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What our industry needs most is...

I think what the industry needs most is a single collective effort to HOST a Trade show ,where all the INDUSTRIES Education sources got together and POOLED their efforts for the GOOD of all in the industry.

It might require a couple or three venues ,but a true cooprative effort from PPFA,PFM.and Decor and anyone else. There has been some minor reciprocating agreements of allowing others to be represented and /or cooprative efforts of all sorts in the past.However what I am speaking about is joint co-opprative cordinated effort at single shows.Aren't we all in this business together ?

The three keep competing for the best effort and they all seem to suffer for the competition.

Why can't the big three get together and jointly host shows that are a benefit to all in the industry,vendors ,framers ,educators and hosting organiziation?
The alternatives don't seem to be working with any regularity and predictabilty.
What our industry needs most is an umbrella campaign that squarely places framing in the "must do this" category.

As in: Got Milk?....and....Beef. Its what's for dinner.

It would not be about brands, or techniques, or pricing. Instead, it would be designed to move framing up the consumer top-of-mind ladder where it could then be acted upon.
I like both ideas mentioned so far.

If the so called "industry leaders" could get organized and lead the industry they could accomplish both of these excellent ideas simultaniously.

If the "leaders" (and I would include the major suppliers in that group) want to drive this bussiness they could certainly do a lot more to increase awareness.

Look at what FTD did for florists. I understand the PPFA works to accomplish this, but I don't know that it is being effective. Don't get me wrong, I recognize that the PPFA does help this industry tremendously, but if you tell someone on the street that you're a PPFA member, they think your an accountant. I must be honest and tell you all that I am not currently a member of my local chapter, but I have been in the past and will be again. I am only not a member currently out of laziness. I think it is a worthwhile organization comprised of wonderfull people who have the only the best of intentions.

Now, I do of course recognize that we as the actual businnes owners have our own responsibilties in this as well. Let me be clear, I am not looking for a handout or a free ride, but rather the opportunity to be part of something greater. Heck, I would do it but I barely have the financial resources to reach the people in my market, nevermind the greater public. That said however, I do have the time and energy to give to such an undertaking. If anyone is serious about doing this, call me.
We are all a bunch of fiercely independent folks. That might be our geatest asset, but it is most certainly our biggest liability.

I can speak with some level of experience on organization and leveraging some scale from size of membership.

Look at some of the noble attempts that have failed or not met expectations:

FramerSelect-this included some of the best and brightest in our industry led by probably the most successful of all

Larson Ad Campaign-Who knows how much has been spent on this noble effort. Anybody ever have anybody come from that campaign-more than once?

AFC-remember donating 1% of participating vendors invoices to fund that campaign (or was it to maintain the pay for the director)

And many more

Why did these never meet success?

Way too many stood on the sidelines-they could never get critical mass. There was never a shortage of critics-just subscribers. Getting things done in this industry is much like herding kittens.

As a Director of PPFA, I see it everyday when I ask why people aren't members. The most common response centers on "What's in it for Me?" And if it isn't overwhelming in favor of me then I won't make a very modest contribution.

In this market, the 5th (or 6th) largest city in the country (depending if 3 more people have left Philly yet), we are attempting to establish a local chapter. 100's of framers in the metro area (not to mention the entire state)and we have a minimum of people wanting to see the value of such an endeavor. And you wonder why something on a collective national level seems difficult?

It's about the people, really (with apologies to Bill McCurry). We all want the other guy to do it. "Why can't someone do ...", "How come nobody has done..."
I really enjoy Harry's posts. I love his energy and enthusiasm. He mentions he may not have the financial resources, but does have the time and energy to give. Great! Join PPFA and get involved in your local chapter. You are exactly what is needed. It starts one person at a time-often the way we grow our businesses-one customer at a time

Jack mentions an ad campaign like "Got Milk" or "Beef". Great idea. These campaigns require huge dollars and not many of us are willing to pay even a tiny share. We seem to have a difficult time getting more than a fraction of framers to join PPFA (or go to Trade Shows or avail themselves of Continuing Education)

Buddy wants some type of cooperation between competing elements. Personally, I like it the way it is. Gives me a choice and makes each of them work a little harder for my attention. One of them doesn't serve my needs? Simple-I don't partake of their offering. I would hate to have only one option.

