1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. WELCOME Grumblers
    Backup is now done at 3PM EDT. You may find the server down for up to two minutes at that time.

PMA Co-op Advertising Meetings

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by Terry Scidmore CPF, Nov 29, 2007.

  1. Terry Scidmore CPF

    Terry Scidmore CPF MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I attended the Seattle PMA Co-op Marketing Team meeting today.

    Without going into scads of detail, you might want to consider attending one of the meetings in your area. It offers some food for thought, and if you are so inclined, an opportunity to do something that could benefit you.

    Dennis Conforto breaks down the combined problems of the photo marketing, scrapbooking, and picture framing industries into several areas. One is that we are too "craft" oriented, missing what the consumer is trying to connect with when considering our products. Another problem is that we are marketing to the people who are already using our products because we haven't found/created a better marketing formula. A third problem is that our distribution networks are "backwords" compared to how distribution is done in other industries. Changing that distribution pattern could improve the industry for both the retailer and the manufacturer/supplier. A fourth problem is that none of the industries alone have the muscle power and backing to solve their problem.

    And, yes, memories is the common thread that ties the photo, scrapbooking, and picture framing communities together.

    Do you remember that scene in "Apollo 13" where they dump the box of stuff on the table that is all of the things they have on the Apollo space craft and they are told to figure out how to make a filter out of it that will allow the astronauts to create that same filter out in space to save their lives?

    The meeting today kind of reminds me of this approach - ya got a problem, ya got some stuff to work with, ya got a bunch of people putting their brains together to figure out how to make it work. Probably one person couldn't get it done. A bunch just might.

    Check it out.
    American Picture Frame Academy 1-888-840-9605

    The American Picture Framing Academy Learn Picture Framing Now
  2. Whynot

    Whynot SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Sorry, Terry, but you, along with all the other framers, have to decide whether you are a trader who sells ready made goods like grocery, scrapbooks or cameras, or you put yourself in service of art and then you need to remain sensitive, crafty and dextrous. I dispute that framers are being too craft oriented. In fact they are too little so. If they gave up mat and glass cutting the way they got rid of molding making, molding inventory, choping tools and finishing skills, they would be just like those PMA-scrapbooking schmucks, and would phone or fax frame orders with Canon and then wrap them up in plastic bags.

    Framers earn that little money and have a shaky future because they've been made into nothing much, a profession that can be easily and successfully mimicked by anybody else able to get on TG and ask for directions as they go about their framing business.

    On other threads you, people, are going nuts over how to convey to the public how special and respectable your profession is (despite the opposite common belief) and now you rush and ask others to follow you in taking lessons from those who think that you are too crafty and want you to be more clearky ore McDonaldy in order to agregate a system that works around a feable common denominator like "memories"? Framers primarely serve the art, not the memories. Those who do serve the memories will turn to gift and photo industry. Photographers are "memory" people, but they lost business and social prominence and move fast to expend in scrapbooks and frames as to survive otherwise than working for Best Buy or Circus City.

    Those are self serving profecies. Framers are different than sailors too, but no one would take a sailor seriously for thinking that you are to "earthy" and sedentary. Frame industry distribution system has developed naturaly around its SPECIFIC activity. Again, you are getting ready to copy David Coperfield's gloves, high hat and baguette and call it magic show. Frame distribution system doesn't work for PMA just like grocery, cloth, or cars won't either.

    Oh, really? Then take your artists and house decorators along with you at the meeting, maybe, just maybe they find a common denominator with PMA people too, through using memory framers to accent their work.

    No, I don't, but if I go to a PMA meeting I guess I can learn the outcome.

    Yeah, right!
  3. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Wow, Cornell, I was just having this conversation in my car this morning. Were you in the back seat? Our conclusions were dead-on to yours.

    We were delivering to an account across town. I mentioned how this photography studio we passed added the words "And Custom Framing" to their sign and we started remarking on how many of these we've seen. We wondered what the custom framing experience was like in these places and figured at most that many of them are doing some mat cutting.

