Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by maryframer, May 1, 2009.
Ok Jerry. You talked me into it.
When money is the primary concern that is what I do. Myrtle Beach appears to have the cheapest people alive living here.
Their money, their decision.
I'm sure that there is just as many in the Old North State.
Yes but not all in your town.
Marni, just in-case you are reading this (or any other interested parties) I can custom frame your document with my value line packages starting at only $31.95. Don't think you can even buy a diploma on-line for that! :icon21:
PS. Green stands for sarcasm on the Grumble, didn't see any green print in your article, so I didn't know if you were being sarcastic or serious.
Not true, Jeff. The cheapest people are here. They are simply too cheap to move to Myrtle Beach.
I totally agree Beveled.
I do want to add though, an organized response
is really needed here. Like was said before, commenting on a newpaper website will not reach the people that read it in the paper. (correction- the 30 newpapers it went out too.)
Bill Ward - In no way was I singing snarky Marnie's praises.
I was freaked out when I first saw the article via my google alerts email which I receive daily regarding picture framing.
I could not believe what I was reading. My first action was to let the Grumble aware of the article by this "so called" home expert. I hoped our collective minds could figure out what to do.
I am a member of PPFA and agree that a cool headed response directed to the author and the newspapers that publish her column (in addition to FramerDave's email that has already been sent) asking for some type of apology/retraction is needed.
If the PPFA remains silent I will stand up and start collecting suggestions for a response and gather names of framers who wish to be included as signers on the reply.
As was said in an earlier post, IMO this is exactly the type of thing that PPFA should address. After all they are the leading trade organization.
Funny, I was reading this article on Saturday over a leisurely breakfast(on a Saturday) and wanted to share it with the G. I had no idea how I was going to do that and I see it has already been chewed up and spit out. I was fairly horrified at reading it. I don't see the reason to take a poke at any industry considering the current economic climate. If she was tongue and cheek it still has a negative impact.
As to the comments from the person at Fascination St in Denver I have been in the store and as I recall he dealt in animation cells. I don't recall seeing any paintings. It has been a few years since I was there so maybe it has changed. My thought is he is regurgitating info from many moons ago that we have all moved beyond. He probably hasn't kept up on new techniques.
I'm going to have to go to The Denver Post site and see if i can respond to this article too.
So's you know I am probably pasty faced but I was not the culprit either.......
Dave....Have you any response since you sent it directly to her instead of to the newspaper like others did?
FYI http://www.thegrumble.com/showthread.php?p=472971#post472971 this is exactly what the company does. Document framing.
Okay, made comments in the Denver Post online comments.
There were already comments made not from Grumblers that I know of. I notice the article has a differnt title too.
This was a very well written response by Art Writer of Waynesboro, VA to the article in the Hartford Courant
Much comes across my desk concerning the lack of talent to elite practices; from the poor mom hacking out a frame job on her kids art with a garage sale find to $500,000 frame construction in New York. Some make me smile, few make me sad, but on occasion there is the one that makes my blood boil.
Yes, there are the framers who are just doing their summer job and with the same expertise as they did with their babysitting or lawn mowing; but then with a little due diligence it is just as easy to find the Local Independent Framing Expert. This is the person who views their job as a Profession and approaches each job with such decorum. They have invested many thousands of dollars and weeks of time in Continuing Education. There are three major conventions every year that cost a framer $2-3,000 for each week to attend classes and discuss changes and advancements with other framers, experts, and vendors.
There is also an International convention of the trade association. The Professional Picture Framer's Association which can be reached at http://www.ppfa.com , every year brings together framers from all over the world and levels of business to learn, brainstorm, share and network. That investment in their knowledge and craft also takes not only money out of their pocket to pay for, but also time away from their shops and making money. But like conventions for doctors, it is time and money invested in their level of service and knowledge.
Unfortunately, there is no place for writers to brush up on their skills of decorum, sensitivity, understanding, research, and unoffensive styles of humor. Therefore it saddens me and make the world just a little meaner mud ball when a "respected" writer is paid more than their due for such a "hack job" that rivals a $24.95 framing job on a $140,000 diploma.
Then again, I'm always amused by how people receive the just and same treatment as they give out. Maybe if that iron chastity belt had been worn on her mouth instead of her squeeking purse strings, she might, just might have had an experience that was uplifting, life affirming, or at minimal enjoyable.
