Trader Spotlight: Studio Craft
Kim Tram brought his skills and experience in picture framing to Hawthorn 18 years ago, and Studio Craft has grown to suit the area perfectly.
Born in Vietnam, Tram moved to Australia in the 1980s, and quickly found himself work making picture frames in Melbourne's west. Eventually, Kim took over the business, and when it grew in both customer base and staff, they moved to a bigger shopfront on Toorak Road, opposite the old Tooronga shopping centre.
In 2000, Studio Craft framing relocated to Burwood Road, and while regular work slowed, Kim got a lot of work framing memorabilia for the Sydney Olympics, which helped keep everybody busy. The Olympics pressure was so high he said, that he and his staff were even cooking dinner in the workshop.
"We were eating, cooking in there, the only thing we weren't doing there was sleeping."
Slowly but surely, the regular work increased, and he saw a bigger variety of jobs.
For Kim, the Glenferrie Hawthorn area is a good "middle ground", where the customers respect the work and are willing to pay for a quality frame, but also trust Studio Craft with their art.
There's generally two different groups of people that come in, he says - the artists, and those that buy the art. The artists come in with many artworks, get a wholesale price, and know exactly what they want. The average customer, on the other hand, generally has just one or two pieces, and are looking for help to choose the right frame and width.
The key, Kim says, is in recognising what the customers want.
"You get a frame from Italy, that's going to be expensive, but something from here, locally, that could be a bit more affordable".
Kim enjoys the variety of food we have here in Glenferrie, often going for lunch along the street.
"I like a bit of everything. I often go to Ya Souv, Tokyo Table for Japanese, Mr and Mrs Ban
hmi... But when I want something a bit healthier I go to Subway".
Studio Craft also do a lot of work within the Hawthorn community, providing frames for awards for local schools, clubs and businesses. They also sponsor the Camberwell Art Show held at Swinburne University here in Glenferrie and make frames for the Grace Park Hawthorn Club, where Kim regularly plays tennis.