Western NC

      Dang, Bro, you are quick! You must have some notifications going on, lol. Thank you so much. You know...this gives me an idea for a photo project....

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      This is such a heartening story Cyndi--she really is an artisan!

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Fantastic job, CC! I knew you would knock it out of the ballpark!

    • Jean-ette profile image

      Jean-ette 4 years ago

      A great idea for a review. Enjoyed reading this one. It makes me want to visit Waynesville. I love small towns - the small businesses are all part of the charm and uniqueness of each one.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Great story Cyndi and thanks for sharing a bit here about this wonderful small business!! Truly enjoyed learning more through your awesome interview!!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      This was great....you raised Small Business Saturday to a new level by interviewing such a lovely business owner! Top notch review, fun to read, all the qualities of a great hub!

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Calhoun 4 years ago from Western NC

      Audrey - thank you. She's a wonderful person, for sure!

      Terrye - lol, well, I dedicate my "game" to you. :) Such a wonderful idea you had! Dude...you are such a good ideas-person. Do they have careers for that?

      Jean-ette - I love small towns, too. It's not far from where I live, but I have family in Waynesville. It's a very charming town for sure. :)

      Janine - you are just so sweet. Thank you for stopping by. I had a lot of fun doing this interview. Jeannie is such a wonderful person.

      Tillsontitan - I hope lots of people support Small Business Saturday. :) Thank you so much for your feedback. I just love seeing you! Thank you for the votes, too.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Waht a great achievement;I loved it and here's to so many more to follow.

      Eddy.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I agree with supporting the local business owners. It can only help us to pull ahead economically. Sounds like Village Framer is a nice place and serves their customer well.

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Calhoun 4 years ago from Western NC

      Eiddwn - thank you so much! It's really fun to put a face to the small businesses of America. :)

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Calhoun 4 years ago from Western NC

      Teaches - I completely agree. VF is a special place and anyone who goes there will make a friend. :)

    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 4 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Thanks for telling us about your culture of supporting small businesses in the US and this wonderful example of such a creative little business.

      It's almost impossible to have a small business in Italy where i live because of the bureaucracy and the very high taxes.

      I loved reading all about Jeannie and Waynesville.

      Congrats on your well earned review win.

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Calhoun 4 years ago from Western NC

      GoodLady - thank you so much! I appreciate your kind words. I didn't know that in Italy that was the case, but hopefully we can raise awareness to help more and more individuals get their businesses going. :) Thank you again.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

      What a great idea to interview a small business owner for that special day. It makes me want to visit, though since it's in NC and I'm in California, it's a bit of a trek. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Cyndi, supporting small business is the beginning to turning this country around no matter what the government dictates. This is the way to keep the American dollar at home and a way for the small guy to have a shot in life.

      Good for you and good for America!

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Calhoun 4 years ago from Western NC

      Alocsin - yes, it's a trek to California for sure. One of these days, though, I hope to go to CA, even if I have to fly from NC. I really want to see San Fran, hehe.

      Bravewarrior - I agree wholeheartedly! Thank you so much for stopping by!

    • profile image

      AudraLeigh 4 years ago

      Cyndi, I commend you for going out there...out of a comfort zone?...and interviewing her! That is a pretty extraordinary thing. You may have inspired me! You really showed the essence of the owner and gave us a view through your pic and in words. Great job!

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Calhoun 4 years ago from Western NC

      AudraLeigh - well, I must say that YOU are extraordinary! I can't wait to see more of your poems, photos and all that good stuff!! Thank you!

    • profile image

      AudraLeigh 4 years ago

      For now I have 4 o new ones on FB. I may take inspiration with me tonight. I have an idea...just hope I can create night pics. Thank you too!

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Calhoun 4 years ago from Western NC

      AudraLeigh - your pictures inspire me, too. Keep up the good work!!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      What a lovely tribute to this small business, Cyndi. I loved your interview and heavens! she is a dedicated worker, isn't she. I remember when we owned a dance studio...many long hours. But, when you love it, it does not seem like work.

      Great job, Cyndi-I enjoyed reading this and the photos are great. I have to whisper to you that I have a friend who owns property near Waynesville and I told her I'd visit next time she comes out to NC. Are you near there? I can let you know if I'm out in your 'neighborhood' and grab some tea together.

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Calhoun 4 years ago from Western NC

      Denise - YES! I live near Waynesville and I have LOTS of family IN Waynesville. Hehe. OH boy! When you come out this way, we MUST go to the Tipping Point! I would loooooove that and to meet you!

    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 4 years ago from Illinois

      I was planning on dropping off two pictures to a store to get matted and framed tomorrow. Your Hub has inspired me to stop at a local framing store that is actually also closer to my house instead of the chain store where I figured I would go.

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Calhoun 4 years ago from Western NC

      Ktrapp - aww, that's great! I am willing to bet that you'll get great service and you might walk out as a friend. :) Let me know how it goes!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Cynthia, this was a great introduction to Small Business Saturday with that small business review and interview. Voted up for interesting!

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Calhoun 24 months ago from Western NC

      Kristen - thank you! And you're such an awesome, prolific commenter! I appreciate you.

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