I've never had an orgasm while picking up a $300 picture framing job; but it's been close a few times; but that is miles closer than Marni can ever expect. Carefully choose your Doctor, Dentist, Mechanic, spiritual adviser, and most importantly for you heirs: Picture Framer; because they are going to live with your choice long after you're gone.
I wonder who this person is.
I like that part!
Interesting how so many of you are quick to bash the PPFA, but when you want someone with credibility to "stand up for the industry" you suggest and support the PPFA coming to bat for you to contact the writer and all publications her column appears in.........
And then we come full circle and see how, when met with being tasked with something that a trade organization is actually supposed to do, this response exemplifies why bringing up the PPFA was a bad idea to begin with.
As I mentioned before, when I emailed the author, I copied Elaine Truman of the PPFA. I did not presume to speak for the PPFA, only as a member and framer.
The PPFA is well aware of the article and many framers' responses; don't assume that because they do not conduct their business via the Grumble that they are not aware or responsive.
Not me. I think its a bit funny that somebody would think the PPFA has an clout with a newspaper. If such an article ran in my local rag, I'd expect to have 100 times the pull than the PPFA. I'd think local frameshops would be able to effect/correct this article much more effectively.
I don't understand the need to be flipping each other the bird on this thread. :shrug:
Good response Art Writer of Waynesboro, VA ,....... supportive, funny and intelligent. :thumbsup:
Welcome to The G!
Ditto. And Ditto... welcome to the G. :beer:
Hey jPaul, who is this guy in VA?
The PPFA needs to respond because they are the industry's trade organization and as such, should be the official voice of the the industry they represent. If this had been about professional photographers, our trade organization, the PPA would have had a response out as soon as possible. They actually have someone on staff who handles this kind of damage control since it happens to our industry on a regular basis.
Very nice response
It is really nice to know that other people (not just framers) see that what she has been writing is a mistake.
I am sure that after the PPFA has a meeting about this issue, and we will be updated on what may be done soon.
Jerry & Baer, I don't know who Art Writer is from VA. Doesn't surprise me that he used the term though. Local Independent Framing Expert is being found more an more. I even had to have one site take down copy that they had cut and pasted direct.
On topic. I did post a comment on several papers story. I wish I was able to find a place to contact her direct, so that I could send her the full version (paper limited me to 2000 characters)
I do see that she is on LinkedIn and the irony is she is part of the 3/50 group supporting shopping localy. I did ask her for a connection, will see if she responds now that she might know who I am.
Here is my full unedited response.
As the founder of the trade association LIFE (Local Independent Framing Expert)I was of course interested in your article regarding your custom framing experience. As an owner of a custom frame shop, I do of course understand your perspective that custom framing is expensive. I sometimes hear that from the first time or casual customer myself. I have to agree, sometimes custom framing can be expensive. (Of course so is custom-made drapery or clothing, if you compare it to off of the rack). There are of course many reasons why a person might choose to have something custom made.
It seems that you have two primary problems with your custom framing experience. First that you were presented too many choices. I believe the framer was really trying to do you a service. (If all you have ever tasted is hamburger, how do you know if you like steak or not)Many customers come in asking for a simple black frame, because they mistakenly believe that it will be the cheapest option. While it might look OK, it might not look fantastic. The custom framer’s responsibility is to show you the options. (The clerk at the dept. stores responsibility is to ring up the black frame you picked up off the shelf)I don’t know of a custom framer that wouldn’t sell you the simple black frame if that is all you wanted, or was the best option for the piece being framed.
Your second problem was the price. One thing I think we can agree on price is relative. What is expensive to one person is not necessarily so to another. Is spending $100.00 on a piece of your child’s artwork too much? Only you can answer that. Are you going to frame this and toss it in a year or so? Is this something that your child might treasure as an adult, do you want to be sure it is preserved? Often as a framer I might hear, "I only paid $5.00 for it, I don’t want to spend a lot on a frame." While I can appreciate that, the reality is, the price of custom framing is not determined by the monetary value of the piece. The price is determined by the choices. I can put that $5.00 print in an inexpensive frame for you and while it might look OK, it will not "wow you" like some other custom options might. (You can’t have the steak and pay for the hamburger)
Some things deserve better framing, actually. They demand it. I had a customer in the other day that "didn’t want to spend much." She was framing her daughters wedding photos, "she had already paid $3,500.00 for the session plus the cost of the prints." Was I wrong to suggest to her that the photo deserved better preservation treatment? In this case the difference between an economy frame and a preservation treatment was very small and necessary to protect the investment she had already made. (This was a case of high sentimental value) Other areas that definitely need preservation framing are items with high monetary value in themselves. In such a case, a reputable custom framer, actually might refuse to do them to a lower standard, and should be applauded not condemned.
