Friday, September 09, 2011

The next big thing: Here comes Koch & Company

Photo by Mark Lynch for The Valley Report
This is a story about how to build an empire.

Deborah Koch sits back in a chair and bristles at the thought of being incorrectly identified as a 52 year old by the local newspaper as we begin our informal interview. We share a moment of laughter over the gaffe as I assure her that age isn't a priority for this story.

It is her talent I'm after.

Her shop, Koch & Company, has been open in the Valley Station Shopping Center a mere three months, but already Koch is looking like a veteran of the industry. After putting together a solid business plan, she obtained a low-interest METCO loan from city government to open her gallery - a full service framing shop featuring graphic design work and consignment of fine art that also sells jewelry and unique gifts along with decorative furniture.

Deborah runs the shop, but it is definitely a team effort. "I love the people I work with. I couldn't do this without them", she says.

The space is comfortably arranged and welcoming. If it seems eerily familiar, it is. Although remodeled and modern, you are standing in what used to be the produce section of the old Winn Dixie store that once occupied the location.

A showcase of original, one-of-a-kind artwork, Koch sells pieces from 49 of Louisville's finest artists - some from right here in Southwest Louisville. "When people think of our part of town, they don't necessarily think of a group of talented artists, but we are loaded with them. We are truly blessed out here."

Our interview is punctuated by cigarette breaks, and as the talk eventually veers off subject to political matters and public perceptions, I browse the gallery. Here's the thing: You really must spend some time in this place to see everything. Not just looking, but seeing. But be warned- you could spend the entire day here.

The shop also feels like a gathering place for the neighborhood as a cast of local characters rotate in and out. Customers shop the selection and leave with heavy praise. Said one excited patron, "We really needed something like this out here. Thank you so much!"

This could be the next big thing for Southwest Louisville. As a woman exits, Koch says, "I am blessed to be here every day. And I wouldn't live anywhere else."

As business progresses, Koch plans a rapid expansion and an additional service - art classes given by the very artists who created the work on the walls. The shop has an option to expand an additional 5000 square feet, and it is doubtlessly going to be successful.

In addition to the impressive selection, the shop also has a wide variety of prices to suit all budgets. Here, there really is something for everyone. Koch & Company accepts cash and all major credit cards, so grab that family heirloom or photograph you've been wanting to have framed and take it to Deborah and her talented and entertaining staff. You will not be disappointed in this Southwest treasure.

Koch & Company is located at 10978 Dixie Highway.
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 10am-6pm
Friday, 10am-8pm
Saturday, 10am-6pm
Sunday, 12-5pm
Closed on Monday

If readers would like to know more or have questions about METCO loans, you can start by asking someone who has been through the process and has been successful at obtaining help. Deborah Koch invites anyone seeking information on the program to contact her. Her experience could be useful to you.

A photo album of our visit is now live on our Facebook page. Special thanks to Mark Lynch of Valley Station for taking the photos.


  1. This is the kind of business South Louisville needs. I am so tired of Flea Markets at every corner. Please support them or we will lose them!

  2. I Proudly Support the Local Business in Valley Station, Remember small business's need Our Support especially now with the economic hard times. Best of Luck to You! Lee.

  3. Not what I was hoping for. I got a painting framed there last summer & I swear it still stinks of cigarette smoke & the pushy owner lady was rude 2 me when I said something about it 2 her she snapped at me & said they don't smoke in there but I know they was smoking cause I'm allergic 2 smoke & I can smell it real bad. Now my favorite painting is ruined & it cost me money 2 have it ruined! I reckon I will go elsewhere from now on for better quality & customer service.

  4. I had my art work displayed at this "gallery" and one of my favorite pieces was broken under their care. I was never issued an apology by the owner and never reimbursed financially for my loss. I do not recommend this shop to anyone much less other artists!

  5. This was the most nightmarish interaction with a so called "professional artist" one could image. I will first list the pros: None. Now I will list the cons: I took my work there to be framed. I chose my own mat color and frame style. She said it would be ready in a three days and that she would call me. She never called me. When I finally called her she said I must have given her the wrong number. I asked her to check her computer to see what number she had on file for me and she replied her computer was down. She then told me that the frame company "sent the wrong frame" and she had sent it back to get the correct one so it would be four more days. She took my "correct number" & said she would call me when it was ready. No one called. Finally after a week I called her and I was a bit annoyed at this point when she insisted she had left several messages on my voice mail and I never returned her calls. It simply was not true. I didn't argue with her because I understood it was pointless. I went to pick up my art. They were supposed to be open until 6:00 but apparently she left early. I was so frustrated with her complete lack of professionalism! The next day I went during my lunch break and there it was! Finished at last, (or so I thought.) The mat was not even close to the color I had chosen, the frame had a deep and very visible scratch on it and even worse, my work had permanent damage namely a HUGE, prominent, ugly, permanent crease in it! You wouldn't think it could get worse, would you? Well, it did. She claimed I brought it to her in that condition! (I wonder if she noticed my face turning red and the vein in my forehead that pops out when I get angry?) Everything is MY fault? She said I was mistaken about the mat color and the color used was exactly what I ordered. Not true. She sarcastically stated she would be happy to take it apart and redo it. WHO WOULD WANT PERMANENTLY DAMAGED ART FRAMED? I felt like saying "Yes, kick me in the crotch again." In summary: I wouldn't recommend Koch and Company on Dixie HWY to my worst enemy. The owner is dishonest and takes no responsibility or accountability for her mistakes. She has no customer sevice skills or etiquette. The only kind of artist she could possibly be is a con artist. She is arrogant, rude, deceptive, dismissive, selfish and condescending. The bottom line is, I lost a lot of time, money and a very sentimental piece is family history in which cannot ever be replaced, not to mention the unnecessary stress of simply dealing with the owner. I do not recommend Koch and Company to anyone. My wife cried when she saw what happened. She was crushed.

  6. My framing experience will not make me return. Mechanically and artistically it left much to be desired. Whoever the person was I dealt with was friendly the first time and not the second time. I was not given a claim ticket to pick it up, and it was somewhat late in being ready when they had first said it would be. And yes, about the cigaret smoke, I noticed the odor in the shop but did not see anyone actually smoking at the time. The experience was disappointing, and now I will have to search out another shop to have the picture reframed.