A new plaque mounting business has opened in North Tonawanda. Actually, it’s not a new business as much as there are two new owners/operators running it. Natalie Brown and Parrish Gibbons Herzog purchased Plak Art Plus from previous owners Joan Horn and Paul Sternin – the two have been training in the art of plaque mounting, while reinventing the business at the same time.
Brown and Gibbons Herzog, both artists in their own right, are excited to be offering a unique spin on traditional framing, while spurring on a business during these tumultuous times.
“Buffalo and the surrounding region is home to generations of manufacturing families,” says Herzog. “During this pandemic, we looked at ourselves as people who could help carry on this tradition while offering a highly specialized service to our community.”
Plaque mounting is the process by which an image is adhered to wood with a protective UV laminate along with a finished beveled edge.
The business transaction seemed to have happened almost overnight, as Brown and Gibbons Herzog heard about the opportunity though ‘e-word-of-mouth.’
“One of our colleagues posted on social media about selling plaque mounting equipment, or a plaque mounting business itself,” says Brown. “And I knew both Parrish and I were ready for an opportunity to work together while preventing another business from shutting its doors.”
Combined with their experience as gallery owners, and marketing professionals, not to mention their connections in the Buffalo art world, Brown and Gibbons Herzog appear to have come across the perfect opportunity that will allow them to demonstrate their art-minded skills in an artisanal manner. It’s also the perfect time of year to promote their newfound business.
“Plaque mounting is the perfect alternative to framing posters, prints, news articles, puzzles or just about any image,” says Brown. “We’ve seen a lot of Holiday gifts rolling in as plaque mounting is often a sentimental gift.”
What is especially interesting is that Plak Art Plus LLC is the only full-scale plaque mounting business in the region. The next closest plaque mounting enterprise of this nature is located in Canada, which is where a number of local framers have been outsourcing their client projects for years.
With so many people relying upon plaque mounting as an alternative to traditional framing, Brown and Gibbons Herzog feel that they have landed a great opportunity that will be very beneficial to all of WNY, especially Oliver Street which is home to numerous other art galleries, studios, and businesses.
“Learning this specialized trade has been exciting because it feels like we’re saving a lost art,” says Herzog.
Images of Natalie Brown and Parrish Gibbons Herzog are by Sara Heidenger Photo