Jim Wojdyl, Jr.
occupation: owner, Farmington Frame
found at: Farmington Frame (Farmington)
How did you get into the framing business?
We've been in business for nine years. I grew up in the business. My dad had a frame shop for many years in Hartford, then moved out to Glastonbury in 1994. I chose Farmington after doing a lot of market research. This location has a very similar feel to my father's shop in Glastonbury, City Frame Company. I was a consultant for a pharmaceutical company in the '90s in New York. The company helped to coordinate treatment for HIV/AIDS patients. After moving back to the area, I realized I couldn't work in a cubicle anymore. I opened up this shop right after 9/11. My wife had a good job so we were able to take the economic hit. On our first day of business a woman named Mrs. Smith, who just passed away, dropped off some things. The next day someone dropped off 25 pieces to frame for her summer house. We were off and running and it's been word of mouth ever since.
Are frames unappreciated and overlooked?
Yes and yes. That being said, we're one of the biggest memorabilia framers in the Northeast, be it sports jerseys of pro athletes or autographed guitars of rock stars. People love to frame their kids' art. Art is difficult for some people to understand and they don't know what to put on their walls. So they will frame things serious art collectors may not consider art but many people enjoy seeing on their walls. A lot of artists aren't that involved with framing and galleries are driving the types of frames people use, which results in people thinking that only a black or white frame is acceptable. Or a flat brown frame that looks like something out of a Restoration Hardware catalog. There are so many more interesting options available.
What is the oddest thing you've ever been asked to frame?
The story was odder than the object. I had to frame a gift for a stripper for one of my customers. It was a tacky photo of a woman. The customer insisted on dropping off the photo in the parking lot and paid in cash. It was very hush-hush. His parting words were that I should go visit the stripper because she was amazing. Another was an aboriginal bone that the customer showed going through someone's nose. I couldn't believe I was expected to touch it much less frame it.
What is your proudest achievement?
My family. My wife Wendy and daughter Gabrielle are a really great family. We're lucky that with all the craziness around us we say good morning and good night every day.
What was the moment you realized you were an adult?
When I had my daughter. That's real life. When they put that infant in your hands you know you are responsible for someone else. Now that's she's becoming older I still play with her so I guess in that sense I'm less of an adult. I see a lot of people my age who become so old overnight. My wife and I still think young, which keeps us young.
What type of art do you like and collect?
I really like Hudson River paintings. I find small pieces particularly attractive. The old-school 150-year-old paintings. I have a pretty decent collection I enjoy.