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Framed: 10 Years in Business in Mission Viejo

Find out how a student of fine arts makes it in the rough-and-tumble world of small retail.

The owner of The Framing Corner knows something about longevity.

Wendy Gorman set out to make her own living 10 years ago this month. Looking back, she says it's been a stressful endeavour with little certainty. But a supportive community and a flexible schedule have made loving her job a little easier.

"I was an art student so it was something I’d always been interested in," she said. "As I went to college, I got my bachelor’s degree in fine art and I worked in management for large retail chains and I worked in the galleries as well."

After graduating from Cal State Fullerton, Gorman moved to Newport Beach and later found herself in South County, where she's been since 1992.

She said the toughest thing about owning a small business is paying the bills.

"It hasn’t been an easy decade," she said. "Making enough money to pay all your bills in this economy, having enough left over to pay an employee instead of working all the shifts yourself—it takes perseverance."

As she spoke to Patch, Gorman was cutting a mat to set inside one of her customers' frames. Multitasking just comes with the territory, she said.

Here are some of Gorman's other keys to surviving as the owner of a frame shop:

  • Great customer service
  • Having an eye for color and design
  • Keeping prices friendly and affordable

And what makes Mission Viejo a good place to build up a small business?

"The clientele here is great," she said. "We live locally so our kids go to school in Mission Viejo. Basically you’re grocery shopping in the same stores your customers are, you see customers at your school events so it’s really kind of been great."

The Framing Corner provides various retail and wholesale services, including
custom and ready-made picture frames, mats and mat cutting services, various conservation glass choices (UV protected and museum), experienced shadow box framing, canvas stretching, photo printing and photo to canvas printing.

Linda DeFonce February 01, 2013 at 03:11 PM
I love the framing corner! Wendy has an amazing eye for knowing what matting and type of frame works for each piece. She has done some of my most treasured artwork, and each one is unique and beautiful. The Framing Corner spends the time helping you until you are satisfied. Its worth it to protects your artwork, and you will have it to enjoy for a long time to come. I highly recommend them!
Wendy Gorman February 01, 2013 at 07:30 PM
Thanks so much Linda! It has truly been a pleasure framing for you over the years! I always look forward to the next project!
Lisa Gallegos February 01, 2013 at 08:26 PM
I have been walking and driving past The Framing Corner daily since my family moved a few blocks down in 2010 but used Wendy's services for the first time last year. I was very impressed with the level of expertise her entire team has which consistently shows in the finished product. The customer service is that of a caring family owned store though. It's not easy to find both of those qualities in service-based artistic businesses. I hope to continue to regularly have project for Wendy for many, many years. Congratulations on 10 years!
Wendy Gorman February 03, 2013 at 04:17 AM
Thank you Lisa for mentioning my entire team! I am grateful to have wonderful people working for me and it makes me happy to know my customers appreciate them too! Here's to a new year of doing business with each other! :)

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