Tate’s Home Decor & Custom Framing: Family-run League City business captures local history

Owner Randall Tate and his family make all frames in-house. (Colleen Ferguson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Owner Randall Tate and his family make all frames in-house. (Colleen Ferguson/Community Impact Newspaper)

Owner Randall Tate and his family make all frames in-house. (Colleen Ferguson/Community Impact Newspaper)

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Tate has framed many unique objects during his time in the business; he framed a roll of toilet tissue when the coronavirus pandemic hit Texas. (Colleen Ferguson/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Owner Randall Tate and his family make all frames in-house. (Colleen Ferguson/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Owner Randall Tate and his family make all frames in-house. (Colleen Ferguson/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Owner Randall Tate and his family make all frames in-house. (Colleen Ferguson/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Owner Randall Tate and his family make all frames in-house. (Colleen Ferguson/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Owner Randall Tate and his family make all frames in-house. (Colleen Ferguson/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Randall Tate's wife Sandy arranges the home decor items in the store. (Colleen Ferguson/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Owner Randall Tate and his wife and son make all frames in-house. (Colleen Ferguson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Randall Tate began working in his father’s framing shop as a young adult in the mid-1960s. More than half a century later, he has framed everything from jerseys to space gear to “polar bear poop.”

“You name it, and we have framed it,” he said. “You get to meet some of the neatest people and see some of the nicest artwork.”

Tate; his wife, Sandy Tate; and his son Greg Smith run the business, making all items in-house with the exception of home accessories. Randall said he sees his craft as a way to help Bay Area residents commemorate special moments.

Once Randall took over the business in 1977, the shop expanded and began selling home decor goods in addition to ready-made frames and custom framing. The home decor side has continued to blossom over the years, he said.

“There’s nobody around here as good as they are,” said Melissa Vaughan, who has been a customer since 1983. “They’re very creative.”


A custom frame job takes anywhere from seven to 10 days, Randall said. Hundreds of different framing style options are available; once the customer selects one, the appropriate size and shape is cut from an 8- to 10-foot stack and placed around conservation glass.

Randall’s father met and did custom jobs for “just about everybody that went to the moon,” and Randall has framed pieces for various foreign dignitaries, he added. Custom pieces done by Tate’s are even hanging in the Smithsonian Museum of Air and Space, Randall said.

However, the most memorable custom jobs for Randall are the ones that involve creating a snapshot of a moment in time. One such notable customer came to the shop in the late 1960s with a newspaper clipping from a famous event and a letter explaining what life was like then, he recalled.

Randall encouraged residents to bring in such mementos and objects for framing.

“The things people frame are important to them,” he said. “It means something to somebody.”
By Colleen Ferguson
A native central New Yorker, Colleen Ferguson worked as an editorial intern with the Cy-Fair and Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood editions of Community Impact before joining the Bay Area team in 2020. Colleen graduated from Syracuse University in 2019, where she worked for the campus's independent student newspaper The Daily Orange, with a degree in Newspaper and Online Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a degree in Spanish language and culture. Colleen previously interned with The Journal News/lohud, where she covered the commute in the greater New York City area.

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