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Framing Company Celebrating 25th Year in Business

by and on November 06, 2019 9:00 AM

When John McQueary opened The State College Framing Company and Gallery back in 1995, his business was one of 30,000 framing shops in the country. Today, there are less than 10,000. McQueary is grateful to be one of the shops not only still surviving, but thriving, and he is planning a special event to show his thanks to the community that has supported his business over the years.

The event, “A Season for the Senses,” will kick off The State College Framing Company’s 25th year on Nov. 8 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. While the shop in Hills Plaza South regularly hosts receptions throughout the year for one or two featured artists at a time, this celebration will be on a larger scale than usual, featuring 18 local artists representing many different art forms, including jewelry, ceramics, 3D sculptures, paintings and mixed media. Refreshments will be provided by Mount Nittany Winery, Nittany Catering, Otto’s Brewery and Barrel 21.

The featured artists are Brienne Brown, Talley Fisher, Sandi Garris, Susan Nicholas Gephart, Elli Groninger, Cindy Hassler, Elizabeth Hay, Alice Kelsey, Joan Koester, Carol Korte, Diane Maurer, Barb Pennypacker, Dana Pitzer, Alexander Ramos, Ian Stainton, Christine Stangel, Donn Wagner and Lynn Anne Verbeck.

It is important to McQueary to give back to local nonprofits through his events. A portion of proceeds from art sold at this reception will be donated to three organizations: Centre County Historical Society, Our Lady of Victory Catholic School’s drama and art departments, and Mount Nittany Middle School’s drama and art departments.

“We might be a very small business, but we really try to give back at all our events, and we really try to support other small local businesses,” McQueary said.

He also values being able to support local artists, and the shop was always designed as a gallery for this reason, although McQueary said it took some time for that side of the business to develop as he focused on the framing aspect, which is the company’s bread and butter.

McQueary recognizes his framing services are not inexpensive.

“Our average ticket is over $200, and that’s a lot of money. But most people who frame with us understand that it’s not like a sweater that goes out of style; it’s an investment. I’m fortunate to be in an area that can support what is totally discretionary spending,” he said.

“But it’s not just about dollars and cents. The social and relationship aspect of my business is the part I’ve come to cherish and enjoy. I know the people who come through my door; I know their families … Yes, I enjoy the framing work, and I enjoy the financial aspect, but man, I really enjoy catching up with people when they come into the store.”

As he reflects on 25 years in business, another of the many things McQueary is grateful for is his long-term employee, Jeff Muthersbaugh.

“I’ve been fortunate to have Jeff with me since 2000. That’s almost unheard of, to have an employee stick around for that long. Jeff has certainly been a big part of our success,” McQueary said.

“I’m sure we have done our part in providing the service and the product that people like. So I’m not saying we haven’t done our share of the work to earn being here, but the bottom line is, people still have to come in that door and support us. And we’re very grateful that they do,” he said. “It’s just nice to have a town think well enough of what you do to keep you around for 25 years. I’m really blessed.”

This story was produced by the staff at the Centre County Gazette. It was re-published with permission. The Centre County Gazette is a weekly publication, available at many locations around Centre County every Thursday morning.

Karen Walker
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