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supply or not to supply?

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<span style="color: red"><b><i>Charter Member</i><
I had a long reply to this, but keep getting kicked offline - so the short verson - -

Started 12 years ago at home, due to the same reson as MEL, a child needing a mom. This is not the case anymore, but I LIKE WORKING OUT OF MY HOME. Also, now I have elderly parents (mine & husbands) who need us and probably will need a lot more in the next few years. Framing is important to me, but family is more important.

Will I ever open a storefront? Maybe, but Ideally I would like the gallery on the first floor and live up above or some similar arrangement. I just like the convenience of it. Does that make me unprofessional?

I don't want to deal with employees, I like the scheduling, my customers like me, my suppliers like me. What's wrong with that? Those who want to go to a beautiful gallery for great art will. Those who want to come to me for framing where they need someone to "hold their hand" through the process will come to me.

By the way, I have a Lot more equipment than just a mat cutter in the basement.

[This message has been edited by Cookie (edited 02-22-2000).]


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Hi MM,

It's nice to hear from you. Perhaps you could direct your comments to the subject, also. I think you will notice that I have done a pretty good job of not getting personal in any of my comments. Those are areas where I choose not to go out of my general respect for people and a good debate.

What are your dreams and goals? I think I have been very open about mine.

How's this? I really enjoy framing. I enjoy working with people and putting together a good design and package. I try to make sure that my prices reflect those of the industry. My workshop is set up so that I can maintain my home and my customers requests. It is also off limits to my children. I am in it for the long term. I started in this business out of a need to participate in something I thoroughly enjoy. My long term goal is to grow and provide my services to my customers. My marketing is essentially word of mouth, but at the rate I am going I may have to consider a larger facility. I know that if I do move to a larger facilities that my outlook will have to change to acomodate the increased financial responsibilities. When that happens I hope my customers will follow me.

I cut the mat, I pet the cat.


First I'm going to get off the subject then back on, because this has become a homebased verses storefront debate to.

Let me say I've been very close to this issue for months. After 30 years of picture framing and the last 11 working for a 7-figure gallery I was let go when the owner retired. I started to panic about what I was going to do because I didn't want to move, had several offers 2000 miles away, but the wife has a great job here. I seriously considered a shop in the basement, I had a lot of equipment I've collected over the years, and market to old customers for a start. What I found was, and this is only my opinion about the way I work, that as I started to make samples and a few frames for family and friends, my work output was about 20% of what I've done in an outside location. It's amazing what a little stress can do for your output. The wife saw that I was home and figured I could do the entire housework and cooking for her. This also cuts into what I can produce. Anyway, I put together a plan that could be done from home but decided to get a store anyway.

Reason One, I could get the moulding deal I needed to compete. I've gotten several large photo studios and art gallery as clients I need to sell to them at a wholesale price so they could resale and make a profit.

Reason Two, I wanted my clients to know I was committed to my business.

Reason Three, walk-in’s at full retail.

Reason Four, I feel like I have a real job with set hours. No I'm not say that homebased framers don't have a real job, they can, the word I used are "I Feel".

Reason Five, I moved from the house with a basement to one without a basement and a little smaller (still nice) and saved $500.00 per month rent. It takes a lot of room in your house to just store the equipment. For a small amount extra I got a nice 800sqft store in a shopping center.

I could have just as easily bought box program molding and worked from my basement and understand the reasons that some do. If I were located in a small town that 90% of the country, and everybody knows everybody I would be the biggest basement framer you would find. At the price of daycare for children today I could make that another argument for being at home. It boils down to what works for you. Would I be upset if someone grabs an account of mine and worked out of his house to under cut me. NO. If I do my job and give fair prices, fast service, and top quality framing (the way of business this next decade) and build a relationship with my customers, I should be able to hold off most competition. If I fail it will be, I failed to do my job not my competitor stealing an account. Would I be any less a qualified picture framer then homebased or storefront? No. I concluded for me, that a storefront was better. In the future who knows.

P.S. Speaking of that molding company (LJ), 11 years ago I was starting that framing shop that just closed. I call them (LJ) and requested a catalog and for a sales rep to stop by. They told me that they couldn't send a catalog until the sales rep verified that I was in a retail location. OK! Fine I said, get the sales rep here ASAP, the space was already rented and the gallery was open. They said that rep would get there when he could. I called several times over the next week trying to get the rep to call me and set up an appointment. Finally I called another company, ( La Marche ) and their rep was there the next day. Got my opening order two days later. Three more weeks went by and not a word from that other molding company (LJ). Then their rep come in saying that he heard that we wanted to see the line. Not a dime to that company, their problems will become mine. As a final note I'd bought from LJ for 10 year while working at another shop elsewhere. The people I called there knew me as a customer but cut me no slack in the new operation, fine friends they turned out to be. As it turned out La Marche was more in line with the needs of that gallery. (LJ) never got any real business from me. To this day I will not consider them for a main line. I've always considered them a newbier's frame source anyway.

Please can't we all just make more money, and keep the picture framing gods happy.



I'm laughing, your timing is perfect as always MM. Please I just had to get in my two cents it seems everyone else was speaking up. Say has everyone checked out the new homemade framing equipment forum. I got a third one coming next week. I've taken an old C&H wall paper-glass cutter without the sliding block/blade holder and it bad shape and rebuilt it. I used a oak block with formica on the bottom, drilled a hole through it and fit a blade holder to it. I'm making a pulley and counter weight today. It really works great. Total cost was 35 dollars including the wallcutter remains. Picture and story there next week.

Take pictures of your homemade projects and post them there.


<span style="color: red"><b><i>Charter Member</i><
Check out the winter around here! It was 60 Sunday and got in eighteen. Today was 69! for this, people pay lots to go to California. Couldn't play today, but if this keeps up, August form will hit in March. How 'bout everyone else?


<span style="color: red"><b><i>Charter Member</i><
We had a record breaking 70 yesterday. Only dreams of being outdoors!lol. Reality eventually sets in.


CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
... would you believe we still have a couple of feet of snow here? Much warmer now though - at this rate we should see grass as early as June or July!

Lance E

It's getting fairly warm over here, it never snows, however we get lots of rain at times. I'm looking forward to a sunny day today.


Ok I think this thread has seen better days. If anyone wants to continue it please start a new thread. This one had died.
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