Tracing its roots to a Toledo contemporary art gallery in the late 1960s, American Frame has evolved and grown to serve artists and museums nationwide.
It all started when Toledo native Ron Mickel had the idea to sell a do-it-yourself metal framing kit directly to artists and put a small advertisement in the back of American Artist Magazine to promote the idea.
“After a few weeks, the post office called my dad and requested he come pick up his mail, which was full of orders,” explained American Frame President Laura Jajko. “He had found a niche that resonated with artists around the country, so he closed the gallery and put a saw in the garage and started filling orders.”
Laura, who focuses on sales and marketing, owns the second-generation woman-owned business with her sister Dana Dunbar, who is the CEO and focuses on operations and finances.
In the early 1980s, the company’s name changed from ASF Sales to American Frame and it moved to its Arrowhead Park location in Maumee, Ohio. It added wood frames, mat boards, and custom fine art printing—all products that artists, galleries, and museums need to display their artwork.
Four years ago, the company upgraded its factory showroom to include a gallery as more and more artists visited the location to see the printing and framing options in person. While many things have changed over the years, the focus on quality and custom products for artists remains the same.
"Through our website, we offer fine art printing and framing with a superior experience,” Laura said. “We try to focus on products that are beautiful, sustainable, and economical and allow for a range of styles and tastes. Framing can be like jewelry for the art or not even noticed—simply a mechanism for hanging the art on the wall.”