Bohemia Village Voice  Bohemia Village Voice

For bohemians everywhere

Empress Art was told: You wont last a week

Colin Green with some of his display of 300 greetings cards

Colin Green with some of his display of 300 greetings cards

Empress the picture framers in Tower Road was first started in 1978 by Colin & Jill Green – and in their first week a nice old woman poked her head into the shop and kindly told them ‘You won’t last a week.’ Nearly 30 years later, they’re still here.
 After working in Hong Kong they returned to England and started importing pictures which they framed and sold. Eventually the framing took over from the sales and the business gradually became established. At the time, there were fourteen (!) picture framers in the area, but with the advent of fast and mass production framers the number has now dwindled to around four or five catering for the more specialist work. At a recent ‘guesstimate’ Empress Art reckon they have framed about 80–100,000 pictures since they opened, ranging from the ordinary to the more obscure. A watch from the wreck of the Lusitania,  a dinosaur’s footprint and a ring that had to be suspended in air are among the less commonplace items. Empress’ customers include many of the local firms, the museum and town hall and of course, many artists. In addition to their framing service they are happy to supply DIY frames with materials and have a large selection of greetings cards for sale. ‘At the moment, business is booming – we’re rushed off our feet – but we aren’t complaining,’ says Colin.

That will do nicely -  Jill with customer Chris Newton

That will do nicely - Jill with customer Chris Newton


Outside Empress Art

Outside Empress Art

Leave a Response

Please note: comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.