We are thrilled that anyone who buys from us, knows they are getting something we made or designed from the heart! We wanted to make a wide range of designs that anyone can find something they like. Our designs are perfect for a splurge on yourself or as a gift for any occasion.
|NFR was founded by Cal Elkins and his son, Matt Elkins, in Dallas, Texas.||We’re super proud that we have been able to build this business from the ground up –|
Behind every small business is a family!
NFR Designs was created under our parent company National Frame Rail, Inc. We started this company in 1999. The Elkins Family built this small manufacturing company with their blood, sweat and tears by designing and building machines that could manufacture steel frame rails for a local truck company. It took many years to get to a point where we were making a profit. We slowly expanded our abilities to making wrenches for another company around 2006. In 2018, we installed one of the largest press brakes in the country and planned to use it to bring in customers needing large pieces of steel bent and shaped to their specifications.
Just as the business was really starting to look successful on paper, the patriarch to the business became ill with Cancer and passed away in 2019. Then 3 months later, our devoted foreman suddenly passed away. The 2 most knowledgeable people in a very complex business were now gone. But we never wavered! We were determined to keep moving forward and survive. We started discussing ways to diversify and expand the business. Since we already work with steel we felt metal designs would be something we could implement into the business. So, we began the process of designing, making the samples and pricing the work….and just when things were looking up and starting to move in a forward direction – COVID hit. We, along with everyone else in the Country/World were suddenly faced with mandatory shut downs. We managed to keep all our staff on payroll and qualified for some local Small Business Grants and the Government’s PPP. It was important to us that we help our employees and their families feel safe in their jobs and not have to worry about having to look for employment. We struggled for 1.5 years trying to build the business back to what is was PRE-COVID.
Now we are facing inflation, work shortages and supply chain issues. Our main customer is unable to get parts to complete their orders and it is causing a trickle down effect to all of its vendors with more shutdowns. Our costs for steel have doubled and we are doing our best to be competitive in salary for our employees without any type of price increase to our customers.
We had never been a large enough company that we needed to advertise. We survived by word of mouth in this industry. However, we had to come to the realization that if we continued to just rely on the same 2-4 customers we may not be able to sustain the business while we wait out this inflationary crisis and Covid.
So we started brainstorming ideas on what we could do that would help us stay in business and provide something that people would want or have a need for. We had already put a lot of effort into the metal art designs. So, we decided to move forward and add in the element of putting the designs on apparel and accessories too.
We wanted this to be something that anyone would like and not just limit ourselves to a certain customer base anymore…so, we decided to create a variety of designs for a diverse range of customer’s. From kids to moms/dads to grandparents, from patriotism to religion, from vacations to sports. Ultimately our goal is that our site would allow us to provide something for everyone.