As a custom framer and small business person as well as the founder of LIFE, I feel that the way you presented your article was very damaging to our industry. After all you didn’t have a problem with the workmanship. (Even if that had been the case, it wouldn’t have been reason to disparage the whole industry) Your article made it sound like all framers were less than professional and only interested in ripping off the public. Even if your articles are supposed to be humourous, I think in this day and age we need to think about the effect our words have on others. Being that you are a syndicated writer, yours words reach many people and thus have brought harm to a small industry already struggling in these economic times.
I might also add that some of the other information presented in your article by your quoted expert, is misleading or out of date. In the future, if you choose to write regarding custom framing and would like accurate information please feel free to contact myself or the Professionals Picture Framers Association (PPFA) or our trade publications.
Founder of LIFE
John, at the bottom of the article is a link to her website. At the bottom is an envelope icon which will take you to her contact information.
Thanks Dave, here it is if any want to contact her directly
Let the games begin...
Yep, this thread is already coming up on page 2 of a Google search for her name + paper
Dear Mr. Lantrip,
Your letter was among the few cordial ones I received from framers, and I appreciate your comments. I didn’t mean to tar all framers with the same brush. I certainly respect the honest, well-trained professionals out there. My column, however, if you’re a regular reader you know, is supposed to be a light-hearted look at all the travails – and costs – of trying to decorate your home. I exaggerate; I’m a notorious cheapskate. I think you and many framers suffered from a lack of context when reading this.
This particular column was one of a two-part series with Aaron LaPedis. The first was on what gives art value, the second on how to showcase art in your home. As you noted, that involves more than framing, and includes lighting and locating. Besides unhappy framers, I’ve had many letters from readers saying my experience when it comes to framing matches theirs. And of course, I realize not all framers have pasty complexions. Wow, people took that personally.
Nonetheless, I very much appreciate your good points on frame backing and will definitely look to the PPFA when I visit the subject of framing in future columns.
Thanks for reading and writing.
Thanks for posting that, Dave. Her characterization of her intent and approach is about what I figured. Thanks for (apparently) taking a positive approach when responding to her. That puts our professionalism in a good light. I think we all need to accentuate the positive in these kinds of situations and not take everything so personally. (As often happens during discussions here on the G) Knowing your skill as a writer and as a representative of our industry, I am confident you showed her the best of what we stand for.
If you wouldn't mind, maybe you could copy and post what you sent to her. Thanks.
She was right about the pasty complexions found in frame shops. People who work indoors tend to have them, especially people who work more than 40 hours a week.
She is also right about custom framing being expensive, it is......always has been. It is hard to purchase the materials needed to make one product as opposed to say, a hundred thousand of the exact same thing in a factory setting, and have the price be "cheap".
I have a friend who is a model maker, he makes one of a kind mock ups of things people invent who need a sample for investors or bank presentations. A cell phone mock up can run five or ten thousand dollars for a single copy.
Compared to most one of a kind manufacturers, custom framing prices are dirt cheap. Our problem is that what we produce here in America is compared against factory produced products from low labor cost countries, such as China.
Our potential customers look at how things are priced at big box operations such as Wal Mart or Akia, and believe we should have comparable prices. If we don't, we are rip off artists.
A dentist has a custom made crown done for you, and charges you between four hundred to a thousand dollars. We are talking a little tiny bit of metal and porcelain, probably ten or twenty dollars worth of materials.
I love it when people come in with their posters with broken glass they want replaced. I give them the price, ready to hang and they say, are you nuts, sixty dollars for a piece of glass??? Uh.. no.. that price also includes labor, handling, storing it until you get around to picking it up, stuff like that. Well that's outrageous, my husband can do it for about ten dollars. Uh....yes he can...I can not compete with your husbands labor charges nor his overhead costs.
Thanks for your kind words. I posted my reply to her, just scroll up to #34.
I do have to comment on this one: my coworker actually goes to the tanning booth on her lunch hour.
Comes back smelling like coconut. On purpose. Because she knows I hate the smell.
Me, I prefer my natural ruddiness. ^_^
Being a sarcasm expert I did pick up on her less-than-serious writing style. Many framers misinterpreted her message and I'll bet John Q Public did also. Sarcasm is a double edged sword. When it works, it works well but when it lands on somebody wrong, it cuts deep.
