**As the owner of a small local business, I’m grateful to personally get to know the customers that come into my frame shop in Littleton. I often am asked how my husband, DJ, and I met, so here, finally, is the full story! Enjoy!**
It was a match made in 1970.
We met in our freshman year at the University of Northern Colorado — through my roommate, who happened to be dating DJ’s best friend. It was the first time I’d been away from Illinois, and it was hard for me to be so far from everything.
But after I met DJ — from our very first date and onward— he became a new type of home for me.
That first date was hilarious, looking back at it. It was October 17th, 1970, and we decided to go skiing. I’d been bragging to DJ, saying how accomplished a skier I was — all of my experience came from skiing on Illinois golf courses. How was I to know that Berthoud would have so many trees or that the slopes would be so steep? The entire time, I was giving myself mental pep talks to stay confident, but it was a huge challenge. Now I can admit that I had no idea what I was in for. Regardless, I did my best to impress him with my “skills.”
His patience and compassion for me during that first date penetrated the awkwardness of the entire situation. There’s nothing like making a fool of yourself and having someone make you feel so emotionally safe while you do it. In spite of how challenging the circumstances of that day were, I couldn’t help but fall completely head over heels for him.
When our first date was over, all I could think about was how much fun I had had with DJ. I knew there was something between us, something I wanted so much to be a part of my life.
We shared so many commonalities and laughed so much together. I just remembered feeling this overwhelming sense of happiness and gratitude that we’d met.
In no time at all, we were best friends.
DJ and I dated for four years and waited until after college to get married. But only just barely. We wanted all of our friends to attend the wedding, so we held the ceremony the week after graduation.
Life has taken us all over the country. Jobs were tough to find, so we ended up moving around from Colorado to Houston to Chicago, where DJ took on a few different corporate positions. Ultimately, though, we missed the mountains and ended up back in Colorado. DJ gave up the corporate position, and the two of us teamed up professionally in 1979 to become franchisee owners of The Great Frame Up at the corner of University and Dry Creek.
It came as no surprise to us that our business relationship was as successful as our personal one: Our personalities complemented each other’s. It came to be the most successful store in all of The Great Frame Up franchises, and we ran it successfully for 20 years —until May 2001, when we sold it.
Not too long afterward, we opened our very own frame shop, Frame It.
Over the years, DJ and I have never taken the harmony of our relationship for granted. We’ve celebrated the birth of two beautiful sons, Tripp and Matt, and took a cruise for our 25th anniversary, during which we renewed our wedding vows. It was just last year that we commemorated our 40 anniversary!
I currently own and operate Frame It, and DJ is Business Development Manager for Brady Trucking in Vernal, Utah. The dynamic is still completely satisfying for both of us. I’ve never lost my excitement for the framing business and still love adding new and interesting frame designs to our collection — I take a lot of pride in offering fantastic pieces you can’t find at other frame shops. Even though DJ is on the road a good deal, he still plays a major role in the advice and support he gives me.