Who HOBBY LOBBY please?

Hawickman

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Joined
Mar 10, 2004
Posts
316
From
Hawick,Roxburghshire,Scotland
We have just completed a frame refurbishment job -cut down and re-join broken frame - reduce glass,double mount etc and re-fit a signed Artist's proof print that was originally 'Custom Framed at the HOBBY LOBBY Creative Center'.
The moulding is stamped Frame Mica 95325A Made in USA. about 2 1/4" wide on a pine base with, what looks like to me, a plasticised paper wrap giving the effect of a dark wood burr veneer.
The frame corners were joined with 2 brown plastic
wedges from underneath, that appear to have been slotted into pre-cut grooves, much the same as underpinned wedges (V nails?).Not much glue apparent.
The mats came complete with acid brown bevels. The print was taped using a thinnish tissue-like self adhesive tape across the top and bottom of the print. The 'Certificate of Authenticity' pasted onto the back cover paper was issued by ART BROKERS OF COLORAD0.
I get the impression that the 'Hobby Lobby Creative Centre' might have more than one outlet.
Can you please advise?
 

Emibub

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Nov 2, 2001
Posts
9,246
From
Centennial, CO, USA
Alan, you have just experienced the world of Big Box framing in America. The Framica frames are just that, paper or laminate glued to cheap wood. The plastic wedges are the BB answer to quick assembly line joining.

Hobby Lobby is another craft store chain that does custom framing. Although they don't seem to regularly advertise their framingf like Michael's does.
 

Bill Henry-

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Aug 17, 2002
Posts
20,895
From
Boondock Bowerbank, ME
Business
Retired from the grind
Hobby Lobby is, indeed, a chain of “craft” stores.

They are as reviled by most independent framers as are Michaels and JoAnnes. I believe that like the aforementioned, they do all of their “custom” framing at a central location by gnomes working under the whip of a vicious overseer.

Your description of the join sounds like a “thumbnail”. The mitered corners are sent through a router to make the channels which accept the plastic thumbnail. IMHO thumbnails make lousy frames ‘cause, as you mentioned, there isn’t a whole lot of wood left after the routing to accept the glue.

Frame Mica (now Framerica) specializes in cheezy artificial laminates over lousy wood.

Can’t speak to the mat, however.
 

K-Cat

Grumbler
Joined
Dec 8, 2004
Posts
47
From
Rogers, AR
Ah Hobby Lobby. Here in the mid-west we have many of them. Our local one does not join frames - I don't know about where or how they do it since I have never order a frame from them. They have a Wizard for mats. From what I can tell they cut glass and mats on site.
Your comment about their quality reminds me of being in line to purchase something there a couple of months ago and the lady ahead of me was paying for her framing job - she was looking it over and from what I could tell she was quite happy with it. Personally I didn't like it at all and thought she might have been better off getting a cheap ready-made. Oh well, that's how it is!
In our local Hobby Lobby as soon as you walk in about ever couple of weeks they have a big frame with 50% of Framing sign in it.
 

sheritex

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Joined
Jul 23, 2003
Posts
138
From
tyler, texas
Oh yes.....Hobby Lobby is alive and well in Texas also.....but according to my source ( my sister use to work for them...just left about 4 months ago).....they are manufacturing their own moulding and it is cheap....cheap...cheap quality wise.....thats why the 50% off is advertised at least twice a month in this market.....and according to her...they take all the short cuts...thats one reason she left...she was taught by a guy who knows his business...plus she is a CPF herself and she got sick of doing it the Hobby Lobby way....plus she got a much better offer at another company (not framing) and a 40 hour 5 day a week enviornment. And on top of everything else....they are rude and don't deliver work on time. But unfortuanately, their prices attract a lot of people
Sherry
 

ERIC

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Dec 31, 2001
Posts
1,852
From
New York's Hudson River Valley
Business
Newburgh Mercantile
American BB framing in Scotland. This makes you think about all the work that is out there with your name on the back - and just where some of it eventually ends up.

Years from now, someone on the South American Grumble will be posting "Who is ERIC from Newburgh NY, and can you beleive that he was still using clear glass as late as 2005?!?".

(typed in Peruvian of course)
 

Walt C

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Jan 11, 2003
Posts
722
From
Gillette, WY
My daughter is the current frame shop manager at the local Hobby Lobby (Casper, WY). She's been there for about 5 months, 1 of which she has been manager.

She tells me that all of the frames are shipped to her cut and joined. They do all of the glass, mat (on a wizard) and assembly "in-house".

As in any BB, you are going to get the quality of the person doing the assembly and the oversight and support of management.

She tells me that the store manager is 6 months from retirement (so he doesn't care) and the new assistant/soon to be store manager doesn't understand the technical aspects of framing and prefers that the frame shop personnel spend at least half of thier time in other departments.

