When someone from Framebridge reached out to me I was intrigued. If you read my blog regularly or follow my Instagram, you know we have a lot of artwork. And a lot of it is unframed. I immediately accepted the offer to try it out its service for mail order picture frames.
Susan Tynan (who hails from local brain bank Harvard Business School) founded Framebridge last year. She was spot on in the thinking behind the company, saying “What makes visiting a traditional custom frame shop uncomfortable? Let’s remove it. The up-selling, the unclear pricing, the overwhelming, outdated selection–gone.” Because seriously, nobody has used those glossy purple frames with the rounded edges since the 1970s.
Framebridge offers 21 styles of mail order picture frames, which are hand-cut and assembled at its production studio in Maryland using top-of-the-line materials including acid-free matting and foam boards and UV protective acrylic.
Here’s how it works: Choose a frame from the 21 options (you can try them virtually by uploading a photo of your piece), provide approximate measurements, choose from a white matte, off white matte, or no matte. If you can’t decide on a frame style, the Framebridge design team will make three suggestions for you.
Once you know what you want, indicate whether you have your own mailer or want them to send you a flat mailer or tube mailer. That’s it. Soon the mailer will arrive at your doorstep; pop in your art, stick on the pre-paid shipping label, and send it off. You’ll receive an email when they get your piece and another in about two weeks once they’ve shipped it back to you. If the team has questions (maybe they’re not sure about orientation or somesuch issue), you’ll get a friendly personal email.
If you have a digital file, you can upload it and Framebridge will print and frame it for you using heavyweight, luster photo paper with archival inks. You can even have them frame mini Instagram photos through the iPhone app . Pricing is based on size, not frame style, and ranges from $39 for Instagram minis to $149 for a piece up to 32″ x 40″. Shipping is free both ways.
A few weeks ago I got back my first two mail order picture frames from Framebridge. I love them and I just put through orders for two more. Have a look.
Fort Point, Boston-based photographer Stephen Sheffield, who is a friend of ours, posted this photo of his son swimming last summer on Facebook. I had to have it to add to my growing collection of artwork of pools and swimmers. I love the way the moody blue water looks against the pale wood Marin frame from Framebridge. It’s on my bookshelf right over the sofa where I work.
My husband spotted this Stephen Sheffield photograph (on the left) on Facebook a couple of years ago. I think Steve shot it with one hand while driving the trailer that he and his wife Alison decided to rent for a road trip to Disney World with their kids during winter break. I used Framebridge’s modern white frame called Irvine. (The piece on the right is a watercolor by my son done in the woods during an art in nature class at Castle Hill in Truro years ago. It’s in an ill-fitting off the shelf frame.)
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F R A M I N G O P T I O N S at F R A M E B R I D G E
There are plenty of options at Framebridge. Let me know how yours turns out.