Pflugerville custom framing shop Wordyisms has become a downtown staple after expanding operations from a garage 33 years ago to collaborating with The Bullock Texas State History Museum and universities.
Owners Jean and David Garlick started the business with a love of art, frequenting $5 art shows when they decided to take up the practice of framing artwork themselves.
“I kind of knew what a hammer and a nail were,” Jean said.
Eventually, Jean said she realized she could cut letters out of mats and customize them for occasions, including for university graduations. Jean contacted The University of Texas and began to mat and frame diplomas, going on to become the official framer of the Texas Exes.
This endeavor partnered Wordyisms with Herff Jones, who services 300-400 high schools. This aspect of the business, fueled primarily by needs of graduating students, comprises about 80 percent of Wordyisms’ business. The remainder is custom framing jobs.
Jean said some of her favorite framing orders have been for personal items that individuals bring in to keep in their home for years to come.
She has framed a variety of objects, including surfboards and snowboards, pieces that have been removed through surgery and old family photos.
Right now Jean is working on framing a rug that was made out of a grandfather’s robe, to be accompanied by another frame of photos.
“With pieces like that, you feel like they are going to be in a family forever,” she said.
Jean has also worked with organizations to frame artwork for a larger audience. Years ago Wordyisms entered into a contract with the Bullock museum to frame old movie posters for an exhibit.
As part of the contract, Jean and her staff were locked in a museum room and framed two pieces at a time to ensure the artifacts were kept safe.
Jean said her business focuses on framing items that are meant to be preserved for many years. She has worked to commemorate photos and medals for the Frank Erwin Center, the Austin Fire Department and state game wardens.
103 N. Railroad Ave., Pflugerville
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., closed Sat., Sun.
Know before you frame
Having spent 33 years as a framer, Wordyisms co-owner Jean Garlick advises first-time framers to know about conservation techniques.
• Use acid-free matting.
• Do not use cardboard as a backing near artwork as it contains acid.
• Use glass that filters ultraviolet rays.