ANNISTON – For Ann Welch, owner/operator of Nunnally’s Noble and Frame Gallery in downtown Anniston, increased framing and art gallery sales produced a record year for her shop in 2022. In recognition of her success, Welch is the Silver Alabama Retailer of the Year in the Annual Sales Less Than $1 Million category. “This special recognition was made possible by an amazing team – my husband, employees, customers and community partners, such as the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce, Jacksonville State University’s SBDC, Main Street Anniston and The Spirit of Anniston,” Welch said.
Welch has been owner of Nunnally’s Noble Frame and Gallery since 1995 when she purchased the 47-year-old business. Her record year, she said, “was obviously the result of many years of effort, evolving to meet the needs of an ever-changing market.” Specific strategies she has implemented include setting challenging production goals, adding services of design and layout, promoting professional installation and securing a consultant to review pricing. Her team also engaged with opportunities in the community that resulted in several large contracts.
A Retailer of the Year judge noted one of her most prominent projects in recent years. “When the federal government built the new U.S. District Courthouse for Alabama’s Northern District, Nunnally’s outfitted it. That’s impressive,” the judge said.
U.S. District Judge Corey Maze, who oversaw the courthouse construction, expressed his appreciation for Welch’s efforts in a letter of recommendation. “We spent many afternoons pouring through custom framing ideas and discussing where to hang certain items,” Maze wrote. “Ann’s work was a hit, and it will be on display for generations of Annistonians,” he added.
Welch has been highly involved in her community, giving support to nonprofits, civic clubs and other local organizations. “She is a very giving person and donates her time, talent and finances for the advancement of the Downtown Anniston Business District,” wrote Ken Grissom, SBDC Center Director for the College of Business & Industry at Jacksonville State University, in support of her nomination.
Linda Hearn, executive director of the Calhoun County Area Chamber and Visitors Center, also supported Welch for the award. “Nunnally’s Noble Frame & Gallery has played an active role in downtown Anniston for many years,” Hearn said. “(Ann Welch) has weathered through the competition and continues to adapt and diversify, adding local merchants displays to her shop.”
“My passion is to start every day doing the best job I can, finding new and better ways to do what I do, enjoying the people I encounter and leaving this world a little better than the day before,” Welch said.
The Alabama Retailer of the Year awards, started in 1999, honor retailers who have demonstrated growth, innovation and a commitment to their respective communities. This year’s winners were selected from 57 entries submitted from a pool of 86 nominees. Nunnally’s is one of 11 businesses honored as the 2023 Retailers of the Year by the Alabama Retail Association.
“Ann Welch is a retailer of the year EVERY year to her customers, her four employees and the Anniston community,” said Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown.
Originally posted at 11 a.m. Sept. 14, 2023
The Alabama Retail Association represents retailers, the largest private employer in the state of Alabama, before the Alabama Legislature and the U.S. Congress. Through sales of food, clothing, furniture, medicine and more, our 4,300 independent merchant and national company members touch almost every aspect of daily living. Since 1943, we’ve worked to promote what’s best for the retail industry in Alabama. Whether voicing the retail view when public policy is made, educating members about issues that impact them, negotiating rates for benefits and services or communicating the retail story, the Alabama Retail Association and its members are better together.