Georgia Frame Shop
Location: 2095 Ga. 211 NW, Suite 1B, Braselton
Whether it’s a piece of art, a limited edition print or a family heirloom, preserving it properly is important to those who own it.
Luckily, the owners and operators of Georgia Frame Shop in Braselton feel the same way and can help.
William “Kit” Blokzyl’s business specializes in custom framing and photo restoration and reproduction. He opened the shop in May at 2095 Ga. 211 NW Suite 1B in Braselton.
“It’s kind of fun being involved in something that you get to constantly create every day,” Blokzyl said.
It may be easy to get intimidated by the numerous framing options available at the shop. On the walls of Georgia Frame Shop are more than 1,000 samples. The store also carries 300-400 matting options, Blokzyl said.
Prior to opening Georgia Frame Shop, Blokzyl managed a frame shop in Los Angeles for several years where he learned the basics of framing. He also spent time in the Army as a human intelligence collector — meaning he worked as an interrogator and as a source operator, speaking with informants.
Because of his military experience, his shop offers a discount to veterans and current military personnel.
Blokzyl said his experience in the Army led him to learn the many aspects of framing at his previous job. He was managing people and didn’t feel comfortable asking someone to do something he didn’t know how to do or was unable to do, so he learned the processes himself.
But based on his experience of four years in the frame industry, he can help his customers find the right framing options for the project.
The first step is talking with the customer to see what the piece to be framed means to them.
“If it’s something more valuable, and they want to keep it on wall for 30-40 years ... or pass it on to their kids, they’ll want to pick materials that will look really good for that long period of time and will also protect the artwork,” Blokzyl said.
“Acid-free archival mats and backing board and a UV protective glass, that kind of helps preserve the look of the art for a long period of time.”
After that it’s time to pick out and order the materials. Most of the materials companies he works with are in the Norcross-area. Right now rustic frames are popular, sometimes frames even made of barn wood.
“A lot of artwork lends itself to the frame, but you could also frame something in a more traditional frame that would also look good in a rustic frame,” he said.
After the materials arrive, Blokzyl works to get the frame physically made.
Some of the most interesting pieces he’s worked with at the shop are a 5-foot by 8-foot flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol on Braselton’s centennial and is now on display in the Braselton
Municipal Court and a dual-purpose rifle rack/display. A shadow box was built for the rifle, with a front panel that could be opened so the rifle could be removed.
He’s framed everything from old family photos to physical items for shadow boxes. Blokzyl said he tries to carry high-end products without a ridiculous markup, keeping his prices competitive.
“In getting something framed in the first place, you’re kind of making an investment in whatever that item is,” Blokzyl said. “So as long as you’re investing a certain amount you want to ensure you’re getting a product that’s going to last and is going to last a certain amount of time.”
Georgia Frame Shop also has the ability to restore and reproduce old photos. With a professional photo printer and professional scanner, Blokzyl can scan negatives or old photos, clean them up on the computer and print them.
The South Jackson County man said he never imagined he’d one day own his own business.
“It’s enjoyable coming here everyday and feeling this is my creation,” he said of his work.
Blokzyl said he and Don Griffin, the former owner of Frames You-Nique, have a good relationship. When Griffin closed his store previously located on the square in Gainesville, he sold Blokzyl equipment from his shop when he decided he wanted to open Georgia Frame Shop.
“It’s nice to have that connection,” Blokzyl said.
Kit’s father, Bill, helps him out at the shop several days a week. It’s the first time there’s been a father-son business in the Blokzyl family.
“It’s more like working with a good friend that’s a lot younger than you,” Bill said of working with his son. “I defer to him as much as I can, it’s his business, not mine.”
Bill has a background in construction and is used to working with power tools. He said both he and Kit are creative people, but that he’s more hands on while Kit is more artistic.
“It’s cool to see people come in with old pictures,” Bill said. “Basically you can’t see them, they’re so badly burned out and to be able to do something with them that kind of recreates them.”