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The Rebirth of Mom-and-Pop Shops

blackiris

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
In a binkini............. ;)
 

tedh

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Uh Thank yoo verrry muuuch! (Elvis dialect)

Thank yoo

Thank yoo
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
My engaging personality, arrogance, design skills, cocky attitude, redneck comments,...
Bring on the cameras!!!!!
So, you're not really Canadian? :)
 

tedh

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
We're all [STRIKE]comedians[/STRIKE] Canadians up here.
 

Rick Granick

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Hm :nuts:

The many times that customers have exclaimed, after the whole designing process; "my, I didn't know how much fun this was going to be" come to mind.

Maybe not a 'true experience'...but certainly not regular retail shopping either. Seeing the look on their faces when they come and pick up the finished framed art, and the anticipation....hm....I think that would count as an experience.

The many hugs I get from customers. The tears, the gratitude. Still not an experience????

You can't generalize it all. We build a customer base, we have loyal customers who come back for what? Price? Service? Quality? Or the whole fun experience of actually designing something that will look great on their walls?
I agree, Ylva. Creating an "experience" for our customers doesn't mean it has to be identical to something Disney might conjure. In fact I would think that the personalized, down-to-earth, experience of being cared for and about while participating in the creation of a unique and lasting item intended to bring both tangible and intangible pleasures into the customer's life present a welcome alternative to the faux-feeling qualities often inherent in the "experiences" offered by corporate retail environments.
:kaffeetrinker_2: Rick
 

Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I'm with you Rob

I hope we aren't mixing 'Experience' with something like walking into The Sistine Chapel for the first time (or 3rd, 5th or 7th time). Experience creates a wonderful, lasting impression-sometimes actionable, sometimes not

I have learned that there will always be those that can find fault in everything. Hard to enjoy or appreciate much that way

Rob's shops and mine were really totally different and I guess I could have picked them apart to justify why mine were better.

Instead, I really looked for those great ideas I could steal, er, use to actually make mine better

Many great demonstrable ideas that we would try and incorporate like this one

we recd corner samples from a lot of vendors. They included straight cut, chevron and reverse chevron cuts. A row before looked hodge-podge and never gave it a second thought. Every sample on his wall had the exact same end cut and it just looked better, cleaner. (side story-he had many other things of which he was very specific. i asked Barb if he was an Engr in a prior life LOL-he had training that way.). we changed and now asked all vendors to cut accordingly or send me shorts and we would cut our own.

sometimes a bunch of little things can make a big difference

maybe enough big differences make an Experience

My favorite Hamburger joint was a hole in the wall that somehow escaped any Health Dept citations (remember SNL Cheeburger, Cheeburger?) and it was all about Experience. They could have added a buck a basket and I would have paid it LOL
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Attempting to read that was certainly an experience.
 

Rick Granick

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
maybe enough big differences make an Experience...My favorite Hamburger joint was a hole in the wall that somehow escaped any Health Dept citations (remember SNL Cheeburger, Cheeburger?) and it was all about Experience. They could have added a buck a basket and I would have paid it LOL
Exactly. That is the entire basis of the Food Network show "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives".
:cool: Rick
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
"Enough big differences." Exactly, so what does your business do that's different enough? Ylva described a scene that occurs in every framshop, including the BB's -- happy customers, and the WOW moment that occurs when the see their finished order. However, it's not unique or exclusive.

I think we should look to promote that which makes our businesses different from the M's and HL's in our market.
 

cvm

PFG, Picture Framing God
I hope we aren't mixing 'Experience' with something like walking into The Sistine Chapel for the first time (or 3rd, 5th or 7th time).
So am I, but a 'Sistine Chapel experience' is what Rob's example seemed to promote. But I'm not very bright, so I get confused easily.

