Drop by Fast Frame on Jeronimo Road, and you will find a great store with owners who are invested in this community.
Connie and Thomas Belmont opened the business in 1989 within a city they have called home for 32 years.
“Mission Viejo has always had a reputation as a safe and wonderful place to raise your family,” said Connie. “It is also very business friendly. From the very start, the City welcomed us and helped us through our start-up woes and has supported us throughout the years.”
Fast Frame is a family-owned business specializing in custom framing and fine art. They frame not only posters and fine art but also mirrors, memorabilia, jerseys, medals, photos, and anything else folks bring in. They also specialize in conservation framing, which has led to some interesting requests.
“We once framed a Tibetan monk’s robe that was so big they had to hire a truck to pick it up …,” Connie said. “We have also done a nightgown, a wedding dress and an Amazon chieftain’s head dress along with a large shadow box with Joe DiMaggio’s bat, ball glove, shoes, hat and jersey.”
However, perhaps the strangest request they’ve received was to frame a small piece of a paper towel, which they have yet to determine the significance of, she said.
Through it all, the business has remained rooted in family. The Belmont children have enjoyed working there throughout the years. Connie says they got into this line of work because Thomas’ family had been in the framing and art restoration business, and his dad worked for the New York-based Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art in the restoration department where they restored paintings from all over the world including several for the Vatican in Rome. Thomas worked in the frame shop in the basement while going to school.
Fast forward many years and Fast Frame has evolved into a well-known destination for the things “no one else wants to or can do.” Like other businesses, though, the biggest challenge they face is the lagging economy.
“Art and framing take a back seat when times are tough,” Connie said. “The only thing that helps is the work we do for large corporations and those loyal customers that keep coming back year after year.”
Connie said that giving back is important to her and Thomas and they often support charity events and organizations such as Children’s Pediatric Cancer, Walk for Autism, Saint Jude’s Hospital and St Josephs Children’s Hospital and the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation.
“All in all we love our lives here in Mission Viejo … my daughter lives close by with her two children and my son and his wife live here in Mission Viejo as well. It is a wonderful place to live and work,” she said.