Susan Tynan

Founder and CEO
Susan Tynan, Founder and CEO, Framebridge, The List 2019

When Susan Tynan founded Framebridge in 2014, she thought of it more as an art business. Five years later, with more than 400 employees in Washington, D.C. and Kentucky, plus having looked at hundreds of remarkable items customers have sent for custom framing, she understands the business is actually about people’s memories and the artifacts.

“The happiest thing I've learned along the way is what an emotional purpose we serve—helping people celebrate and chronicle their lives,” says Tynan, who was inspired to create Framebridge after failing to find high-quality, affordable framing for her prints. The company has $67 million in venture financing from investors including one of Tynan’s retail heroes, Crate and Barrel co-founder Gordon Segal. She says the business has grown so quickly that she’s experienced a “metamorphosis” as a leader, growing herself as well as her team.

Tynan worked at Gap in high school, admired Mickey Drexler from afar and still applies lessons she learned while working at his company. And although she’s worked at Accenture and the Obama White House, her heart is in retail. “I love thinking about customer experiences,” she says. “The convergence of offline and online is so exciting.” In the near future, Framebridge plans to experiment with physical retail, opening its first shop in Washington.