If you think that a frame shop is only suitable for artwork, then you haven't met Jim Gilliam. The owner of Cadillac Art and Frame of Little Elm is proud to say he's preserved some family heirlooms throughout the years, including some that may seem unusual, like the time he framed a coat hanger.
"My most memorable experience since opening is Mr. Tim Yamada," Gilliam said. "He brought in a regular coat hanger that still had the white paper on it. The hanger had his grandfather's business logo on the white paper. His grandfather had been in the dry cleaning business for most of his life and this was the last hanger left of his career. Mr. Yamada has held onto this hanger for 40 years since it held so many memories of his grandfather. He requested a shadow box to display it in so it would stay the same and be able to be handed down through the generations. The project turned out great and has been a memorable experience for me over the span of my career."
Of course, Cadillac Art and Frame can frame paintings, photos, sports jerseys, diplomas, and more. Gilliam opened his business in 1984 and has over 30 years of custom framing experience. It was always his dream to open his own store ever since he started working in framing at age 18 moving from shop to shop across the country. When his wife received an inheritance she helped fund his dream, which inspired the store's name.
Although the store sells quality framing materials it also offers options for every price point. No matter the object to be framed, Gilliam and his staff give special attention to each customer.
"They enjoy working with me and know I stand 100% behind my work," he said. "I'm compassionate with my work and with my customers. Our customers have written great reviews and return for additional business. I make a point to know the story behind every piece brought in as that is what evokes my artistic allowing me the ability to turn it into a masterpiece with the right matting and frame."
In fact, Gilliam often finds himself getting into conversations with customers unaware that there are ways of preserving a family heirloom. Many of these first-time visitors usually return with an item in mind to be protected, cherished, and then passed on to the next generation.
"We also have different resources to help you restore pieces, and create a lasting memory," Gilliam said.
To help introduce others to the pleasure of creating their own art, the store hosts weekly classes for adults and children. The adult classes are on the first and third Saturday of every month from 6:30-8:30 pm and include a canvas and paint for $45 per person. Kids classes are held every Saturday from 4-5:30 pm for $35 and suitable for ages five and up. Besides introducing new customers to the shop, the classes allow participants to come home with a finished piece of artwork to display in their home.
As a small business owner, Gilliam is grateful for his loyal customers and being able to contribute to the local economy.
"Most businesses are family owned," he says. "Shopping local keeps family businesses afloat and allows Little Elm to thrive. The residents have been very endearing. The are so down to earth and have welcomed us with open arms!"
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