But, my suggestion on a more probable level, would be: a 32 x 40 sheet of Acid Free Archival MatBoard for 99 cents.

But, somebody would just complain that some big boy paid 69 cents by buying a box car load and then sold it for 50% off
Buddy, WCAF in Vegas does exactly that.

As for getting all of the industry leaders....

That was once the standard .... the entire board of PPFA was an insiders group of the presidents and CEOs of Victor, Larson, Nielson, Seal etc, and not a single framer in the bunch of them .... which is exactly why many framers quit. THEY didn't see why any framer couldn't afford $600 a year in membership, nor did they care.

Today PPFA is owned and parceled by PMA. They are given a budget to do the bare minimum. At last check, not one worker for PPFA can frame. The closest framer is 30 miles away in Lansing. There is no money or space allowed for them to set up a mock tiny frameshop to learn in, have classes in or any other means for them to learn what the heck it is that we do.

I don't blame PPFA or the membership for this, (perse) I blame PMA for buying, what could be an enormous success story, and starving it to death.

37,000 photo marketers came to Orlando last year along with 214 framers. Two years ago 500,000 sq ft of show with 23 framer oriented venders hidden amount the 600 other venders of photo stuff.

This year in San Diego, they are having Rob Markoff (who can be my guide any night) give guided tours of the "must see" booths.

I may be wrong here, but I read that to mean "booths of framers interest". Unlike the expansion ring booth, the Zeise Lens booth, Photoshop booth, or the Kodak Feel the Heat booth.

To sum it up; I think what is being said is "what this industry needs is a PPFA that is in the small framers intrest. Instead of LJ, Neilson, Kodak, Fuji...etc".

and I concure.

It would be nice to also have a PPFA that supported independent research as to acid/alkaline levels in produces and a standardized scale marking on all products.

Imagine seeing a repeater mark on a stick of moulding with all the information:

AMZ Mfg #34-657-98325 ph 3.5

Of course THAT aint gonna happen....
Now, I must admit, Baer is my friend. And this will be mostly tongue in cheek, but I gotta knock a little hide off this ol' Baer

Up until a few years ago, I was no fan of PPFA. No need for reasons, but wasn't a fan and cannot speak for past issues.

However, they asked me up to Jackson several years back to offer my "wisdom" and point of view to do some Long Range Planning since they weren't comfortable with knowing as much about us as they needed. They had a home based framer, a main stream framer, me, a regional distributor and a Nat'l VP of a manufacturer. I met Mark Klostermeyer for the first time-certainly worth the trip.

It was a real eye opener on how a first class professional outfit worked.
So, here is where me and ol' Baer will tangle:

PPFA doesn't have a single person that can frame? Do you mean he employees at PMA that are pros at Trade Association endeavors need to learn to frame? I am quite comfortable that they know how to run a trade association

They are starving to death a tremendous success story? If I remember, the VA based assn was pretty much comatose. The merger assured continued existence with a great outlook. I do not have the documents in front of me, but I am pretty certain that every single facet of membership related expenditures (trade shows, education, competitions, market research) are not up, but way up.

Now, Baer if I am mistaken please post the numbers and we will all take a look

You mentioned Rob's Trade Floor Tour. Well, my full figured friend, had you been to either Orlndo last year or Vegas the prior you could have tagged along on those Tours, too. There really is a lot to learn from these guys.

Ande, lastly, you are concerned that this might turn into a group that is more interested in answering to Larson and Tru-Vue and Crescent than the independent framer. Not, if they have a prayer of hope in growing membership.

