Island Expressions has been part of the Daniel Island framework for over 15 years. The gift shop specializes in professional custom framing along with printing services for pictures and artwork. The store carries “something for everyone” and supports local vendors and artisans.
Owner Dyan Heineck worked eight years at the store as a custom framer before purchasing the shop in 2019. When the pandemic forced shutdowns, Island Expressions, along with other small businesses, faced unprecedented challenges.
“Of all of the scenarios I went through in my head when purchasing the business last year, the possibility of facing a global pandemic in my first year of business never came to mind! I feared a day of no customers, major hurricanes, floods, and Publix expansion, but a virus that spread around the world and shut business down was not a consideration,” she said.
After Island Expressions reopened, masks were added to the shop’s inventory. To incorporate a safety message with the art industry Island Expressions serves, Heineck created a masked masterpiece. Heineck put a mask on a portrait of Mona Lisa as a way to make people smile during difficult times.
“While sharing the concept with my creative family, my daughter quickly came up with the idea of naming her ‘Corona Lisa.’ My intention was also to give people an opportunity to take a masked selfie as a sign of the times to show future generations what 2020 looked like.”
During the coronavirus downtime, Island Expressions collaborated with framers from around the globe. The project celebrates creativity amid the corona crisis. The video is available at youtu.be/EZ0bRafln78.
One of the things that keeps people coming back to the shop is the customer service.
“I think the thing that makes us stand out is the relationship our staff shares with our customers. We see many of our customers on a weekly basis and we are able to share in not only the happy occasions, but also the struggles that many people are enduring,” said Heineck. “There is nothing I value more as a business owner than the relationships we have with our customers.”
Artist Barbara Meierhusby, a retired Paper and Rare Book Conservator from the Library of Congress, appreciates Heineck’s experience and knowledge.
“I have found her to share my conservation concerns in proper framing practices,” she said. “She is terrific to work with and has a great eye for matting and framing choices. As someone who has done a great deal of framing over the course of my art and conservation careers, all these considerations are of utmost importance.”
Kendell Sutterlin enjoys the store’s selection of unique gifts and personalized service. “I absolutely love shopping there. Dyan goes above and beyond to make sure you are completely satisfied.”
Angie Esposito echoes Sutterlin’s sentiments. “Dyan takes the time to meet with you and learn what makes each piece of art so special…I often enjoy popping into the shop and love to see the new items, many of which are from local vendors.”
More information about Island Expressions is available on their social media pages and islandexpressionsdi.com.