Rob sez this defines "experience":

Everything about the restaurant is "theater" - from the interior design, the high ceilings, the dim lighting with hidden spots that illuminate your plates, the etherial music, the wonderful bar and well trained waitstaff, the uniforms of all the waitstaff- with different attire for each of the hierarchies of waitstaff, to the place settings, the choice of flatware and crystal- to the food offerings and platings, portion size, quality of the bread and how it is presented (not dumped in a basket on the table but served by a bread "concierge" with assorted styles/flavors)- to the soft butter and rock salt served with each piece.
And Bob sez this defines '"experience":

A hole in the wall that somehow escaped any Health Dept citations (remember SNL Cheeburger, Cheeburger?) and it was all about Experience. They could have added a buck a basket and I would have paid it.
So I reckon what's being said is that Rob's, Bob's and Bluestone's former shops were more like the Sage "experience" and the majority of mom-and-pop's out there right now are more like the hamburger joint "experience"?
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
It seems unproductive to argue whether a consumer can or cannot have "an experience" in a frame shop, or how to create same, since that phrase, in the context of this thread, could mean almost anything.

What are we really talking about here? Larger-than-life first impressions? Inspiring thrills and WOW moments? Building customer satsfaction and confidence for the long term? Is it a matter of gallery appearance? Demeanor of the frame designer? Expertise of the sales techniques? Quality of the framed results? All of the above?

Personally, I am not concerned about creating "an experience" in my store. It's a frame shop, not an entertainment venue, and I can't imagine trying to make consumers think, "I can't wait to come back to this frame shop and do this again." My focus is on identifying what customers want right now, informing them where I can, doing my best to satisfy their real framing needs, and building a good reputation that endures. If all of that amounts to "an experience", I want it. But it seems to be a moving target, since one's "experience" could be another's disappointment.
 

tedh

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I equate my business to one of Guy Fieri's "dives". Compare a "dive" to MacDonalds, because that is a true comparison, then compare a M&P to a BB. These are generalities, but still apt:

- cluttered vs very sterile
- very competent vs very "formula"
- very different vs very predictable
- customers get the "first-name" treatment, vs no staff "small-talk"
- able to change, adapt and be flexible, vs very fixed and inflexible
- able to do anything, vs limited scope
- no rules vs corporate policies
- evidence of humanity, vs corporate unfeeling

When I talk to people of my age who got stuff framed in the '70s, we all reminisced about a certain framer who injected personality into his business. He is still remembered 40 years later. But I have no idea who I bought a car from back then.
 

blackiris

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Well how the #### are you going to set yourself apart from every other frame shop if you are doing the exact same boring thing that Joe Schmoo down the street is doing.

We should be striving for repeat business. We should be killing ourselves to get that person to talk about thier frame job and our shop and THIER EXPERIENCE to their friends and families.

We have to create a WANT for this industry ..... and vanilla framing just isn't going to cut it.

But that's just my EXPERIENCE.... did I mention I'm framing the heck out of these DM mouldings?
 

tedh

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Here's a timely example:

Five minutes ago a customer left the store. She was a "regular", and had driven here from Ottawa, 40 miles away, to have me cut a mat on one of two pieces. Taking the piece apart, I found a mat inside, removed it, exposing the original mat, which is what she wanted in the first place.

She was so happy she went out and picked up a coffee and a cookie for little old moi.

Her words? "You are my framer. How do we tell the rest of Ottawa about your incredible service?"

I'll be dead and gone, and remembered for years. That's the difference folks.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

But I'm preaching to the converted, aren't I? Everyone reading this has the same celebrity as I do.
 

Bob Doyle

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Nicole, it's an "old timer" vs "new blood" debate. The "that's the way we always did it and we ain't gonna change now" crowd see frame shops as only and forever frame shops. The "new bloods" see a frame shop as a place to drop and pick up money. A new blood framer will have a CMC and a retail area. The time the CMC saves will be spent ordering and arranging the retail section.

The old timers don't want to change, the new bloods see no option but to change. And most of us are a combination of the two. Only instead of calling it outright change we are saying we are catering to our niche ;)
 

Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
seems like when a non-humorous thread gets over 4-5 pages, sides entrench and words get parsed. It's almost like defining what 'it' is

truth is we all know full well what an 'experience' is. when you walk out of shop, restaurant, hotel (seems anything but a frame shop LOL) and you put a 'mental check' in the "yes, I'll be back" block, that qualifies as an 'experience'

I do chuckle when there was a comparison between the shops by Mark, Rob and I as 'old vs new' guy. If i read the post correctly because we tried different approaches we were the 'new' guys LOL. I will say this that when the three of us got together we all shared, never criticized the other guy and often took something new home to try. I'm thinking more 'old dog-new trick' personally LOL.

