…well, for a bit, and not completely:
printing and graphic design services will continue more or less as ever but we’re not accepting new framing work for a while.
Why are we taking a framing hiatus?
As many of our customers may already know from reading our previous blog post, we’ve reached a point in our business where we need to figure out how best to grow. Read our last blog post for more background.
We tried reducing our opening times to free up time. But all that did was focus everyone’s attention on the days we were open, and those days became manic! The time that we’d planned to focus on business development has been spent catching up on all the new framing orders and answering emails, so we’re still locked in the same cycle we so desperately need to get out of.
It’s also worth noting that the framing industry has changed since we set up in 2015 (note the closure of many well-respected framers locally and nationally: John Jones – the world’s largest and most respected bespoke framer closed in February this year, the Somerset-based House of Talbot is reported to be closing, and many others). The economy has changed too, and we need to find a way to adapt and move forward in a different direction to the one we planned when we started.
Why not just recruit another framer?
It’s complicated! But yes, we do intend to recruit an experienced framer to take over most of Simon’s practical jobs going forward. But as we found when we employed a full time framer in the past, our systems don’t work as they are. We’re inefficient in our workflow. We do things thoroughly, properly, and that takes time. Even the experienced framers we’ve worked with in the past don’t know how to frame to the level our customers have come to expect from Simon. So though we do intend to recruit, we have to be really careful to recruit the right person who can keep up right away, and we need to have the best systems and workflows in place to help us get the best out of our staff, new and existing.
What about the frames you’ve already booked in?
No fear! We’re making them as fast as we can, in fact the backlog of work we already have in will ensure we can continue to pay our staff and overheads during the framing hiatus, so we’re more than happy to frame these works!
What if I really need a frame?
If you’re an existing customer and we already know your style, Simon will do all he can to help out (the biggest problem we’re actually facing is the increasing amount of casual enquiries that end up going nowhere; sometimes an entire week will be taken up with tiny adjustments to quotes that never end up coming to fruition. If Simon is constantly updating quotes and responding to hollow enquires, then no frames are being made). This is what we’re seeking to stop for the time being. We do have a backlog to contend with, so bear that in mind.
When will you be back in action?
We’re aiming at late September/ start of October. We won’t put a precise date on it because that always spells disaster.
So printing and graphic design is still going?
Yes! We still print on a Friday unless you urgently need us to print on a different day. Please note that you will need to book an appointment if you want to have a face-to-face consultation. We find most of our print and design enquires come in via email in any case, so if that’s the way you usually book in printing and graphic design then that remains the best way. We can’t do as much editing work during this time, so it’s best to send us print-ready files via WeTransfer. If you want to bring us a USB stick, please arrange an appointment via email.
Is your workshop open at all during this time?
You won’t be able to drop in unannounced, but you’re welcome to arrange to see us at a mutually convenient time. If you have work already in our system we’ll contact you when it’s ready to collect, for which we’ll arrange a mutually convenient time.
How is best to contact you?
Email. We’re switching our phones to answerphone, so best to email until we get back to normal. You can leave a phone message if you’re not an emailing sort of a person and we’ll call you back when we can.