A Recovery from COVID, and a Return to the Business He Loves

Gary Fletcher has owned Simply Art and Framing, a unique gift and framing store located at 11 North Union Avenue, for 14 years. While the last year and a half has been tumultuous for many business owners, it was especially harrowing for Gary. In February 2021, Gary was in the hospital for something unrelated to COVID, but ended up contracting COVID while hospitalized. Though originally released, Gary ended up back in the hospital and his family was told to prepare for the worst. Gary was barely responsive for a number of weeks, until slowly he began to respond to treatment. Gary finally came home in early April, and returned to Simply in late May.

In Gary’s absence, Jean and Carmela helped keep the store running. “People were amazing,” said Jean. “Customers showed their support by stopping in to check in and do some shopping. Other business owners also reached out and helped in a number of ways.”

Gary has had to readjust to being back at work. He’s seen improvements in his breathing and physical ability since leaving the hospital, though he recognizes he isn’t quite 100% yet. “It was good to return to Simply and get back into a routine,” said Gary. “My time away showed why Cranford is such a special community. Everyone has been so supportive.”

Since his return to Simply, Gary has been busy bringing in new artwork and products. In early August he attended a show at the Javits Center to source new products and artisans for the shop. “Simply has a unique and eclectic feel that you won’t find anyplace else,” said Gary. “One of the favorite parts of my job is helping clients with framing design and choosing decor for their home. It also means a lot when someone thinks of giving a gift from my store, to the special people in their lives.”

Gary and his staff are already looking forward to the holidays. Gary plans to offer more home décor, as well as expand women’s clothing and accessories. The store always has a selection of items and gifts at all price points.

For more information, follow Simply on social media, visit their website, http://www.simplyartandframes.com/, or give them a call: 908.272.3030. We extend our best wishes to Gary and we’re so happy that he’s recovered and is back where he belongs, running a beloved Downtown Cranford business!