Frame shop to close

Published 9:45 pm Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A Suffolk business that has been around for 53 years will close soon.

Jimmy and Becky Bradshaw purchased the business in 1964, and it was named Bradshaw’s Frame Shop. The business was originally located on what is now North Main Street across from Duke Automotive.

The Bradshaws moved the business to a store in downtown Suffolk on West Washington Street in 1972. They bought the building, a former Ford dealership, in 1975.

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“That’s been good not to have to pay rent all those years,” Becky Bradshaw said.

Prior to going into business together, she was a teacher, and he was in construction. But he had a back problem that put him in the hospital and prevented him from going back to his job, so the frame shop as the perfect opportunity for the couple to work together.

While it started as a frame shop, the business soon picked up a number of side lines — lamps, gifts, candles and more.

They would make lamps for customers out of pretty much any item the customer wanted, they said.

They also framed any item possible. Over the years, they framed a wide variety of items for customers, from christening gowns and a child’s cowboy suit to locks of hair and even a glass eye.

“What’s kept us here is satisfied customers,” Jimmy Bradshaw said.

“We’ve tried to help people,” Becky Bradshaw said. He added: “We worked nights and whatever to take care of them.”

The couple’s two children grew up at the store, and they were often there for those late nights.

“At 11 o’clock, I’d pick them up in my arms and put them in the car and take them home,” Jimmy Bradshaw said.

Those children are now 51 and 48 years old.

“Time flies,” Jimmy Bradshaw quipped.

Unfortunately, his health, especially his eyesight, has failed him. Becky Bradshaw has been running the store without his help since February.

“I don’t want to have to do it all forever,” she said. “It has been a good run.”

The store is currently selling off its inventory but has not yet set a date to close for good, she said.