One of the biggest challenges faced by any shop owner is how to organize space. This holds especially true for a frame shop, which will likely contain an enormous amount of tools, supplies, customer art and finished work, not to mention retail products and a place to work with customers. Using some effective ideas in laying out a frame shop can help make best use of even a limited space, increase productivity and give customers a pleasant place to bring their art.
Separate Retail and Work Areas
Keep the work area in the back of the shop and use the front area as a retail sales floor. This will keep customers away from potentially dangerous tools and materials like blades and glass. It will also keep the work area secure and allow one person to work without interruption while another services customers. Using a table or desk to separate work and retail spaces creates a natural place to go over design possibilities with the customer.
Use Effective Storage
Storage and organization is never easy but developing effective storage systems if essential to a frame shop. Store finished work near the retail area so that it will be kept safe and can easily be retrieved when a customer arrives for a pick-up. Vertical slots under the design desk are perfect for this kind of storage. Store frequently used tools on the work table surfaces or hang them on the wall for easy access. Store tools that get less use in drawers or in high places where they are out of the way most of the time.
Display Framed Art Everywhere
Whether or not your shop sells pre-framed art, displaying examples of your work is always a good idea. Customers will be more likely to choose a particular frame style or a feature like non-glare glass if they can see it in action with an attractive piece of art. Framed art will also beautify the shop and may give customers new ideas about other frames they may want made in the future.
Use Tables in Multiple Ways
Every framer would love to have an unlimited number of tables to work on. Instead, use each table you have in more than one way. A work bench with a carpeted or fabric-wrapped surface can provide a soft work surface, but can then be covered with kraft paper to turn it into a place for painted frames to dry. Likewise, adding a sheet of tempered glass that can be lifted off the table creates a place to press objects, such as recently-mounted art, under weight without tying up valuable table space.