    The idea that our distribution network is backwards is the next step down the primrose path as the PMA further takes over the PPFA. Of course it's not backwards to every other industry. It's backwards to stock-goods retail. It's absolutely not backwards to the concept of industry which involves manufacture and production, those little things that America was built on.

    This is dangerous stuff.
  4. DVieau2

    DVieau2 PFG, Picture Framing God

    Do you really think PMA is trying to change the framing industries system of distribution and to whom is this stuff dangerous?

  5. Terry Scidmore CPF

    Terry Scidmore CPF MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    First, I share many of your reservations and was prepared to blast away with them, too.

    But I thought, what the heck, give it a listen with an open mind and see if there are any good, workable ideas here.

    And that is really what I am asking people to do - just go with an open mind, listen, and see what you think.

    There were about 25 people at this meeting - 1 PMA member, 3 picture framers (2 retail, 1 BB employee who also has a homebased business), and the rest were scrapbookers - retail, internet, home based, suppliers.

    2/3 of us are volunteering our time to try to do something together that might benefit everyone in all three industries. All 3 framers are on the local committe, BTW.

    We all agreed that we need customers, that our industries are different in many ways, but share the common thread about handling peoples memories.

    And yes, memories is the common thread that ties the photo marketing, scrapbooking, and picture framing industries together. You hear repeatedly on the g about customers talking about their memories when they bring in their artwork and other items for framing. Same with scrapbookers and photo people.

    Why Not, your points were brought up by others at the meeting - from all industries - from suppliers and retailers. Not every concern has a perfect answer. There are still questions in my mind and others minds.

    Craft was brought up. Craft is defined differently here than how we think about craft.
    Craft - as we talk about it on the g, will probably be more important, rather than less - I think. Some of this depends on the consumer - because it is their definition of "craft" that is very limiting.

    Unlike previous advertising campaigns, this one has ideas being generated by the people in their industries, not by a select group of hand picked people. If you want to participate, you are welcome to. Kinda like solving that problem on Apollo 13, Why Not.

    As with any program, it is a numbers game - enough members - PMA, Scrapbooking, PPFA, and the possiblilty of the program being successful increases. Not because we are the source of the funding, but because greater numbers increases our possiblilty of getting much better funding than we have been able to get in the past.

    The funding mechanism seems possible to my feeble brain.

    The newspaper insert idea seems possible to my feeble brain.

    Some of the other things - maybe not.

    I would like to see some of Paul Casios plan included because I think that parts of it are appllicable for the indies in all three industries.

    I am not sure that the distribution system in our industry could change, because we are different from the others on this level, but it is interesting food for thought and when you listen to the reasons behind it, you look at your inventory and business in a different way. You will look at your suppliers in a different way, too.

    When you think about our industry advertising campaigns while attending this meeting, you will look at them differently, too.

    Most of us spend more time on the g complaining about the industry than you will spend at this meeting.

    So why not check it out?

    I am hoping to hear that you will be attending a meeting in your area, Why Not! Your perceptions and experience can only improve the effort.
  6. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    Isn't this the basic scenero of somebody ordering a frame from you? What an ironic statement.

    Terry, I have a question. Did you get the feeling that this is this just kicking the dirt or does the PMA have some sort of concrete plans? Is there some sort of test market or some sort of time line?

    Carry on.
  7. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I rec'd an email telling me about this thread and since I have a little knowledge of this effort I am blown away by those tht wish to nit-pick it

    Mind you, they don't have the slightest clue of the program and do not wish to look to the horizon

    The easiest answer is that if it isn't for you, then, leave it alone. Stick to what is working and forget about this idea. It's not compulsory and if you wish to ignore it, you have that option. Pretty much exactly what you would do if this plan were not developed

    But, why do we feel compelled to attempt to prove it unsatisfactory? What purpose will it serve?

