Framebridge, a direct-to-consumer custom framing company, on Tuesday opened its first brick-and-mortar store on 14th Street in Washington, D.C. The company has plans to open a second location in Bethesda, Maryland next month.
The 1,200 square-foot location is staffed with "design experts" who will be available for one-on-one consultation appointments, according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive.
The store will feature a 60-piece assortment of frames, with prices listed in 12 places around the store, including in each work station, on the wall and in framed menus around the space — a move the company hopes will provide pricing transparency to customers.
The line between being digitally native and operating brick-and-mortar stores has continued to blur as more brands take note from success stories: Warby Parker now operates over 75 stores, Casper in August announced plans to open 200 stores across North America and lingerie brand AdoreMe aims to open 200 to 300 stores over the next five years.
And even on a smaller scale DTC companies are seeing the benefits of having a physical footprint, even if it’s temporary. Brooklinen, a direct-to-consumer linen brand, opened a holiday pop-up shop in New York’s SoHo neighborhood, along with Wayfair, which opened pop-ups in Massachusetts and New Jersey last year. And Framebridge, before committing to a permanent location, operated a pop-up in Washington, D.C.
The framed pieces displayed in the store, which are sourced from Framebridge employees, cudstomers or artists, give a nod to the city where the company is headquartered. The artwork includes an invitation to the first Obama Halloween party and a Washington Post printing plate from when the Capitals won the Stanley Cup.
The store also features a Story Booth where customers can record a video of themselves explaining the meaning behind the item being framed to be shared on social media or send a digital greeting card to someone if the item is a gift.
Framebridge will also hold events in the space such as hosting a talk with decluttering expert Jenny Albertini on April 11 or inviting celebrity designer Nate Berkus to the store on April 30.
"A physical footprint in the thriving culture of D.C. allows Framebridge to deepen relationships with existing customers via rich programming that will satisfy the curiosity and energy of the Framebridge community," the company said.