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Bespoke and fine art picture framing business secures new premises

A Cardiff based picture framer has relocated to larger premises to support the growing business.

Katharine Richards Framing (formerly Free Range Frames) has moved to new premises in Market House in the Canton area of Cardiff, which is double the size of the business’ previous workshop.

The business, which was established by Katharine Richards over five years ago, was previously known as Free Range Frames but has rebranded to better reflect the nature of the framing work she now does.

The business was set up in 2014 and shortly after its founder left her 12-year career in law to concentrate on growing the company. Katharine completed a three-year apprenticeship in framing at Manor House Fine Arts during her time at university, before entering the legal profession. Returning to framing over a decade later to establish her business, Katharine now designs and makes bespoke picture frames, working with bare wood mouldings (including her own designs).
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Speaking of the success of the business, Katharine said: “At the beginning I just wanted to see if there was a call for what I wanted to offer – exclusively bespoke picture framing, rather than standard made-to-measure. I built the business up whilst still working in a law firm, so it was extremely small steps at first.

“It wasn’t long until I reached a tipping-point; I had more framing work than I could fit in while working four days a week in my day job. So in 2016, I resigned from my job and picture framing became my full time occupation.”

It was around this time that the business secured its first premises at The Bone Yard, a shipping container community in Canton. The recent move to Market House, which is part of the thriving arts hub at Chapter Arts Centre, has taken Katharine just a stone’s throw from her old workshop.

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Speaking of the new premises, Katharine said: “I’m excited to have found a new home at Market House, where I’m amongst other creative people, artists and printmakers.

“It’s also over double the size of my previous workshop, which means I can now take on more work and accept commissions for larger frames than I was able to make previously.

“My business is now how I envisaged it when I first started more than five years ago: doing exclusively bespoke fine art and conservation framing. I have lots of regular and returning clients, including artists and printmakers.”

Commenting on her future plans for the business, Katharine said: “The additional space has increased my capacity for new client commissions. One of my aims is to get more commissions from further afield; I’ve already had clients commission me who live in Somerset, London and Cambridge, and I’m looking to work with more clients beyond Cardiff, as well as continuing to serve my growing customer base here.

“I also have plans to add to the frame designs I’m able to offer clients. I’ll always offer pre-milled mouldings, but I also want to produce more of my own designs. I’d like to invest in a spindle moulder this year to assist with that, too.”

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