Biz Beat

At framery, art isn't just on the inside

Framing a photograph, painting,document or some special memento seems like it should be a simple process. But for Norman Ham, manufactured frames available at many mass retailers just won't do. For him, the art is the frame — as well as what goes in it.

Ham and wife Lesley are the owners of the new Trewin Framery at 1300 H St., Suite 400, in downtown Modesto. The son of the late Gordon Ham, a longtime Modesto professional photographer, he did his first framing jobs at an early age for his dad. After studying framing in San Francisco, Ham honed his craft over the years by working part time out of his garage while working full-time in the restaurant industry, managing various establishments around the region.

After years of having a foot in both worlds, Ham decided to take the entrepreneurial plunge and devote all his energies to framing, opening Trewin in June. Besides framing all the standard items, from artwork to documents, Ham specializes in creating shadow box frames for displaying artifacts, memorabilia and family keepsakes. He sees it as a way to preserve special memories by allowing his clients to reconnect with them every time they see the displays he created. They also can share them with other family members and guests.

Ham carries hundreds of moldings and will visit clients' homes or businesses to help select frames that best match the décor. He also has an extensive collection of catalogs and online resources with art prints to satisfy a wide range of tastes, styles and interior design preferences — classical to modern. If people are looking for original artwork to put frames around, he has that, too, in a small studio at the shop. There he showcases a new artist each month from around the valley and around the world.

At Trewin, the frames aren't just an incidental part of what's being displayed. They're a key element, designed to enhance and complement — making something already special, even more so. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to2 p.m. Saturday.

For more information, call 521-5400.

What is it: Jimmy's Custom V-Twin at 30025 Yosemite Blvd., La Grange, across from the historic La Grange Saloon. Phone, 853-2156.

What it does: Jimmy's Custom V-Twin is a motorcycle repair and consignment shop offering after-market parts for Harley-Davidson motorcycle models from the mid-1930s through today. The shop also does custom bike building. Basic services and repairs, such as oil changes and preventive maintenance, also are available. The shop stocks oil, batteries, tires and other equipment as well as leather jackets, chaps, vests and helmets.

Who runs it: Jimmy and Laurie Prater, a husband and wife team, are the owners. Hours are seven days a week, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

What makes it special: Jimmy's Custom V-Twin is an authorized V-Twin motor dealer. The location of the shop is ideal for bikers because of the scenic roadways in the region.

What is it: The Tennis Place at 3000 McHenry Ave., Suite 7, in Modesto. It's at Rumble Road and McHenry. Phone, 521-5461.

What it does: The Tennis Place carries everything needed for tennis, including rackets, balls, shoes and clothing for men, women and children. It carries such major brands as Wilson, Head, Dunlop and Prince. The Tennis Place specializes in stringing and regripping tennis rackets.

Who runs it: Phong Le is a first-time business owner. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

What makes it special: The Tennis Place has a professional stringer during business hours, allowing for fast and personal service. It offers the latest models of tennis rackets and will allow a customer, for a fee, to test a racket before purchasing it.

Have an item for Business Beat? Send it to David W. Hill, Business Editor, The Modesto Bee, P.O. Box 5256, Modesto 95352; or COMPILED BY JILLIAN HANKS,BEE NEWSROOM ASSISTANT