At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Allan Jeffries Marion, owner of Allan Jeffries Framing, closed his three shops in Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Manhattan Beach following orders by state and local health officials.
But behind closed doors, as he waited for health orders to be lifted, Marion prepared his stores with his own safety measures based on and beyond what health officials had suggested. After a few days after Memorial Day, Marion reopened his stores and staff welcomed customers with gloved hands and hidden smiles behind face coverings.
“We are proud of the fact that we are protecting our clients and protecting employees both equally,” Marion said. “People are really scared and we have a responsibility.”
All clients must wear a mask when conducting business. At his Third Street store, when a client enters, a greeter opens the door, offers a face mask and disposable gloves. There are also green-taped Xs on the floor indicating the proper social distance of 6 feet.
He said staff sanitizes equipment, regularly cleans the shop and offers hand sanitizer for everyone to use in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus and create a safer space for everyone. Recently, the store installed plexiglass at their register for an extra layer of protection.
In 1984, third-generation framer Marion decided to open his own frame shop. The company has undergone a significant metamorphosis since its humble beginnings as Picture Frame Liquidators, he said.
“Allan Jeffries Framing has always upheld the highest standard of quality in the framing industry,” Marion said. “With decades of success and experience we have evolved into the premier framer for the Los Angeles area. Our Santa Monica location has been doing consistently great framing on the corner of 26th Street and Santa Monica Boulevard since 1990.”
For 35 years, clients from across the spectrum of income, occupation and ethnicity have come to Marion to frame memorabilia, fine art, tapestry, vintage posters, photos, T-shirts and more.
“I carry a huge selection of frames. We carry 3,000 different options,” Marion said. “One of our signature things we do, that almost nobody does anymore, is that we do all the work on the premises. We have a workshop in the back.”
He said the art and other items being framed never leave the shop, and clients get better quality because there is more collaboration in creating the frame.
“I can go back there and point out if the client wants a section a little higher or include some other details,” Marion said.
He added his team members are skilled professionals, and in 35 years, his company has never lost or damaged any of the art or photographs that have been framed. And although the COVID-19 crisis continues, for those who need a frame, his store is open.
“You’re dealing with people’s personal things. Personal family photographs or items that go back over 100 years,” Marion said. “These are things that mean a lot to them. One in every five things has special meaning to somebody. We get teary-eyed, and sometimes we cry.”
For information, visit allanjeffries.com.
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