Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 

Have you heard this famous quote before? If so, have you had this experience?

I have. I have had this experience when I’ve stopped in DePaula’s Jewelers in Tavernier over my 12 years of living there. Each time with a vision that someday I will be buying a big fat diamond ring, only stopping in for a watch battery. And you know what? They have always treated me the same as if I was spending millions. 

That feeling extends to the newer jewelry location in Islamorada that son Billy and wife Carolyn DePaula own and the Custom Frame Shop recently purchased from Marcia DeClue next door. The same feeling that you are in the right place with great people who authentically care.

People can see the enthusiasm in their faces when they talk about this newest passion — framing. In conjunction, Billy’s artwork is incredible and a perfect fit for the island home. Or it can be an inspirational purchase like I used to buy on tropical vacations but hung in the home when living in snowy cold Minnesota. Regardless of where you live, it makes you smile.

In May, Billy and Carolyn purchased the shop and took a few months to get their feet wet and learn the trade. Their daughter, Angeline, is also passionate about this new piece of the family business and enjoys helping clients create their perfect vision. Both Billy and Carolyn credited Angeline for being a catalyst in this new adventure.

After buying the shop, they also reorganized to create a more intimate gallery-like feel, encompassing Billy’s artwork. Even the way the frames are now displayed adds to the ease of designing and invokes a creative ambiance.

“Trippy” is how Billy described some cool textured matting that can be used for a variety of prints. And if you thought you knew every color in the rainbow, think again. When you see the assortment of mats and frames there are likely a few colors you have missed.

They have plenty of frame choices, but don’t worry if you get overwhelmed; they will guide you in the process. Of course, they have the basics covered, but some of the choices are distressed, gilded, enamel, mirror and even mother of pearl — a perfect option for a family jewelry business. We had fun mocking up a beautiful coastal print with a raspberry mat which made the print pop. 

The family was in agreement that their favorite part is working with their clients to assist them in creating the perfect custom framing, not only to complement the art but also fit in their home and reflect their personality. 

They also agree that one of the things they love about the Florida Keys is the community. Gratitude for friends, family and opportunities. They further shared their sentiments about the recent loss of their good friend and business neighbor, Mike Forster. They are grateful for the time they had with him and how he shared the jewelry business location opportunity, which furthered their relationship. 

In addition, Angeline is incredibly grateful for the nature and animals in the Keys. Fun fact: Angeline has caught two octopi off her grandma’s dock. It sounds like a fun future story, right?

So, next time you are staring at a naked wall or find an old photo that sets your heart on fire with warm memories, stop in. If you have never had artwork or a photograph framed, it’s an artistic process, and it’s exciting to see the finished product. You may end up saying to yourself, “Wow! I am pretty amazing and created that.”

Custom Frame Shop (DeClue’s) is on Facebook and is open Wednesday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.. They work with artists, residential and commercial clients. If you would like to work with them outside of regular business hours, please contact them to set up an appointment.

Framing takes two to three weeks, depending on materials from the supplier.

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Melinda Van Fleet is a Confidence & Peak Performance coach, bestselling author of Confidence Mastery for Couples and Life & Love Lessons, and speaker, who works with businesswomen who desire to develop the confidence to believe in themselves, take action, and get results. Melinda is the host of two podcasts, The Good Karma Success Coach and Creating Confident Content. You can connect with her on FB, LI or IG melinda_vanfleet.