FastFrame first germinated in Europe before spreading to Japan, Brazil, Australia, and the United States. A trained local helms each of the 300 locations, and guarantees every design for 30 days and the craftsmanship for a lifetime. Artisans crown original works of art and prints with ornate mouldings. They also store historical artifacts and three-dimensional memorabilia in shadow boxes. FastFrame’s team has even been known to frame sports equipment, plasma-screen televisions, and childhood homes.
With thousands of frame and mat samples, The Great Frame Up can satisfy any and all framing fantasies. The expert framespeople can make diplomas radiate (most diplomas can be framed for around $100), personalized jerseys glisten (most for under $300), and dorm-room movie posters sparkle (many 24x36 pieces are under $100). The design wizards can also find a home for any prized possession, such as shoebox photos, baby booties, ticket stubs, medals, and really good pot roasts. The Great Frame Up’s no-hassle guarantee and assurance that all work is done on-site means your frameables won't be subject to mistreatment at underground commercial framing facilities.
A fourth-generation artist, Rose Handy has always made time for creating. After a rollercoaster ride of life changes and moves, Rose and her potter husband Paul opened their own gallery and class space. Joined by a staff of illustrators, quilters, watercolorists, and other artisans, the owners encourage Wild Child students to find their own artistic voices, whether they're hand-building a ceramic bowl, painting a family portrait, or fusing glass pieces together to make a new glass family. The search for new avenues of creativity also extends to the studio's class offerings; beginning in January 2013, aspiring artisans can learn the intricacies of handbuilding and wheel-based pottery techniques as part of the shop's newest curriculum.
Gangs of ottomans and mattresses populate Atlantic Bedding and Furniture, whose continually changing designs from Coaster, Forbidden City, Harden, Sealy, Old Town Imports, and other top brands help customers capture the furniture species of their choice sans long waiting periods. Treat hard-working eye awnings to a decadent break with a solid hardwood Leonardo bed ($347–$516), backed by a strong, modern headboard the color of morning espresso but the flavor of tufted upholstery. Taking home a Davenport nightstand ($125) means never having to precariously perch glasses or bequeathed dentures on thin windowsills.
The brightest objects inside Ranel Parks' frame shop are the frames themselves. The Athens Framing Gallery showroom is dark, the shop in the back coated in dust. There are more dogs - the big ones are friendly enough, but that little dachshund will bite - than customers hanging around. The whole atmosphere, much like Parks himself, is so unassuming. You'd never guess that six- and seven-figure art passes through these walls. But when millionaire stars like Ted Turner, Elton John and Faith Hill want something framed, they often turn to Parks.