Goldleaf Framemakers of Santa Fe has been around for 24 years, but President Martin Horowitz explains that the process his business uses to hand-craft each frame dates back to the Renaissance.
“We start everything from scratch here,” he says. That means carving basswood to make a frame that’s just the right fit, to carefully mixing gesso from rabbit-skin glue, calcium carbonate, and warm water, before sanding it and applying it to clay coats that are generally yellow, but have highlights ranging from red to blue to black.
The process is known as water gilding. “We basically do it the same way they did it in the 15th century, except we use spray guns,” Martin says. The frames themselves are crafted to resemble a different period, from 16th-century Italian frames to 19th-century impressionist frames, all the way to the modernist frames of the 1930s and 1940s, and the contemporary ones showed today.
Goldleaf Framemakers of Santa Fe may be incorporating centuries-worth of styles in each frame, but that doesn’t mean that the manufacturer has stood still, either. After hearing from his friend Noberto Zamudio of Peyton-Wright Gallery that Constant Contact set the “gold” standard for email marketing, Martin decided to try it to better reach his growing client base - and in the process, became Constant Contact’s 500,000th customer.
The Right Frame of Mind
Martin explains that marketing his frames is a hands-on activity, because clients don't truly appreciate the frames unless they see them in person. Most clients are museums, exhibitions, galleries, and other businesses. One of the ways Martin promotes his business is by attending the annual West Coast Art and Frame Show, which is taking place next week at the Mirage Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
“Manufacturers from all around the world set up booths to show their wares. I’ll have corner samples in my 20-foot-booth that are sold to frame shops from coast-to-coast,” Martin says. For example, a shop in New York City may purchase a sample and sell it from the store. “For the most part, that’s how we’ve been marketing Goldleaf Frameworkers.”
About five years ago, the frame manufacturer tried something new in the form of virtual picture frames. That meant that the same store in New York City could submit a client’s painting to Goldleaf Framemakers Santa Fe, and Martin and his eight employees could "virtually" frame it so the client can see the painting framed in the chosen frame. The example would be sent back, and the client could decide whether to purchase or not.
“This way, we’re able to showcase Goldleaf Framemakers’ work around the country,” Martin says.
A Better Way to Reach His Clients
Though he purchased another framing company last summer, Martin realized he needed a better way to reach new clients. That’s when he decided to give Constant Contact a try. Just days after becoming a customer, Martin sent out an email to more than 200 of his contacts.
“We emailed a small promotion that said we’ve reduced the cost of goldleaf picture frames, which will save people about 20%,” he says. The newsletter put the emphasis on the namesake of the store: goldleaf, and showed off the fine work of the framers.
The results so far? Goldleaf Framemakers has already received plenty of calls about the offer.
Eager to Do More
Based on his initial success, Martin is already planning to send another newsletter when he comes back from the Las Vegas trade show. “I’m going to try and snap a few pictures while I’m there so I can include them,” he explains.
Since email marketing offers an easier way to show off the shop’s wares to clients, it’s like Martin is hosting his own virtual trade show. We’re eager to see what his next campaign looks like and we’re proud that Goldleaf Framemakers of Santa Fe chose Constant Contact to help grow the business!
As an award for being Constant Contact’s 500,000th customer, Goldleaf Framemakers of Santa Fe has received a free account for life that includes all of Constant Contact’s products. The business is also entitled to any free custom service and will be receiving a certificate for the milestone — that we're sure they will put in a beautiful frame.
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