A Celebrity Framer??
I am told that I am “famous” or “everybody knows Framing Angie.” That I am a “celebrity framer.” Not long ago, I was caught by surprise when a sports team on an exchange program recognized and greeted me at a foreign airport. Even here in Singapore, I was warmed when a young American boy alerted his mother and called out “that’s Framing Angie!” at a busy Orchard Road department store. I still feel a little dizzy when customers and their friends, often people I do not know, come up and ask me to autograph my latest catalogue or an ad in Expat Living magazine.
While I cannot deny that I am rather elated with this status, I was most touched when a very happy customer held my hands after I completed her project and told me that I am a “talented frame designer who handles every job with a real heart.” She, being a seasoned mature lady with much life experience, was adamant in clarifying that nobody can fool her with a “pretend heart” from a “real heart”.
Another customer came in one day and told me how “disgusted ” she was to find a frame shop openly using my lastest catalogue as a sales tool. Apparently they claimed that they can give the same “Angie’s touch ” but at a lower price.
I am frequently asked why I don’t refrain from showing samples of my work in public as they would, as expected, be used as reference by other framers. I am well aware of this but my first objective is to be able to show my customers the variations in how they can frame their artworks and memorabilia.
Anybody can try to replicate design styles or follow others in their work models but one thing for sure is, one cannot copy “hearts” … and that is what goes in to every custom framing order at our gallery. Yes, I would much rather be known as a frame designer who designs and works on each piece with her heart.
I am much more interested in being “famous” for how my customers feel after I have completed their jobs. It gives me great pleasure to know that they enjoy my creations while having a glass of white wine in their hands. My staff is aware that I expect them to give their best service and extend their helpfulness to anybody who walks into the gallery, regardless if he or she is a customer, or somebody who would not give us business at all.
New customers still get upset that they have to wait or be told that they have to make appointments, especially on weekends. But once they sit in front of me, they understand. Like all artists who work towards perfection, I never want to be rushed . I want to make sure that customers in the midst of a consultation do not feel that they have to make a decision because there is a waiting line.
I am aware that I risk losing business by keeping customers waiting, but I would rather do that than lose the hearts of those sitting in front of me. I want to give them my heart and full attention.