Story by Pamela Kleinbrink Thompson, Photos by Jim Peterson
“Making beautiful things is in my blood,” observes Meg Glasgow, owner of Finer Frames. Her father was a charcoal artist and cabinet maker. Her mother’s preferred medium was quilting. Glasgow’s daughter Emily is graduating with an art degree from the College of Idaho this May.
An Eagle resident since 2005, Glasgow, was recently nominated as Idaho Business Review’s Woman of the Year. For those who have worked with Glasgow, this should come as no surprise.
Glasgow was honored for her innovation and design skills by the world’s largest picture frame manufacturer, Larson Juhl, in a competition judged by renowned designer Jonathan Adler, HGTV executives and industry experts. She won first place for Best Frame Design. “Then to my surprise, my shop won the Grand Champion award for design, business practices and marketing,” shares Glasgow. She was invited to create her own frame collection called AXEL with Larson Juhl. It’s a rustic wood veneer made from reclaimed Italian chestnut saved from old bridges and buildings in Italy. AXEL comes in 2 colors-Antique Chestnut (brown) and Smoked Timber (black) and 4 frame styles and is sold internationally, including at Finer Frames. “I recently toured the factory where it is made in Certaldo, Italy (outside of Florence),” says Glasgow.
In December, Glasgow was featured on national television on Designing Spaces on Lifetime Network talking about the benefits of custom framing and museum glass. Here’s the episode: http://bit.ly/2kSQhKn
Glasgow has also been recognized both nationally and locally with Decor’s Top 100 Art and Framing Retailers Award; Decor Magazine: Footsteps Award for Marketing; Small Business of the Year; Woman of the Year Meridian; and was a nominee for Idaho Woman Entrepreneur of the Year.
But Glasgow is modest. “I’m creative, innovative, and passionate about always doing the best I can but I’m too controlled to be a true artist,” states Glasgow. “I tried oil paints, but I’m too impatient. My cat walked across the one and only painting I did while it was drying.” Glasgow’s favorite medium is watercolor, “because it dries quickly. Blame my need for instant gratification.”
I grew up in a creative house. My Dad was a woodworker and my Mom was a quilter, so fine crafting was in my blood.”
“We specialize in preservation framing that employs museum quality products and techniques designed to protect art of all kinds,” notes Glasgow, who learned the European style of framing while she was living in Portugal. She is the official framer for the Warhawk Air Museum and the Idaho Steelheads.
“I love being able to showcase the amazing talent we have in the valley. Their creativity feeds the soul and it’s great to bring that to Eagle. It’s always exciting to sell someone’s work. Artists put so much of their soul into their art and it’s great to see someone like it enough to spend hard earned money on it. For an artist, it’s the ultimate compliment. I enjoy being part of that process.” One of the artists Glasgow features in her expanded gallery is Eagle resident Toby Davis.
“He’s the one to watch!” enthuses Glasgow. “Toby is a BSU grad that has been painting full time for the past 2 years and people are taking notice. He’s recently been recognized as one of the 6 artists to watch by Southwest Art Magazine. That’s huge! Typically, you find talent like his in large galleries in major metro areas, but he’s a local boy with world class talent. He handles complex compositions with grace. His cityscapes are so filled with energy, light and vivid colors, he transports you to the most famous cities in the world. His latest works will be on display in the Gallery in a show called ‘Bright Lights, Big City’ that continues through March 30.”
“The relationship between the artist and gallery is an important one,” states Glasgow. “Creating the art is only part of it, bringing the artwork and the patron together is my responsibility as a gallery owner.” She expanded the gallery in February 2016. “The larger space, with the high ceilings and all the glorious light was too good to pass up! It’s perfect for displaying original works by regional artists.”
“We’re always providing artists feedback we hear from buyers,” notes Glasgow. “This gives the artist important insight to what collectors are buying, consumer trends and needs for certain subjects, sizes or colors. Art is a business after all.”
Artists who are interested in displaying their work at Finer Frames may apply through the website www.finerframes.com. “We have a selection panel that reviews submissions every fall,” shares Glasgow.
Glasgow strives to help other businesses too. She recently published her second book, Recharge Your Business. She helps other framers across the US with frame shop makeovers and works with business owners on improving their marketing, design, and merchandising. “I strive to live an authentic life, to be honest and honorable, give more than you get and leave the world better than I found it.”
Glasgow counsels aspiring artists and business people. “Just be awesome! Don’t worry about the competition. They will always make room at the top.” She shares her favorite quote from Steve Martin, which is her advice for other business owners, “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” No one can ignore the gifts and passion of Glasgow.