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The Best FB Interview

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by cvm, Dec 18, 2017.

  1. neilframer

    neilframer PFG, Picture Framing God

    I've been out in the "back forty" harvesting timber and picking cotton all day to make mats and frames in time for Christmas....:confused:
    Santa is a taskmaster...
    Horse Logging.jpg cottonharvest.jpg
     
    JWB9999999, blueeyes, cvm and 3 others like this.
  2. Gilder

    Gilder MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I am glad you are having fun. Just remember that 9 out of 10 frame shops are out of business, public doesn't trust you anymore.
     
  3. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Cool. Ours came last Friday and we got wood going through this Thursday.

    IMG_5237 (1).jpg
    IMG_5255 (1).jpg
     
    JWB9999999, blueeyes, shayla and 2 others like this.
  4. Gilder

    Gilder MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Beautiful. I am not mad at you anymore.
     
    shayla and David Waldmann like this.
  5. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Wow, thank goodness for that, according to Google there are 21 custom frame shops in my city, if 9 out of 10 were not shut down then I could only imagine how difficult it would be to compete with so many, that said two of those 21 are mine, we are looking at taking a third over in the new year, plus we supply some of those other shops, I am pretty sure we are well trusted with the amount of work that goes out, some of it finds it's way over to the USA too, at least 600 pieces this year, yes you are correct I am having fun, in fact I only work part time these days, I finish at 1 pm and go spend time with my family, my shops have managers and pretty much run themselves, and at 43 I am still young enough to enjoy it, kayaking is our family's new hobby, actually I can't even remember the last time I framed a picture :) I think we will be OK though.
     
    David Waldmann and cvm like this.
  6. Gilder

    Gilder MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    This is just sad!
     
  7. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    We all have our own definition of sad my friend, I can confirm that I am extremely happy:)
     
  8. KevinAnnala01

    KevinAnnala01 True Grumbler

    I can't wait until someone does the framing end of production for me. Quite happily.
     
  9. KevinAnnala01

    KevinAnnala01 True Grumbler

    ....and where the **** is my award? I like to achieve things. ****, I'll take a picture of it and market my accomplishments.
     
  10. Gilder

    Gilder MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I can't like you guys or that FrameB..... I have to know styles, I want to know how to make it and actually do it and so on. Otherwise it's like running sandwich shop and for many sandwich shops it would be insulting, this is how
    creative many of them are.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
  11. KevinAnnala01

    KevinAnnala01 True Grumbler

    Geez it's a good thing we're not approval seeking like you are. You've basically insulted any and everyone in here that doesn't manufacturer their own mouldings. Get over yourself.
     
  12. Gilder

    Gilder MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I wish you luck! Who knows, maybe you'll make it.
     
  13. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    No no no, you misunderstand, he dose not want to make the frames!
     
  14. Gilder

    Gilder MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I am just messing with him. :)
     
    IFGL likes this.
  15. neilframer

    neilframer PFG, Picture Framing God

     
  16. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    I just told your buddy, 'Hey, Darren's 43!'. Says he, 'What? Today?!' After which I had to give him the sad news that today (which is almost tomorrow where you are, in which case, is it yesterday here, and does that make us closer to or farther away from Christmas?) is not your birthday.

    As for this thread, it just makes me miss Bron.
     
    IFGL likes this.
  17. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    It was already tomorrow by 29 minutes!, from your perspective anyway :) your further away only by a few hours though.
    Every day is my birthday,, feels like it is anyway.

    Yes I know the thread was getting a little heated but I believe is defused now, who is Bron?
     
  18. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    So I found my business grew more quickly when I started hiring the right people and giving them jobs that they enjoy and excel at, so my main sales guy is better at selling than I am, my main framer was the head framer in a much larger company than mine, he has been in the trade from leaving school at 17 years old and is now 47, he is very quick with a very high standard of work, I have a girl that is like lightning at assembly, she is the youngest of our team at 25 ish and likes social media, now not one to miss a trick I put her to work on to our social media accounts, which brings in younger customers, she also comes up with some interesting new ideas, one of my staff is 28 and very very good at IT, just yesterday he took over one of our computers at the other shop and fixed a problem the other guy was having, he is aslo light lightning at Corel Draw, I asked Jamie if he could build a website? I think so came the answer, he did, it is good and it actuality takes money through the shopping cart every day, he put a simple user interface in it too so we can all mark items as compete or dispatched and so on, basically play to the strengths of your staff, make them feel part of the company, fire quickly those that aren't interested, and the results should be good, I also consult with my staff regularly, finding out if pricing is right, if the lines we run are working, do we have gaps, can we improve?
    I can do every job in my business should I need too, I fill in when staff take holidays or help out in busy periods, I mainly sort out trade clients accounts these days, my best strength is organisation so that is what I do.
     