    Frankly, when this idea was presented to me i was asked if I would hazard a guess on what percentage of framers might avail themselves of it's potential. I opined about 10% with about 30% spending a lot of energy explaining on why it wouldn't work. Talk about wasted efforts

    And, my friend Cornel, the outcome to Apollo 13 was that a small group of dedicated NASA engineers, with white shirts, pocket protectors and slide rules said "Let's save thes guys" and performed what can by any standards be called a crowning testimony to skill, determination and plain old Yankee ingeniuty.

    And, those three astronauts were saved from a certain outcome

    Thank goodness NASA wasn't filled with the same useless negativity as we will see here

    BTW, on a personal note, we got back from the Drs visit yesterday. And, like Apollo 13, it appears Debi will experience a happy and safe landing. For all that sent good thoughts and prayers the last weeks, i am sure that it made a difference. Still, a lot to go through, but she wins the Jim Lovell award for grce under pressure

    I wil probably attempt to contact those that we have been in contact with personally, but accept my apologies (and thanks) if i forget
  8. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Bob, that is wonderful news. We'll keep the good thoughts coming for Deb.
    :cool: Rick
  9. Terry Scidmore CPF

    Terry Scidmore CPF MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Yes, Jay, I did get the feeling that the groundwork has been laid for some parts - the newspaper, the overtures to bigger advertisers. I understand that there are several groups that started working on this program quite a few months ago. There was no specified time line. The emphasis was just to get people organized to get started.

    It kinda doesn't matter if all of the parts come to fruition. I would be happy with just some parts.

    I am bringing the information about this program to our EPFG board because I think that even on a local level, our small group could participate and benefit.

    Like I said, check it out. Go with an open mind.

    I don't know all of the information - Bob knows way more than me.

    Glad to hear that Debi is doing so much better, Bob!
  10. Julia

    Julia CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    It's a Start

    Terry, I have to jump in and add my two cents to your very succinct description of the event.

    With all due respect, johnny, I honestly don't think this is "dangerous stuff". This is an effort to increase awareness of the value and benefit of picture framing through a combined effort of related retailers. Mr. Conforto gave the following example of car dealerships: every city has an auto row. The car dealers got together and said, yes, I hate you, you hate me, but if we band together, we can move more cars through combined advertising. The automotive section of your local paper is testament to co-operative success. By combining the size of the custom framers, digital imagers, scrapbook stores, portrait studios, school photo studios, photo developers, you're pooling the resources of a pretty large ($$$) group.

    Whynot says: "On other threads you, people, are going nuts over how to convey to the public how special and respectable your profession is (despite the opposite common belief) and now you rush and ask others to follow you in taking lessons from those who think that you are too crafty and want you to be more clearky ore McDonaldy in order to agregate a system that works around a feable common denominator like "memories"?"

    From the 2007 PPFA Survey, 57% of respondents said the primary reason for custom framing is to preserve the item. In my interpretation, this is so tied into a person's "memories" or wish to have their item/art/photograph preserved because it resonates emotionally. Substitute "memories" with "treasures" or "accomplishments" or some other word that creates an emotional response. The end solution is consumer awareness.

    The success of this industry is hanging on a thread. With 7% of the households having something custom framed is a number that scares the #### out of me. Any avenue that might provide a positive solution is one that deserves our attention.

  11. PaulSF

    PaulSF PFG, Picture Framing God

    I was curious about attending the local meeting, but this time of year is just too busy. Maybe if they held the meeting in January or February, I could clear a couple of hours, close the store, and go hang out with the scrappers, but not now. And that worries me, that they have no clue as to where we all need to be in November and December -- in our stores, serving our customers.
  12. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    Thanks Terry. It all sounds exciting and with this many endorsements, it must be worth taking a look at.

    Live events have a way of charging people up for sure. That’s why we all look forward to classes at trade shows.

    There is no way that live seminars peppered across the country side is a great way to get a message out. This is a group that is going to help us get our message out and this is the best they can come up with to get theirs out? This is not a rhetorical question at all - is there a less efficient way to communicate? Telegraph or messengers on horseback would help more people get involved. My interest just hasn't been in framing lately and so I haven't even cracked a trade mag in probably 4 months. Is the PMA communicating in those?