And, not as long as they have to listen to me a Board meetings

And Mark Klostermeyer and Fran Gray and John Pruitt and Vince DeGeorge and Kerry Wilson

Baer, my pal, when we meet in San Diego, let me give you a personal tour and introduce you to some of the real pros that run this outfit. I am certain that you wil be as favorable to them as I. And then, you will realize that framing skills are not part of their job requirements

We just have to find a place for you on a committee or something. Honest
And here I am, opening a new gallery/frameshop, and hoping my competion out there will give me advice to be successfull. Equipment. Lighting. Gallery Design. Marketing. You know, teach me from your mistakes and successes. I thank you for your insight.

I am sorry I did not get to meet you earlier this year in Seattle. I hope you will take what follows in the spirit it is intended which is to clarify, and to prevent the creation of new urban myths. Any two people can remember things differently...so here are my memories.

You wrote, "....... the entire board of PPFA was an insiders group of the presidents and CEOs of Victor, Larson, Nielson, Seal etc, and not a single framer in the bunch of them .... " The National Board of PPFA has always had retail and supplier members. The Board has never been made up of only supplier members. Most of the presidents have been retail members. There have been times when the Board has been accused of being..."an insiders group.." or an old boys club, but never the mouthpiece of our suppliers. Larson joined the Board for the first time this year. They had been approached in the 1990's, but declined.

"THEY didn't see why any framer couldn't afford $600 a year in membership, nor did they care."

To the best of my knowledge, the entry level membership fee has never exceeded $200.00. Under PMA there is a sliding scale based on sales. For the majority of members, this means a membership cost of $90.00 per year. The highest level of membership, sales in excess of $5,000,000.00 (it may be $3,000,000, I don't have the information at home)has an annual membership fee of $1,200.00.

"Today PPFA is owned and parceled by PMA. They are given a budget to do the bare minimum"

Understand that PPFA, at the point of affiliation, was dead. We had declining membership, we had lost our last venue for PPFA education when Decor decided to give the educational programs at their trade shows to PFM, and we were about to owe hundreds of thousand dollars to the Opryland Hotel because of a default on a trade show commitment. We had been hunkered down in the bunker for ten years facing one problem after another. We had lost the confidence of our retail and supplier members.

In the years since affiliation, PMA has pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into PPFA. Depending on how you allocate costs, the number exceeds one million dollars to date.

Could there be more funding, yes. To get that funding we have to have retail and supplier member participation. That has come slowly because of our checkered past. Rebuilding confidence, after years of mis-steps, is not a quick process.

"At last check, not one worker for PPFA can frame. The closest framer is 30 miles away in Lansing..."

True, they cannot frame, but they have taken course, make site visits, and taken a real interest in the process. Don Berkman spent a day in Jackson introducing the staff to gilding. Ron and Cathy have sat through the CPF Re-certification Course. Are they frame geeks like me...no, but they do know more than the average consumer.

As to local framers, Jackson has several shops, including the big box stores. PPFA uses the downtown local independent framer for their framing.

"37,000 photo marketers came to Orlando last year along with 214 framers"

As Bob will tell you, when I pull things out of my head, I tend to have problems. My memory of last year's show was 26,000 photo guys (which included vendors), and 400+ framers. Again, this is from my head, so it is suspect at best.

"Two years ago 500,000 sq ft of show with 23 framer oriented venders hidden amount the 600 other venders of photo stuff."

What is lost in these numbers is the real value of the PPFA event and that is the convention. As an association we need a venue to do "PPFA stuff." That went away, along with our teaching venues, and PMA gave it back to us. Regardless of the level of vendor support, the event has resurrected the PPFA Convention experience. As with the Grumble, the members who get the most out of participation have a sense of community. The convention supports this community of PPFA.

"To sum it up; I think what is being said is "what this industry needs is a PPFA that is in the small framers intrest. Instead of LJ, Neilson, Kodak, Fuji...etc".

