Story of Frank's Fabrics
Francisco Chavez was born in Jerome, Arizona, on the tenth day of the tenth month in 1935. Frank's family later moved from Arizona to Los Angeles in 1943. He attended Roosevelt High School and graduated in 1953. In 1976, Frank went into business as a supplier of fabric for professional picture framers. He then sold his business in the early 1980's; but, he continued in the framing industry for several more years. In 1998, Frank again began his own business under the name Frank's Fabric for Framers. Under Frank's vision and stewardship, Frank's Fabrics has been very successful and continues to thrive to this day. In 1992, Frank met his soulmate, Amy darling, and they celebrated their 25th anniversary in December, 2017. Frank and Amy spent their years dancing, laughing, and growing together. Their love for one another and devotion to each other was evident to all who know them. Frank will be remembered as a kind, creative, and gentle man who loved his family and friends unconditionally. He enjoyed bringing his loved ones joy through his generosity, his humor, and his wonderful singing and ukulele playing.
Watch Frank play the ukulele
Frank always had time for anyone who stopped
to visit him at a trade show, to learn, or to ask a
simple question. But more than that, he also was
a craftsman, an artisan, and recognized the value
of framers creating a custom-made product. He
wanted everyone to succeed. He will be sorely
missed, not only by his family but also by so many
framers across North America who had the privilege
of meeting and spending time with this gentleman.
John Ranes II
Owner, The Frame Workshop of Appleton
Frank tirelessly gave to our industry. His company
was a pleasure to do business with. He upped
the custom framing bar by making the use of fabric
easier through product, support, and education. He
recognized that not everyone wanted to “do it on their
own” and offered custom-covered mats that made
selling fabric mats and liners easy. It was a special
treat to hear, “Frank’s Fabrics, this is Frank” when I
was fortunate enough to have him answer the phone.
As busy as he was, he always made time to chat. He
demonstrated innovative designs and techniques. His
partnering with Bonnie Palizzi brought us the Flexible
Fillet, a fabulous design accent. Frank generously
supported the PPFA and sponsored an award for the
Best Use of Fabric in its framing competition. He never
turned me down when I needed something to show in
my classes. He was a kind, compassionate, and caring
man. I am a better person for having known him.
May his memory be a blessing.
Owner, Artrageous! Art and Framing
I knew Frank for over 35 years. I am proud to say that
as companies who competed for the same business,
we shared many of the same goals and objectives—
always putting the picture framing industry first. We
always joked that if we could sell one yard of fabric to
just one framer in every state every day, we would be
over-the-top successful. Frank is legendary, as far as
I am concerned. He advanced the use of fabric in picture
framing. And in our own kindred philosophy, we
agreed that every picture frame should always have
either a fabric mat or fabric liner otherwise, it wasn’t
truly “framed.” We also shared a love of dancing. In
the early days when we traveled to the different trade
shows around the country, we always were the first
and last on the dance floor. Frank was a modern-day
Fred Astaire—those are my fondest memories of him.
Every time I spoke to him on the phone and I asked
him how he was doing, he always answered, “Perfect.”
His sense of optimism was contagious!
President, Neuberg & Neuberg Importers Group, Inc.
Frank and I first met at a trade show in New York City
about 30 years ago. I saw Frank with his cool glasses
and his smile, and soon learned that he was an en-
tertainer who loved people. What a fabric collection
he had: beautiful linens, silks, poly fabrics. Watching
him demonstrate at shows was inspiring. And of
course, we always got the help we needed when we
gave him a call. Frank treated all of us like we were
his dearest friend. He was a special person who will
always be in my thoughts and in my heart.
Owner, Frames of Mine
What a shock to hear this sad news. Frank was so
patient, kind, and accommodating when I contacted
him back in 2006 to see if he would ship his fabric
and glue to Canada. I think I was his first Canadian
customer! He and Baer Charlton were the ones who
started me on fabric wrapping, and although I don’t
do a lot of it, it was wonderful to learn from the best.
My deepest condolences to Frank’s family and colleagues
at Frank’s Fabrics. He will be truly missed.
Owner, Haverstock Creative Designs
I will always remember Frank’s kind eyes and smile,
his patience, and his industry furtherance and support.
Frank walked me patiently through my first
fabric wrapping of a liner moulding over the phone.
He sponsored “best use of fabric” awards in framing
competitions, from which I have proudly benefited.
He took me to lunch in Las Vegas during the WCAF
Expo just to have friend-to-friend conversation. He always
showed great interest in my business and was a
cheerleader. I will truly miss this man.
Owner, Columbia River Gallery
I am so incredibly sad to read about the loss of Frank
Chavez. Small companies like Frank’s are a big part of
what makes our little industry tick. Small companies
run by delightful people who truly care about their
customers are a treasure. It was always such a pleasure
to pick up the phone and speak with Frank, and
he will be sorely missed in our business. Jeff and I
send the Chavez family our deepest condolences.
Owner, The Framer’s Workshop
I always enjoyed talking with Frank at the WCAF Expo
each year and loved seeing what new, stylish glasses
he would be wearing! A few years back I picked up a
new set of “frames” at one of the eyeglass boutiques
at the hotel after being inspired by Frank’s latest.
Whenever I would get a compliment on my selection,
I would always make a point to share my story about
Frank of Frank’s Fabrics.
Owner, Newburyport Framers
When I opened my frame shop, Frank was so helpful.
I often felt like my little orders must be a nuisance,
but Frank made me feel like I was his most important
customer. It made me want to order more, so I
showed fabrics more often and my orders increased.
At trade shows it was always a pleasure to see
Frank. I don’t recall ever seeing him without a smile
on his face and in his voice. He loved our industry,
and our industry loved him. Rest in peace, Frank.
Former marketing manager, Larson-Juhl
Many people come into our lives, but few have the
qualities Frank had. He always showed love, not
judgment. Honesty and integrity were consistent
personality traits he never drifted from, whether in
personal or professional relationships. His creativity
and contribution to the framing industry is second to
none. Thank you, Frank, for being part of my life. I
will always miss him.
Former owner, The Designer's Wall
When you came in contact with Frank, there was always
a feeling of warmth and compassion. His talent
and love for the framing industry spoke for itself. His
clever ads and his hands-on fabric demonstrations
made one want his products without really realizing
he was selling you something! He was a true leader
in supporting education. Frank knew how to create
a simple, elegant presentation by upscaling using
fabric. His message was simplicity with fabric—all
types of fabric. If you needed fabrics, Frank’s was
the place to go. As an award-winning designer, 99
percent of my designs incorporated fabric and Frank
was always my go-to guy. Our industry was blessed
with one of the best in providing innovative fabric
products that have given many framers a profi table
and exceptional design option. To my colleague and
good friend, you will be missed.