ARQADIA: Putting shared values into the frame

The greatest partnerships are built on shared values. Boasting a 40 year relationship, it’s their hunger for progress, focus on solutions and uncompromising approach to customer service which have unified Arqadia and James Cropper since the beginning.

The greatest partnerships are built on shared values. Boasting a 40 year relationship, it’s their hunger for progress, focus on solutions and uncompromising approach to customer service which have unified Arqadia and James Cropper since the beginning.

Arqadia offers the most comprehensive range of picture frames, mountboard, glass and accessories in the market, and has worked with James Cropper from the day the business was founded. Attracted to its artisanal approach and expertise in colour, Arqadia (then called Arquati) challenged the papermaker to create a small range of mountboard in 20 colours. James Cropper had never made mountboard before.

Fast-forward 40 years and that range has grown to include over 300 colours and styles. Arqadia’s prudence in looking for a partner to create the best long-term solution was successful, and demonstrates it values-first approach.

The business is now part of the Berkshire Hathaway company Larson Juhl, selling James Cropper specialist mountboard and archival grade boards throughout North America, Europe, Australasia and Asia.

Pauline Hutchinson, Arqadia Marketing Manager, who boasts nearly 40 years’ service herself, comments, “The two businesses are solutions focussed. We were once tasked with creating mount boards in a specific football team’s colour.

The technicians at James Cropper’s colour lab expertly matched and produced the mountboard with no question. There is no other mill in the country that offers this level of service.”

Today, Arqadia focusses on quality of service as much as the quality of product with investment in next day delivery, a dedicated call centre and representatives available worldwide. The business also takes a progressive approach to operating in a mature market.Continually exploring new avenues for growth, it is now forming partnerships within the interior design market.

Pauline Hutchinson, adds, “The picture on the wall is often the final thing that people think about. We are working with interior designers commissioned for pubs, hotels and even cruise-liners to consider the contribution those framed pictures will make to the overall aesthetic at the start of the creative process.”

Arqadia has a proud history as an industry influencer. Just 20 years ago, there were no real market standards. Arqadia representatives contributed to the meeting where those first standards were set, and have been actively involved in aligning global markets ever since. James Cropper sits alongside Arqadia on the technical standards committee at the Fine Art Trade Guild (FATG).

James Cropper and Arqadia have created a partnership with significant commercial benefits on each side. By continuing to put shared values in the frame, they can look forward to working together for another 40 years.

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