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Artist Spotlight - Betty Franzen: The Art of Floral Preservation
Betty Franzen of Waterford Past-Thymes in Waterford, VA, creates totally customized wall art for her clients. But instead of paints and brushes, Betty's studio is equipped with a refrigerator full of fresh flowers, a flower press and frames from pictureframes.com.
Betty and daughter-in-law, Melissa, collaborate to preserve flowers from all kinds of intimate occasions such as weddings and births. Flowers are rushed to Betty from all over the US and Canada to be pressed, delicately arranged with photos and announcements and then sealed forever in a framed presentation.
"I LOVE the fact that we are working with people at the happiest time of their life," says Betty. "The sweetest memento we ever received was from a mom who wanted her daughter to wear her wedding dress, worn thirty-eight years earlier. The daughter wanted nothing to do with an 'old' gown, so the mother cut one of the sleeves off and the flower stems were encased in that sleeve."
Today, Betty is wildly busy, preparing anywhere from 150 — 200 preserved floral presentations a year.
How It All Began
Always a creative person, Betty bonded with Melissa over family, flower arranging and a love for homemaking. Then one day, Betty was given a wooden flower press as a gift.
"Out of sheer curiosity, about 6 months after I got the press, I tried pressing some flowers and got hooked." Out of this experience, plenty of practice and participation in local craft shows, Waterford Past-Thymes was conceived and launched onto the internet at www.flowerspressed.com in 1999.
The Difference at pictureframes.com
Betty knew she needed a reliable source for framing and began an online search. She discovered that whether she ordered one frame or twenty at pictureframes.com, she would not pay a penalty as with some other frame suppliers. She also became a fan of the Mix & Match Quantity Discounts available to her, "I usually take advantage of the 10% discount when ordering 10 frames from the same series."
Above all else, says Betty, "Customer care is the best thing about Graphik Dimensions [the parent company of pictureframes.com]." In the past ten years, Betty has placed over a hundred orders and only two frames were damaged in shipping. With one phone call, three days and no cost to her, the frames were replaced. "Incredible" is how Betty describes the experience.
All the Essentials and Unexpected Extras
The same year Betty took her art to the web, the EconoWood collection was added to pictureframes.com, and quickly became Betty's favorite. "Because our art involves pressed flowers, it has the potential to be a little 'fussy.' The EconoWood series is heavy, well made, elegant and yet tastefully simple." It's also made in the USA and environmentally friendly.
Beyond quality products, Betty found features at pictureframes.com that continue to be incredibly helpful to her as a busy artist. "When I order frames online, I go to ' My Gallery' and my line of frames is at my fingertips."
Although Betty regularly orders Ready-Made frames, she enjoys the availability of Custom-Made frames at pictureframes.com as well. "Wedding invitations are frequently oddly shaped," she explains, "so we occasionally use the Custom-Made frames." And, the free samples from pictureframes.com have been a lifesaver when working with clients in her studio.
Thanks to the consistently high quality products, value, customer care, dependability and speed found at pictureframes.com, Betty has remained a loyal customer for over eight years.
"Frankly," she declares, "I wouldn't have a framing company had I not found Graphik Dimensions."
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