Keep it in a Frame's story so far
Keep it in a Frame is a small family business run mainly by myself, Tina Allen. I have been making things for most of my life in one form or another, from sewing, cross stitch and cardmaking, to paper crafting and picture framing. I also love decorating our home and upcycling furniture and accessories.
My main strengths at school were English and languages:
I have A levels in English, French and German, and a GCSE in Russian Studies. Not long after leaving school, I was working in the export department of a local perfume manufacturer. This was followed by a couple of customer service roles with two different packaging companies.
All three roles taught me about the importance of great customer service, which I still hold very important today, and also during two of these roles, I attended evening classes to undertake a HNC in Business Administration.
I left my last full-time paid employed role in 2000 to start a family.
I always thought at some point I would end up working for myself, and in 2005 I gained an NVQ level 3 in Business Start-up by attending a course specifically aimed at women with a business idea that could be developed online. My aim was to start a picture framing business, hence the name “Keep it in a frame” (My husband chose the name and it conveniently has my own name, Tina, right in the middle of it).
I started to make small scrapbooks using up leftover mountboard from framing orders, mainly selling at local craft fairs, and when I ventured online in 2008, the scrapbooks took over and I haven’t looked back. In 2019, I started going back out to fairs, and selling in local gift shops, and have developed a range of photo mounts, peg frames, and small paper crafted gift items.
All of the creative work happens in our garage and my home craft studio. I love to work with my customers to create thoughtful and bespoke gifts, adding personal touches to make items unique.
I pride myself on my customer service (this is where the 11 years of customer service roles comes in useful! ) and will always do my best fulfil customer design and personalisation requests.