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January 11, 2013 10:10 PM

Framing A Way Through KELOLAND

sioux falls, sd

At the corner of Minnesota Avenue and 27th Street there is Piper's Custom Framing. If you step inside you'll find owner Jon Piper hard at work.

"Just putting something on the wall is so empty, you want to have things around you that make you feel better and open your eyes up," Jon Piper owner of Piper's Custom Framing said.

Jon and his brother Jim have been framing their way through KELOLAND. Jon isn't sharing how long he's been mastering his talents, but says it's been for awhile.

"You literally get to take a journey in this business and it's been a journey for quite a few years for me," Jon said.

Jon brought his talents to Sioux Falls from Des Moines, Iowa in 1996. His ultimate career goal was to own his own business.

"Finally, I've always wanted to own my own gallery and it just took a while to get there," Jon said.

Seven years ago, he opened Piper's Custom Framing. Jon adds that people who walk through his doors are not just customers, but soon become friends.

"This business allows you to get to meet great people," Jon said.

Jon says his first step in the long process of framing is getting to know each and every client.

"Getting to know who the customer is, what the customer wants and what the ultimate goal is. That is a very important part is knowing your customer and who they are and what they want for the final goal," Jon said.

From France, Italy and beyond Jon says he brings some of the leading frame manufactures in the world straight to KELOLAND.

From timeless pieces of art to unique relics of history, Jon and Jim Piper can frame almost anything.

Jim says the strangest thing he has ever had to frame was a person's pony tail. But that's not all, Jim says he can frame sports memorabilia, military uniforms and more.

"Indian peace pipe, snake skin, a skull," Jim said.

Jon says everything tells a story when you do custom framing.

"You've just got to look at it, sometimes for a couple of days, design things, come back. It evolves as you look at it and as you take the customer into consideration of what it is that you are framing," Jon said.

And it's not just personal art work, Jon and his crew frame for corporate companies, including Avera Hospitals.

"People literally get a heal because of what you create and the environment you create for them and that you can't replace," Jon said.

He says he knows this first hand when a friend of his was overcome with illness and was put into hospice care right after he finished a project there.

"It took on a whole new meaning for me in what it is I'm doing and having patients go there for their end of life journey," Jon said.

Not only can you find Jon’s work hanging on walls in KELOLAND, he has been featured around world.

"To know that you have taken a part in that many people's lives, you can't put words to that," Jon said.

And even some of the items he's framed have been signed by some very famous people.

"I have Ted Nugent, Johnny Depp," Jon said, "One by Green Day and one by Johnny ."

From here and into the future Jon says he hopes to expand his gallery to bring more art that touches even more people across KELOLAND.

"When you can create an emotion from your customer, that's priceless," Jon said.

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