Framed art is in every home and office. Fancy Art, NFP (Not Fancy Prices) has created a unique concepts that makes it fun and easy to create a personal masterpiece at a reasonable price, and once discovered, it’s like “Build-a-Bear Workshop” for grownups.
We recently spoke with George M Vodin, President/CEO of Fancy Art, NFP, and asked him how the franchise came about, what makes this concept a good fit for potential franchisees, What advice can you offer potential franchisees and what differentiates Fancy Art, NFP among others in its niche.
How did this franchise come about?
In the early 90s, I was a commodity broker and with nothing better to do. One weekend I went to an art auction, just thinking that I might buy a few things for the house. I quickly observed that the framed artworks were being sold for a lot of money. Eventually they got to the things in the back room — unframed artworks and raw framing materials. By that time the crowd had dwindled and these items were being sold for a pittance. So, I began buying and ended up going home with a 20-foot truck loaded up with art and framing materials.
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The interesting thing about not being formally trained in a field is that you may have no guidelines, but you also have no limitations. I began doing art shows to sell some of my booty and at the same time to educate myself in the field. It quickly became apparent that framing can be a time-consuming and arduous process. So, I thought that if I could use a small handheld computer to do some of the calculations it would expedite the process and make it easier for the customer to make a buying decision.
I began tinkering and after a year of I had a program (app) that did everything. Only then did it occur to me that with this almost anyone could do custom framing, and that it would be a great franchise concept. We opened our first store in the Spring of 1995 and have been developing and refining the concept ever since. Now, Fancy Art, NFP has just recently begun franchising.
Give us an overview of your franchise.
Framed art is in every home and office, most likely in every room. It is a big ticket item, and although we live in an image-conscious society and people would like to have art that expresses their lifestyle and values, most people have avoided custom framing because it is perceived as being difficult to do and expensive. Fancy Art, NFP has created concepts and innovations that make it fun and easy to create a personal masterpiece at a reasonable price, and once discovered, it’s like “Build-a-Bear Workshop” for grownups. They love it and come back to do it again and again.
How many units are there?
What makes this franchise special?
Our proprietary order management system makes it easy for customers to create a personal masterpiece to their taste and budget. Our patented racking system allows us to display thousands of frame moulding samples, where most shops have just a few hundred and it is out in the open so customers can have easy access. Finally our hub and spoke business model gives us efficiencies and economies of scale that can’t be beat and it also means that franchisees don’t have to buy and allocate space for expensive equipment or stock left over materials, so they can dedicate more of their space for sales and afford to be in a more upscale location.
Who are your biggest competitors?
Fastframe, Michaels, Hobby Lobby
What differentiates your franchise among others in your niche?
First, there are not a lot of competitors in our niche. Although framed art is ubiquitous, this sector is underdeveloped and not saturated as so many other sectors are. Secondly, this industry uses an antiquated system of distribution, with many layers of middlemen, each taking a profit and driving up the price. We have eliminated all of the waste and inefficiencies, which gives us a competitive advantage.
What’s your franchise’s motto?
Framing the art of business, in the business of art.
What is the total investment to open a franchise?
$104,000 to $206,000
What do you tell potential franchisees about the profit potential of opening up one of your franchises?
We do not have an item 19, so we don’t quote profits, but we do state in our FDD that from our recommended pricing the franchisee will be charged one-third of the retail price for framing and one-half of the retail price on all other profit centers. That is with us providing most of the materials and labor costs, which means that the franchisee will have a 200% gross profit on framing and a 100% gross profit on all other profit centers, from our recommended pricing.
What makes this concept a good fit for potential franchisees?
It’s a big ticket item needed in every home and office. We provide a pleasant work environment, surrounded by beautiful artwork and soft music, and they will be dealing with a cultured clientele who appreciate the finer things of life and have the discretionary income to afford them. Every job is different, so their work will never become mundane and they will be creating beautiful artwork presentations that will adorn the walls of their clients and be focal points of conversation for their guests.
What qualities do you look for in potential franchisees?
To be considered, you should have good math and mechanical aptitude. Additional qualifications include strong sales and customer-service skills, well-developed people and communication skills that include the ability to connect with employees of all ages. Some business, management and/or sales experience is desirable, but not required. Ideal candidates will possess a high energy, professional demeanor and strong standards of excellence, honesty, and integrity.
What type of initial training do you offer new franchisees?
One week of training at our corporate headquarters, an additional three weeks for area representatives. Following the training, once they have opened their location, one of our representatives will spend a minimum of three days at their location to refresh their skills and get them started on the right foot.
What kind of ongoing support do you offer?
Each franchisee will be assigned to a local hub, who will be in close proximity to assist them, answer questions and deal with problems; further our area representative will make periodic visits to their location, and it is our intention to create a video library which will assist them in most common areas of concern.
What advice can you offer potential franchisees?
For prospective franchisees, we have created a web study course, which will prepare and orient you for what’s ahead. The course is free and can be completed in as little as an hour, and whether you choose our franchise or something else this course will give you the knowledge you need so that you can make smart business choices and move forward toward owning a business of your own.
Where can people find out more about Fancy Art, NFP franchise opportunities?
Visit the website here.
Where can people find Fancy Art, NFP on social media?
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