Monday, November 25, 2013

Vintage finds: A Chicago map and a lesson learned

 Ok, so the map isn't really vintage, rather reproduction.  We found it this summer at P.O.S.H. and I had every good intention of getting it framed and installed in our bedroom.

I thought I had it all figured out - buy a frame off the shelf and it would be ready to go.  Well the print size was between two frame sizes and after buying a frame off the shelf and thinking through buying custom cut matte board and mounting it and the stress of making sure it was aligned correctly and discovering that the frame had huge gouges, I scrapped that idea.  Can you feel my (unnecessary) stress?

Plan B:  take it to the big box retailer who has helped with framing before.  They had made a mistake on some custom framing about a year ago, but I thought I could give them a try again.  After several weeks of delay and me calling a few times to check on the status, I finally got word it was ready to pick up.  I was so excited and promptly took it home.  When I unwrapped it, the frame had scratches and gouges.  I was so puzzled.  A custom frame shouldn't get beat up, should it?  I weighed the cost-benefit of taking it back and knew that the imperfections (at that price) would bother me.  So, back I went.  They offered a 10% discount or to reframe it.  I opted for the reframing.

Plan C:  reframe it.  After a few weeks of not hearing anything, I ran into the store to check on the status.  The frame had just been ordered because of a mix up - come back tomorrow.  I went back the next day and it is not done.  They had the new frame and showed it to me - it had scratches and gouges, too!  What did I want to do?  I asked them to cut my print out of the Plan B frame and refund my money.  The poor girl at the check out asked me why I was requesting the refund.  I'm sure there was no code in her register for the story that I gave her, unless they have a catch all "customer is crazy" code.

Plan D:  go to the parking lot and search frame shops on my cell phone.  I found a locally owned shop on the west side of town.  I called and they were open long enough for me to make the drive.  The lady was so super nice and the price estimate was less than the big box store.  She said she would have it finished by next Thursday.

Guess what?  She called on that Monday and it was ready.  The print looked beautiful and I was reminded of a very important lesson - shop local!  The customer service was excellent and her work was perfect.  We are really pleased with how it turned out.

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