If you live in Wash Park, chances are you already know Brian Hart. He is the kind of guy that within the first five minutes of knowing him, feels like a familiar friend. Brian is a father, friend, business owner, cyclist and above all a philanthropist. We feel lucky to know him.
Let’s start with how you and your family found yourselves in Wash Park?
We have always loved Wash Park, as the kids were growing older, and starting high school, they begged us to get out of the Suburban area of Lone Tree and be in a more diverse area, especially the schools. We were walking the park one day back in July 2010, and found our dream home. After 95 showings, in Lone Tree and nine months later, we never gave up. We feel like it was fate, our kids Campbell, and Lauren, flourished at South High School, and today remain good friends with many of the people they met at South.
When did you first decide you were going to open Frame de Art?
I graduated from Colorado State University in 1988, with a Finance and Real Estate degree, but have always wanted to have my own business. I was able to combine my love of all forms of art, especially the craft of taking posters and making them look incredible for someone’s home! We opened in March of 1991, on Shelley’s birthday, right next to Mustard’s Last Stand and were there for 16 years, before we were able to purchase a building on Broadway and Dartmouth, now next to Chick-fil-A, and only 3 miles from Wash Park! We just celebrated 28 years in business, looking forward to having our 30th anniversary party, even bigger than our 25th anniversary that over 500 people attended, including Thunder the Horse for the Broncos, Miles the Mascot and representatives from Governor Hickenlooper’s Office! We even have our own Governor’s Proclamation framed, Frame de Art Day on March 15th! We have won 1st place many years in Denver’s A-list, best framer! We have much to be grateful for from our journey.
Being a business owner has opened doors for you to make lasting relationships with the people of Denver. You have so many stories to share, but if you had to narrow it down, what would you say is your most memorable moment?
We have been so blessed to meet so many customers that have become friends through Frame de Art, it’s hard to pick just one, but framing for swimmers Missy Franklin, and Amy Van Dyken, all their gold medals and accomplishments, is such an honor. We also love framing for our Denver Mayor, Michael Hancock and Governor Hickenlooper, and many of the local sports teams, athletes, and Universities’ Athletic Departments. We treat them just like everyone else, all of our customers matter!
You are a business owner and family man, but in your free time you fill the spaces with philanthropy. Tell us about this side passion? What organizations do you find yourself nurturing the most?
I feel it is very important to show that a small business can make a difference in the community! We never turn down a request from all of Colorado’s foundations and charities. What you give, comes back in so many ways. We have donated every year to the Wash Park Photo Contest and are the Official Framers of the Wash Park Home Tour! We donated 25 Signed and Framed Peyton Manning Jerseys to local charities over the 3 years that he played, raising a ton of money for those foundations! Although we work with many local charities, we also donate over 25 frames a year to the Memories in Making Art Auction benefiting The Colorado Alzheimer’s Foundation that is held each year at the Broncos Field House. Shelley has been working for the Denver Broncos for almost 30 years and to support their local chapter is a priority to us.
Speaking of side passions, you are also a cyclist. Tell us how this too has been a way for you to connect with the community.
Being a cyclist has been a really fun way to raise money for charities and at the same time meet some wonderful customers and friends all while getting in shape! I started the Wash Park Cycling Group on Meetup. We now have over 850 members! I am a Co- Captain for the Dare to Ride Global Down Syndrome Team, for the Courage Classic ride that is July 20-21st, we would love for cyclists to join our team! I ride and sponsor Ride the Rockies, Denver Century Ride, Courage Classic, and Pedal The Plains, in fact have ridden in it since it was started by Governor Hickenlopper over 7 years ago. You might see me riding around the park some mornings. I always follow the speed limits!
What is your favorite part about our neighborhood?
Besides being able to ride or walk around the best park in Denver, we have so many options to eat and meet our neighbors! We love going to Max’s Gill and Grill and Blackbird. We feel so lucky to live here!
Do yourself a favor and get to know Brian. His warm and inviting personality is a breath of fresh air. Brian inspires us to make a difference, take chances, and above all, build relationships by putting others first. So support his local business and if you’re so inclined, join his cycling team, as this man has so much to give.