‘No faces, no tears’
The Town Framery & Gifts to end legacy after 33+ years in business
“It’s just time,” she added, having owned or been part of the shop for 28 years, framing customers’ art and carrying special artwork and gifts in her shop.
However, “the last three years have been our best three years ever, and so there’s some comfort in going out on top,” Tuttle said. “It’s just been an amazing experience.”
The shop’s last official day of operation will be Tuesday, Feb. 28.
Currently, she has a 50-percent sale off everything except Robert Tino framed prints, which will be priced as marked, and framing work.
“We have a lot of framing orders to fill,” Tuttle said. “We’ll cut off framing orders on Jan. 31 to ensure that everything can get done before (Feb.) 28.
”We’ll be here until everything’s gone, and we have several charities we’ll be working with, school and other things,” she added. “Anything that’s left, we’ll make sure it finds a good home somewhere.”
After she retires, Tuttle and her husband, Mark, are “hoping to travel and spend time with ‘my doggies.’”
Reacting to a customer’s saddened expression at the news, Tuttle said, “No faces, no tears.”
“We’re going to miss Debi and her staff at the Framery,” customer Pam Garrity said. “It’s my go-to place for framing and special gifts. But we wish you all the best in your retirement.”
Garrity has been coming to the shop since it opened in Farragut.
“We got our first (local artist), the late Ron Williams painting, and now we have like a little museum.” she said.
The shop’s history goes back to Tuttle’s mother, the late Mary Wilbourn, who started it as Mary Wilbourn Gallery in 1989 off Highway 321 in Lenoir City.
“She was an artist, I was the framer,” Tuttle said. “She was just gifted. She had a natural talent, so after she retired from her business life, she started enjoying her painting.
“I joined her in ’94 and started helping her with her framing,” the current owner added. “It was a good team for many, many years.”
In 1996, “we expanded the gallery, which still was in Lenoir City,” Tuttle said.
As it grew, they moved it, rebranding to The Town Framery & Gifts, to its current location in Farragut in October 2004 — and it continued to grow.
“We’ve enjoyed being in the Farragut area,” Tuttle reflected. “And, we were able to keep our customers from Loudon (County) because we’re on the path, so it’s been great. We grew and grew and grew.
“We’ve been busier than we’ve ever been and with the shortest staff we’ve ever had.”