To be an industry trade association, the organization must reflect the interest of all the industry. This includes independent retailers, chains, and suppliers. Much of what PPFA is working on at this moment is in support of our traditional independent retail base.

As Bob will tell you, the progress can be frustratingly slow for us shoot-from-the-hip, get-it-done types. The foundations are there, and programs are moving forward.

"It would be nice to also have a PPFA that supported independent research as to acid/alkaline levels in produces and a standardized scale marking on all products."

Call it a division of labor, PPFA will not be involved in indpendent reseach relating to products. That is the role of the FACTS organization. At the request of the PPFA Board, the FACTS Board has agreed that FACTS will work on the establishment of standards, and PPFA will work toward the creation of practice guidlines in the areas of works of art on paper, works of art on canvas, objects, textiles, and photographic/digital reproductions.

The first step in the process is underway, with the Guidelines Task Force working to review and expand the PPFA dictionary. This first step will create standardized termonolgy for the custom picture framing industry. This will be a great step forward in the elevation of our craft to a professional level. The task force is following the model used by the AIC and the CCI for establishing an industry language.

Baer, as I said at the first, I am sorry we did not meet at the Evergreen Framing Guild event. I always enjoy and respect your perspective.

William Parker, MCPF GCF
Immediate Past President
National Board Of Directors
The Professional Picture Framers Association
Somewhere there was a thread about "why should I join the PPFA".

Man.. I stick a little tiny stick into a quiet little hornets nest.....

I think in the last year or two I haven't heard so much important information about where my national organization has been and is going. This was great! Thanks Bob and William. (Mark Klostermeyer must have been busy. :D )
I appologize William about my numbers, Beckey told me that they were about the same as the last LV show and that would be about 27K and 400 give or take.
Either way when I walked the LV show I was in a foul mood that at 2pm on Sunday 3/4 of the framing vendors had already packed up and vacated the building with 4 more hours to go.
I placed orders with the three vendors I found.

William, in March 2006, I hope you can find your way back to Kent, WA for the Spring Fling again, but on Sunday when we are all there. The classes are great, but it is the after class revel that is a very important feature.
Or maybe, like Bob, you need to make your reservations for the Chinese diner, second night of the WCFA....

Thanks again you two for weighing in. I stand corrected, illuminated, and re-affirmed as to why I stay a member.
I would be glad to come back to the Pacific North West any time. The Guild is great, and I learned a lot about how a successful chapter works. I will see about a place in the limo.


I was going to jump in on this one, but what the heck, seems to be revving up just fine without me.

I will say this, I doubt if PPFA would even exist by now, if PMA had not stepped in.

Some where this threads original question got seriously franethreaded. I didn't recall Paul asking anything about how we viewed the PPFA.

My reply was what I thought the industry would benefite from by a joint Tradeshow effort of ALL the interested parties in conjuction and at the same venues.

I have in the past mentioned a Franklin-Covey concept taught in "7 Habits of Highly sucessful People" it calls for interdependance of all parties utilizeing the best each has to offer ,which produces a result vastly superior to any thing any of the individuals can produce alone.

My point was that we are now seeing some concerns of the instructors at the Decor show in Atlanta since they are on their own,PFM has a very nice set of seminars whose trade show is growing but only has one venuewhich is a long way from all in the south and east and PPFA/PMA seems to be unbalanced with Photmarketing vendors.but has choosen to conduct all it's associaton business at their one show.And the differances don't stop there. While Bob's suggestion that competition sometimes fosters improvement may be true it forgets a couple of other major problems. First all vendors just like Frarmers can ill afford to attend all shows which leads to both of us having to choose which we will attend . Secondly the close scheduleing also often conflicts with who can attend which show.Not to mention that some are delibertly attempting to tie other affiliations to whom is utilized at thier shows. All of which all but insures that some shows will be avoided by some vendors ,instructors and hence interested framers.
Whereas a joint effort would insure the LITTLE GUYS ( us small framers ) could avail ourselves of the best the INDUSTRY had to offer at a single venue given in stratigically geographical locations.

