After over 15 years of running Legacy Images from home, couple Paul and Jane Catlin opened a storefront for their personalization business in Sheridan, Indiana. With a specialty in customized engraved picture frames and gifts, the family-owned and operated business opened the storefront at the end of October 2019.
Shoppers can expect a display of products available for purchase as well as items from other local artists, including wood pallet signs and décor, poured acrylic canvasses, pottery, and paracord items, according to Catlin’s daughter and manager of Legacy Images, Cara Retz.
“It’s not quite like walking out your back door, but it’s nice to have a place for customers to come and see a wide range of our products in person,” says Retz. “We can talk to them and get a better idea for what they want rather than communicating via email.”
Prior to opening the storefront, Legacy Images was based in the Catlin’s barn in rural Westfield since 2004. Paul, a craftsman who taught graphic arts at Frankfort High School for 24 years and industrial technology at Frankfort Middle School for seven years, had the opportunity to be involved in a business that created custom products. Retz explains that through a strange twist of events, Paul fell into the laser engraving business that would ultimately be named Legacy Images.
A year after the business began, Legacy Images started selling Legacy Frames using customers’ words or ideas to create one-of-a-kind frames.
“Many of our items we offer are from ideas of customers,” says Retz. “We liked how the frames turned out and thought they would sell well, so we made them a part of our line.”
A handful of years later, in 2012, the business launched on Etsy. Nowadays, the offerings, which have expanded to items such as Drop Box Guest Book, are available on other platforms including Wayfair and Amazon Handmade.
In the same year as launching on Etsy, the Catlin’s began a ministry through their church called Legacy Ministries. “Paul had thought about doing something like this as a way to give back,” Retz states. “After talking with some customers at a craft show who were nurses, he got even more inspired.”
After presenting his idea to members of the church, they helped to set up the ministry. His idea was to take his small laser engraver (the shop has two larger laser engravers that stay in-house while the small one travels to craft shows) to local children’s hospitals to make name frames for children in critical care. With the move, the ministry hasn’t been as big a focus for Catlin this year, but Retz says they hope to get going on it again next year and grow Legacy Images’ reach.
In addition, the family’s goals for the storefront are to continue growing and helping their community at the same time, as well as hold some arts-and-crafts-type classes.
For more information, visit www.legacyimages-pc.com.