Bottom line: look for things that might increase your 'memorability factor' and i'll cal it 'experience'. Whether it's a capital "E" or a lower case "e" is up to you

Here's a great example: Take any of Jim Miller's classes and you will know exactly what, in the education biz, is a capital "E"
 

cvm

PFG, Picture Framing God
See, I disagree that any of this is "new" vs. "old". When we had three franchise stores in regional malls from the late-1980's until we sold them in the early 2000's our mix included prints, originals, antique maps, sculpture, pottery, glass, photo frames, dimensional wall-hangings, gourmet foods, books, cards... but custom framing stirred the drink. We even caught flack from the franchisor for straying too far from the 'concept'. Whatever. Our flagship store did around $466 a square. We were in Decor magazine more than once. Were our stores an experience? Not any more than, say, Kirkland's was. So.. old is new again? Lol.
 

j Paul

PFG, Picture Framing God
I wonder how this young man was feeling after what was clearly a first visit to a framers....

Yep he asked for guidance from a professional and was treated with contempt by many on this form.... it saying a lot for the attitude of many in the framing industry.

I wonder will he visit a framing shop again...

http://thegrumble.com/showthread.php?66746-Educate-the-Clueless&highlight=make+frames


Framing OTE (sorry don't know your name as I don't see it in your profile)

You apparently didn't read the opening comment in that thread. If you did, you misread it. Nowhere did I say that I showed the young man any contempt for his lack of understanding as to how frames were made. That thread was on warped, simply to show fellow framers the uphill battle we have on educating some potential frame customers. Solmetimes you gotta scratch your head and wonder outloud with your peers.

I believe a little later in the thread I did comment how I further helped him.

As far as being an experience - I think all shopping is - either a great one - average what you expect - or a poor one. Which one do you think most people talk about. Our challange is, even when we provide a great experience, is to get our customers talking about it. That is where we have the advantage of Social Media if we can harness it in a postive way. Of course it is a two edge sword, as that pissed off customer can tell even more folks also.
 

Jeff Rodier

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
We were in Decor magazine more than once. Were our stores an experience? Not any more than, say, Kirkland's was. So.. old is new again? Lol.
The addition of Pre-Paid Phone Cards plus the conversion of the old backy barn into "Uncle Vic's Bargain Barn" has made you an Experience. :shutup:
 

Framing:

In Corner
It’s Dermot

I did read the thread….

I also said that “some” treated him with contempt, I did not say you did…. I would however question you attitude to the industry…… and I do recognise the huge task you are undertaking at present restructuring your business….. which may be having an impact on you thinking and how you are interacting with your business at present.

None the less, what I was pointing out is the attitudes of some in the framing industry have towards potential new customers, whether they voice it in private or public it is still contempt.

My feeling is that some in the framing industry have become very tired of what they are doing, they may need to have a thing about what they think of customers new or old and how they feel about the industry that is providing their living.
 

cvm

PFG, Picture Framing God
The addition of Pre-Paid Phone Cards plus the conversion of the old backy barn into "Uncle Vic's Bargain Barn" has made you an Experience. :shutup:
Heck yeah, man; I remember when you and I were talking "diversification"; we just went about it in different ways lol!
 

Jeff Rodier

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I'm sure that accepting the EBT Card has expanded your experience as well. :thumbsup:
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Here's a great example: Take any of Jim Miller's classes and you will know exactly what, in the education biz, is a capital "E"
Wow, another post where Bob or Rob are self-promoting, or licking a fellow PPFA-er's ... What a surprise.

I guess it's Rob's turn now. You guys are really an embarrassment.
 

Kirstie

PFG, Picture Framing God
It seems unproductive to argue whether a consumer can or cannot have "an experience" in a frame shop, or how to create same, since that phrase, in the context of this thread, could mean almost anything.

What are we really talking about here? Larger-than-life first impressions? Inspiring thrills and WOW moments? Building customer satsfaction and confidence for the long term? Is it a matter of gallery appearance? Demeanor of the frame designer? Expertise of the sales techniques? Quality of the framed results? All of the above?