We can contiunue this "my friends are better than yours" at some latter date , but I thought the question was what does the "INDUSTRY" need ? That doesn't mean just PFM or DECOR or even PPFA /PMAI but all us shop owners as well.

The problem as I see it is that the situation as it currebtly exist is just fine for those who have budgets that allow extensive traveling and repeated class enrollments but what if you have to choose only ONE show and none of them offer what all the others do? Then those shops that make up the INDUSTRY just as much as the Trade show host and Vendors is left out in the cold.

But On another note I am by no means a PPFA detractor and since Baer choose to lead the trump card ,I agree with the very astute corrections both BOB and William made. But It is comments like Baer's that lead to this constant bickering and competition that leave us all out in the cold. WCAF is a nice show and I have atteneded it as the Atlanta Decor show and the PPFA/PMAI show and some times two in the same year. But Baer's reply to my intial suggestion (Buddy, WCAF in Vegas does exactly that.) by no means is correct. It doesn't combine any of the other groups efforts and it is located in one place.

When are we all going to realize we are all in this TOGETHER and we should all be trying to find ways to FULLY co-operate? Some one mentioned the FTD effort ( which was tried by the old PPFA and Rex Boyton) ,but doesn't it seem logical that they suceeded because they ALL joind forces for the betterment of the entire Floral idustry? Not just for the Flower shops in one geographical area or that where franchised by a single given vendor But all sellers ,vedors and producers of any types of florial arrangements . And They ALL proudly hang the FTD emblem in their windows and seemingly co-operat together.
Well said. That was exactly my point about FTD. It does'nt matter where you are you can find and trust an FTD florist.

If you were in a foreign city and wanted flowers and you had your choice between an FTD member and a non member, who would you choose? I (and most people I suspect) would choose the one that belongs to the well respected organization.

That of course assumes that you have ever heard of the organization.....

FTD has created a public image of consistant high standards and quality products. Sounds like that would work well and would be an enormous coop for this industry.
Originally posted by Shatzie:
And here I am, opening a new gallery/frameshop, and hoping my competion out there will give me advice to be successfull. Equipment. Lighting. Gallery Design. Marketing. You know, teach me from your mistakes and successes. I thank you for your insight.
Shatzie, Welcome to the G! I hope you get what your looking for here and good luck with your shop. Don't think of Grumblers as your competition, we are here to help one another!
I would like to see a bright colored booth as large as Kodak's at the PMA/PPFA show near the front.
Give demonstrations; show the differences in materials (paper mats vs. rag etc.) show WHY to put glass and spacers on photographs and what happens when you don't. Have many models (tools) people can handle, play with and show them how a good framing package is put together.
On and on and on, in order to expose the photography world that framers are there to help them, not to spite them. Teach these people to become our advocates.
Perhaps recruit new framers to join PPFA at the show in order to strengthen our numbers so money can be collected to promote our industry.
The booth could be used many ways but the main purpose would be to gain more exposure. Stop being at the back of the trade show and start making a presence.

Side note: I talked to two DIMA members recently that weren’t even aware PPFA existed.
I second Bob's suggestion for a 32 x 40 acid free archival mat board for .99 a sheet! That gets right down to brass tacks. Can't wait to see the big booth promoting this in Atlanta.
:cool: Rick
I'm going back to the original question.

PPFA, PMA, whatever, whomever, we need some serious state-of-the-art marketing expertise. Framer Select was a start, but didn't quite work for whatever reason.

We all seem to understand the importance of being up to date on various C/P framing techniques, now we need to get the word out.

We need to be able to 'compete' with the BB's, take advantage of their blasts of discounting marketing, there's GOT to be a way to piggyback off of that and funnel a bit of that attention our way. I could make a nice living off of their crumbs.

This includes general marketing, marketing research, frequent updated research, expertly targeted advertising, focussed and deliberate communication with our current and potential customers, with lots of allownances for our own personalities.

