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Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by DVieau2, Jul 23, 2016.

  1. DVieau2

    DVieau2 PFG, Picture Framing God

    This may be of interest to those who are associated with the Photo biz and have followed the trials of PPFA
    This arrived via e-mail this evening.

    Today at 7:29 PM

    It is with mixed feelings that I post this today. Over the past year and a half I was honored to serve as your PMA President. I was my privilege to know and work with so many of you as friends and colleagues. I truly respect your energy, creativity and passion for what you do.

    As a result of the immense “sea change” in photographic technology and the unimaginable market dislocations that have resulted, surviving participants in our industry have been forced to change and adapt in order to address new and emerging business opportunities…and industry trade associations are no exception.

    We are evolving because our industry is changing.

    After much effort and thought, there really is no way to continue PMAI as it is structured today. For some time we’ve been in discussion with PMDA concerning a plan to unite and pool our membership and resources. We now have a plan that has been approved by our management and Board of Trustees, and you’ll be hearing more about the “next generation” shortly. As a matter of fact, some of you as current PMA members, may have already received a ballot asking for your vote on this matter.

    In closing, as sad as we are to see a once mighty association dissolve, we should all be excited about the future of photography. Please keep in touch my friends and keep doing what you do so well.

    Gabrielle Mullinax
    Fullerton Photographics
    American Picture Frame Academy 1-888-840-9605

    The American Picture Framing Academy Learn Picture Framing Now
  2. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Wow. Having attended the PMAI trade show a couple times it's incredible to think that they have tanked. I guess the PPFA gout out just about in time.
    Mike Labbe likes this.
  3. cjmst3k

    cjmst3k SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Did PPFA join PMAI just a few years ago?
  4. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    There's been few industries that have morphed as much as the photography industry in the last 20 years. Sad to learn of this.

    The PMA show was great, but I never felt that PMA was a good match for PPFA. Instead, it has been my firm belief that we should have been aligned with the home furnishings industry. Joining up with PMA was like McDonalds joining the French Fries Association. Photography framing was just a subset of what we do.
    cjmst3k likes this.
  5. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I think PMA was a savior to PPFA. For those with any memory, PPFA was circling the drain when PMA absorbed them. While Iwas there, they spent a ton o' money on PPFA so far in excess of dues/ revenues collected. It seems that they spent more, much more on Market Research alone for several years than ever collected. No way that would have occurred without PMA. Truth is most framers never paid it any heed. No one should ever doubt PPFA would have been a moot point years ago without PMA

    Now that PFM has now absorbed them what are the benefits beside shared annual conventions? I am asking as a serious question. Always liked PFM folks but do they have resources/committments like PMA offered

    Paul, I know you are a critic of PPFA, but to suggest there was any direction of emphasizing photo framing totally missed the mission. Don't know if you ever participated in any CPF/MCPF programs or took any classes at any PPFA events or atended any chapter meetings or read any newsletters or participated in OLEX but never did I see anything promoting photo framing. I traveled quite a bit teaching both at chapter meetings, PPFA conventions and PMA conventions and I never taught any framing, only business practices. Was criticized by 'old guard' folks for suggesting framing package pricing and box buying, but that really was probably more poster/graphics art. Headed three separate Marketing/Consumer studies and never mentioned photo framing

    Perhaps other members might chime in, but always saw full representation of framing industry. I remember Jim Miller's great classes on Shadow Box and Object framing and Chris Paschke's classes on Mounting and Vivian Kistler's classes on Frame Shop operations. And, who could forget Nona Power's classes on Color? William Parker always had fun round table discussions on state of industry that were as wide as the entire fast food industry.Rob taught a lot as did Ellen Collins and Hugh Phibbs and so many others I just can't remember anymore. Others may have seen a more narrowed application, but not on my watch. Every year chapter leaders and industry reps were invited to Jackson for leadership training and Advisory work. Never heard any single reference to photo framing. But, my memory might be faulty

    I do remember at one convention when we were stuck in the back of LV Convention Center(anybody else remember LOL?) when by sheer luck Jay Goltz, Marc Bluestone let me sit with them as we shared ideas. Pretty quickly more and more PPFA attendees came over to listen and we had a nice crowd listening to two of the smartest guys share opinions. They even let me in on occassion LOL. Truth is, no PPFA and that moment never happens.

    When the buy out happened can't remember any trade group having any interest at all in PPFA. I thought we were lucky

    My memory could be faulty but that's how I remember it.

