By DAVID FOLSE II
Tammany West news
COVINGTON—One thing you can’t accuse Gail Gullang, owner of Covington Art & Frame, of is not loving her adopted home of Louisiana.
Moving down from Algonquin, Illinois only two months before Hurricane Katrina, she had the chance to move back north after the storm.
The thought never crossed her mind.
“Before moving down from Illinois I had been here for a couple of vacations for JazzFest in the 80’s,” she said. “Then I came back a couple of times in the 90’s. My sister got a job down here and the timing was good. I didn’t need much of a nudge to relocate and on down I came. The plan originally was just to move down here and in 2005 I did it. Intially I never entertained the thought of owning a business”
Only 40 days after her move to South Louisiana, Gullang experienced the worst natural disaster in history.
“I never thought about going back,” she said. “I just thought, well I just experienced one of the most disastrous events in this century. Never crossed my mind about moving back home. If anything, it was the opposite. I got to meet a lot more neighbors and become even friendlier with the community around me. Everybody really came together. I instantly felt part of things.”
In 2007, she bought Covington Art & Frame; a custom picture and framing store.
“Honestly I just wanted to finally be in control of my own destiny,” she said. “I had never been a small business owner before; Covington Art & Frame was the first place I had ever owned and operated. I’ve owned this place now for coming up on seven years and I can truly say I love my independence and working alone.”
A lifelong fan of arts & crafts, Gullang jumped at the chance to turn in her love into a profession where she could make a living.
“This place is the culmination of a lot of events,” she said. “I was an art major and from there I worked in a commercial photo lab which produced large murals. I also studied furniture refinishing and received my certification. I was in the business for 11 years. When I moved down here to Louisiana, I thought I would do it again.
“However, I discovered the furniture shops down here were over 100 degrees. I decided against returning to that field. Covington Art & Frame was just a natural fit for me, because I have all the natural skills and the overall love of art.”
Running a self-proclaimed “one woman operation,” Covington Art & Frame is your one-stop-shop for all your framing needs.
“If it is a relatively flat object or artwork I can frame it,” she said. “I can also do frame restoration for patient people willing to wait a while. A lot of frame shops and shops that offer this service pretty much have all the same product and get the same deliveries from vendors.
“The difference in my shop is simple,” she continued. “I can bring you a greater level of expertise in trying to pick out the best frame to fit the style you are looking for. You are going to get the personalization you deserve and desire. I’m fanatical and it will benefit the customer. Everything is custom made and one of a kind. Nobody else is going to have the kind of frame you have.”
Located at 529 North Florida Street in Covington, Covington Art & Frame is open Tues.-Fri. from 10 am-5:30 pm and 10 am- 3 pm on Sat. For more information, you can also call 985-893-6166.