  19. KevinAnnala01

    KevinAnnala01 True Grumbler

    Yes my sales slow downs directly correlate to how big my production runs are immediately before hand. Hiring is top of mind. Really tough to do as I'm bootstrapping, but it will happen.
     
    Won Jun Hong likes this.
  20. Gilder

    Gilder MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Bron died a few years ago, he was a frame maker and a really nice man.
     
    JWB9999999 and shayla like this.
  21. Gilder

    Gilder MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    So where do they buy the moldings, maybe I completely missed the point and they built the plant here in US? Are the're fueling some Asian market like many corporations do or actually making domestic product?
     
  22. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I doubt they're making their own mouldings.

    Once they get big enough they'll probably source directly from the latest Developing Country.
     
    IFGL likes this.
  23. FramerCat

    FramerCat SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Are you asking about FB? They get a lot from Larson Juhl and some from Decor. I'm sure they order from other suppliers too, but those are the ones I know for sure about.

    Ed
     
  24. cjmst3k

    cjmst3k SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I'll put a semi-random comment on here.

    There was a frame shop / art store called Art & Frame Depot. The guy moved to my town from out of state and opened next to a movie theater years ago around 2009. He had banners all over saying "80% Off Framing" or something, and had his shop packed with very inexpensive art for sale, the stuff that would compete with Bed Bath and Beyond or something. This was his 3rd store and the other two (to my understanding) he opened and sold, and one moulding rep said thats what he did. Open, boost the numbers by putting everything on "sale" or clearance, then sell the business.

    On the opposite side of the movie theater, he opened his own brand of frozen yogurt, also in 2009.

    I think Art Depot closed their business around 2010.

    And his frozen yogurt brand he expanded into a franchise of about 350 businesses in just a few years.
    In 2010 the franchise was bringing in $325,000.
    In 2013 it was bringing in $32 million. He then sold to an equity firm for a lot.

    Again, semi-random.
     
    CB Art & Framing likes this.
  25. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    My ex-boyfriend knew a guy who had the first espresso cart at the Vale ski resort. Guy said the first winter, he made $600,000.00. But as soon as competition popped up, things changed.
     
    JWB9999999 likes this.
  26. Won Jun Hong

    Won Jun Hong Grumbler in Training

    Hello Ladies and Gentleman,

    Interesting arguments... Sometimes I learn a lot from what people are debating. It's a learning opportunity for me. I am sure everyone is well-intended.

    My name is Won Jun Hong, and I come from the world of software engineering and technology entrepreneurship. I am a complete outsider to this industry. I used to contribute to building websites and internal computer systems for banks and stock trading platforms--for mainly Fortune 500 companies, when I was in New York City.

    Although, I am a completely outsider of the framing industry, I have bought about 20-30 custom frames for myself and my friends. I always wondered how veteran framers like people on this forum and us (technology entrepreneurs) can work together to outcompete online and BB shops. I love local shops. I do believe they are the backbone of the American economy! :) I may sound naive, but I believe there must be a way!

    Speaking of the online products, Framebridge raised another $30 million in funding in summer 2018. In total, they have raised about $70-80 million in last five years (based on Crunchbase.com --it's a scoreboard/yardstick for Sillicon Valley companies). They hire about 200 people. It's not just them. There are levelframes.com. Posterjack.ca. I can name all day long. They are coming.

    Although, they will never be able to replace higher end of the market (as some people on this thread said), I believe they can substantially carve out some of the lower and middle tier of the market. Before that really happens, I think there can be a way that technology industry and local framers work together to bring a quality custom framing locally, at a competitive prices.

    1. Please message me if you want to chat. If you are really into this idea, I can also fly into your city, anywhere in North America, to meet you in person and learn more from industry veterans like you! :)

    2. I am really curious about how this industry works, so I am flying to WCAF next week. I will be in Las Vegas between January 22-29, 2019. So please let me know if we can sit down for a coffee.

    Maybe in return of your industry knowledge, I can share my knowledge on how to make your website pop on first page of Google, and how Facebook and Instragram etc, in a cost efficient manner.

    --

    Thank you very much. Although I am very inexperienced and outside framing industry, I would love to learn from you and work with you to capture the lower end custom framing market that has been previously neglected.

    Won Jun Hong
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019
    Ylva likes this.
  27. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    WJ, I have been thinking about this. As I told you, the biggest problem will be uniformity.
    There are so many options, suppliers and we don’t all use or want to use the same.

    I do hope you will hook up with Mo, maybe a good brainstorm between the two of you will produce unexpected results.

    Have fun in Vegas!
     
