CHRISSY & MATT DROESSLER // FRAMED & MATTED
Remember my gallery wall post a few weeks ago? Well I wanted to hear more about how Chrissy and Matt get shit done behind the scenes of their cool business:
What are you currently working on and what does a typical day look like for you?
MATT: Like for most people running a business, there is no typical day, but there are things that we do need to get done on a daily basis. After the dog gets his walk and Chrissy drops the baby off at daycare on her way to work, I start on framed & matted. On a daily basis I spend a lot of time responding to emails, monitoring social media, making sure frame and sample orders get sent out.
But in any given week, there are some projects that take up a lot of time. In the beginning, it was working with developers to build the website. Then we spent a lot of time with the framers perfecting system to get the frames built and shipped. Now our efforts are focused on getting the word out. This could mean creating and shooting gallery walls that could be featured on blogs/websites, creating framing tips to help people choose the best frames, or finding partners that are looking for a framing solution.
What parts of your work do you love?
CHRISSY: I love helping people find a nice looking and affordable custom frame so they can finally get art on their walls. It is fun when someone has a piece they love but no idea how to frame it. They can let me know what styles they gravitate towards, where the piece will be hung and what sort of budget they are working with. I can then suggest different frame and mat combos that work with their piece.
MATT: I love the flexibility that comes from owning your own business. If I have an idea for the business, I can drop everything and research how it might work. Some ideas have been good, some have been incredibly bad, but having the freedom to pursue these ideas, has been really great.
What parts of your work do you dislike?
The financials, having to run sales tax, etc.
What are some interesting things people probably don’t know about in your industry?
MATT: The picture framing industry is not designed to deliver low cost frames, especially if you want a custom frame. Instead it is designed to provide a virtually unlimited number of framing options. If you purchase a custom frame from a store, regardless of how big the frame is, the framer will order a 10 foot stick of moulding and 32”x40” sheet of mat board (2 sheets for double mats) and this is built into the cost of your frame. Because a frame store sells so many different moulding and mats it is unlikely that someone else will purchase the same frame or mat in the near future. As a result they throw out the scraps because it is just not economical to save all this material in the event that they might use it again.
What type of calendar do you keep?
CHRISSY: We would not be able to function without Google calendar. It makes it easy to share our work and home calendars and stay on top of each other’s plans. Since you can access it anywhere and have it synced on all your devices it makes it easy to stay up to date, even when we are not both at home. Also, each calendar has its own color making it really easy to see the big picture of what is going on. We also keep a large desk calendar from Russell + Hazel which is great for jotting down quick notes.
How do you plan out your calendar?
MATT: No real plan – just get everything up there and hope that there is not too much overlap. I know it’s a low bar, but we have not forgotten to get our daughter from daycare so I will call that a win.
How do you organize and tackle your to-do list?
CHRISSY: I use an app called tasks. The moment I think of something that needs to get done I add it to my task menu. The app allows me to prioritize the responsibility and create deadlines. There is also a feature to create projects and organize all the tasks associated with that particular project. Of course, sometimes there is nothing better than writing down notes or a to do list during a brainstorm. That is when I usually use a moleskin or a Graphic Image leather notebook I bought ages ago and still love. I got one for Matt as well and he still uses it.
MATT: I heard a great tip once that I always try to keep in mind — if a task will take less than 2 minutes to complete, regardless of its importance, take care of that task immediately. This could mean putting dishes away, firing off a quick email or checking voicemail. I am not perfect in following this advice, but it is a great way to think about everything you have in front of you and keep the to-do list from growing out of control.
How do you attack your never-ending email? Do you have a certain strategy you use?
CHRISSY: I really try to take care of emails within 24 hours, otherwise they filter down and I never see them again. If it is really important and I cannot respond right away then I will red flag it so that I can go back to it later. Also, if you find yourself just deleting daily emails without even opening them … take the time to unsubscribe. It is amazing when you start getting those distractions out of your inbox
Gmail’s new feature that puts promotional emails in a separate tab has been great, but I do worry that nobody will read the emails we send out!
What is your process and/or work strategy? Anything that you have found that works for you?
MATT: I wish I was better at planning out my workflow and processes for handling everything that comes up, but sometimes I just say to myself “pressure makes diamonds.” More often than I like to admit, things pop up that have to get done ASAP. When an urgent item comes up, we just drop everything and hope that everything works out for the best.
How do you GSD at home?
MATT: In terms of balancing our life outside of work, working from home has its pros and cons. On the one hand it is great because I can run errands when all the stores are empty. But since I work here, I am constantly reminded about how much more we would like to get done (we have not included the piles of laundry that we have been meaning to put away for the past few days). We do our best to keep the house presentable, but with a dog and a baby we use a cleaning service called Exec.com to do the “deep” clean every few months.
Nuggets of advice you’ve been given that have stuck?
MATT: Multi-tasking is really hard and very few people can actually do it successfully. In fact, trying to multi-task can actually slow you down and diminish the quality of the work. Once I knew this, I quickly realized that I am not a multi-tasker and should not try to be one.
While it is nearly impossible to completely cut myself off from all distraction, when I am working on a task, I really try to finish the task (or get to a good stopping point) before checking my email/browsing the internet/making a phone call, etc.
Tempo – it’s a “smart” calendar which acts like a personal assistant
Mailbox – email app which helps you get your inbox to zero
Things – task manager
Zinio – online magazine subscriptions
Houzz – home décor inspiration and local resources
Feedly – keep up with my favorite blogs (www.feedly.com)
Hootsuite – track and manage social media (http://hootsuite.com/)
Facebook – keeping up to date with friends (www.facebook.com)
Artinfo.com – current art world happenings
The Onion – for a little break in the day
PROGRAMS & TECHNOLOGY
Dropbox – all our stuff – both home and business – is in the cloud…we can even access it on our phones!
Skype – for our overseas calls