In the fast-paced world of design where competition is fierce and innovation is key, one partnership has proven to be unwavering: the unstoppable sibling duo, Edward Nader and Margaret Love of Nader’s Gallery. For more than four decades, Nader and Love have transformed their Shreveport, LA-based business into a powerhouse that has surpassed their wildest dreams.
Today, Nader’s Gallery is a multi-faceted business offering services in custom framing, restoration design consultation, furniture, gifts, decor and everything in between — though success did not come always come easily. The duo behind this impressive operation worked tirelessly, making sacrifices along the way, to bring their vision to life.
In the 1980s, Nader and Love embarked on a journey to turn their shared passion for the design and retail space into a reality. This bold move was unexpected, as Nader was still in college pursuing his business degree, while Love was already committed to her own career.
“At the time, I was 20 and Margaret was 28,” Nader says. “We had talked about opening a high-end boutique for a few years while I was in college, and it never really came to fruition. Then, Margaret’s husband at the time encouraged us to buy the picture framing business and work together. We thought, ‘what the heck, let’s give it a try.’”
Soon after, Nader and Love secured the 1,200-square-foot space where the business was already located, and got to work. According to Nader, it was a process that took time and dedication.
“In the 80s when this began, we couldn’t rub two quarters together,” he says. “We really needed the money when we started, and we did everything ourselves. Margaret would cut the frames, I would cut the mat. We would literally help the customers, go to markets to buy the stuff, and manufacture it from the ground up.”
Five years later the business was taking off, and the two decided to expand, buying the entire building where the framing business resided.
“After adding that 4,000 square feet, we decided to bring accessories and lighting into the business too,” Nader says. “From there, we parlayed it into a full home store. Meanwhile, I was still pursuing a degree and became a certified lighting consultant through the American Lighting Association. Little by little, we kept adding facets to our business.”
Though both framing and retail brought continued success, it didn’t stop there. With their sights set on growth, Nader and Love eventually purchased the building next door, connecting the two with a beautiful courtyard. Nader’s Gallery eventually reached 12,000 square feet, enabling it to act as a design house and showcase a vast collection of art, contemporary furniture and home accessories.
Today, both Nader and Love have organically taken on various facets of the business. Love, for example, manages operations from inside the gallery.
“We do very extensive custom framing, from hand painted to very high end, museum quality framing,” Love says. “I do a little bit on the retail side and in the gallery. Edward does most of the design work and the outside calls. We run it from interior to exterior all pretty much by ourselves.”
“She really is the one that turns the wheels on the day-to-day operation,” Nader says, “Margaret was always in the galleries, so it really just emerged into her running the frame department.”
Nader himself wears many hats as well, and is an artist and designer in his own right, with collections of fine furniture, art, accessories and more. He also has more than 35 years in the design business.
“Within the last 10 years, I’ve also done a lot of product development,” he says. “I do some work for Global Views, A&B Home, Elk Home and then some. I also sell my original art through the gallery.”
Through Nader’s Gallery, the siblings cultivate a sense of personal service, and friendship along the way. The two have gained a positive reputation within their community, and are involved in the Arts Council.
“Both of us are very high energy,” says Love. “We try to make the best of every day, and we have made amazing friends for the last 40 years. We are very prideful of our work, and it doesn’t go out unless it’s perfect. I think people really respect that. It’s what’s sustained us through the years.”
Both Nader and Love agree that despite being siblings, their relationship — both personally and professionally — has remained strong.
“I’m not bragging, but it’s very unusual to find a brother/sister team that can run a business together for 40 years, and still continue through the rough times and the good times,” Love says.
“We really don’t ever argue,” says Nader. “We’re cut from the same cloth, and we don’t count beans — we’re just not worried about it. We actually share an office space, and really we share everything. All of the responsibilities, all the glory, all of that.”
Years ago, two different networks approached Nader and Love about potentially starting a TV show about their business. But there was a caveat — they’d be encouraged to fabricate drama.
“If you’re siblings and you work together, you’re almost a shoe-in to have a TV show,” Nader says. “As we began to have a conversation with these networks, they wanted us to argue. Right away I said, “that’s not happening.”
Despite the networks insisting that conflict was necessary for commercial success, Nader and Love refused to compromise their relationship for a TV show. They stood by their values and declined the offer.
“I love my sister dearly, and I’m not fighting with her on national TV to make a quick buck. We weren’t interested in going forward,” Nader says.
Leaving A Legacy
Nader’s Gallery has undoubtedly achieved numerous successes over the years, but perhaps one of the most significant contributions is the cultivation of their strong work ethic and selflessness, especially when it came to Love’s children.
“Both of my kids learned the most incredible work ethic from being around us and the business at a young age,” Love says. “That was a huge gift that came out of it. They saw us sacrifice for all those years. I think what they learned and took from that is invaluable — there’s no way I could ever explain it. I attribute it to that 100 percent.”
As for the future of Nader’s Gallery, the dynamic siblings remain just as captivated by the industry as they were from the very beginning. They anticipate continuing to work alongside one another in the same capacity for as long as they possibly can.
“As our business grew and emerged, it only became more evident that we’ll always work very well together,” Nader says. “If something needs to be done, we just get in there and do it. The wheels could fall off the bus, and we’ll look at each other and go, ‘all right, we have a job to do. Let’s get busy doing it.’”