I think it is important to note that our customers DO shop at BB's, they are not loyal to them, but it's 'easier' for them to go there rather than search us out. (even though we are worth the effort, darn it) We need to do some courtin', folks.

edie the reluctantmarketingcheerleader goddess
My second recommendation on what this industry needs is more good lookin' framers like Edie

But, Edie, I know you read my puff-filled posts and you must had slept through (it ain't hard) some of them. So, only because I like you, I'll re-list a few instruments that I have first hand knowledge of and maybe even a few fingerprints on that can absolutely help you. They are as follows:

The APA Survey of 2003
The PPFA Consumer Survey of 2003
The PPFA Consumer Survey of 2005

I am not comfortable going into detail of what these mean on this open forum simply because they involve PPFA monies and effort and there are those that think they have better things to do with their money. So, for my money, that advice and information ought to go directly to those that are members.

Now, since I have very definitive opinions on what this stuff means (and others may rightly disagree with interpretations of their own), please feel free to contact me directly after you have read these three recent reports and I will share and exchange our own market tested and market validated approaches to the very problem that you identified.

The stuff is out there and trust me, I have peeled a few layers off that onion and I don't mind sharing to other members.

This information alone is well worth the price of admission.

I still have my raw data sheets of the research of the 2005 survey and the margins look like a kindergarten project. I'm sure William's copies are the same
I think that what this industry needs most is a very major - spend big money - branding effort. I'd like to see my customers come in and ask for Roma, or LJ, or Nurre.

Our business is selling design, and selling quality craftsman ship. Our customers know that we, each shop, already does the latter. I'd like to see Larson (and Roma, etc) get the message out that quality design starts with their mouldings. This message should be in every woman's magazine, and in all home decorating magazines. The message should be repeated again and again.

Thanks, and hello Paul!

Karl Kastorf
Here is something that, written 86 years ago, sounds strangely familiar. It is from an issue of Decor. January 1919.

Decorative Arts and Industries Association Formed.


A number of the larger manufacturers of the country have just organized a National Association of Decorative Arts and Industries to raise national standards of taste in home furnishings. The organization meeting was held just before Thanksgiving, in New York City, and in order to complete the organization immediately, officers were elected as follows: President, James P. Haney, director of art in the high schools of New York City; vice-president, Henry W. F'rohne, editor of Good Furniture Magazine, Grand Rapids, Mich. - secretary, William Laurel Harris, of the Fine Arts Federati~n, New York City; treasurer, Chandler R. Clifford, editor of the Upholsterer and Interior Decorator, New York City. Those elected will hold office until the general meeting in the spring.

It was decided by the Executive Committee to hold a general convention of the Art Industries in New York City early next year. This will bring together a large number of those interested in developing better taste in the home. At the same time it will be the purpose to secure a membership widely distributed through the art trades, the important museums and art societies of the country. The society will carry forward its work and propaganda largely through local organizations which will be affiliated with it.


Together with the officers, the following business men compose the executive committee: William H. Gay, Berkey & Gay Furniture Company, Grand Rapids,,; Henry Burn, president Robert Graves Company, wall paper manufacturers, New York; Henry W. Kent, secretary Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Nathan Ullman, president Ullman Manufacturing Company, picture and frame manufacturers, New York; Horace B. Cheney, Cheney Bros., silk manufacturers, South Manchester, Conn.; George A. Bomann, president J. H. Thorp & Co., New York, upholstery and drapery fabric jobbers; John W. Snowden, president Stead & Miller Co., Philadelphia, manufacturers upholstery and drapery fabrics; C. Victor Twiss, interior decorator, New York; Mrs. John W. Alexander, Federation of Women's Clubs; Walter E. Rosenthal, sales agent of upholstery and drapery fabrics.


The constructive object of the society is to promote closer relations between manufacturers, jobbers and retailers of home furnishings through the country by means of printed publicity, traveling exhibitions, lectures and trade and general information on furnishing the home. Through the association, it is also planned to show exhibitions of good home furnishings in New York museums and in museums in Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Buffalo, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Detroit and other cities.