    With the numbers you recall, Terry, it sounds like they are reaching the scrapbook guys.

    I'm glad to hear that this may have some real teeth to it. I've not been in business long but I've already heard enough ideas (I'm speaking locally and not this industry) to not put much hope in anything.

    Bob, its good news to hear! We just had an equally horrific incident that didn’t end near as well.
  13. surferbill

    surferbill SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    (QUOTE)There were about 25 people at this meeting - 1 PMA member, 3 picture framers (2 retail, 1 BB employee who also has a homebased business), and the rest were scrapbookers - retail, internet, home based, suppliers.(QUOTE)

    That sure is a heavy turnout by scrapbookers, with only 2 actual retail picture framers there. It makes me wonder...

    I think it's great that the PMA and the PPFA are trying to think of ways to work together. I'm just not sure scrapbooking is the magic bullet for increased sales for picture framers. I don't think I'm being negative, just making observations.

    In my area five photo finishing/camera stores have closed in the last two years. By contrast two frame shops have closed, but there are eight picture frame shops open and doing business in a very small area. In Virginia Beach I believe the photo finishers are in worse shape than picture framers, and I wonder if this is a national trend?

    My point is that I will always look for new ways to generate new revenue, but I'll be very careful about following fads that may or may not work for some other group of retailers, like scrapbooking.
  14. Whynot

    Whynot SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer


    Mr. Conforto is right about car dealers’ coop advertising; it just doesn’t apply here. Car dealers are, if you noticed it, related to each other by much more than “preserving memories”. One sells “Roma” another sells “LJ”, they are the grumblers of the car industry. Why wouldn’t they join to sell more cars? Wouldn’t you join in coop advertising in behalf of your own industry? But wait a minute, isn’t that the Paul Cascio’s original idea? How many framers lined up behind his flag? And you think that you’ll synchronize better with scrapbookers and photographers instead? If I didn’t applaud Paul’s idea, which was indeed a generous one, that was because I saw major flaws in it and I thought it won’t fly. It failed, but nobody ever tried to learn why it did, not even Paul (who was fast to pick up another fight).

    I would debate your conclusion that “by combining the size of the custom framers, digital imagers, scrapbook stores, portrait studios, school photo studios, photo developers, you're pooling the resources of a pretty large ($$$) group”. In my books combining two or three poor people/organisations makes for more poverty, not more affluence but, if your presumption was right, then why not combining custom framers with a stronger assortment of participants, including the Army, the NFL and the car industry? Better yet, why not team with decorators, designers and BB’s, because yes, you hate them, they hate you, but if you band together you can move by coop advertising lots of FRAMES.
    Do you want costumers’ memories be scrapbooked or framed? Would photographers direct their fewer photo costumers to independent custom framers or scrapbookers when they already sell scrapbooks and photo frames, and without those additions their business would be dead in the water? Compared to those prospective allies BB’s are your best friends. Why enter a toxic marriage with closed eyes, empty pockets and lots of heartfelt good wishes and hopes for the better.

    Desperate people tend to hear and explain everything the way they hope things are, and so far I recognize a lot of those symptoms. I wish I could say the opposite, but even Bob Carter, whom I respect a lot for his business mind and his devoted service in behalf of frame industry, didn’t turn the lights on. He interrupted his TG vacation, after being called upon to monitor and damage control this thread, but all he told us was “TRUST ME, I’ve seen the treasure cave myself and I couldn’t believe how blind I was to not notice ahead of time the gold glowing through cave's walls".

    Finally, I presume that the famous PPFA 2007 survey sampled the frame users and not the framers when determined that 57% of respondents said that the primary reason behind custom framing is to preserve the item. If 57% or more of your business is based on photo frames and shadow boxes, I would agree with you and you only that preservation might refer to memories.