    I sat in auditorium during annual convention when membership voted to ratify merger. Wasn't a member yet, but was invited to take a look. Sat with Ted Fox and PMA atty and watched William Parker make pitch for merger. I openly questioned the sanity of PMA wanting to merge with Ted but they committed. Shows how influential I was LOL.The prior Exec Director in Richmond walked offjob, skeleton staff hadn't been paid in a while, Assn was sued by Dolly Land for backing out of trade show contract. It was a mess. PMA basically saved it and offered a path of autonomy. That's when I joined. Perhaps other 'old hands' can share their recollections

    Like I said, they were a savior in my opinion so I am saddened

    To me it's a reflection of changing markets/changing marketing. We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto LOL

    But, that's just an informed opinion
  6. DVieau2

    DVieau2 PFG, Picture Framing God

    Thanks for the recollections Bob C.

    I'm not saying your old:) but the PPFA issues prior to PMA was before I got involved with PPFA. As a photo guy and PMA member (on and off) for 30 years it was a perfect match with my ever growing framing business.

    I'm one of the few who was a member of both and I believe there were numerous missed opportunists that "could have been" but we all know...... Coulda,..... shoulda,...... woulda

    Yes, the mission of PMA, as it was a few years ago, became more and more irreverent all members large and small.

    For those few ( a number unknown to me) who are still in business, two buying groups still exist and serve it's members in ways a Trade association never could. We've talked about IPI and PRO several times before and I don't see any way a similar would do well in the Framing business.

    Interesting to note that both buying groups have a cost of admission much much higher than PMA or PPFA ever had.
    We've talked about IPI and PRO several times before and I don't see any way a similar would do well in the Framing business.

  7. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    hey Doug thanks to PMA I got to meet you:)

    lots of reasons for demise, both of trade assn and many independent retailers-another subject

    speaking of buying groups, we had dinner with Bill McCurry recently in PHX. Now, there's a guy with some historical perspective

    let me ask you: when merger first ratified and I became involved, several framers feared that now photo retailers would add framing, thus, becoming 'assn' trained competitors. Did you ever hear that?

    I often wondered how many framers went into wide format printing and photo restoration because of affiliation LOL. There was a huge photo retailer in NYC that I was introduced to in Jackson. We were toying with wide format and he considered framing and we agreed to 'mentor' each other. He already had 30ft of RM's and wall frames but saw the margins. We swapped pros and cons. We never took the plunge and neither did he. I think we both realized our efforts were better served focused on what we did. I saw him (Neil?) later and had we not had that idea-sharing we might have made big mistakes

    I always enjoyed the confluence
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2016
  8. DVieau2

    DVieau2 PFG, Picture Framing God

    Sorry about the poor editing on post 6.

    When the cost of IPI because too high for my small photo business there were 80 out of 400 shops doing custom framing and more were adding the service every day.

    Worrying about training competitors would be small minded thinking that was exhibited by numerous PPFA members. The small mindlessness attitude was not loss on PMA organizers.

    That would be fun. I would have a hundred questions about peoples comings, goings and failings over the past 30 years.

    He should write a photo biz tell all book.

    Now that I think of it you should write a framing biz tell all book. :)

    Do it quick while the folks who care are still alive.

  9. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    McCurry is one of those great minds that bridged both groups. Every trade show or meeting we would always plan one night for just the three of us to catch up and 'solve' the industry problems LOL. Truly one of my most valued assets from PPFA/PMA.

    Him write a book? He's done several really good reads. He is a master of picking up a nugget from members in the trade and expand it into an epiphany. He could make a mundane guy like me seem knowledgeable. I thought parts of his book should have had a warnng about the 'views of the story are not confirmed LOL. He is a jewel in the industry. I never got the last word in with him, he always kept me thinking about what he said that I had no time thinking of what I was going to say.I'll bet you have similar experiences

    Me write a book? 3 pages and crayolas?

    While meeting many great people in the industry, I relunctantly agree with your assessment on politely, 'lack of vision'. But, in fairness, it is one of the luxuries of being in biz for yourself. Unfortunately, it often results in being in biz by yourself. Need I say things like trade assns and trade shows and TG can be antidotes, but not a cure

    I'm not sure how to take the 'still alive' comment LOL

    I always enjoy our strolls down memory lane, my friend. I hope others join and share
  10. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Bob, you really have no idea what you are talking about, but you always manage to put the Bob Carter spin on every post. Since you closed all of your stores, you've become totally out of touch with the industry.

    Yes, I was a critic of PPFA, as were the approximately 93% of the industry that dropped out of PPFA, or never found a reason to join. PMA was a bad marriage, but I thought that when PPFA become a part of the Photo MARKETING Association that PPFA would at least put some focus on marketing, which is what the industry needed. Unfortunately, that didn't happen.

    And research...? You always mention some research that you want us to think you were involved in. Where is it? Publish it?

