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Out of the picture after a century of framing

Feb 22nd, 2010 | By | Category: Latest News, News

WEBSTERS PICTURE Framing and Gallery Ltd in the Hutt will close its doors next month, after 100 years in operation.

MOVING ON: Stephanie Fisher will wind down Websters Picture Framing and Gallery Ltd next month

MOVING ON: Stephanie Fisher will wind down Websters Picture Framing and Gallery Ltd next month

Owner Stephanie Fisher has been running Websters for four and half years, but is forced to close the business through lack of customers at the Alicetown premises.

Originally located in Manners St in Wellington’s CBD, Websters is well known for selling ornate frames.

Ms Fisher says letting go of the business now is ironic, as she is due to marry her fiancé later this year – and his surname is Webster (although he is no relation to the original owners).

Ms Fisher says she has had to move the business to three different premises in the last two years.

She took on the business with her former colleague Sue Smales, the two of them having worked under the previous owners, David and Linda Young.

“At the beginning of the recession, work dropped off in Kilbirnie about a year and a half ago. When the lease was up for renewal, Sue left the business.”

After Ms Smale’s departure, Ms Fisher had considered selling the company, but an opportunity arose to share the premises with Mirrocles Mirror shop on the corner of Jackson and Cuba Sts in Petone.

She says the owner of Mirrocles decided to move at the end of last year to cut down on costs.

CUTTING EDGE: An italian made board cutting machine.

CUTTING EDGE: A Valiani board cutting machine.

“So I had to move again.

“There are a lot of other picture framers now in Petone. In fact, there are four.

“However, I figured that Websters had such a good name that it could speak for itself.”

She says it was hard to get customers to follow her after moving three times in one year.

“People don’t like it when they go to find you and you’re not there any more. I had a few complaints when I moved and some people were a bit miffed.”

Websters uses suppliers of European and Malaysian frames, although she says the origin of the frames is not identifiable by style.

“I’m 41 now.  I have been picture framing since I was 17. It’s a skill which you can only learn on the job, as the equipment is quite specialised.”

Having a skill for using your hands, an eye for detail and colour and design are crucial for her work. The business will close down on March 16.

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