    Framing shops are not required nor expected to carry giftware (photo frames, ceramics, jewelry and glass) more than shoes or liqueur. It’s by framers choice that such items are being offered in hope to compensate for custom frames little turn out. I’d say that you desperately want to believe Mr. Conforto, and this is why you skew preservation into memory, and readily accept that there is are strong and promising ties between PMA, scrapbooks and frames. If next week firefighters will come on board will you desert the alliance, get busy to find a memory type affiliation with them or thankfully salute their contribution to the fight?

    Please remember that a platoon of complementarily crippled survivors can’t fight and protect its members like a platoon comprised of valid soldiers. Don’t fool yourself. PMA is in no better shape than PPFA is, but it’s their show and framers are to take the back seats and obey the rules and, for the little framers can or are willing to contribute, the fare is right.

    I truly feel for framers and wish them the best. My playing Devil’s Advocate is in hope that you can pull down all my objections or bring them with you at PMA meetings and have Mr. Conforto demolishing them himself.
  15. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    You opposition to such an idea is very well noted. In the interest of fairness, I would think you would learn the specifics of this particular idea before belaboring the point.

    Terry has really shared nothing about what she learned and you have written pages about why it won't work. Not being rude but how do you know? You're just guessing because you don't REALLY even know what the PMA is planning.

    There are some real impressive endorsements of this new idea. Why not, based only on that fact, give it the benefit of the doubt? I can respect your standing as an accomplished wholesaler and frame smith. That is a far cry from operating a shop in the Midwest 2007.

    I’m all for trying something new because it’s becoming quite clear that what we have been doing for years, isn’t working. It’s in your best interest that the independent shops do well in the future. Rest in the fact that we are doing the best we can and help were you feel able. These dissertations about the unknown aren’t really helpful at all. It could actually be harmful to an otherwise great idea.

    Carry on.
  16. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Jay-It pains me to see this division

    My easy question to the few detractors: Why do you care if it works or not?

    Let's just assume that it is a terrible failure

    What did it cost you?

    Did it put you behind in biz?

    Tell me point by point the down side if it is a horrible mistake; wil consumers run away never to return?

    It costs nothing to you

    It isn't the apocalypse; participate or not

    But, for goodness sakes, leave it alone if you don't have a horse in the race
  17. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    Seems there are alway "nay sayer's" Bob, especially one or two in particular anytime something like this comes up.

    Come on people, I agree with Jay, that when we have a number of well respected, knowledgeable individuals in our industry that feel that this is worth a look, like Bob Carter, then we should at least listen respectfully and gather information and decide if it is for us or not. (wow, was that a run on sentence)

    Obviously Bob, sees some benefit and potential in this, as this subject has brought him back into the Grumble forum, before the holidays are over and while still dealing with his wife's needs at this time.
  18. Warren Tucker

    Warren Tucker MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I feel like a voice crying... The problem isn't lack of marketing. There is a heck of a lot more picture framing going on now than when I started in the business and there are a heck of a lot more frame shops, never mind how many are folding. The problem is that the present popular way of getting picture framing to customers is way too inefficient and, thus, way too expensive. there is ample evidence that shops that make it a point to offer affordable framing do very well, those that do not, struggle. There is way too much emphasis on preservation framing when 95% of the stuff we frame doesn't need it. As to statistics, my guess is that way over 75% of my customers frame for decoration, the rest for displaying art and memories.

    I clearly remember the first really big expansion in the framing market that started around 1968; it was frame it yourself whose main thrust was to make framing less expensive and it did and it expanded the market. Now we see a trend toward making framing more expensive, and, guess what, the market is shrinking.

    FIY was comparatively less expensive because it forced the shops that offered it to buy moulding in length and to stock what they sold and that's way more efficient than this current trend toward stocking nothing and ordering materials at inflated prices as they are needed on a job per job basis.

