Inspire a loyal and diverse clientele.
“Susan and I are proud that we have such a loyal following,” says Barbara Hawes of herself and fellow framer Susan Monahan. “Our framing customers are mostly people who are not students,” though Hull’s is mere paces away from the Yale School of Art & Architecture and serves that crowd as well.
Know your neighborhood.
Steve Kovel bought a longstanding and proud name in local framing and art supply when he purchased a store further up Chapel Street, then expanded it into its present location near the corner of Chapel and York. “I wanted to create an arts supply and framing shop for the city to be proud of. We’re important not only to the students but to the fabric of the arts community.” Barbara adds that “this is a great block. There’s a real feeling of neighborliness.”
Know your business inside out.
“We’re all trained in one art field or another,” Barbara says. “We have a genuine interest in the artwork.” Barbara’s a painter, and so is Susan, who also does sculptures and hairdressing (“The other framing”). Steve says he’s not an artist per se, but has drawn from his engineering background when running his business.
Use good stuff.
“Everything we use is archival, conservation materials.”
The framers at Hull’s have had to mount or frame a play-dough diorama, a drama mask, the envelope that contained a valentine and part of a Buddhist door from Tibet.
Enjoy your work.
“I was a customer here before I was an employee,” says Susan. “Hull’s is the only business I’ve worked where I’ve believed in everything that leaves the store.
“We’re famous for fulfilling people’s needs,” Steve declares, “for having the things people need in order to do their art and framing and modeling.”
The best advice Steve Kovel ever got: “Try and enjoy every single day.” And if you really want to remember one of those enjoyable days, perhaps you could get Hull’s to try and frame it.