Welcome to our Spark! Meet the Founder series, where we introduce you to the amazing entrepreneurs who are participating in our Spark! 2021 program with a quick Q&A!
Spark! is a small business pre-accelerator that puts the right people, opportunities, and access in place for local entrepreneurs in Arkansas to grow their venture to the next level.
Please meet Tammy Iosbaker, founder of The Frame Maker. The Frame Maker is a custom framing business that helps customers create beautiful and long lasting art, memories, and family heirlooms by using quality conservation materials.
The Venture Center: Why did you become an entrepreneur?
Iosbaker: I have been a professional custom framer for over 30 years and managed a frame shop for 10 years until the company I worked for closed the business. After some time of my customers seeking me out in town, asking for my assistance with framing, my husband and I thought that maybe I should try to open a store back up in the Saline County area. Custom framing is something I am passionate about, and I love the ability to create beautiful pieces for my customers.
TVC: What problem does your business solve?
Iosbaker: How to properly frame and display artwork, sentimental or collectable memorabilia, documents, and other items, and to what framing source should they be taken to solve this problem. Being uninformed or uneducated about conservation methods of framing can often leave customers with ruined artwork or destroyed items of monetary or sentimental value, which many times cannot be replaced.
Not all products and materials that people use to frame items are equal and some can do irreversible damage. It is important to choose a knowledgeable framer who will take the time to help inform the customer. The Frame Maker uses 30 years of creativity and design experience in the custom framing industry to help the customer create beautiful and long-lasting art, memories, and family heirlooms using quality, conservation materials.
TVC: What are your hopes for your future as an entrepreneur?
Iosbaker: My desire is to grow the business and be profitable enough to earn a living to help support my family. I also want to provide a unique, locally owned framing service that participates in and supports our local community.
TVC: What are you most proud of and/or what is your biggest challenge in your entrepreneurial journey?
Iosbaker: For me, the biggest challenge is getting the word out to the public about the business – that there is a local custom framing service in the community. Part of the challenge for me is just trying to figure out the best marketing and advertising methods to use to attract more customers, and how to accomplish that in the most cost-efficient way.
I am proud that I have been able to start this business with a minimal budget and have not incurred an enormous amount of debt, the only debt coming from us personally. Also, I feel fortunate to have survived what has been a very stressful year for most businesses and families in a global shutdown.
Huge thanks to Tammy Iosbaker for participating in Spark 2021! We can’t wait to see your business grow! Sign up for our newsletter and follow The Venture Center on social media to keep up with our Spark! 2021 cohort!