    LaMarch is out of business so I can use some definite numbers. We were one of the first to stock LaMarche and we bought enough from them to get a discount of 40% off the list price. A $10/ft moulding cost us $6 plus shipping (we spread the shipping over 5,000 ft orders or greater); our competitor accross town ordered the same moulding chopped for $18/ ft. plus an expensive UPS charge. He sells the moulding for around $50/ft and we sell it it for $25/ft. My customer is a lot happier and more likely to continue to bring stuff in. We pay the 500 sheet price for a sheet of matboard, he pays the per sheet price. We buy glass in bulk, he buys it by the 50 sq. ft. box. There are a lot more people who can afford $25/ft. moulding than those who will pay $50. We have a larger market. Of course there is the observation that if he sold 10 ft of that moulding for $500 he's better off than I who only sold it for $250; I'd have to do twice as much work as he did for the same profit. Odd, though, he's out of business and I'm thriving. All of the companies we deal with will sell us moulding at the box price no matter how much we order. We can order 20 ft and still get a substantial discount when we need to. That's because we move a lot of their moulding, one of the advantages of being able to sell for $25 what otheres are selling for $50. Sure we're working harder, having to sell more frames, but we're still working.

    Anyone who really is interested in getting more customers might want to consider FIY; it's a lot easier now than it was with CNC mat cutters and v nailers. Of course anyone harboring the notion that he'd rather work less and make more isn't likely to get very far in very small business and would not think of offering FIY because of the effort involved.
  19. Terry Scidmore CPF

    Terry Scidmore CPF MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Paul, I did mention when I registered that this was a poor time of year to have meetings, and a poor time of day, for most small retailers. The response to my "complaint" was a phone call followed by an e-mail that there is an addition to the website, asking people to note the time most convenient for them to attend. Obviously, there is no "perfect time" for everyone to attend.

    Jay, I, too, initially thought it was an inefficient way to promote a program - EXCEPT - if you want the enemies to sit down and patch up a peace compromise, what better way then to get them together in one room, point them at their common problem, and give them some "stuff" to get them started on solving it.

    The devil didn't have horns and breathe fire. In fact, one of the devils is also a customer of my store. I didn't know that she was involved in a scrapbooking business.

    I also find that the people who tend to show up for meetings asking for volunteers are the people who tend to commit and get things done.

    Bill, there were 3 framers at the meeting. I thought that was a good start. Julia drove from Portland, Oregon to attend. I am in the Seattle area, and the other framer is from Olympia. Other participants were from Bellingham, Vancouver B.C., and other surrounding metropolitan areas. That is a pretty wide draw, given the time of day and the time of year.

    Dennis Conforto IS Mr. Scrapbook, which is why the scrapbookers were in heavier attendance. He is well known in their industry. Put Jay Goltz, Bob Carter, or any other of our industry leaders as the presenter, and I bet the scales would tip toward the picture framers.

    The lone PMA member was apologetic for the lack of PMA members in attendance. At their last PMA meeting in Puget Sound, there were 70 members who attended. That kind of attendance is pretty good even among the more active PPFA chapters or framing guilds.

    Jay, I have shared the bare bones version of what I understood from the meeting. Even barer bones - the scrapbookers, picture framers, and photomarketers can team up to promote each of their industries - NOT ONE INDUSTRY - but each of their industries. It is a numbers game - enough people united for this one goal gives us all a shot at garnering backers for the funding of this program.

    This isn't a far fetched idea. My community group started because three of us got sick of the drug dealers. We couldn't get law inforcement to help, so we printed up 3200 flyers advertising a public meeting, went door to door, expected 25 people to show up (baked cookies for 25), and got over 200. The news media thought WOW and we were on TV, in newspapers, on the radio.

    My neighborhood finally got the attention of the city council members, community councils, and other organizations. Over the years we have gotten grants for street trees, clean up campaigns, neighborhood picnics, a neighborhood newsletter, etc. and have served as the umbrella group for grants for the insurance industry and government agencies. To the tune of several milliion dollars. From 3 people, $50, 3200 flyers and some home made cookies.

    Sometimes wonderful things happen to little people if they just get a little publicity.

    Bob, I hope that you didn't get called into this for damage control. I am very sorry.

