Employing a traditional craft can appear an expensive and old-fashioned option – but JoiN founder Libby Pell is shining a bright new light on the picture framing industry thanks to ‘invaluable’ support from Launchpad

Tell us about your company?

Our ethos is – frame it well, frame it once. We’ll make sure your artwork looks its best, is well looked after and, most importantly, puts a smile on your face.

All of our picture frames are bespoke made for each and every customer, in our Sheffield-based workshop. We pride ourselves on using high quality and sustainable materials, including our new range of locally sourced oak mouldings.

JoiN is here to guide you through the design process, elevate and add value to your artworks, for both galleries and homes.

When did you first decide to start up on your own and what inspired you?

By the age of 30, I already have nearly a decade of picture framing under my belt – framing original artworks by Salvador Dali, Picasso, Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, to name a few.

Honing the craft and developing an expert eye for what visually works, I decided to take the enterprising leap in 2020 and launch my own picture framing business, JoiN.

I had already run a small picture framing business in the centre of town, but I had ideas focusing on sustainability and locally sourced timbers and that drove me to set up on my own.

How has Launchpad helped you?

Having the guiding hand of The Princes Trust has been a huge help, providing the fundamental structure to define JoiN in its opening months. From the business plan to forecasting the first year of trade, the team at PT helped focus my ambitions and excitement into a viable business model.

In addition, I was paired with my business mentor Robin Tones, who has an invaluable wealth of knowledge and experience.

What are your hopes and aims for the business?

I see JoiN defining itself as the go-to picture framing company for the highest standard of framing and the best advice on hanging solutions for galleries and homes. It’s our aim to continue developing our locally sourced timber range, a move we made at the start of the year that has cut 4000 miles of travel from our oak mouldings.

Prince’s Trust executive for Yorkshire & Humber, Helen Strange said: “Working with Libby has been an absolute joy – she has been so open to feedback and advice, and has created an exciting and innovative business. I can’t wait to see how far she goes!

“Stop dreaming and do it. Contact us for information now on 03330 00 00 39 or email growthhub@sheffieldcityregion.org.uk.”

Launchpad is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund meaning there is no cost to the entrepreneur, so we can get straight to work on turning those dreams into reality.