Making money with art

Respect other people’s art work


I just had a customer enter our store to pick up a picture frame.  It happens a lot since we are a high end frame shop. What happened next scared me…

The customer walked behind our counter where we keep our completed customer orders and began to handle completed frame projects.  We do not allow customers into our work shop or behind our counter.  Nor do we allow anyone other than trained staff handle other customers artwork.  I immediately interrupted the customer and politely asked her to step back so I could help her.  I informed her that we can’t allow customers to handle other people’s artwork.

This may not seem like a major issue to everyone, but let me explain why it’s a big deal…

Was the customer thinking about her actions?  No, not really.  She had a poster framed.  It was a nice collectors poster part of a series, but currently only worth about $20 since it is new and easily attainable being still in production. (Note: the entire series if you have it is worth thousands).  The customer in handle other peoples artwork was not really respecting other people’s artwork.  Nor was she handling the artwork with the care we demand of our staff.

The customer was visibly upset at my correction of her actions.  I apologize.  She complained that I should have something posted and should have more consideration for her since she has brought a lot of work into our shop.  I thanked her for her patronage, that we truly appreciate her.  Then I explained in further detail…

We frame some artwork worth tens of thousands of dollars and have to take special care.   We can’t just go flipping through artwork without giving it special care.  And all our staff is trained to give this same special attention to every piece of artwork that comes into our shop.  In order to protect every piece of art we don’t allow people to just go through it.

According to her actions she wasn’t thinking about collectors artwork.  Though I didn’t say so, her careless actions could have seriously damaged a priceless and irreplaceable piece of art.

Was she happy when she left?  I don’t know.  I think it all turned out okay.  But she may never return to our shop.  And I would regret it.  At the same time I hope any company I take my business to would take sufficient care and precautions with my artwork.  I know we did with the lady who came into our shop… and she benefited from our actions… whether she knows it or not.

Sometimes our actions, or our artwork,  upset other people.  This is unfortunate.  We don’t have to agree with them or their actions.  The most we can do is try to respect them and their artwork.