  28. FramerInTraining

    FramerInTraining MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    What’s in it for you? I don’t completely understand when and how you’re expecting to make money?

     
  29. Won Jun Hong

    Won Jun Hong Grumbler in Training

    Hello Mo,

    Apologizes for not making myself clear. I am just trying to solve a "problem" that my friends suggested here.

    Some of my friends thought that it would be a fantastic idea if they can design a frame online. Build theirs locally. They don't like the consultation part. (It's not about framers--they just don't like talking in general). They don't like mailing things in and out even more. Nothing is more frustrating than missed delivery slip. Before paying, instead of "guesstimating" based on one corner, we want to see how the final product would look. And see how much would it actually cost (without actually doing consultation). We want to play around the design tool, without walking into stores and compare prices. I think that's the overall consumption trend among the millennials. The catch is, this tool and whole website experience needs to be as easy as Amazon and needs to be as beautiful as Airbnb. Otherwise, people don't punch in their credit card numbers.

    I used your application today. I thought your idea is great. I want to do something similar, but with a broader geographic and regional base. If each of large North American cities (top 20) have 2 participating stores, I think your idea can be even more powerful than online framing. Above all, your product get things done locally. No mailing in and mailing out. It would be great if you can have a centralized framework that connects local stores seamlessly. That way, the central website will pop out on the first page of Google searches. People would pay extra $30 to not mail in mail out. But the final price has to be below $199. It's extremely hard to sell anything above that (without an exception of Amazon. They can sell $500 product easily).

    I know it's going to be hard, that's why I am knocking on every forum and every framer to understand if my solution is viable. If I get to find several people who believe in my product, I will call my friends and build a beautiful website and see if I can recruit some local framers to be on our network. Of course, I am not a framing expert, so I will have to refer out ALL my customers.

    Mo, I come from a technology world. My girlfriend and all my friends work in software industry. We can design, build, execute, and put it on front pages of Google relatively easily and cheaply. In fact, I can build these design and software without spending a dime since I can just recruit my friends every night and every weekend to build something together. We are driven by projects like this. But BEFORE THAT, I have to see if there's a market. That's why I reached out to you earlier. :)

    What's in in for me? I want to build a successful product where I can connect budget customers with local framers who are interested in lower end work. It's hard to sell something above $199 online. As long as we can do something lower than that, I think we have some room to work together. I have done my framing in the Upper East Side (where I used to live) for less than $200. That's why I think this can be doable. Also, there are people on this forum who thought that I have an idea that I can play with.

    If this project takes off, I would love to get $1 - $5 per deal I refer to local framers, and maybe reach 100 frames a day, I would call this endeavor successful. Prices or strategy can change obviously. But that's my current plan. Computers and servers are cheap. I can build beautiful websites for free. What do I have to lose, other than rejection from many people? :) The project is going to be difficult, but I want to give a shot. The fact that some framers like you have worked on similar idea like this encourages me!

    When and how long would it take to make money? -- I honestly don't know. However, this product research and building will take couple hours a day of my time. Despite lots of rejections on my inquiry, I enjoy the process of reaching out to people, being criticized by them, commented by them. Above all, also being encouraged by them. It's all learning and character building for me. :)

    Both my partner and I have stable sources of income, and we agreed that it's the time for us to find a challenge and solve it. We don't have to many any money on this business for next five years (although if would be fantastic if we do!). At the worst case, we build a beautiful product and use this as our experience and product portfolio and double our salaries within tech world! :) This problem has been in my mind for last 3-4 years, and I am trying to find "early evangelists" to teach us and help us guide through the business and deal operational challenges. I think there's a common interest between my product and local framing businesses. The more we sell, the more local framing shops make money. The better they do, we do get some commissions as an auxiliary income. Again, I don't have any shops or facilities to compete against local businesses.

    That's why I am flying to Las Vegas tomorrow, staying there for one week, and trying to chat with people. I am young and inexperienced, but I have solved many problems for my employers and family businesses this way. During this journey, I made many good friends as well. :)

    --

    Please let me know if anyone wants to chat over the phone or meet in person in Las Vegas. I would love to hear and learn from industry veterans like people on this forum. I am a complete outsider to this industry but have willingness to learn, reflect, and change myself if necessary. Obviously, if you are too busy, I totally understand! :)

    Cheers!

    Won Jun Hong

    https://elliesframes.com/partners
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2019
  30. FramerInTraining

    FramerInTraining MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I don’t see how you’re going to be helpful to a local frame shop. I see you’re talking **** about frame shops on your web site already. Your Wall Street type folks are not exactly very upfront about things anyway as we all found out. It took RoboFramer to out your web site though. You did not volunteer it until you were outed. Not all good signs as far as I’m concerned.

     
    neilframer likes this.
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