Jerry Brainard knew that after 10 years of operating his home-based engraving business with his wife Luann, Backwoods Framing & Engraving would have its first storefront in downtown Red Wing, Minnesota.
But he would never see his brick and mortar business come to fruition. On August 15, Jerry Brainard passed away before its opening on October 1. Backwoods Framing and Engraving on 405 W. Third Street would be his legacy, according to Luann. “He knew we were opening (the location), but he never really got to see the finished product,” she tells A&E magazine.
What began as a retirement activity over a decade ago quickly grew into a viable business. “We kind of fell into it,” Luann says. Jerry was looking for retirement jobs when a friend told him about framing and engraving. When he learned a friend’s father-in-law was selling equipment, it was a serendipity moment. “It just kind of happened and it grew faster-faster than we anticipated,” she adds. “We added laser engraving a couple of years (after opening). I kept buying machines until we ran out of room, so moving was just a natural progression.”
The new location will allow Backwoods to expand both its services and products. With 2,500 square feet of space, the business can now showcase its laser engraving, sandcarving, sublimation and full-custom framing. “We weren’t able to display our products as much as a home-based store,” Luann says, explaining that the business has already purchased a second laser. “We have some retail space on our lower level, so when we get our feet planted, I’m going to open a gallery.”
The local chamber of commerce joined Backwoods for a ribbon cutting on Friday, November 11. Backwoods celebrated its grand opening all weekend, with special offers on engraving services and products for customers.
For more information, visit www.backwoodscustomframing.com.