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Framing the memories

After just over 20 years, Lou Beckel turns to retirement

 

Lou Beckel has spent a good portion of the last two decades preserving the memories, achievements and collections of area residents.

But after 21 years of running Lou’s Custom Framing, Beckel is ready to say goodbye as she aims towards retirement. She initially planned on closing on Dec. 5, but a rush of orders will keep her on the job well into January and possibly February.

Beckel has framed everything from graduation pictures, college degrees and family photos. She’s seen a variety of odd jobs as well as she recently framed her first ever CD.

“It’s been busy. Over the years, I’ve gotten a lot of unique and different things,” Beckel said. “I’ve had a lot of good, loyal customers and I kind of feel bad in a way, because I didn’t put it out there that I would be retiring. I was afraid of being overwhelmed with framing.”

Beckel started her business after working for another frame shop. When they closed, she opened Lou’s Custom Framing, which has always sat at the same location on Main Street South.

Beckel also has a stockpile of prints and pictures she’s looking to sell as most of her time has been spent on the process of framing.

“Framing takes up your whole time. You work up the framing with the customer, you order the parts and you do the frame. It takes a lot of time,” Beckel said. “It’s been a lot of practice. I’ve made some mistakes, but I figured out how to do it.”

Beckel has a sign up saying the business will close on Dec. 5, but she’ll likely keep it open for a day or two a week to empty the shelves. She is encouraging residents to swing by and see what kind of deals they can score.

“I still have a lot of merchandise,” Beckel said. “I have a lot of pictures on the wall and hundreds of prints left. I have to sell them still.”

Beckel plans on putting the building up for sale once she retires.