Before Wallflower Frames opens its doors at ten o’clock, owner Rhonda White turns on the radio. Soft music fills the workroom where customers’ artwork wait to be paired with new frames, and mats, glass, tools, and wood splay on Rhonda’s table.
Wallflower Frames creates customized frames for artwork, photographs, stitchery, and illustrations. The owner, Rhonda White, carefully considers the color, texture, and style of each piece prior to recommending frame and mat choices to the customer that might best complement it. She draws upon years of experience in creative and organizational fields when she designs each frame and loves to create fulfilling experiences for her customers–in addition to creating beautiful frames.
Below the retail space, Wallflower Frames holds a treasure trove of gorgeous woods in many glamorous styles and colors – some of which are no longer produced. She also buys additional wood from another eight vendors, offering a wide number of choices for the customer. Rhonda spends her day measuring, cutting wood on the saw, and joining frames for each custom frame project. On the main floor, Wallflower Frames has other equipment for services like glass and matboard cutting, dry mounting, and canvas stretching.
Rhonda first learned how to work this specialized equipment years ago, when she moved to Pittsburgh and began helping a friend in her frame shop. Then more than a decade later, Rhonda began working at the Frame Outlet Inc., where she would eventually purchase its inventory and equipment upon the retirement of the Frame Outlet owners. She has named her shop Wallflower Frames.
Rhonda drew from her various skillsets from previous jobs, but there were still things about owning and operating a frame shop that was unfamiliar and required different skills. After Rhonda purchased Wallflower Frames, she joined Impatient Entrepreneurs, an eforever group based in Wilkinsburg, PA. In that group, Rhonda met many entrepreneurs who worked in industries outside of the artistic world but gained valuable insights from their different skillsets.
“Early on, I thought, ‘Shouldn’t I be in a group with artists or people doing something creative?’ But even though businesses are quite different, you’re still struggling with a lot of the same issues. If someone’s got a problem that we’re resolving, there are all these other perspectives. For instance, if somebody has a skill set that’s more about marketing and forward thinking and making money, then I can learn from that person and get suggestions. It always surprises me because there are a variety of businesses that are in my group, and everybody’s got something that you can take and use. It’s a wonderful process.”Rhonda White, owner & operator of Wallflower Frames
Customers are welcome to visit Wallflower Frames Tuesday-Saturday to consult Rhonda about a custom frame, frame repairs, or other related projects. In its large retail space, visitors can also browse an array of artwork framed for purchase.