WITH JEREMY DOSTIE
BY SARAH GRILLO
BLOG POST localvoretoday.com
I’ve been blogging for a few months now on the importance of supporting a local economy. Since then, I’ve touched on many topics, but realized I had yet to actually get outintomy local economy and talk one-on-one with a business owner. With that in mind, I found myself sitting down with Jeremy Dostie, co-owner of the new Dostie Bros. Frame Shop.
Located in the heart of Burlington’s South End Arts District, my first impression of the shop, with its stone walls, exposed wood beams, floor-to-ceiling frames, and local artwork, was that it successfully combined a rustic, authentic feel with a commitment to the art community that it served. Behind a glass window I could see the workshop where the framing was actually done. And the fact that customers were invited to sit at a table rather than haggle it out over a cash register seemed to speak to the brothers’ particular business philosophy.
I’ve known Alex for a few years now. A prominent figure in the Burlington arts community, I’ve seen his work time and again, worked with him in my years at The Shelburne Art Center, and have shown my own art courtesy Art’s Alive, a non-profit for which he sits on the board. Alex wasn’t available, however, but I was more than happy to sit down with Jeremy to get his take on their burgeoning business.
So to start, what made you want to open a frame shop?
My brother Alex had been working for another frame shop in the Burlington area for about ten years and in that time learned all the ins and outs of the business. Eventually, he wanted to move beyond being an employee for someone else and was confident that he could open up and run his own shop. For me, I’d worked as a flood-map analyst since graduating college, but work started drying up a few years ago. I decided it was time to shift careers. The timing and opportunity just made a lot of sense.
So why Burlington?
We both grew up near here and we have a lot of connections. When you’re opening a business, connections can be crucial to success.
Besides owning one yourself, why do you think it is important to support local businesses?
I believe it’s important to keep money here in our economy, and I don’t like watching money go out of state or out of country in support of a chain store. Local businesses also tend to support one another. We all want to see each other succeed. That’s a big part of why we love being on Pine Street. Many of the businesses are locally owned, and for the most part strongly supportive of one another.
What sets you apart as a frame shop?
Our ties to the arts community are pretty strong, and besides making frames, we also operate as a gallery. Right now we’re showing works by Vermont artists including Adrian Tans, Kristen L’Esperance, Brooke Monte, and Sage Tucker-Ketcham.
In terms of framing, what truly sets us apart is that we custom mill many frames of our own design as well as frames milled by other Burlington artisans, something you don’t find very often. And those we don’t make ourselves are either American made, or produced in Canada, France or Italy.
We’re definitely headed in a green direction, in that we use a lot of recycled goods to create our frames. Having wood from ReSource across the street available to us is pretty perfect. Alex and I also like to peruse garage sales where we’ll find old vintage frames and fix them up. Artists in particular like that because we can offer one-of-a-kind frames at a very reasonable price.
So that’s our niche: custom frames made from green or recycled materials, eco-friendly North American and European made lines. You won’t find frames made in China in our shop for much longer, we are trying to cull those from our selection as much as possible.
What made you want to get involved with LocalvoreToday.com?
We were familiar with the daily deal business model and wanted to try it out for our own business. We offered a deal through JumpOnIt, and had a profitable experience. But once we were introduced to LocalvoreToday.com, we much preferred the idea of working with another local business that itself had a commitment to supporting a local economy. It’s keeping in line with our ethos as a local, green business.