She's looking for another job.

On the upside, she spent 3 days in November learning conservation and object framing, including the benefits of mylar and how to use the brass rods for securing heavy objects.

Someone in the company is trying to take things in a better direction, but the local management is getting in the way.

Soon she will be following the previous frame managers (she's the third in the past year) to better things.
 

jframe

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Charter Member
Joined
Jan 1, 1997
Posts
4,251
From
Fort Worth, Texas
It's a good thing she is looking for a job, Walt, she probably needs one for sure after what you posted.
 

Puppyraiser

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Jul 10, 1999
Posts
6,569
From
Maryland
Business
Howards retired
If you have never had anything custom framed, I am sure the job that they do at HL, M or J looks pretty terrific. After all, with what else does a newbie compare it? Someone who has never had anything done before is frequently happy with a custom mat with 1" borders on the sides and 3" on the top and bottom, because it looks so much better than the construction paper that they cut with scissors before.
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Forum Donor
Joined
May 19, 2000
Posts
19,079
From
Suburban Central Ohio
Originally posted by Walt C:
...On the upside, she spent 3 days in November learning conservation and object framing, including the benefits of mylar and how to use the brass rods for securing heavy objects.

Someone in the company is trying to take things in a better direction, but the local management is getting in the way.
Your daughter and I probably met in Oklahoma City, Walt. The Hobby Lobby corporate headquarters campus is a very impressive place.

Their corporate managers deserve some credit for being aware, and working to upgrade the quality of their framing. Local store managers are a challenge for all of the craft stores, I guess.
 

JbNormandog

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Apr 8, 2004
Posts
3,751
From
NJ
Why won't anyone just say Michaels or Hobby Lobby or whatever J is instead on this cryptic letter naming.

You won't get sued if you say Michaels does crappy framing for cheap. It's a fact. The Michaels police won't come snatch you out of your warm bed tonight for saying what everyone else knows.
 

Bill Henry-

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Aug 17, 2002
Posts
20,895
From
Boondock Bowerbank, ME
Business
Retired from the grind
Why won't anyone just say Michaels or Hobby Lobby or whatever J is instead on this cryptic letter naming.
Resist [naming] the Devil, and he will flee from you. – James iv. 7.
 

Hawickman

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Thread starter
Joined
Mar 10, 2004
Posts
316
From
Hawick,Roxburghshire,Scotland
Gosh! I only asked "Who Hobby Lobby?" and in the process mentioned Frame Mica, whereapon another thread was started and the ordure hit the fan!

Now I am afraid to ask "Are the BB's stealing your potential customers?". Or is it perhaps that these folk are somehow intimidated by your stores' more up market appearance and advertising (quite understandably) your CUSTOM FRAMING skills?

I shall,in anticipation of your replies,duck!
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Forum Donor
Joined
May 19, 2000
Posts
19,079
From
Suburban Central Ohio
Originally posted by Hawickman:
Gosh!...the ordure hit the fan!...I shall,in anticipation of your replies,duck!
Good humor there. Rest assured that the ire of these framers is not directed toward you, Hawickman.

Here in the USA, the "big box" craft store chains have triggered a rapid evolution in our sleepy little industry.

While consumers are spending more dollars on framing & "wall decor" now than ever before, most small independent shops are struggling to maintain growth, and some are struggling to survive.

It appears that custom frame shops are going the way of independently-owned & operated hobby shops, pharmacies, dry cleaners, auto service stations and grocers. In the future, only those with a strong presence in some niche will do well.
 

B. Newman

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Sep 5, 2001
Posts
4,859
From
Kodak, Tn. USA
Originally posted by Bill Henry:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Why won't anyone just say Michaels or Hobby Lobby or whatever J is instead on this cryptic letter naming.
Resist [naming] the Devil, and he will flee from you. ? James iv. 7. </font>[/QUOTE]Gee Bill, I don't think it's quite the same thing. If that were the case then we should be naming them all and saying "Michaels (etc) be gone." and they would leave us alone (until a more opportune time of course... ;) )

Oh, and the reason we don't write it out is not for fear but laziness. We bash them so often that everyone knows who they are by one inital only!

Betty
 

CharlesL

PFG, Picture Framing God

In Memorium

Rest In Peace



Joined
Apr 9, 2001
Posts
7,255
From
Clayton, NC
Alan,
"Who Hobby Lobby Please?" makes me think you've shed the Holmes personna, and are practicing for the Charlie Chan role...NOBODY could be mad at Charlie Chan and Number One son.
 

Ron Eggers

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Jul 6, 2001
Posts
16,932
From
Wisconsin
Now I am afraid to ask "Are the BB's stealing your potential customers?".
There is a theory, Alan, that - with their massive advertising efforts and discount coupons - the Big Boxes actually create new framing customers, some of whom will eventually outgrow the BB'S and find their way to the independents.

