One ad changed everything.
Mickel took out an ad in the classified section of American Artist magazine offering 13 samples of his new metal frame, along with a wholesale price list, for $2. In the ad, Ron called his new enterprise “ASF Sales,” as in “aluminum section frame.”
Two weeks later, his P.O. box was filled with orders. More sales came via phone, from interested artists calling to talk shop with an ASF representative. At that time, Ron was the only ASF representative.
“American Frame” was easier to say.
“’ASF Sales was a tongue twister,” Mickel said years later, “hard to understand over the phone.” So in 1982, ASF Sales became the American Frame Corporation.
Mickel cut custom picture frame mouldings to whatever sizes his customers wanted and shipped them unassembled. It was an ideal DIY solution. Artists and do-it-yourself framers loved the control it provided over the final presentation of their work. Plus, it was less expensive than going to custom frame shops.
Constantly improving, never settling.
In the time he owned and led American Frame, Ron Mickel was unfailingly upbeat, optimistic about his company’s prospects, and enthusiastic about how he and his team could help his customers. Ron never stood still, and constantly drove his company forward. Better products and services were always sought out. If there was a faster way to deliver his customers the goods, it was taken. Investments in technological improvements were generously made. Mickel gave his company every chance to succeed, which it did.
By 1991, Ron’s daughters Laura Jajko and Dana Dunbar had both joined the company, which he sold to them in 2017. Today, they carry on with the same passion, drive, and commitment as their dad, occupying the top positions in this 100% women-owned business, as certified by the WBENC*.