Images by Tom nears opening
WORTHINGTON -- After a year-long absence, there will once again be a frame shop in downtown Worthington.
Images by Tom, owned by Worthington native Tom Bruns, will offer much more than just custom framing, however.
Tucked toward the back of his shop at 213 10th St., Bruns has set up a pair of widescreen computer monitors, a large format printer and other technical gadgets to help him in his business, slated to open Tuesday.
In addition to custom framing, Images by Tom will do large format printing, digital to garment printing, photo restoration and outdoor photography, focusing on senior portraits and weddings.
"I'm hoping to slowly establish a little gallery of local artists," said Bruns. He's also considering offering custom framing for needlework in the future.
Already, Bruns has been working on print orders. He did the sectional wrestling shirts for a recent weekend tournament in Worthington, and has taken orders for other projects.
Bruns is working with a few graphic artists -- all with connections to Worthington -- to help design projects for customers. The artists include Julee Bode, a 1989 WHS graduate and owner of Dragonfly Design in the Twin Cities; Chad Wiertzema, owner of Wertz Design, in Florida; and Nate Einck, a graphic artist at the Daily Globe.
Bruns graduated from Worthington High School in 1989 and began working at Ax Photo. After a few years, he enrolled in the photography course at Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo, Iowa, where he earned his Applied Associate of Arts degree.
He returned to Worthington and Ax Photo, eventually buying into a business partnership.
Then, in 2000, Bruns returned to the classroom. After two years at Minnesota West Community & Technical College in Worthington, he transferred to Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall. He graduated in December 2005 with a bachelor's degree in art education.
From 2006 through the spring of 2008, Bruns was a substitute teacher in St. Peter and Worthington schools. In the 2008-2009 school year, he taught middle school and high school art programs in Fairmont, teaching media production and advising the yearbook program.
Last spring, both Bruns and his wife Ann -- also a teacher -- were laid off.
They considered relocating to the metro area, until they learned more than 2,000 teachers had been laid off up there.
Eventually, Ann found a job in Windom, and Bruns began to give a more serious look at opening a business.
Last summer, he began working with Glenn Thuringer at the Worthington Regional Economic Development Corp., on financing the business. He received a small business loan through rural development.
"The last four months, everything's been coming together," said Bruns.
With a lease secured on the former Textile Treasures building downtown, Bruns began remodeling and fixing up the place. They took out some walls, added a center partition, had electrical work completed, installed new carpeting and tile and painted the walls.
"I did most of it on my own, with lots of help from family and friends," he added.
Images by Tom will be open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information about the services provided, contact Bruns at 376-9610.