I now have 110 employees, many of whom have been with me for more than 15 years -- with an average tenure of nine years. But are they my friends?
About the Goltz Group
A Family of Four Companies Connected by Design
In 1978, long before the Clybourn Corridor was anointed one of Chicago’s premier shopping destinations, Jay Goltz set up shop in a third-floor walk-up loft in what was then an abandoned factory district. His mission was simple: sell high-quality frames and provide the same personal service as his grandfather and father’s dime store, which was just around the corner on Armitage Avenue.
Over 40 years later, the Goltz Group has evolved into a family of four design-minded companies that take up nearly an entire city block named “Honorary Jay Goltz Way” by the city of Chicago, including Artists Frame Service, Chicago Art Source, Jayson Home, and Bella Moulding.
From a one-of-a-kind Parisian flea market find, to a painting commissioned from a local artist, to an exclusive leather frame from a small Italian town, the Goltz Group prides itself on its carefully curated collection of inspired goods.
That dedication to finding beautiful objects and providing authentic customer service has made the companies of the Goltz Group a destination for design enthusiasts from Chicago and around the country, while making its founder, Jay Goltz, a popular business author, speaker and blogger.
When Jay Goltz graduated from college in 1978, conventional wisdom said he should get a full-time job. Instead, Jay headed down a more unconventional path and went into business for himself. Leveraging his previous experience making custom frames for artists, he opened Artists Frame Service in a third-floor walk-up in an abandoned Chicago factory district.
By selling more interesting frames, providing top-notch service and pioneering a one-week turnaround, Jay quickly revolutionized the business and turned Artists Frame Service into the largest custom frame store in the country. Over the years, Jay added three more successful design-minded businesses to the Goltz Group family, each of which is a leader in its field. And today, the man who has never held a full-time job himself has created jobs for over 100 people who share his vision.
Jay’s refreshing and relatable approach to small business challenges has made him a highly sought-after speaker, as well as the lead blogger for the New York Times small business blog, “You’re the Boss.” He is the author of “The Street Smart Entrepreneur: 133 Tough Lessons I Learned the Hard Way” and is frequently featured in the business media, including Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Crain’s Chicago Business, MSNBC and more.
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Jay’s speeches are packed with real-life insights, candid humor, inspirational anecdotes and take-home value for everyone from small business owners to Fortune 500 managers.