    Cornell, I am interested in hearing what your perfect program is. Through PM - not here.

    Finally, enough.

    Yeesh, all I was asking was for framers to attend a meeting and check it out with an open mind.
  20. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I didn't say the proposed ad campaign was dangerous stuff. I've kept my opinion on that campaign largely to myself. In the previous thread I first expressed my dislike of the posting tactics of the PPFA members and then my exasperation on how we've failed to do even the simplest, cheapest things correctly and I thought the industry trade association should have been far more effective and proactive before resorting to this most recent effort. That was taken as bashing the current plan.

    In this thread I was talking about the move towards stock goods retailing, again not the proposed marketing effort specifically. I had been discussing the photographers who are picking up our product lines just yesterday morning and, when reading the comments here, it seemed to all fit. And I do think there is momentum towards McFraming.
  21. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Well, I didn't and then I read

    So, yeah. I mean, how do you not think they are intersted in changing the distribution network from that statement?

    I think this would be dangerous for those of us who don't want to become fitters intead of framers.
  22. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Johnny, it probably is not a good idea to judge anything as complex as this concept is, based on a few Grumble comments.

    Do you really believe the whole story is given here?

    If you see flaws in the concept, isn't it possible that your perception -- limited by the few comments here -- may be wrong?

    If the flaws you perceive really could exist in the concept, wouldn't you be curious to know whether those concerns have already been addressed?

    If it is possible that any entity could bring together a forceful, successful marketing program, would it not be worth learning more about that?

    I don't know whether I will participate in this program or not. I have not yet seen enough of it to make that decision, but I can't imagine condemning it at this point.
  23. Kirstie

    Kirstie PFG, Picture Framing God

    I have had a cold and lingering cough so I was sorry to have missed the SF meeting. I believe a presentation video is coming my way, but it hasn't arrived yet.

    I'm not sure how anyone can be upset over something they haven't thoroughly researched yet. As for the supply chain, again, not know what Terry was referring to, I'm in wait and see mode.

    I do firmly agree with Warren that buying in length, in bulk, is one path for frame shop survival. Add DIY (or FIY--same thing) and you can bring in a lot more customers. I do the DIY, and we buy by the box to some extent, but we still don't have the room to buy as I would like to. 5 sheets of mat at a time is still our norm, and 20' here, 40' there. We do enjoy a certain amount of volume discounts on smaller quantities with some suppliers.

    But most existing shops are smaller than ours, some were started with minimal capital, and have neither the space nor the funds for buying in bulk or offering DIY. What do these shops have to turn to except exceptional quality and customer service? If small frame shops are the bulk of the independent framing industry, then we need to put our heads together to come up with a plan for industry survival because industry survival is important to every one of us, large or small. Individual survival will, in most part, be up to individual shop owners. No one can do it for us, but a cross-industry marketing plan? Why not listen and learn and then judge? I'm all for listening to new plans and I look forward to learning more about this effort in Las Vegas.
  24. Cliff Wilson

    Cliff Wilson SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Could someone explain to me what's "backwards" about our distribution?
    What would it be like if it was "forwards?"
  25. Whynot

    Whynot SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Jim, Bob,

    I wish frame industry is strong and getting stronger in the future. That is my best interest. If I lament framers loosing their "crafty edge" that is heartfelt, personal feeling or preference, because, other than that, I am to profit from framers turning into McFramers. Yet, I hate to see it happen although less competition is not going to hurt my business.

    What irritates me with respect to this marketing move of PPFA is the secrecy and the intended voids in something that is not only legitimate but allegedly the way out of this sinking boat. I am used to hear from you and Bob free and fully articulated and intelligent opinions or, in this case, you all stop before saying too much as if you talk of a conspiracy and already are being sorry for having said too much about it. If such a poor communication skill was being displayed by any other grumbler than you two, I would be more patient and understanding. But you are two professional individuals not only in framing but wording as well. Coming from you those well crafted half narrations are extremely alarming in fact, though it appears that you thought the opposite. If a steward is bumbling, that may be troubling, but when the pilot is doing it you don't wanna be in that plain.