Personally, I am not concerned about creating "an experience" in my store. It's a frame shop, not an entertainment venue, and I can't imagine trying to make consumers think, "I can't wait to come back to this frame shop and do this again." My focus is on identifying what customers want right now, informing them where I can, doing my best to satisfy their real framing needs, and building a good reputation that endures. If all of that amounts to "an experience", I want it. But it seems to be a moving target, since one's "experience" could be another's disappointment.
Paul, what's the beef with Jim's comments here? I have not read through the whole thread, but I agree with them wholeheartedly, as well as what you said here:

Paul Cascio
"Enough big differences." Exactly, so what does your business do that's different enough? Ylva described a scene that occurs in every framshop, including the BB's -- happy customers, and the WOW moment that occurs when the see their finished order. However, it's not unique or exclusive.

I think we should look to promote that which makes our businesses different from the M's and HL's in our market.

I also believe that we may all be talking about different definitions of "experience." Our shops atmosphere promotes an experience of non-intimidation and inclusion in the design process with options to hopefully make the customer feel comfortable with various price points. This brings people back. We are one of those shops that has a price point for just about everyone, and everyone is treated with respect, courtesy, and a certain amount of enthusiasm by a well-trained staff of both designers and framers. We also show beautiful framing on our walls, again in various price points. And we have a niche area, arts and crafts (Craftsman ) style framing. What sets apart from the BBs is, like many of you, selection, speed and service. And perhaps sometimes to a lesser degree, quality of materials. But that is a different discussion .We also have a fairly unique DIY option. So all of that put together could create an "experience" of sorts, and usually a good one for most of our customers. but you are right, we are not a destiantion resort or restaurant; we are a frame shop. We hope to have each customer "thrilled" rather than satisfied, but I don't think that is unique to the custom framing industry in general. I first heard this phrase in a business book many years ago:

To read more on retail "experience" some of you may be interested in one of my favorite business books,
Hug Your Customer by Jack Mitchell. This happens to be about the upscale men's clothing industry, but I continue to use several tips from it and I highly recommend it. It is a good, fast read, and will make you feel even more enthusiastic about your business.

As far as experiencing how the other half lives, restaruants, travel, Cirque shows, or whatever, I think all of these experiences give us something else to talk about with our customers. This is always helpful, but I must say that not all of my customers are wealthy, in fact many are not, so have to be careful when striking up such conversations. Of course this varies by area.

Why do these discussions always become contentious? We are all just trading ideas here.

Back to work, lunch over....​
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Kirstie, I didn't have a beef with Jim's comment. I though it was on point actually. I got tired of the phoney bouquet tossing, and posts that seem more intent on promoting someones seminar than contributing to actual discussion.

I never object to someone who disagrees with my ideas or opinions. Everyone is entitled to their views and I secure enough that I recognize that my views are not the only ones out there. In fact, you and I frequently disagree, as do Jim and I.
 

Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
not sure why Paul is so upset

I do think Rob has many great ideas. the important thing is he shares them effortlessly

I do think Jim's classes are stellar. I would be surprised to hear from anyone that didn't learn something

but, those are just my opinions

reminds me of Ellen's advice on advice- Take what you can, ignore the rest

BTW some folks may not understand the sales per sq ft figure that CVM posted. But, it's HUGE. Not positive but i'm guessing average framer might do $150/sq ft. My best stores never broke $400.
 

cvm

PFG, Picture Framing God
Bob, PM me sometime; I'll share the details.
 

Kirstie

PFG, Picture Framing God
Did you guys not read the article I posted !!!

It is about a moms and pops business using the internet to move forward.... it is not about trying to make the old model of shop local work...

I have a very small business with only a brochure website I have no shopping cart... I have being expanding my business, some of my customers are now in the US, France, UK, all are way beyond what I expected my customer base would be when I converted my business over two years ago to it's current model.
Absolutely. This thread has gone way off track. I finally wnet back to the beginning of the thread, and I read the article, and the links from it, including this one about branding and sales on Instagram:

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/224442

Food for thought and a way to level the playing field.
 

