After owning and operating custom framing shops for 27 years, Greg Allerton decided it was time to pack up and come home.
"It's a nice, quiet, comfortable atmosphere," Allerton said of the new location for his custom framing business, Master Frameworks.
Formerly Payson Art & Frame, Allerton's custom picture framing business was located inside Buster Kittwhistle's, a now-defunct furniture store, under a sublease agreement. When Buster Kittwhistle's went out of business in October 2004, Allerton opted out of renting the whole store for himself because he "didn't really need or want" 3,000 square feet.
Allerton shopped around for a new location, but eventually settled on setting up shop at home. In April he reopened the shop under its new name.
Working from home is more convenient, and saves money on overhead, which can then be passed on to the customer, Allerton said.
"The biggest challenge was just getting everything (inventory and work tables) organized," he said of merging his home and work life.
After owning and operating home improvement and frame stores outside Chicago and in Scottsdale, working from home has been a fairly easy switch, Allerton said.
He doesn't feel compelled to work all the time and keeps regular business hours just like he did at his previous shops, he said.
Allerton came to Payson in 2001 to escape the Valley. Scottsdale was a "great place" for his custom framing shop, he said, but high rent, too much traffic and the "strip mall mentality" got to be too much after a while.
"Payson has a small-town relaxed feeling, unlike the fast-paced hustle in Scottsdale," he said.
Allerton opened his first shop -- a home improvement store -- right out of college when he couldn't find what he was looking for in corporate America.
Eventually he decided to focus on custom framing.
"I enjoy being self employed -- the freedom that it gives me," he said. "I like the custom framing because there's a creative aspect to it, and I enjoy working with the public."
The real key to his success, Allerton said, is that he loves what he does.
"If you like what you're doing, that's going to come across to the customer by helping them with the right advice and the service that they expect," he said.
Master Frameworks, at 613 W. Wade Lane, is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information call Allerton at (928) 472-4414.