Five years ago, a Sherburne forestry company reframed itself.
Ashley Parry, manager of Heartwood Frame at 8072 state Highway 12, said the handmade framing business grew from a collaboration between Heartwood Forest Products owner Matt Lagoe and an artist-client.
“First we had Heartwood Forest Products and we did flooring, molding and cabinetry,” Parry, 25, said. “We had a photographer who was buying flooring and he asked Matt if he could do a frame, so that’s what started it. Then Matt looked at how frames are made and thought, ‘I can do this better.’”
Lagoe, Parry said, started Heartwood Forest Products 10 years ago and, before that, owned Gilligan’s in Sherburne. The Heartwood businesses are in an old dairy barn, she said, and the framing portion includes a studio and showroom-gift shop.
Heartwood’s frames, Parry said, have gained distinction for their unique construction and styling.
“It’s all local hardwood that we stain and sand and then dovetail the joints,” she said. “There’s no rainforest wood, which a lot of frames are typically made out of, and most have some kind of painting, coating or veneer finish and are pieced together differently.
“First Matt did a natural (finish), but as he got going he had the idea to do color and people have come to know us just for the color," Parry said. "We carry walnut, ash, oak and our color (frames) are all made out of curly maple. The grain (of curly maple) has all the texture in it and once we add the color, that really shows.”
Parry said that while Lagoe remains at the fore of frame construction and customization, demand has expanded the business.
“Matt pretty much has his hands in everything — he builds all of the frames and just keeps things going,” she said. “He has a couple friends that help him, so there are maybe three people total (building frames), but he’s the main go-to.”
Parry estimated that Lagoe crafts between 20 and 40 custom frames and 10 to 15 standard frames each week.
“We have ready-mades in the barn in typical frame sizes and we keep a bunch of those in stock,” she said.
Heartwood Frame customers, Parry said, are diverse.
“We get all ages,” she said. “We have a lot that are repeat customers and we have people coming that have never been here. Most are local, but we get people from the Binghamton area and a lot of from the Syracuse and Rochester areas. We’ve gotten a really good response and now that we have the gift barn, we’re getting more people and we have a lot that have bought frames from us for years.
“We also build frames for a picture-printing company in New York City,” Parry said, “and we ship frames there as well.”
The business’ growth, Parry said, has allowed Heartwood to showcase other local artisans, too.
“In the gift barn we’ve got (merchandise from) all local artists — jewelry, pottery, textiles, artwork, ironwork and glasswork,” she said. “We just try to find people doing different things.” Most artists, she said, are from within a three-hour distance.
Heartwood Frame is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 9 to 4 on Saturday and 9 to 6 on Thursday.
For more information, find “Heartwood Frame” on Facebook, visit heartwoodframe.com or call 607-674-2500.