    PPFA's leadership should have sought to form an association with the home furnishings industry; not become the red headed step-child of a photography association. Fortunately, PPFA has a new life with Deb and Bruce -- people who understand the industry, and also understand business. I applauded this move, but because you are out of touch, you failed to mention this. Next time you say something about me, get your facts straight.
  11. DVieau2

    DVieau2 PFG, Picture Framing God

    To Paul and others who want to speak your mind.

    Much like politics folks get real passionate and often nasty when talking about PMA/PPFA. Rather than make other Grumblers suffer over past, present and future Trade Association issues why not bring comments and suggestions over to the Dogpile.

    Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda is our guiding principle and no moderation. ;)

    Not a place for the faint of heart.

  12. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Paul I swear I can't figure out this personal vendetta you have with me

    you mentioned photo framing; I offered a rebuttal that PPFA/PMA never had any agenda and allowed complete autonomy. I attempted to show full range of framing education with plenty of examples to the contrary. Feel free to offer examples to bolster your claim. My spin? Well, I was there and merely offered my first person, real world experiences. Don't know how else to offer those examples without offering 'been there, done that' perspective. Let's just say I was on the field and played the game. Got my uniform dirty and had the sweat to prove it. Don'tknow what I'm talking about? Like I said, feel free to refute any point, please

    Market Research? Yes, we did and I was pretty involved both in construction and analysis of Strategic Implications. I shared a lot of findings here on Grumble over years; feel free to search archives. I am surprised that someone asinvolved as you didn't purchase them. Seems the non-member prices were about $300. Perhaps you can contact PPFA and buy a few of them. Don't know why you doubt them? My point was PMAI Research provided that opportunity whereas my understanding was thse types of projects were not done done prior to affiliation

    Out of touch? Probably, true. Still talk to a couple of business owners in trade with whom I did research or consulting. Paul, I actually got paid for my services for my 'assesments' and knowledge of industry. Was also on Board of Advisors for largest Retail Developers in Southwest for two years; only independent retailer on Board. Thank goodness they weren't able to see the truth

    Lastly, you keep bringing up my stores. If you were in 'touch' with the industry, many would know the story and you would have found out. Personally, I think you see this is as a failure of my abilities therefor negating any advice or 'shared wisdom'. Well, here is the story since you have no shame. A few years back I developed a minor medical inconveinence that slowed me just a little. We executed an Exit Strategy where we over a few years pared down the operation planning on giving the best, most profitable to my kids. Had a personal tragedy that speeded up that timetable. After that minor setback, just decided it was time, gave the kids the keys and never walked back into any store. Oh, btw the purchase price was $500. Really never thought of 'selling' them biz. Something gratifying passing on things to kids. They changed the name for a lot of legal reasons and that's it. Truth is we made a ton o'money every year open in spite of me not knowing much. Now, aren't you proud of your assertions and implications

    As a keen 'insider' you must know there were no viable suitors for PPFA. Your contuining assertion of a good match with home furnishing industry must have escaped them. But, folks like Ashton and others all have huge showrooms at High Point and Dallas Mart and LA with all the other home furnishing folks. Maybe you can pitch the idea of that marriage to that industry

    But, as a keen observer of industry you probably knew that.
  13. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Bob, you need to find a hobby other than kissing butts, and trolling my posts, and telling us how wonderful you are. Still waiting to see this research you keep claiming to have been involved in. How about it? Just a glimpse?
  14. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

  15. John Ranes II CPF GCF

    John Ranes II CPF GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    RIP PMA.

    At the End, PMA were Not good caretakers of PPFA interests and membership. But at the time of the affiliation into PMA, they might have saved the organization. PPFA has been around a long time and had some serious ups and downs. At the time that we affiliated with PMA, they were the ONLY organization willing to accept the baggage that we came with.....some serious financial debt and legal liabilities. We became added (and needed) numbers for them. It was actually a win-win.

    Although the marriage was not perfect (most are not)... it worked for longer than the most die-hard PPFA supporters would have estimated. It was not good at the end, but if had not been for PMAI, Bruce and Debbie and Monarch Expositions might not have had a PPFA to acquire in 2015. :)


    PPFA member since 1978
  16. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    When I saw the title of this thread, I thought 3M had discontinued Positionable Mounting Adhesive.
    :rolleyes: Rick
    FramerInTraining, cvm and RoboFramer like this.
  17. RoboFramer

    RoboFramer PFG, Picture Framing God

    LOL - same here and in the UK, they have! (Or rather Lion are no longer importing it and no-one else ever did)

  18. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Which would have bigger impact on the Framing Business?
  19. John Ranes II CPF GCF

    John Ranes II CPF GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Just curious... If PMA is dead... why do I keep receiving PMAI Business Focus E-Newsletters weekly? Received one today!
    susang and Rick Granick like this.
  20. DVieau2

    DVieau2 PFG, Picture Framing God

    Last edited: Aug 2, 2016
    FramerInTraining likes this.
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