We recently began carrying Gallery Magic in our framing department and it is a huge game changer for the framing market. Because we love Gallery Magic so much, both A.I. Friedman stores are offering a promotion; with a $100 purchase of any wall frames you get a FREE Gallery Magic Kit! Gregory Wiseman, the creator of Gallery Magic, was nice enough to do a little interview with us. So take the time to read about him and how he invented this awesome product before taking advantage of our sale!
Tell us a little bit about yourself, what were you doing before Gallery Magic?
Greg: I’ve always been interested in figuring out how to do things differently and better. As a little kid I figured out how to make a watering device for a houseplant. We were going on vacation and I was worried the plant would dry out and die. So, I rigged up a plastic milk jug with a tiny tube poked into the side that would dispense slow drops of water for the plant. More recently, I worked in Research and Development at Kraft Foods for 24 years where I developed lots of new things and received three patents for my inventions.
So what is Gallery Magic anyway?
Greg: Gallery Magic is the easiest way to hang framed art. Instead of making multiple holes in the wall when you’re trying to get the frames level and evenly spaced, Gallery Magic lets you move the frame in any direction you want after you mount it on the wall.
Instead of the normal nail or hook that attaches to the wall, you attach a super-strong magnet to the wall with one screw about where you want to hang the frame. No measurements or math needed.
Then, instead of the wire on the back of the frame, you attach a 3×3″ steel plate. Simply put the steel plate in contact with the magnet and it’ll grab the steel to securely mount the frame on the wall. Now you can move the frame in any direction within the dimensions of the steel plate to get it perfectly positioned.
Have you always want to be an inventor, or did it just happen?
Greg: Yeah, I’ve always tried to figure out different ways of doing things! It’s part of my curious and geeky nature!
How did you get the idea for Gallery Magic?
Greg: It was one of those moments of intense frustration that we’ve all experienced when trying to hang art. I was so frustrated trying to get the nail in the right spot. I knew there had to be a better way so I started doing some brainstorming in my head.
Within just a few seconds I thought about a magnet. How could I use a magnet….? Within a couple of minutes I had the basic idea of using a magnet and a steel plate. From there, It was many months of refining and testing different approaches in my basement.
What was the most difficult obstacle to overcome when creating Gallery Magic?
Greg: The biggest thing I focused on was to make it secure so that the frame doesn’t come off the wall. I worked really hard on optimizing the design to make the magnet and steel connection veryy strong and secure. Plus, we built in some safety features into the design so the frame won’t fall if somebody bumps the frame and the magnetic connection is temporarily lost.
We know that Gallery Magic is Made in the USA, was that very important to you when going to production?
Greg: Yes, that’s something that was really important to me. My dad worked in a General Motors factory as an electrician. Because the GM cars were being made in the US, he had a good job and our family had a good life. I want to help create solid jobs in the US so that somebody else’s family can have a good life too.
What is the best tip you can give to aspiring inventors?
Greg: Don’t give up! There will be so many obstacles and challenges that at first you have no idea how to overcome. But, be tenacious and get help from anybody and everybody. My friends and family have been so incredible in helping me. I’ve tapped into that network for everything from graphics development to filing the patent application. Tell your friends and family what you need help with. Everybody knows somebody and those 2nd and 3rd removed connections might be the perfect resource to help you!
Since you invented an art hanging system, are you an art fan? Who is your favorite artist?
Greg: I do enjoy art and my favorite painting genre is abstract expressionism. One of my favorite artists in the genre is William de Kooning. In addition, we love to buy art that we find when we travel. Those pieces are both beautiful and remind me of the great time we had on the trip whenever I see them!
Are you an artist yourself? (If so, what mediums are your favorite?)
Greg: Unfortunately, I’m more of a “left brained” kind of guy which means that I’m great at the logical problem solving stuff. That’s what helps me be an inventor. While I love and appreciate art, I’m not so great at creating it myself.
One creative medium that I do enjoy is photography. I’m good at spotting something that could be a good subject for a photo and then framing the image in an interesting way. My favorite place to find subjects for my photography is NYC. There’s a great photo opportunity on every sidewalk and in every park in the city!
What’s next on the horizon for you and Gallery Magic?
Greg: We’re working on additional designs that will hold even heavier frames and also a design that will work with metal frames. At the same time, we’re growing our distribution network in both the US and in Canada!
How can readers find out more about you and Gallery Magic?
Thank you, Greg, for taking the time to talk with us! Don’t forget to head to one of our stores to get your FREE Gallery Magic kit with any $100 wall frame purchase for the rest of September.