DETROIT – As we continue to highlight businesses for Black Owned Business Month, we’re putting the spot-light on local Black-owned businesses working to grow and thrive.
Eric Vaughn set up shop on Detroit’s west side selling picture frames and since COVID-19 hit, he’s been busier than ever. He said people reach out to him for help while they’re stuck at home and looking at their walls.
Vaughn is in the business of preserving memories. What started as a hobby turned into a lifelong passion and a lucrative business.
“I have over 2,000 frames and we try to put the best combination together, colors, textures,” Vaughn said.
He started selling frames from his apartment in 1994 before opening up shop 20 years ago on Livernois Avenue, near the Lodge.
“I love to see the expressions on their face when they see their piece framed,” Vaughn said.
The name of his shop -- Eric’s I’ve Been Framed -- came to him while pursuing a career he wasn’t excited about. Vaughn wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and open his own business. One day he jotted the name down on a piece of paper and gave it to his dad.
“He came back in about two weeks with business cards and said, ‘You’re in business!’” Vaughn said. “The logo I have on my cards is from that little note I wrote to my father that day.”
As a successful Black business owner on Detroit’s west side, he said it’s vital to support local shops.
“I get a lot people from the area and from the ‘burbs that shop with us,” Vaughn said. “That’s important because we want the money to stay in the community.”
Vaughn is a 59-year-old father of three and his son just opened up his own store. He has advice for the next generation of Black business owners trying to turn their dreams into a reality.
“Do your research, because it’s not an easy road,” Vaughn said. “I’ll sit them down and take time to talk to them, because you never who you’re going to touch.”