George Park

First Steps

Having met George Park on several occasions, I know that exceptional quality and a professional touch are hallmarks of the way he works.  Calling him up for an interview and being answered by a personal assistant, before being transferred to Mr Park himself, illustrates immediately the importance that George attaches to making customers feel valued.  From the name Dreamcatcher Framing Company (the naming to be revealed in part 3 of George’s story) to the clear and imaginatively-designed web-site, you will recognise the care taken to get things right.  And all of this designed and achieved by George himself.  Even more impressive is that this is all a “virtual” image surrounding a business operating from a home workshop.  It proves that it is the service you provide and the quality of work that you produce, which can set you apart from the rest – not the size of premises!

But it wasn’t always like this.  Going back just 4 years, George, a keen amateur photographer, wanted to show some of his work at home.  Looking across the kitchen at pictures he had put into ready made frames started him thinking.  How much better would these images look if they were displayed in frames designed for the individually cropped photo, rather than in a standard print format? (or words to that effect). 

Unfortunately ready made frames are only available in standard sizes, and so George decided to do some research into how he could frame work for himself.  In fact, it all linked up with ideas he’d had about starting a framing business, while still living in South Africa some years before.  Investigation then revealed that tools, equipment and premises could cost as much as buying a house.  So for the time being the idea went “on hold”.  However, now he had started looking at the situation over here, he found a number of possibilities began to surface.  And of course, once he found, he realised that framing his own work was a highly achievable option.

George started work on his own frames in 2003.  Soon he wanted to pick up a few of the “tricks of the trade” and became one of the pioneer students of DIYframing’s training programme.  Having learnt about basic framing and mount cutting techniques in August 2004, when training operated from the Sunflower Gallery workshops,  he has been among the very first to try out new parts of our training programme.  He completed our very first session about 3D framing in December 2004 and was, later, part of a group of to work though our second course on Conservation Framing, at our new training centre, Woodlands Farm.  In fact, he uses the principles learnt in conservation framing as the foundation for all of his bespoke work.

Now having a “gallery “of his own framed work, George was soon receiving requests from friends and family to frame all sorts of items for them.  Inevitably one thing leads to another, and the thought of being able to make an income from a hobby starts to take shape.  In the early days, individual pieces may have taken longer to complete, but quality was never compromised. 

As George’s reputation grew and the possibility crystallised about taking this further, a change occurred in his full time work.   On becoming self employed, and on being contracted in to work for his previous employer, George was then in a position of greater control and flexibility over his professional hours.  This, in turn, provided a better opportunity for “growing” the framing business.  A local leaflet drop led him to pick up some early work.  In fact visiting one property, which George’s wife realised had almost been missed, ended up with him having a chat with the owner of the house.  As a result, George was commissioned to frame a valuable piece of artwork and, in doing so, had to find a way of “curing” a warp in the board it was painted on. Often the case with satisfied customers, this has led to further framing projects from the same source and the possibility of helping with artwork to feature in a suite of offices.

Back to the present and George is now awaiting delivery of a suite of 10 photographs, which he is framing for display in a pub that is being re-furbished.

In the next instalments, you can find out about how George built and kitted out his workshop and, later, how the name, logo website and business have been developed.


Return to the top of the page