    When someone has a solution for huis flock he spells it out loud. So did Confucius, Christ or Mahomet. Same did Nona, at a smaller scale, when fighting for FACTS. No secrecy, and I sent my contribution to FACTS, although I am not a framer myself, and for that money I could easily become a PPFA insider and get access to their terrific marketing tools and ideas.

    If PPFA is right, it is so in spite of me being wrong, and it is right in behalf of every framer out there, regardless of his affiliation. I understand its need to gather funds for further studies and better representation, but support comes with trust, devotion and consistently proven performances and good intentions. If this marketing idea is all that, then there is no need to keep nonmembers hostage or hostile, no need to punish them. Good ideas travel peacefully and are embraced willingly. If this is about the future of framers, why deny or condition their future for fifty dollars? It looks and smells just like fish. If you truly want to change the field, you need to take on board supporters, believers, skeptics and opposition because that's the entire it. Charity if nothing else will take care of good initiatives to thrive and continue.

  26. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    I think there is a misunderstanding when discussing the term craft or crafty.

    I certainly think that Cornell, for instance could be termed a craftsman, but not crafty.

    A craftsman or a craft in the original way of thinking about it would denote a higher level of skill. I believe (correct me if I am wrong Cornel, that when you speak of a modern framer having lost his craftiness it is in regards to certain skills)

    When most people speak of crafts, or crafty is has become less of that. It is something that anyone can do/be taught. All you have to do is buy this or that product and watch Martha Stewart and you are thus crafty.

    Certainly most framers today, do not possess the old world skills of cutting a tree down and making a handcarved gilded frame, I believe custom framing today is also more a skill than a crafty thing in the way most people understand that term today. Most people after all think custom framing is just some pretty cardboard and four stick of wood.

    Now, as Jay says: "carry on"
  27. Franny

    Franny CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    I'm glad you posted your assessment. They are having one in Toronto, Canada that I would love to attend...but I cannot get the time off from my day job...and I don't know if the one in Canada could actually "benefit" me from an advertising standpoint here in the states, even though we are in reletively close proximity. Regardless, I will attend anything I thoink would be worthwhile and you just convinced me next time I need to go. Thanks.
  28. Whynot

    Whynot SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Thank you, JPaul, for sensing my semantic dificulty and explaining to me the difference between the two words. I was indeed firing completely off the target because of that misunderstanding. I am tankful to you for correcting my error. This makes me think at how many times I have literally lost sleep over other equally stupid confusions just like the one you clarified above. Good lesson. Well taken, too.
  29. nona powers

    nona powers MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    "There is way too much emphasis on preservation framing when 95% of the stuff we frame doesn't need it. As to statistics, my guess is that way over 75% of my customers frame for decoration, the rest for displaying art and memories. "

    I just couldn't let this go without comment. There are so many different kinds of frame shops and many are doing very well for one reason or another. The three I wrote about in DECOR last month are all making money and all of them truly do custom framing and none are cheap framers. On the other hand I've known many shops that do very well and they are trying to keep the prices low. The industry has changed, as it did in the 80's, as it will change more in the future. There is room for quality craft and preservation framing, it is being done well and profitably. It takes more business skill than ever before, but definitely doable. My point, there is no one answer to almost any question or problem framers face.
  30. etlock

    etlock CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    I am looking forward to attending the PMAI/Smart marketing meeting tomorrow morning in Detroit. It will be very helpful for my learning process to have read all of your opinions in advance of the meeting. Thanks for all your various forums imput.
  31. Kirstie

    Kirstie PFG, Picture Framing God

    A bit off topic here, but Nona, in the preservation classes that you teach, do you address this issue, what I would call practical preservation, for the bulk of what we as framers often handle? MY WCAF schedule is not completely firmed up.
American Picture Frame Academy 1-888-840-9605

The American Picture Framing Academy Learn Picture Framing Now

Share This Page

Wizard Ad