I have no opinion about whether this really happens frequently, though I have had new customers say things like, "I used to go to Ben Franklin, but . . ."

I may not think much of their framing, but I love wandering around Hobby Lobby looking for interesting-looking tools and materials that I don't actually need but simply MUST have.

You have to get past the ceramic elephants and silk flowers to find them.
 

Jazan Hampton

Grumbler
Joined
Aug 25, 2005
Posts
21
From
West Texas
I have worked at hobby Lobby for years in the custom framing department. It depends on the person doing the framing. I always try to let the customer know the correct way to frame a picture. The problem is, most people who come in, refuse to pay for the quality stuff. You can explain the damage they could be causing and they will tell you that it is too expensive.
So not all framers at Hobby Lobby are inexperienced or little gnomes. Many of us are pretty good framers. Where I live, we do not have many choices to take art to be framed. I work at Hobby Lobby because I love being a custom framer.
 

printmaker

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Joined
Mar 4, 2003
Posts
356
From
Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada
Originally posted by EllenAtHowards:
If you have never had anything custom framed, I am sure the job that they do at HL, M or J looks pretty terrific. After all, with what else does a newbie compare it? Someone who has never had anything done before is frequently happy with a custom mat with 1" borders on the sides and 3" on the top and bottom, because it looks so much better than the construction paper that they cut with scissors before....

ain't it true of independents as well? A shop is only as good as the framer(s) in it.

Somewhat off topic but:
You've hit the brad right on the head there, Ellen. This issue has been touched upon inumerable times on the Grumble but, as with many issues, remains unsolved.

Our local "butcher shop" is not a chain, but a small(er) big box. Their framing quality and practices are as shoddy as their ethics. And, as most experienced framers here know already, their prices are not nearly as terrific as their overall persona would suggest. And yet, they have thrived over the years!?!

The problem is that most folks are totally ignorant in this area and neither know what to expect or what to pay...

From our years of experience, the average Joe (or Josephine) simply doesn't want to "get screwed" when having something framed...

And the bottom line is that his/her perception is that
a) an independant shop will cost much more for the same product and therefore
b) many (most) will be hesitant, at best, to set foot in a "nice" independant frame shop,
c) with their huge buying power, a BB framer will inevitably be much more reasonably priced, and
d) with their corporate reputation(s) at stake, a BB framer would never "screw" a customer.

The good news is that once a former BB customer finds a good independant, he/she will never go back. The bad news is that, as Ellen said, most BB customers will be quite content with their purchases. Many independants, in the shadows of the big BB's, will have to wait in the wings like hungry jackals for the BB leftovers as the corporations steal the lion's share of yet another segment of the retail market.
 

Jay H

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Dec 8, 2003
Posts
9,908
From
KY
It almost seems like there is two options. Make fun of them or learn from them. I'll choose "b".

Carry on.
 

Jay H

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Dec 8, 2003
Posts
9,908
From
KY
"This modest beginning has grown into 362 stores (as of September 2005) with projected sales of 1.5 billion dollars in 2005."

If my math is correct, that an average of well over 4 million per store. What percentage of that is framing. Ohh yea never mind that’s a loss leader anyway. Stupid oafs they are. They won’t last a week in this industry.

Carry on again!
 

RevBev

True Grumbler
Joined
Aug 29, 1999
Posts
89
From
High Point NC
I almost took a job running the framing department at our local Hobby Lobby until, well into the interviewing process, the store "Co-manager" sorrowfully confided that the corporate office would not let them offer more than $8.50 an hour. I confess I failed to conceal my dismay (horror?) and the talks quickly broke down.
 

TheDoctah

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Posts
562
From
NH
>I confess I failed to conceal my dismay (horror?) and the talks quickly broke down.

Yeah, shrieking "$8.50 an hour?!!" pretty much puts the kibosh on further discussion, doesn't it?
 

Skippy the Bush Kangaroo

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Joined
May 10, 2005
Posts
298
From
Australian Bush
the store "Co-manager" sorrowfully confided that the corporate office would not let them offer more than $8.50 an hour
Just think of all those who will get a couple of months of training, get dimayed and then decide they will go and start their own framing shop in opposition to everybody else. Thinking they can make more money.

Is $8.50 considered unskilled labour over there? Its what a 17 year old would get paid at McDonalds here. A framer in Aus would get somewhere between $12 - $16, but then again tax would be(overall) about 50%
 

Iridius

Grumbler in Training
Joined
Nov 1, 2004
Posts
1
From
Temecula, California
> the store "Co-manager" sorrowfully confided that the corporate office would not let them offer more than $8.50 an hour.

