It’s the type of business where treasures are restored, re-imagined and re-hung — and that’s just what’s been happening to longtime downtown business Puyallup Custom Frame and Art.
New owners Joel and Heidi Boyd purchased the business in July from co-founder Vangie LeGesse, who opened the shop with her late husband more than 17 years ago. Since then, the Boyds have renovated the interior with new flooring, paint and fixtures to give the space distinctive “Boyd” touches and more of an art gallery ambiance.
While the interior appears more contemporary, the Boyds plan to continue the long-standing tradition of providing high quality custom framing solutions and personal customer service established by the LeGesses over the past two decades. It’s what first drew the Boyds to Puyallup Custom Frame and Art (PCFAA), 116-B South Meridian, as customers when they moved to Puyallup from Anchorage, Alaska, five years ago.
“I was so excited to find a custom frame shop where the work is done right there and they have good design skills,” Heidi said.
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A longtime artist, as well as being a framer herself, Heidi began bringing her personal pieces to LeGesse at PCFAA for framing.
“Through our conversations, (LeGesse) discovered I was a certified conservationist,” Heidi said. “She said, ‘Whoa, I could use you!’ So I’d go down and help her with restoration … and we just built a friendship. We have a lot in common.”
Raised in Alaska since age 5, Heidi worked in framing, restoration and museum-quality preservation at art galleries and custom frame shops throughout the state for over 25 years. Because of her artistic hand, Heidi is able to restore old paintings, including reversing fire and water damage. She can also correct damage to printed and historical documents that have not been properly stored or displayed, and she is fine art conservator (CPFA) certified.
It was her husband, Joel, who suggested to Heidi they inquire about purchasing the business from LeGesse, who is in her 80s.
“She felt really good about our family buying it,” Joel said. “Her family started the business and now ours is continuing it.”
Now LeGesse is the one helping out Heidi in the shop. She continues to work several hours a week, alongside the Boyd’s 23-year-old son, Zen Englund, who resigned his position with the Humane Society in Sedona, Arizona, and moved north to join his parents. He helps Heidi with the framing side of things while Joel runs the business side.
“I like working with my hands,” Englund said. “And the engineering behind framing, the problem solving, the preciseness really fits my personality.”
Heidi says custom framing is all about the art and not about the frame.
“Print is a flat, two-dimensional medium,” she said. “I like to bring out the depth in the artwork through good framing, where the frame and matte enhances the artwork.”
Working in custom framing is relatively new to Joel, but business management and customer service is in his career background. He said he has already seen some very beautiful art pieces brought in by customers and he loves hearing their personal, and sometimes quite unusual, stories behind some of their items. Mostly, though, Joel loves being able to do really special things with customers’ treasures.
“We all have something that’s in the closet, in the attic, or under the bed from grandpa or whomever,” Joel said. “Those things you’re not even sure sometimes what to do with … bring them in and have something special made.”
Although museum-quality framing is their main business, the shop also has a large collection of investment quality artwork on display that is well priced, Joel said.
And if a customer loves something they see on the wall, but are not in love with the frame, just ask to have it reframed. That’s one of the many things that make a custom framery unique, he said. PCFAA can also procure specific artwork or prints at a customer’s request.
As a part of his business nature, Joel also has plans to add new features to the business, including launching an art lease program that is popular in big cities and perfect for office buildings and suites.
The Boyds are thoroughly enjoying being a part of the downtown Puyallup business scene, and the family members have blended their talents well. They look forward to keeping Puyallup Custom Frame and Art a business about quality and service, and a part of the community for decades to come.
Puyallup Custom Frame and Art and the Puyallup Sumner Chamber of Commerce will celebrate the PCFAA’s grand reopening with a ribbon cutting and open house at the shop from 5:30 to 7:30 pm on Friday (Oct. 2).
The shop is located at 116-B South Meridian in downtown Puyallup. Customers can stop by and meet the new owners, enjoy some light refreshments, and peruse the framed originals, prints, etchings and lithographs by local and regional artists.