As an avid saver of moolah (this is seriously one of my favorite hobbies), I am always on the lookout for cheap or free ways to eat or travel or decorate our house. Today, I have a story of the weirdest, most awesome freebie ever.
First, I must introduce the characters.
Framebridge: an online framing website. You send in your art; they send it back framed. They have a sweet “decorator’s choice” option where they’ll recommend certain frame styles once they see your art.
Uber: hipster taxi. Something that a die-hard suburbanite (that goes to bed at 9pm) like me has yet to need, though the concept is super cool.
ArtPrize: world-renowned art contest that happens in my hometown of Grand Rapids Michigan every year. Art completely takes over the city (and the local news outlets) for three weeks in the fall. It’s worth making a trip if you’re not from here.
The marketing stars converged, and these three partnered up for a fun, innovative, local marketing campaign. For one day during ArtPrize, you could request UberFRAME on the Uber app, and an Uber driver would come and pick up your artwork. They would then ship it to Framebridge who would frame it and send it back. FOR FREE. Also, said artwork had to fit in a 24″ long tube, but other then that, NO RESTRICTIONS.
Except I didn’t have any rollable artwork handy, so I needed to come up with something…the day before the promo was to take place. I was a little worried that this was “too good to be true,” so I opted to go the cheap route and got this photo from our May vacation printed in black and white on engineering paper at Staples. It cost me $4 for a 24″ by 36″ print.
Promo day came, and I dragged Ken with me (in case of kidnapping…my mother’s overly cautious words are always ringing in my head). And…everything worked as expected. I called up UberFRAME on the Uber app, Jane came and got my artwork and some contact info, and we bid it and her a fond farewell. The whole thing took like 30 seconds.
I then had to select my frame online from Framebridge. The designers sent over about 6 options they recommended (based on my preferences) and I selected my fave…a boring, white frame (hey, I knew white would look good against the Dark Harbor in our master bedroom). And then I waited and waited and waited as they framed it and shipped it back. Okay, fine, it only took like 2 weeks, but it felt like forever. I was barely able to wait 0.2 seconds before ripping into the packaging to snap this photo.
Okay, fine, I couldn’t do it and I peeked inside before I took the picture. I have zero willpower.
Framebridge shipped my framed photo in such a way that it was suspended in the cardboard packaging. Super effective.
I was super impressed at the details Framebridge provided…like a hanging wire and felt pads at the bottom of the frame to avoid wall scratches.
This is Framebridge’s Irvine frame.
My cheap-o $4 photo now looks like a million bucks, and it’s such a sweet memory from our vacation. And do you see how nicely I staged it in front of my refrigerator? That’s true love, guys.
Oh! And they also sent a handwritten card and wall hooks to hang my new art! Whew. I’m not kidding when I say this was the best swag ever. And…darn it…I think the marketing is working. I now want to Uber everywhere and get all the things framed. And this isn’t even a sponsored post. I’m just that good at finding freebies.
The current plan is to hang this little guy in our master bedroom as part of the One Room Challenge…which, if you’re not following along on that reno, get onboard. It’s a wild ride…until the inevitable breakdown, which should happen any moment now. Either way, it’s bound to be entertaining.