But he also delves into the sentimental realm as he manufactures frames that hold customers' memories, from the joyous to the tragic.
Prosser owns the business along with his wife, Janet Tyson Prosser, whom he credits with having the greater artistic talent for translating customers' wishes into three-dimensional materials.
"There is the element of helping a customer see what would work best with that picture," he said.
It was Janet's parents, Floyd and Bertha Tyson, who began the business as an auto glass firm in 1946, soon expanding into picture framing. (A brother of Floyd, Lowell, started a different business that's now known as Jim Tyson's Model City Glass.)
Prosser sees his job as combining both manufacturing and retail operations.
Three employees, Nellie Champion, Betty Harris and Peg Tyler, assist him and his wife.
Manufacturing includes cutting the glass that protects the picture, cutting the "sticks" from which a frame is formed and, if the project requires it, cutting the colored cardboard-like material, called a matte, which forms a visible border for the picture.
Special types of matte and glass are available to prevent sun from causing the image to fade, he said.
Ninety-five percent of the frames his shop makes come from wood he or other employees cut, he said.
"We have the space to buy it and keep track of it," Prosser said, noting that a West 10th Street location holds framing materials and the equipment to cut it.
And while saws, knives and glass may spell trouble in some hands, "We have safety items and procedures" that keep accidents to a minimum, Prosser said.
Prosser, a Virginia native, is a 1969 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and spent five years in that branch of the service before entering the insurance and investment industry. He was a trust officer at AmSouth Bank in Anniston in the mid-1990s. He and Janet married in 1991 and for the past 10 years he's been constantly with the frame business, except for a short period when he was business manager at the Donoho School.
Prosser has seen just about everything framed that can fit into a shallow space — from christening dresses to vacation maps, sports jerseys to flags.
"Things have different meanings to different people," he said, noting that one man framed his pins representing perfect attendance in Sunday School, while a grandmother framed actual cookies that had been lacquered for preservation.
They were the cookies she and her granddaughter had made the day before the child was killed in a traffic accident.
The risk and reward of owning a small business figure into Prosser's favorite and least favorite parts of his job.
He likes running his own shop — which also includes gifts and wines — although there is the "uncertainty of whether people are going to come in the door."
But he likes it, he said, "when [customers] are pleased with their piece of art after we finish with it."
Paperwork is Prosser's least favorite part of his job.
"You get tired of all the paperwork, the taxes, writing checks for all the bills," he said.
But also as a small business owner, Prosser sees part of his job as just letting the public know that expertise exists in the Anniston area for a wide variety of retail skills, whether it's framing or something else. That expertise, he said, is "just as good as what they have in Birmingham or Atlanta."
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