Much to their credit, many downtown Traverse City businesses are applauded for their polite, friendly, personal service. In truth, numerous shop owners become so familiar with clients that they know them by name and even consider them friends. One such location is McMillen’s Custom Framing, where owner Todd McMillen’s creative expertise, personal service, and playful banter is legendary. Well, there has been a change!

Recently, Todd shared his search for a credentialed individual to serve as store manager; someone with whom he could work side-by-side or leave alone to mind the store; someone he could trust to maintain the quality service and personal comfort level folks have come to expect at McMillen’s Custom Framing. Enter Bethany Bartlett, the change he was searching for; a Traverse City native with a lovely countenance, a heart for service, and experience galore.

Bethany, aka assistant to the owner, loves working downtown as it provides a “laid-back and relaxed” atmosphere. She also delights in the opportunity to “learn something new every day” in a state of the art, one of a kind framing studio. The opportunity for continual creative opportunities, of course, is a bonus. Besides working with Todd, who she considers “a celebrity,” Bethany enjoys the customers most. I think that implies the likelihood of a chat and burgeoning friendships with return customers, and will certainly result in the continuation of the warm, friendly environment Todd has always delivered. Bethany, however, is not the only change to the McMillen’s staff.

Enter Andrew Hawkins, a Grand Valley State grad with a BA in advertising and an art minor. Though born in Brazil, Andy returned to the US at age 3 and grew up downstate. Having worked in his father’s art gallery/frame shop, Andy is familiar with the framing process, but feels it will take time to get comfortable with the latest technological tools. Although he has only been on the job a few weeks, his passion for art itself has already been reignited as evidenced by his personal statement: “This job is going to be the inspiration that helps me refocus on my art.” Outside the shop, Andy is the father of two children, a son and a daughter.  In addition, he loves all water sports (especially rowing) and is an avid Redwings fan.

So if you have a minute, stop in and welcome the new brunettes in Todd’s life. And rest assured, we’ll all benefit from this change!

Written by: Lin Opgenorth