GOSHEN — Lyman Hug plans to retire after 13 years as the owner of Shutter Hugs Custom Framing in downtown Goshen.
“I will miss it,” Hug said last week. “Everything that has a beginning has an end and we are the last framing business in town. I hope it continues.”
He’s already sold the building at 132 S. Main St. and he hopes someone will buy or lease his framing equipment to keep the business open locally.
“The framing business has been good to us,” said Hug, whose wife is Sherry. “We love downtown Goshen and downtown is looking real nice. I want to sell to somebody who will carry on with some retail. ...”
Before he bought the building in 2000, Hug worked in factories as an electrician most of his life.
“One day I decided to do something different,” he said and learned the framing trade.
He’s framed some unusual items for customers, including large silk pieces from China that were about 50 inches by 36 inches, as well as a Civil War military discharge paper signed by Abraham Lincoln.
“I want to thank customers who brought in pictures to have framed and tried our designs,” Hug said. “I never told them what they had to do and some of them came up with their own ideas.”
In 2011, Hug added photography to the business doing senior and family portraits with his wife.
“It’s been about ... 24 years ago and (Sherry) taught me everything I know about photography,” he said. “I do the framing and my wife is a bookkeeper and an RN. We hope to do some photography in our retirement together.”
A few years ago, the couple had two photographs selected by White Mountain Puzzles (one of his wife’s favorite companies) and made into jigsaw puzzles for production.
He said they also have a “passion for nature photography.”
“Birding is one thing we enjoy together,” Hug said. “We volunteer at Rieth (Interpretive Center) once a week to feed the birds. When I retire I plan to do volunteer work and continue to do photography as a hobby.”
He helped find a permanent home for the collection of photo images by Marion Troyer, when the collection was donated to the Goshen Historical Society and Museum in 2012.
The history of Goshen is near and dear to the heart of Hug, and he says time has a way of slipping by when he starts talking about the past.
“I get excited,” he said, smiling.
Hug spent a few minutes in reflection about his time as a business owner.
“In a small business, customers turn into good friends and I have some good friends now,” he said. “We got to see a lot of different people and we’re glad to have met so many. I want to thank the community for being such a part of our lives. I enjoy meeting people and doing portraits of kids and going out to family houses. I want to thank you for being so good to us and say a ‘happy good-bye.’”
Just the Facts Name: Lyman Hug Age: 65 Hometown: Sturgis, Mich. Current town: Goshen Daytime job: Custom framer Education: High school Wife: Married to Sherry Hug for 23 years Children: Five Grandchildren: 10 Hobbies and interests: Photography and birding