Other exhibitions of upholstery and drapery fabrics, wall papers, carpets and rugs, framed pictures, laces, silverware, pottery and glassware, lighting fixtures and other home furnishings are to f ollow.

Dr. Haney, president of the society, said recently in reference to its necessity: "The magnitude and importance of the commercial interests touched by the members of the Association of Decorative Arts and Industries can be grasped when it is realized that in 1914 the value of the manufactured articles of the American industries catering to home furnishing was $1,500,000,000. Now that the war is over, furnishing industries of all kinds will develop immensely, so that even the huge total of 1914 will soon be passed by the home-furnishing trades of the country as a whole. A directing influence is needed in this expansive movement, and the Nationil_. Association will render an important service in helping to raise higher standards of taste on the part of both producer and consumer.

This Association was originally started in New York in April, 1917, at a general convention of, architects, decorators and interior f urnishers, representatives' of art museums, women's clubs, art societies, trade associations and individuals, interested in establishing a publicity propaganda for the purpose of creating a greater interest in the home and its proper furnishing and adornment.

The art publishers and manufacturers of framed pictures and picture frames are vitally interested in the movement, and quite a large number of them have already joined or signified their intention of becoming members, . including the Moulding $ Picture Frame Manufacturers' Credit Bureau, the Framed Picture 1\^, Tanuf acturers' Association and others. During the period of the war it was not deemed advisable by the Executive Committee to launch the Association on its course, but now that the war is over and the time for the reconsruction and rehabilitation of industrial activities is opportune, the work for the carrying out of the projects of the Association will be pushed forward with vigor. : The annual dues for membership are as follows:

Division A-Manufacturers and Art Publishers, $25.00. Division B-Wholesalers, $25.00.

Division C-Manufacturing and Trade Associations, $10.00. Division D-Retailers and Decorators, $10.00.

Division E-Individuals, $5.00.

Division F-Associations (not included in Division C), $5.00.

Well. They did not last. I'll have to reaserch and see if I can find when and why they imploded or disbanded.

And it seems we still want the same things, but just never seem to get actually done.

Just some more fodder for the discussion.
Growing in a middle class, blue collar family, I learned on very important thing. Spread the knowledge and work if you want to save money. I can't remember the amount of times my borther and myself had to go with my father over to a co-workers or friends house to help fix a fence, lay tile, build an addition, and the list goes on. I also can't remember how many times we had our home projects finished in one day by an army of beer drinking weekend warriors. Everyone involved knew that some extra time helping a fellow blue collar now and then would save thousands in the end. I had to move to another city before I paid retail for anything.

The moral here is simple. We all have special skills that can contribute to making this industry better for the smaller business' without anyones help but our own.

This board is full of photographers, artists, computer experts, etc.

There is no reason why we can't create generic ad slicks and or posters that we can add our personal logo to to help promote ourselves. We could work together and build a newsletter in pdf. format that we could put our logo on an mail out to our client list each month.

We could work together on newpaper front pages. I bought sixty the day after the Spurs won the Championship. If any of you have an Spurs fans for clients, let me know and I'll mail it to you. I would have love a Boston Red Sox paper when they won the the World Series. We should be doing things like this for each other. Next time something big happens in your city, buy 25 to 50 papers and let everyone else know.

We can work with each other in box programs. I'd drive to Houston or Dallas to save a ton on moulding. Why are we talking about that?

I would love to see a photo gallery of close up shots of moulding, framed art, and decor that we all could share as stock art backgrounds in our own ads. If you don't know how to do it, barter it out with someone who does. Trade for equipment or supplies. Send him or her a bottle of something nice. I personally work for Crown Royal.

If we get enough people involved we could maybe get to the point where we can have a commerical professionaly done that we can all use. Like the Chevy ads that run and at the end the local dealer plugs it's name and address. Who knows.

