In their 40 years of framing, staff at Vintiners in Crouch End have seen it all.
Among the more unusual items they’ve framed are a brick, a limited-edition packet of crisps, record sleeves, baby shoes and creative marriage proposals. Some frames are so big they have to be assembled in the home.
The framer’s shop, which has been in Crouch End since the late 1800s, is owned by Tom Jones and is now largely run by his daughter Alice. They also have a workshop in a converted stable in North Finchley where a team of skilled craftspeople handmake each frame.
“Over 40 years ago I used to go around the shops working as a framer – when Ernest Vintiner decided to retire I took it over and got a couple of ladies to run the shop for me”, said Tom.
“I bought it for very little and although I’d been in business for several years before, I was new to retail. It seemed to make commercial sense to keep the name.”
Vintiners is a real family affair –Tom runs the shop with his wife Joan and their daughters work there too; Alice in the workshop and Emma with the accounts. His brother Eric works in the gallery in Finchley.
Vintiners is the latest company in Crouch End to offer discounts to members of the Local Buyers Club. The membership club costs just £12 per year to join and includes a discount card offering savings of 10% or more at more than 90 local and independent businesses. (See discounts here)
“I think it’s easier for a father to sit back a bit and let a daughter run the business than it would be with a son – I’d be bossier with a son"
Tom, who has five grandchildren, added: “I think it’s easier for a father to sit back a bit and let a daughter run the business than it would be with a son – I’d be bossier with a son.
“I’m not sure any of my grandchildren will want to run the business. The pressure on local businesses is horrendous now – the rates are high and with the internet things can change very swiftly.”
The store also features gallery space for talented artists and sells art supplies.
Laura Coates, Manager of Vintiners and a keen illustrator, said: “Having an artistic eye definitely helps when it comes to suggesting which mounts and frames work best. Most of our staff have an artistic background.”
To find out more visit www.picture-factory.co.uk
What is the Local Buyers Club?
We're on a mission to help you discover and support the best local and independent businesses.
We've negotiated discounts for our members at dozens of fantastic restaurants, shops, bars and businesses throughout North and East London. We help promote them and raise awareness of the advantages of shopping locally.
Join Local Buyers Club and, for just £12 per year, you'll receive a discount card to use at any of the 90+ businesses listed on the site. More info here