Jay Goltz

Jay Goltz, Culture/Work Environment NSB Jay Goltz, Culture/Work Environment NSB

Jay Goltz Bio

After graduating college, and against the advice of just about everyone, Jay Goltz decided to open a custom framing shop on Clybourn Ave., a then abandoned factory district on the edge of Lincoln Park. He worked in a frame shop in high school and college and thought he could provide a better experience for the customer in both design and service.

Within a few years, Jay grew Artists Frame Service into the largest custom frame shop in the country- about twenty times the average size. Jay expanded both "vertically and horizontally" by adding Jayson Home, Bella Moulding, and Gallery 1871. His business now employs 115 people and occupies almost an entire city block on Clybourn Ave. (now a vibrant shopping district) and a 85,000 sq.ft. warehouse and factory.

Over the years he has expanded his expertise from retail to include distribution, direct sales, manufacturing, and e-commerce. Jay's story is unusual in that he has never had a full-time job or a mentor, and he learned by making "every mistake in the book". The problem was, there was no book he could find that covered all of the realities of growing a business, from management to finance to marketing. So he wrote "The Street Smart Entrepreneur:133 Tough lessons I Learned the Hard Way", was the lead blogger for the NYT small business blog for 5 years, and is frequently featured in the business media. He recently joined The 21 Hats podcast team where he talks about what it really takes to run a business. He is known for his pithy, relatable, take home value advice.