Karen, a natural artist, was born in Lima, Ohio. John, a natural entrepreneur, was born in Bellevue, Ohio. They were married in 1992 and began looking ahead to the possibility of sharing a second career together…one that would merge Karen’s artistic skills and John’s marketing skills and entrepreneurial spirit. After enjoying a three day seminar on professional picture framing in Chicago, you could say “the rest is history.”
The Heltman’s spare bedroom served as their first workshop as they began to hone their framing skills. They attended numerous training programs taught though The Professional Picture Framers Association (PPFA). While attending the West Coast Art and Frame Expo (WCAFE), they participated in workshops taught by framers from around the world. They have been lucky enough to study one-on-one with several of the top framers in the United States. Several years ago, they moved out of the bedroom, opened their first commercial shop, and continued to learn and grow their business.
In 2016, they opened a newly renovated and expanded shop, The Picture Framing Pros. The Pros won numerous state and regional PPFA awards for their framing contest entries, but their hard work and education paid off when they won their first national PPFA award. In January of 2017, they received the year’s award for Innovative Use of Materials in Framing. Their entry included what is believed to be the first metal fillet (small frame inside a frame) ever used in the picture framing industry. The thrill was not only in winning the award, but also knowing that a panel of experienced framers judged their entry worthy enough to join the elite circle of framing industry innovators that had won the award in the past.