Framers work on accenting elements for customers

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 3, 2002

When you look at a painting, what do you notice?

Probably not the matting or the frame, but those can be very important elements. Deciding what to use to accentuate your print can be a painstaking process and that's where Lisa Granle-Tuttle and her husband, Brad, enter the picture.

As the owners of Granle's Custom Framing and Art Gallery in Austin, they help people decide on the perfect presentation of their photos, paintings, posters and anything else they may want to display.

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Lisa says her mother and father opened the store nine years ago. Her father had owned an auto repair business in Austin and framed things for people on the side. When he sold the auto repair business, his family encouraged him to open his own business.

"He's extremely talented. I wish his talents had followed downstream, but he kept them all to himself," Lisa says. "We went to school together for framing and it came much more easily to him. It was something I had to work for more, I think."

Though she's worked there since it opened, she and Brad didn't take over the store's operations until after her mother died more than a year ago. "When my mom died, my dad didn't want to come here by himself, so he asked me to take it over. It's kind of in her memory that I would like to keep it open," she explains.

Now she handles the business part of the store, while Brad does the framing and matting-something he says he "kind of got thrown into." He had never done any framing before Lisa took over the store, so he had a crash course in how to do it. However, he says once he started, he discovered he really liked it.

Other than custom framing, the shop offers posters, prints, decorative plates, clocks, steins, sculptures and many other decorative items. She says she caters "to anybody that has an appreciation for art. We see a broad, broad range of people in here and I hope that continues."

To meet the different tastes of their varied customers, they offer an enormous selection of frames and mats. To ensure everyone is happy, Lisa and Brad will help people choose the framing and the matting. Lisa says they carry standard-sized frames, but they also have an enormous selection of moulding for custom-sized frames. "Every product is different depending on the customer and what the customer chooses. If two people buy the same print, it's not going to look the same," because the frame and matting usually will be completely different, she says.

Brad says they can make a frame or box for almost anything. "We see a lot of different and unusual things," he says. He's made shadow boxes for ballet slippers, war medals, football jerseys, christening dresses and snake skins-among other things.

"It's up to your imagination to what you want to put into a frame," Lisa says.

After a frame and matting are picked out, it's only a matter of time before customers have a brand-new piece of art for their home. "It can take up to two to two and a half weeks with the custom-made frames because we have to order those and we only places orders every other week," says Lisa. "But if it's in-stock, we can do it in one day. We've had husbands come in and tell us it's their wife's birthday and they forgot to get her something, could we please help them. If Brad is here and we have the materials in stock, we can get to you that day."

Krista Ahwley, of Austin, says they have replaced the frames and mattings on several pieces of art for her and was pleased. "I really like the selection of frames they have there and that they helped me out. They sat down and helped me pick the colors out," she says. "I'm really impressed with the quality of work they do."

Lisa and Brad's goal is always to make their customers happy and another priority high on their list is to give back to the community. At Monday's City Council meeting, Lisa presented a painting entitled "A Prayer for My Brother" to the Austin Fire Department (AFD).

The painting depicts two firefighters kneeling by the ruins of the World Trade Center towers and Lisa says "when that print came in, (the AFD) was the first place I thought it should go."

"Sept. 11 affected a lot of people and I think what the firemen did out there was wonderful. I think a lot of times, firefighters seem to go unnoticed because they aren't always as visible as an ambulance driver or a doctor," she says.

The print is for sale at the shop and proceeds will go to benefit the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

Granle's Custom Framing and Art Gallery is located on 421 North Main Street in Austin. For more information, call 433-7443.

Call Amanda L. Rohde at 434-2214 or e-mail her at