Bob Doyle

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
not sure why Paul is so upset
Bob, just my opnion, but, Paul teaches a framing course. He sees Jim as competition so Paul is just trying to protect his brand.
BTW some folks may not understand the sales per sq ft figure that CVM posted. But, it's HUGE. Not positive but i'm guessing average framer might do $150/sq ft. My best stores never broke $400.
Bob he works out of the back of a van. The square footage is about 10 sqft :)

Actually I think many of us wold like to know how to get that kind of 1 per footage out of our shops.
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Sure Bob, that must be it. :nuts:

When I started The American Picture Framing Academy, my competition was a company owned by Berkshire Hathaway. In 13 years, our school has become the largest in the industry because we provide a quality education and an enjoyable learning experience. Every year we review our curriculuum and make revisions in both content and teaching methods to help us stay on top. We've got the only full time instructors in the industry and we've produced three instructional videos that have been well received. I've helped lots of new framers get their start in this industry, and I'm not afraid to tell it like it is without having to suck up. However, I respect other opinions even if I don't agree with them.

Continuing education has its place in our industry, and I support it and the specialized learning opportunies the PPFA and WCAF offer.

I'm sure Jim does a fine job, and I would have enjoyed attending his seminar on Glass Enclosure Framing. However, a search of this forum will show that the blatant and rampant tit-for-tat cross endorsement, and self-grandisement is an insult and an injustice to people on this forum who actually contribute their knowledge and opinions without touting a product or providing an endorsment-in-kind to feed the Golden Goose they pass around in a circle.

Do a search of Markoff's and Carter's posts and you'll see an obvious pattern. It's disingenuous and it reflects poorly on the organizations/vendors sponsoring, and on the indicuduals themself. I challenge you guys to let generous postings of information and opinion demonstrate your credibility without the hucksterism. Do you really need more than that? I hope not.
 

j Paul

PFG, Picture Framing God
I think it would be disingenuous if a person was a spokesman for say" Pepsi but in their personal life only drank Coke.

If a person believes in a product to personally use it what is the problem with them saying they believe in it. I would prefer that to a spokesman that had no confidence in the product and only pitching it for a paycheck. This is really old territory and there have been disclaimers posted before.

Besides in our small industry it is not like we have Pepsi, Coke and a gazzillion imitators. We only have a few choices in say glass companies, or wall cutters and what have you.

Paul, I'm with you on co-op adverstising and the claims of unfair advantage on the false advertising of BB's but this infighting among those that want to promote independant framers is really counterproductive in my opinion.
 

Bob Doyle

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Bob Carter used to be here all the time when he was a full time framer. Now he comes on rarely, usually when he is looking for a specific product for a specific project he is working on. I have not seen the ### kissing that you seem to see.

Jim and Rob are experts in what they do. As experts in one area they do not shy away from interacting with experts in a different area. By that I mean Jim knows how to make the museum glass enclosures, as you mentioned in your post. Jim can be seen at your local PPFA chapter meeting, ask for him by name. Tell him the grumble sent you to receive your complimentary upgrade in seating.. (OK :) poked you, just having fun with a pseudo plug) If Jim had a question about how to light said enclosure, I could chime in, but Rob would be a better source as he does talk up lighting options. When I get to listen in to their conversation I do not think that they are pimping each other's businesses, I think they are asking serious questionsa nd trying to learn. If they asked leading questions and it felt like I was watching an ad I would get upset, but it doesn't. It feels like two grumblers trying to learn from the other.

Your post read like a brochure for your framing school. So I am glad that I gave you the opportunity to pimp your services. There was no tit for tat and I do not expect a coupon in the mail.

I know in the past you used to like to cry foul and demand "disclosure" from Jim and others. I will say for the record that there is no love lost between me and Jim, and that Bob Carter and I used to butt heads on numerous occasions. But I have to say that I have no doubts about their business skills or their integrity. I do not see them as using the Grumble to garner new customers for their businesses.
 

Bob Doyle

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Sure Bob, that must be it. :nuts:

When I started The American Picture Framing Academy, my competition was a company owned by Berkshire Hathaway. ...
I believe that you may be mistaken. I don't doubt that you saw LJ as competition, but I do not think that they saw you that way. I think New England Picture Framing Academy may have been a more direct competitor. Not saying that you are not running a quality school, but LJ is an industry dynamo, you are in the industry providing a needed service.

I see Micheals as an industry powerhouse, they do not see me that way. I saw the corner art store as a competitor and they saw me as one, but neither of us thought that we had to compete with Michaels.
 

i-m-chickie

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Do a search of Markoff's... you'll see an obvious pattern. It's disingenuous and it reflects poorly on the organizations/vendors sponsoring, and on the indi(v)cuduals themself. I challenge you guys to let generous postings of information and opinion demonstrate your credibility without the hucksterism. Do you really need more than that? I hope not.