It turns out the founder of Hobby Lobby (David Green) has written a book about the management and growth of HL called "More Than A Hobby". According to him, each store sets its own pay rates, based on a salary pool that is calculated as a percent of total sales.

It's an interesting book - it only contradicts about half of the posts in this thread...
 

Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 16, 2000
Posts
16,191
I must confess, that more than once when interviewing prospective applicants whom appearred to be "undesirable", that I suggested a very low pay rate to end the interview.

I am not suggesting that this is what happened to the poster. But, it sure shortened an intolerable interview more than once for me
 

Jazan Hampton

Grumbler
Joined
Aug 25, 2005
Posts
21
From
West Texas
Since I work at Hobby Lobby, I know that the frame department determines the payroll for the whole store. We are expected to sell custom moulding to bring up the money available for payroll. Try to explain that to the other workers in the store that if we don't sell frames, they don't get extra hours and they don't get raises.
 

Jazan Hampton

Grumbler
Joined
Aug 25, 2005
Posts
21
From
West Texas
I know that there are a lot of bad things said about Hobby Lobby, but I really enjoy working in the frame department. We get to enjoy Sundays and most holidays with our families and hobby Lobby has always been good to me. I wish I could have started a Huge corporation by starting out selling small frames in the lobby of a craft and hobby store. Hince the name, Hobby Lobby.
 

Dave

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Jun 11, 2004
Posts
13,355
From
Edwardsburg, MI
Jazan, I appreciate the fact that you were willing to pipe in and say what you felt you wanted to say. From how my fellow Grumblers bash Hobby Lobby and other BB's...ya got guts and I applaude you.

The Hobby Lobby's of the world are not going away. Even if HL decides to discontinue custom framing at some point, someone else will jump in to fill the gap.

Granted, I would agree that most HL's do not train their employees as thoroughly as we would hope specialized custom frame shops do. And the HL in my market offers, it appeared, only about 200 mldgs at most. Also, most custom frame shops have the owner on the floor and there is probably a little more personal touch than the BB's.

There are exceptions to every rule however and I've reframed a number of things that were originally framed at a HL. I have to say that I actually was impressed with the quality of framing compared to the reframing of some work from other independent frame shops.

I would presume that HL has certain standards that all stores would adhere to and do a fairly decent job with the 80% of the framing which is standard stuff. The 20% of truly custom work I would think many of the stores do not have qualified framers with the training to tackle the work. However, I would say that the majority of the independent custom framers are not up to snuff in all areas either.. I've been shocked at what I find when I open packages framed within the last year or two. (I thought scotch 600 tape was just for office use and corrugated cardboard hasn't been appropriate for backing for many many years!)

We tend to make anyone who threatens our livelihood out to be the "bad guys".

My father was a simple, but wise man who enjoyed people and life immensely. One lesson in business he implanted is that you must be aware of the competition and identify your market (customers) and do your very best to service your niche. If you work constantly at improving the quality and efficiency of your business and service your customers, you will not have to worry about the competition. Once when a local competitor in art supply sales quit selling artist materials, my dad was visibly upset. "Now", he said "We'll have to beef up our inventories even more because we can't send them over there if we're out of stock on something".

Instead of looking at a customer as someone you can sell something to, view them as someone who has honored you by coming to you with a problem they need solved. Be a solution person and you'll have that customer for life. Their needs are the most important.

That's why I'm not afraid to send someone to my competitor (yes, even Hobby Lobby) if they can better help solve the customers dilemma or needs. It comes back ten fold because now, I even have the BB's sending customers to me.

Things ain't gonna change, so make well thought out changes to fit the changing climate and carve out your special niche and put on a smile...it's contagious.

Hopefully, the theory will prove true that the Hobby Lobby's of the world will float the entire ship even higher by bringing framing to the masses and increasing the overall market so that all eventually benefit.

Dave Makielski
 

Jazan Hampton

Grumbler
Joined
Aug 25, 2005
Posts
21
From
West Texas
A new bit of information that many of you may not be aware of is that Hobby Lobby was owned by Greco frame supply who is owned by the Green family. Within the last year Hobby Lobby purchased Greco and now owns it's own frame supply company. The green family owns many companies. Craft Ect.., Wood World, David & Darseys (candles). All of these supply hobby Lobby with merchandise.

Also, I do not hesitate to send customers to other independents close by. I try to serve the customer first, not the store.

If I could have a dream come true, it would be to win the lotto and have enough money to open up my own shop just for a hobby and not worry about if it makes money. I would just love to be able to do it for the fun of framing beautiful and unique art.

By the way, I was a framer before I went to work at Hobby Lobby so I pretty well knew how to frame before I went there. I am, like most of you, some of the framers that are hired, I shake my head in disbelief.
 
Top