By Sam Barron
A store in Somers has become residents’ one-stop shop for frames, photos and gifts.
Ken and Ginny Ryan run Somers Custom Framing and Gifts. The store will be celebrating its fifth anniversary in December, having opened from scratch.
The husband and wife duo was inspired to open the store, after Ken, a woodworker, would frequently frame his wife’s paintings.
“I know framing and she happens to be a great artist,” Ken said. “Both of us love home décor- maybe we can do a frame shop.”
Initially a frame shop, selling gifts and printing took off after the store opened. The Ryans estimate that they do as much as printing and gift selling as they do selling frames.
The store sells various kinds of gifts including soaps, lotions, teas, and antique glassware and plates. The Ryans also sell jewelry from local designers and mass-produced jewelry from national companies.
“My wife is the buyer,” Ken said. “After five years she has a knack for knowing what to buy.”
Ken, who has a background in marketing as a marketing professional, said he mostly works in the back, doing picture framing. Ken has been woodworking for more than 35 years.
“I’ve done carpentry, but it was more of a hobby,” Ken said. “I used to make furniture. My grandfather was a carpenter and I took carpenters. I remember taking classes at the YMCA and I liked it. I’ve always fiddled around with wood.”
Ginny paints landscapes and portraits, and has also done custom wall murals for people. The store does a lot of reproductions for artists, allowing the artists to sell and give away their work. The Ryans have also helped design restaurants, including Little Kebab Station in Mt. Kisco.
The Ryans are always making sure they offer their customers goods at an affordable price.
“We don’t bring in things that are priced too high,” Ginny said. “We keep our prices low.”
Somers Custom Framing and Gifts is a store that is always changing and evolving, particularly every season. The Ryans said customers often use the store to shop for house party gifts.
“You’re not going to see the same thing twice,” Ginny said. “People love the uniqueness of what we have.”
The Ryans, who currently live in North Salem, previously lived in Somers. They said that running a business in a small town like Somers allows them to treat customers like family.
“We know everybody by name,” Ginny, who grew up in Katonah, said. “It’s adorable. It’s like a little family store. Somers has that old-school small town feel.”
In keeping with that feel, the Ryans offer coffee and tea to every customer that walks in. The Ryans said they have been impacted by the economic recession, but found that in the recession, customers want to shop locally.
“We provide them with the gifts and prices they want,” Ginny said. “They don’t have to go to the mall, they can get fair prices here. We have beautiful gifts for $9. We put together cute items that looks like it cost more. “
Despite the economic recession, the Ryans said their business has grown every year and that they enjoy being appreciated for their framing and printing skills.
“It’s nice,” Ginny said.