CELEBRATING 35 YEARS

Artists Frame Service began 35 years ago as a two-man operation in a third floor walk-up. Thanks to you, we now employ 46 people in our state-of-the-art framing facility.  Here are some highlights from our three-decade-plus journey so far.

The beginning—it doesn't get more 1978 than this.

The beginning—it doesn't get more 1978 than this.

The Biz Kid himself - Jay Goltz in 1986.

The Biz Kid himself - Jay Goltz in 1986.

We agree with Mrs. Goltz... Jay's creative flair would have been wasted in a law office.

We agree with Mrs. Goltz... Jay's creative flair would have been wasted in a law office.

That's a pretty sweet fleet, yo.

That's a pretty sweet fleet, yo.

Here's to a bright new tomorrow.

Here's to a bright new tomorrow.

1978 -Young Jay Goltz opened a retail business in the “Clybourn Corridor” which was then more notorious as a deserted strip of road suitable for drag racing than for being any kind of shopping destination. 

The business opened with one employee—who eventually left to become a dentist.

Artists Frame Service changed the face of the Chicago framing market with one-week turnarounds and better frame design.

1986 - Jay is profiled in Forbes magazine as an entrepreneurial “Biz Kid”.

1988 - By creating a dedicated Quality Inspector position, we promise a higher level of quality.

1990 -Jay is included in Crain’s Chicago’s “40 Under 40” list.

1992  - Our suburban location opens in Highland Park's Crossroads Shopping Center.

1993 - Our picture framing process gains efficiencies with new state-of-the-art framing equipment and computerization.

1994 - To offer better pricing and selection, we begin importing frames directly from Europe including exclusive designs created in-house.

1996 - Furthering a passion to provide inspiring home decor, our sister stores, Jayson Home and Chicago Art Source Gallery are opened.

1998 - Jay publishes a book for aspiring entrepreneurs, The Street-Smart Entrepeneur: 133 Tough Lessons I Learned the Hard Way.

1999 - AFS receives the Arthur Anderson award for “Exceeding Customer Expectations”.

2000 - Jay’s mother finally recognizes that opening a frame shop "could be" just as professionally rewarding as being a lawyer or accountant.

2001 - Jay becomes business editor for the industry trade publication Picture Framing Magazine, a position he still holds today.

2003 - Our showroom moves one block south to the present location at 1867 Clybourn and we expand our glorious free parking.

2005 - Artists Frame Service is profiled in Bo Burlingham’s book Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big.

2008 - Our fleet of delivery and installation vehicles on the road is expanded.

2010 - The average tenure for our framing design consultants reaches 10 years.

2011 - AFS introduces large-format digital printing services

2013  - With a new coat of paint, a new old-school sign, and a brand new website, Artists Frame Service is ready for the next 35 years. 

Thanks to all our customers for coming this far with us. Be sure to sign up for email communications to hear about our future innovations and adventures.