I suspect we would reprimand any framer who poked fun at a designer in such a public manner wouldn't we? I know there are many framers here who do not like working with them but still suspect they wouldn't support something like that. Maybe I'm wrong.
Home décor is trendy now. It's hip with the young crowd. I've seen 20 year olds on “Flip That House” or what ever those shows are called on TLC. All those design type shows have 30-40 year olds (our typical customer) on there. Those are probably the same crowd that reads papers. They have just received conformation from a popular designer that we are all crooks. She says she didn't mean to do that but admits in Dave's response that she did. I do think the article damaging and a retraction/clarification wouldn't be out of place.
Perhaps hearing from framers doesn't help. I'm thinking about giving the article to many of my customers with her email address and maybe some of them can share their experience with the very shop(s) she is so willing to use as punchline.
Thanks, Dave. I do remember now having read that post. Very nice job. Next time she needs to cover the topic, I wouldn't be surprised if she calls you (or at least someone from PPFA) for input and content.
Now we'll have Miss Marni Cheapskate complain about expensive framing ........and coconut smelling framers!
Thanks for posting that link Mary
Still Framing in Philadelphia
I think that article was disgusting, abusive, and what I will call editorial misconduct. I was saddened by it. :vomit:
Is it to much to expect more from a professional?
I don't think she will print a retraction. That would be like guarantying your work, or standing up for what you believes. She in it for the fast buck. Does not care what she writes as long as she gets paid up front. Misrepresenting the industry as a whole.
Kinda makes you wonder about her as a writer doesn't it. So should I lump all professional writers in the same group? Or maybe she should be labeled as a clamy, musty smelling out of style 'fiction writer'?
Don't forget hunchbacked.
There's a well-known road that's paved with "good intentions" ...
thats it. Hunchback.
Thanks for posting her response FramerDave.
Let us know when you hear from the PPFA on the matter too.
I don't think your wrong Jay H.
I too, read her sarcasm, but she did go too far. There is sarcasm and then there is just plain mean. I would expect pieces in print (her article was not in a blog but in 30 newspapers) to be held to a higher standard.
Her point that those offended did not appear to be reg. readers is not a valid rebuttal.
What she is saying by that is "I am always this way." That is not an excuse.
If she were a comedian, her "bit" would have appeared in a different venue with a different reader.
She bills herself as a "home -decor" "expert" advice professional not a comedian.
Is it any wonder that newspapers are crashing and burning as we speak?
Could part of their problem be content?
What if a frameshop was advertising in one of those papers that printed the article?
Would the owner of that shop have the right to be upset and pull any further adverts?
Marni writes: >> I think you and many framers suffered from a lack of context when reading this.<<
I believe it's Marni who suffers from lack of context.
The reality we all live with is the worst economy in our lifetimes. So many small business people are working hard but close to failure, that's the reason many framers took this personally.
Who needs a heckler when your ready to fall of the cliff.
That said......I'd like to see someone, with personality plus, take Marni by the hand and spend some time showing her the cost benefits of preservation framing and offer up tips on economy framing for decorative art. The right person might earn some good PR for themselves and framers in general.
Go to her website and take a look at what she posted in her blog yesterday. It aint purty. I am posting the link here, but I'm having a hard time pulling it up when testing it.
<a href="http://www.marnijameson.com/?page_id=54">Marni Jameson</a>
Well, I guess we ain't ever gonna win her over to our side, are we?
Especially after we set up this grumble blog (ten years ago) just to dis her and all.
I wonder who the traitor was.
That's wasn't rhetorical, by the way. What mental champion shared an avg markup with this person so they could publish it in 30 newspapers? Along with a nice quote that we are the scam artists?
Because she was also sure to mention that you're marking up base materials. Oh, she didn't? I wonder what the markup is on a sofa... not the sofa, but the wood, springs, fabric, cushioning, and labor before it turned into a sofa... because that's a comparison. What's the markup on a suit? Not the suit sitting on the rack at Men's Wearhouse that they purchased from someone else, but the fabric, thread and labor before it was ever a suit marked up to that price on the rack? And we all know you can go to a custom tailor and expect to pay twice the cost of the fabric for a custom tailored suit, right?
I just said almost the same thing in her comments section Johnny.
whoever told her about the mark up probably wasn't an owner, just a framer not paying the bills. We aren't selling a finished product on the shelves. There is a big difference which she fails to see.
Here is a beter link.http://www.marnijameson.com/?page_id=54">Marni%20Jameson
Separate names with a comma.