The point I'm trying to make is that we all can benifit from working together to make our business' run better.

I have a torn ACL in my right knee and other than hit and miss frame jobs, I'm not working right now. If anyone is needs a website, I have more time than money right now. Let me know what I can do for you.
I like the ideas Rick,
If it means getting together to get some marketing ideas up and running count me in. Even from Australia.

The only real problem I see is when people who do not participate in the grumble us it without giving anything in return. Then no matter who educates the customer, we all benifit in the long run. Make the pie bigger I say.
"What our industry needs most is..."

Suppliers that keep the retailer up to date when items are discontinued!!!!!!!!!

I spend a considerable amount of time with a customer picking out something that looks just right, place the order at the end of the week (in case other orders for the same company come in, I'm not paying freight for a bunch of single shipments), and then find out that that item has been discontinued. And I have to call the customer back to have them come in and spend more time finding something else.

Or worse yet, the supplier doesn't tell me the item is discontinued until several days after I place the order (so it may now already be a week since the customer was in and I don't even have a moulding or mat or whatever yet).

Or even worse, I get the shipment in and find one item missing only to call and ask what's up and am told it's discontinued.

Or even much worse, I call before placing the order to ask if the item is still good, am told YES, then tell the customer it's good, order it, and then find out later that it's actually discontinued.

Can you tell this really peeves me? My idea would be to have a page on the supplier's website that list all GOOD item numbers and is updated whenever any item is dropped. I don't think it would be as good to list discontinued item numbers. Would they only list what's been discontinued in the last year or last 2 years? But what if you happen to have an old corner sample that's 3 years old (not really old in my book), you wouldn't see it listed in the discontinued list. Whereas in a good item number list, you would see it's not there.

Well, I ranted long enough if anyone is even still reading this.
THis is one of our pet peeves as well!!

It drives us crazy!!

And have you even noticed that it mostly happens on orders where the customer was particularly picky or had the hardest time deciding??!!!

It almost makes you want to cry to have to start all over with them again.........
are you guys using POS software? I check my Lifesaver updates weekly where usually all discontinued mouldings and mats are listed by supplier. And ifnot, I know they list about once per month.
Mike, No guarantees with that!

This was one of my rants a few months ago.

After spending thousands of dollars on a new computer and POS software, and going through the effort of regularly downloading updated price and availability lists, I was STILL experiencing the profound frustration of selling discontinued mouldings. It seems a few unnamed vendors were NOT getting their price lists updated and submitted to the POS folks in a timely manner. By timely, I mean BEFORE their stock totally ran out!

I talked to the vendors with whom I had these problems, only to have to go through it yet again. I pulled the samples after that.

Since then, all's well.

edie the nowlookingfornewfrustrations goddess
I'm with Rick,

I think we could compare ourselves with the flooring industry. They have BB's that they have to compete with.

But when I walk into one of their stores, there are manufacturers signage all over thier store. It adds a sense of quality, even if it is a small mom and pop store.

I think our moulding companies need to provide (at a cost of course) signage for the retailer to put in thier store.

Larson Juhl has done some of that, But I think all the larger ones should step up and offer it.

When they have a new product or have a special, they should offer posters and ads to help us advertise it.

I also think they should offer comercials just like GMC and Chevy do for thier retailers. It is to thier advantage for us to sell more of their mouldings. Just like the flooring or car industry.
Maybe the reason more people don't understand and buy framing is there is not enough out there about us. This is the responsibility of the larger manufacturers.

We would be able to use it in our newsletter and ads for the paper.
And if they charge us for the ad, they make a little on it too.

I would love to see displays ideas for sale too. Just like the ones you see at the trade shows that they use to sell to us. The Larson one is always grand and would be a great seller in a frame shop window.

I really hope you big companies are listening!!!

This will be one way to have a chance against the big discounters who aren't selling the name brand, just the discount.

My 2 cents,
(seems like comon sense to me)