Barb Weitkamp frames herself for a photo at her business, The Frame Shop, on Monday. She is retiring and closing up her York City shop after 32 years at
Barb Weitkamp frames herself for a photo at her business, The Frame Shop, on Monday. She is retiring and closing up her York City shop after 32 years at the end of April. The shop will accept new work until the end of March. She said she will "miss my downtown family." (BILL KALINA — bkalina@yorkdispatch.com)

Three decades in downtown York City have been good to Barb Weitkamp.

She's met interesting people, fulfilled her dream of owning an art gallery and made money all along the way.

But technology, and the changes it brings, have made it tough to keep The Frame Shop at 41 W. Market St. afloat.

At 63, Weitkamp said she's content with her decision to shut the doors and retire — even if it's a bit earlier than planned.

"I just figure that life has another journey for me to travel," Weitkamp said.

Weitkamp said her lease ends in April, and that will be the end of the business she operated in York for 32 years. She's deeply discounting her remaining inventory in the meantime.

Weitkamp said she first opened the custom framing business in a smaller space on South Beaver Street.

A few years later, she moved into a larger property where she could expand into art sales.

Changing times: She traveled the country to buy "all flavors of art" she could sell in York. But, over the years, the art business has changed dramatically.

Artists "don't need the galleries to buy from them," Weitkamp said. "They can sell to the consumer directly."

And, of course, customers know they can find art for sale online. "It's just modernization and changing times," she said.

During her three decades in business, Weitkamp said she also saw the impact of economic recessions on customers' appetite for art.

"When everything is feel-good, people come in and they buy art because they feel good," she said. "It's inspirational to them."

Weitkamp said she's been most grateful to meet people who share her passion for art.

"You just open your world to all different experiences," she said. "After 30 years, it never gets old."

Weitkamp said she intends to stay active through volunteer work, sharing her framing talents with people eager to learn.

"Retirement doesn't mean you pull up a chair and put your feet up," she said.

— Reach Erin James at ejames@yorkdispatch.com.