Marcy Maley does more than just frame items, she’s also working to preserve memories.
Maley, owner of The Frame Lady, has been in the custom framing business in Hastings for 30 years.
“I just feel very fortunate to be a part of a community that is so supportive of our local businesses,” said Maley, who grew up in Hastings.
She got her start in 1990 at the Ben Franklin store in downtown Hastings. She managed the frame shop there for 14 years.
After that, Maley reopened the frame shop at Allen’s department store. She was there for two years.
From there, she moved on and worked for former Graham Gallery and Framing owner Angela Graham.
In July 2011, Maley bought the frame shop from Graham and has operated her business under the name The Frame Lady.
Now in her own shop, she works directly with customers to help make their projects special.
“I like to kind of get to know the project, who it belongs to, the history behind it and what it means to that customer,” Maley said.
When deciding on a frame, she tries to color-coordinate with where the picture is going to hang.
“I try to find out where they’re going to hang this and what the wall colors are,” Maley said. “When we start picking out frames and mattes to coordinate, it kind of allows it to be part of the photograph and artwork itself.”
She said that she takes the time to work closely with her customers because she realizes how important the memories are behind what’s in the picture.
In other words, the frame is just one part of the process of trying to satisfy a customer, she said.
“It took me some years in the business to realize that it’s not just about a great, quality, awesome-looking frame on the wall — it’s about preserving memories,” Maley said.
She knows that some of the projects she works on could be a memento that the customer brought back from a trip or it could be a family heirloom.
In some cases, a customer is trying to find a gift for someone they care about, or it’s something that is a special item from a loved one who is no longer with them.
Over the years, she has heard a lot of stories and learned some of the history about the people of Hastings.
“I have come to find out that almost every project that comes in has a history,” Maley said.