From Jeep doors to ‘Sopranos’ scripts, Mount N Frame owner looks back at 35 years of business in Vail
After 35 years, 'I'm hoping to keep it going'
When Linda Osterberg first got to Vail in 1978, there was a Burger King where Solaris Plaza is now. There was also a small framing shop in the basement of the then-Crossroads Shopping Center.
She had a degree in biochemistry and was working for the town’s water district. While skiing every day, “because it was still one of my first winters here,” and driving the town bus, she met the manager of Mount N Frame who needed some help — offering any hours as long as the job got done, perfect for someone with a ski schedule.
“Honestly, I was a science person. I never paid attention to art very much,” Osterberg said with a laugh.
She spent time, when not skiing, going to seminars and educating herself with literature about the business of framing.
In 1980, she joined Mount N Frame. In 1984, she bought the business with a partner and eventually became the sole owner. On Aug. 1 of this summer, Osterberg celebrated 35 years of running one of Vail’s longest-running businesses.
“I’m hoping to keep it going. I’d love to see it perpetuate,” she said from Mount N Frame’s spacious location in Vail near Lionshead. “It’s a fun business; it’s a creative business. I just feel fortunate to be where I am.”
After the recession in 2008, Osterberg said about half of all frame shops closed.
“So I really appreciate all of the support I have from locals, local businesses and second homeowners.”
From Jeep doors to trail maps, original scripts of “The Sopranos” to vintage photos, oil paintings and personal photographs — Osterberg has framed all sorts of things over the years, even Picassos and Van Goghs.
“I’ve done all sorts of art,” she said. “We try to very careful with everything.”
There’s often rush jobs around the holidays, including one of her first years with the business. A client requested a “huge piece” by Christmas, which Osterberg was able to do, but when the client showed up to pick up the piece, it didn’t fit in the tiny car — and it was snowing.
“We literally duct-taped inside the car,” she said, adding that the duct tape was on the outside of the car and the artwork was sufficiently wrapped and protected.
In 35 years, one thing has stood out to Osterberg as the biggest change in the business.
“It just seems that everything is big,” she said. “As the houses have gotten bigger, the pieces of art have gotten bigger, too.”
In addition to framing, Mount N Frame also sells artwork, from vintage photos of the Tour de France to classic and clean ski maps, as well as other scenes from Vail. Some of the prints date back to the opening of Vail Mountain. Osterberg takes pride in offering different price points for people, making beautifully framed work available to everyone.
“I really enjoy working with the locals,” she said.
Zoe Stevenson joined Osterberg at Mount N Frame in January. About 10 years ago, Stevenson was driving through when her 1980 Dodge Ram broke down. Without the funds to repair it, she decided to stay.
“We get all kinds of people in here,” she said of Mount N Frame.
Stevenson, similar to Osterberg’s start in the business, is learning the ins and outs of framing, something Osterberg says can take up to a year.
“She’s just so nice. She knows everyone here,” Stevenson said of her boss. “There are so many things to learn and so many different ways of doing things.”
Osterberg isn’t sure what the next 35 years will hold, but the local framing expert and yoga instructor will be ready.
“I really enjoy what I do, yet it feels like it’s almost time to pass the mantle,” she said, “and really just allow myself the freedom to see what comes.”
For more information, visit http://www.mountnframe.com or stop by the shop on South Frontage Road in Vail.
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