By: Joshua Danker-Dake | Category: Gifts & Decor | Issue: May 2009
Bob Martin displays the vast custom frame options he offers at Martin’s Frame Design.
For 18 years, Martin’s Frame Design has provided Green Country with custom frames for art and memorabilia of every shape and size, and owner Bob Martin brings his great experience, creativity, and sense of fun to every job.
“We offer high-end custom framing at a bargain price,” says Martin. “We do it all. We cut mats, cut glass, we do custom mat work, and we do shadowboxes.” Martin’s Frame Design also sells art, including work from local artists.
Martin has been in the framing business for 40 years, and he’s had his current shop since 1991. “I got into framing when I was 19,” says Martin. “My dad had a clothing business in Kansas City. While we were there, I got to know our motorcycle cop – his nickname was Speedy – and I just thought he was the coolest guy in the world. When he retired, he got into framing, and he did jobs for the police department. When I was 19, he called me and asked me to help him during the summer. It was great – I liked him, and I liked building things. At the end of the summer, he decided he was too old for it, and he sold me his equipment. I’ve been doing framing ever since.”
You can’t just go into Martin’s Frame Design and buy a pre-made 5x7 frame, but when it comes to custom frames, you’d be hard-pressed to find more options anywhere else. “We have a huge selection,” says Martin. “We’ve got everything from simple, half-inch black frames up to the huge, ornate frames. We do rustics and high-end gallery framing. We also do a lot of music-related framing work, and we frame a lot of jerseys.” Martin has extensive experience with sports memorabilia – he does custom framing for the Tulsa Drillers and the University of Tulsa.
Martin says he’ll frame anything – and he means anything. “The neatest thing about my job is seeing what comes in the door. I’ve framed second base, I’ve framed a stainless steel hip joint, I’ve framed the winning cow chip from a cow chip throwing contest. You just never know what’s going to come in the door.”
“Something we offer that a lot of other places don’t offer is design,” says Martin. “That comes from experience, in part. It’s the ability to pick the right frame and the right mat for a piece.”
Martin works to build strong relationships with his customers. “Personal service seems to be dying these days, and we put a focus on that. We have regulars who come from as far as Vinita. Our store is a very fun place,” says Martin. “We’ve really got a ‘Floyd’s Barbershop’ feel here. People come in just to visit. And we get a lot of local artists and musicians who come by.”
Music is one of Martin’s great loves. “I’m a songwriter. That’s what I love to do,” he says. “That’s why I have a piano in the shop. Custom framing is a creative business, just like songwriting. It’s an easy transition for me between my work life and my fun life. Work is like my second home. It’s just fun to build picture frames.”
For custom framing and friendly, personalized service at bargain prices, stop by Martin’s Frame Design at 1514 S. Harvard. They are open Tuesday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.