BIRMINGHAM – The Alabama Retail Association, in cooperation with the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Collat School of Business, today recognized outstanding Alabama retailers representing 13 retail businesses with operations in 48 Alabama cities and 12 other states as Retailers of the Year. The 13 winning Retailers of the Year came from a pool of almost 70 nominees. The presentations were made at the Vestavia Country Club in Birmingham during the 2014 Retail Day Luncheon. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley presented the keynote address and signed a statewide proclamation declaring Sept. 23 as Alabama Retail Day. This marked the 15th presentation of the Retailer of the Year Awards since 1999.
Carla Hamilton, chief executive officer of Four Corners Gallery, a full-service art and custom framing gallery in Birmingham, earned the Bronze Retailer of the Year Award in the Annual Sales Less Than $1 Million category. “One of the only galleries of its kind in the area, Four Corners always produces quality and timely work,” said Amanda Spencer, senior development officer for the Birmingham Museum of Art, who nominated Hamilton for the award. Hamilton’s entry also was supported by testimonials from several customers, including Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, Alabama Power Co., professional photographers, an interior designer and art collectors. Other Retailers of the Year in the same sales category were: Jan Jacks with Dreamcakes Bakery and Marco and Elan Morosini with Silvertron Café.
In the past two years, Four Corners Gallery has expanded its art restoration and fine art sales departments. Hamilton and her staff also have joined several Birmingham Museum of Art support groups and actively built personal relationships with members of those groups. “We are the custom framer for a number of art collectors within those groups and believe we will become the ‘go-to’ for more collectors as they discover Four Corners,” Hamilton said in her entry. The same applies to the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Abroms-Engel Institute of the Visual Arts and the support group, Friends of Art and Art History.
This year, Four Corners rebuilt its website and added online sales. “In polling our new customers, we continually find that the majority of them found out about us through an online search,” Hamilton said in her entry. “Typically, they visit our website and then come to our shop.” The latest version of Four Corners’ website launched in September. It is the third incarnation since the website was introduced in 2004. The new site is mobile and tablet-compatible and includes a blog.
Four Corners Gallery has been in business for 15 years. It provides fine art, custom conservation framing, art and frame restoration, digital retouching, consultation and installation services for both residential and corporate clients. “We espouse the ‘shop local’ mindset, participate in American Express’ annual “Small Business Saturday” campaign and are committed to our distinct community,” said Hamilton.
In 2013, Four Corners Gallery set up an entire art gallery in a vacant, downtown, street-level, office lobby as part of REV Birmingham’s “Revive – The Street Life Project.” “We had already been entertaining the idea of hosting our own pop-up shop and so were quick to become involved,” Hamilton said, adding that the event exposed Four Corners to hundreds of potential new customers. Hamilton is also active with the Birmingham Business Alliance.
Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown said, “Carla Hamilton is a retailer of the year EVERY year to her customers, her seven employees and the Birmingham area.”
Media Contact: Carla Hamilton, Four Corners Gallery | 205.980.2600
Media Contact: Nancy King Dennis | 334.551.0643 (d) | 800.239.5423