Global Art Identifies Niches, Sets Trends: Two Creative Sisters Bring Unique Moulding Choices to Custom Framers

Article excerpt

Since opening its doors in 1984, Global Inc. has experienced steady growth by identifying trends and filling niches within the framing industry.

"We began as a distributor of metal picture frame mouldings and grew to become a manufacturer of wood and metal mouldings. Throughout our history, we have aggressively pursued avenues in design, shape and finish that were not previously addressed in the marketplace," explained Michele Frazho, who co-owns the Kentwood, Mich.--based business with her sister, Renee Frazho.

"Our goal has always been to provide choices that give the framer creative abilities" Michele said. "From the onset, we introduced unique designs and colors, such as hunter's green and midnight blue, in anodized metals. They were very well received because they were so different than the traditional silver, gold and black products that bad become the industry mainstays."

The sisters have identified copper as the season's new color trend. "We are producing mouldings in an array of copper colors," said Michele. "From penny copper to brown blends to red tones, these colors are getting a really great response."

Studying trends in related fields helps Global Art anticipate change within its own industry. "We participate in shows that are geared to a variety of industries such as photography shows, signage expositions and hotel shows. When you talk to the different industry personnel, you can get a lot of different feedback said Renee.

For instance, through attendance at a hardware show, the Frazhos realized that the exhibitors featured more silver than gold lectures. Observations such as this inspire innovations within their own product offerings.

Global Art's product line consists of more than 600 wood and metal mouldings. The company's newest strong seller is what the Frazhos refer to as "creative inlayed-wood mouldings." "We are producing them in both 1/2- and 1-inch widths," said Renee. "These products consist of numerous exotic woods from North Africa. The inlay mouldings also have accent edges of mother-of-pearl and black ebony.

"These uniquely inlayed-pattern mouldings can be used on children's artwork and NASCAR racing posters as well as wedding invitations," she said. "Additionally, they can be used as an accent liner on a larger moulding."

Wood mouldings have been a part of Global's product mix since 1989 when the company began importing Italian wood mouldings. "Since the beginning, we selected mouldings that we found truly unique," said Renee. "Instead of concentrating on standard oak and ash wood patterns, we stared off with wood moulding patterns that were not commonly found in the United States"

While the sisters are recognized for creativity, their practicality has been crucial to their success. …