Custom framing gets a facelift at Framebridge

After spending some $1,600 to frame National Parks posters, Susan Tynan was reeling from sticker shock. The mementos were cheap to buy and held special memories for her, but preserving them was an expensive hassle. Tynan developed a much better way with Framebridge, a digital solution that is affordable, enjoyable, fast and disruptive. On this episode, Tynan — named to the NRF Foundation’s List of People Shaping Retail’s Future earlier this year — joins Retail Gets Real to discuss her vision for reinventing the framing process and moving from digital success to opening retail stores.

“First and foremost,” Tynan says, “I’m a consumer.” With lessons learned working in retail and consumer tech, Framebridge has focused on delivering an excellent customer experience since launch. The company prides itself on premium quality products at lower cost to customers, achieved through a curated and limited selection of frames and a state-of-the-art facility with centralized production. “What is so special about our business is what customers are sharing with us,” Tynan says.

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Online, Framebridge customers can upload a photo, select a frame and check out in five minutes, or they can mail in physical pieces of art and memorabilia in packaging that the company first sends to a customer’s door.

Progressing beyond digital convenience, Framebridge is starting to open retail locations. “We really believe we have a purpose to serve our customers,” Tynan says, “and to serve our customers however they want to be served.” Physical stores were the next step; however, the team took their time warming up to the idea, hosting several successful pop-ups to be completely sure this was the right direction. “We now have a growing conviction that storefronts are important to our growth,” Tynan says. “All of our customers, with all the reasons they shop with us, would like this opportunity to stop by and see us in real life. … We feel we can be totally true to what we set out to do, but in a retail environment.”

Listen to the episode to learn how this female-led venture-backed retail startup plans to bring picture framing into the digital age, and what the young business has learned from opening physical locations.

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