If it hasn’t been made evident by now, we love people here at AAT! We love hearing about their stories and passions for our community, but we also love hearing about what our fellow locals do and why they do it! For example, we have some wonderful neighbors who own/manager some fantastic local businesses and serve our town tremendously by doing so! This fact is why AAT has partnered up with our good friends at B3 Glass, to bring you all “Small Business Fridays!” Each week, we’ll feature a different, local small business and talk with its owner and hear about their journey, their business in general, as well as their heart for their customers and our city.
This week, we’re joined by Vicky Andrus; Vicky is the owner and operator of Picture This! Since its opening in 2002 (the day after Vicky’s birthday), Picture This has been offering the Elko community quality, custom framework for all its residents, as well as repairs on frames and paintings and professional digital printing. You can find Vicky located in the heart of Elko on historic Commercial St. right next door to her husband, Dale Andrus’, trophy shop! I (Anthony Crosby) knew very little about framing before walking into my interview with Vicky; however, I left understanding that there’s much art and thought that goes into each piece, after observing Vicky work as we spoke. Here’s what she had to say!
“I was born in Southern Utah. My family moved to Nevada in the early ’50s to work for the NAD (Naval Ammunition Depot); it was the largest ammunition depot in the world, back then. After I graduated high school, I went to school in Hawthorne, Nevada and took bookkeeping and accounting; I loved doing that, but I was always drawing something and had a love for art.”
“Throughout life, my husband (Dale) and I lived all over Nevada and Utah, but we finally ended up in Sparks, Nevada where I worked in accounting. However, a friend of mine was going to sell her ceramics shop; I had always thought ceramics was cool and loved doing it, so I went home and told Dale we were buying a ceramics shop! Since then we have owned restaurants, fast-food places, and different kinds of businesses that are just fun to do, but as time goes by, things change, and you move along.”
“My husband eventually got a job facilitating the sale of a casino in Wendover, Nevada. The people who were buying the casino asked him if he wanted a job working at the Scoreboard in Spring Creek. He took it, but I stayed in Sparks for about another year. Finally, I sold my little business there, and in 1998, I made the move out here. I was in the Art Club and did Art in the Park for nine years to keep involved with my passion for the arts.”
“A friend of mine sold a frame shop that she had owned, to take care of her baby. Unfortunately, she ended up having to take it back because the people who bought it from her weren’t paying their taxes. She came to me worried and upset because she liked the way her life was outside of the shop, with her family. I told her I would go in the business with her as a fifty/fifty partner. However, she ended up getting pregnant again, and the doctor told her she needed to stay rested throughout the pregnancy; she was fretting her hair off about it. I told her I would buy her out and if she wanted to come back in after the baby, she could just give the money back, and she would be in! After the pregnancy, the child ended up having some health issues, and her husband wanted her to stay out and focus on herself and the baby, which I understood. Years, later, here I am!”
Yes, here you are, indeed! Vicky, after sixteen years of business, what do you love most about walking into your shop every morning?”I love the creativity that comes with the business, being able to do something different with everything that comes through the door. We do a lot of rustic, woodsy, cowboy type of pieces for our customers. However, sometimes we’ll have a project come in that has some pop to it! I told my husband, this place saved me a lot of money on art because if a nice piece comes in, I can hang it up for a bit while I’m working on other things, love it for a while, and then give it back to its owner!”
Vicky, as someone who has been a consistent part of the Elko area for almost two decades, what’s something interesting you’ve observed about the culture over the years? “People don’t use pictures like they use to; it’s all on their phones. I don’t have a cell phone, and I don’t want one! Take your family pictures off your phones and put them someplace, even if you don’t choose to frame them. Print some that you really like and stick them on your mirror or the edge of your door; get them out there. They are memories, after all!”
Finally, Vicky, what are your thoughts on Elko, overall? How has the town treated you and your husband’s businesses? “I love Elko; I love how small it is! I love that our economy didn’t go to Hell when everybody else’s did; we got through it. I can’t say it wasn’t tough, but we didn’t have to close our doors like some other framers I know because it’s a very tiny/niche business. How lucky are we that we’re here? The people here are terrific; you get a bad nickel every once and a while, and too bad for them. I feel bad for people who don’t like this or don’t like that; if you don’t find some way to adapt, you’re going to be angry and sad your whole life. You’re running your life, nobody else is. As for me, I like my life here in Elko! Would I change anything? Well, I would like to win the lottery!”
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See you around, Elko!