I had to google this hucksterism or Huckster-One who sells wares or provisions in the street; a peddler or hawker.

Well, now that I know what THAT means....

Went to Vegas, met loads of Grumblers (many aptly named). Took many classes, learned a ton. Took a class from Rob Markoff, LOVED it. The thing that amazed me the MOST about Rob Markoff, it blew my mind at how much he wants all of us to succeed. He was genuinely interested in success for others.

I am a watcher, an observer. I sum people up before I venture a big thought. I watched Rob take a framer aside and genuinely encourage/ mentor/ build up and care about them and their business. I was truly moved.
A second occurrence was regarding a class I did NOT attend, I was chatting to Rob when another student (from a different class of his) was complimenting, openly and emphatically praising Rob and his diplomatic handling of two different suppliers. His viewpoint was not self-serving, or slanderous just here are the options. The framer was very impressed by his handling of a potentially sticky situation.
From where I saw both occurrences, he stood nothing to gain besides the comfort of a good night sleep from helping others. No huckster there. Would bet on THAT.

I put my money where my mouth is...I went to Vegas, paid to take classes, paid to take a test that gave me admittance to a party I want to be part of. Yep, there were LOADS of things I hated about the test....I frame needlework. Less than 6 questions dealt with my industry. I had to guess what a gravity grove was. I KNOW nothing about digital printing, but I can lace any one of you into a shadow box.
If I want to make a difference in my shop, in this industry, with my peers, with my bottom line. I am going to make very careful choices at what I ascribe to, and make sure I make decisions that will benefit the INDUSTRY as a whole, by ascribing to methods and teachers that my peers respect, because I believe they are respectable.

"Those of you who think going to a frame shop is an "Experience" are delusional. Same for those who think we have public celebrities, or that we should be featured in a reality show. In fact, you couldn't be less in touch with reality.

You operate a service business. You fill a need. You're not Disney World, the Super Bowl, or even a day at the beach. Your frame shop probably looks more like a warehouse than a castle. The floor is not clean enough to eat off of and the clutter probably wouldn't pass a fire inspection. You are not an experience"
My customers are buying "cathy" or "chickie" when they come here, many just give me their stuff and tell me to do my magic.
AND, I have been and still am a Walt Disney World cast member. Why? Well, I have a good job where I can shine and make "magic" for guests and I love it. And am able to keep the job even though I work but seldom because I am good at what I do, representing "the happiest place on earth"... is it really? NO But my little corner is.
Just like my shop. Just like my knitting, stitching, or crochet lessons and DEFINITLY my framing and the wares I peddle, magical and memorable and all of me.

The pie is not getting smaller with more of us to share, only by working TOGETHER, with GREAT programs (albeit not perfect) like Larson Juhl's Design Star, Tru Vue's Champions of Conservation, PPFA's exam and certifications, competitions and learning opportunities and us working together that the industry become relevant. The pie larger and all of us as industry are more sought out.

Building my business is about relationships, with my clients, my students, my peers, my allies, know who are my competition and who are my fellow soldiers are, and building relationships, with the each appropriately.

My two cents. Now I am going to frame something amazing and put it in my front window as it is worth way more than two cents. ;)
 

Ylva

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I have not met Rob, yet. I would love to and I am sure one day it will happen. There are a few names in this industry to whom I pay a bit more attention as they know what they are talking about and genuinely seem to want to help other framers succeed. Rob is definitely one of them. He has always given great advice and has NEVER asked for anything in return. So, attacking him is the way to express thanks????? :nuts:

Do I always agree with them? Of course not, nor would they expect me to or hold that against me. The variety of framers here on the Grumble has always been why I was drawn to this place. Lately though, it just seems to be attack on attack (with the more famous among us getting harsher reviews than deserved) and I know many of them are starting to stay away from here.

Is that what we want??????

If you don't agree with someone, just ignore it. Paul, I don't know you, but the harsh posts on here do not reflect well on you and I can't imagine that's what you hope to achieve.
 

osgood

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I've met and spoken with both Rob and Jim many times and have come to the conclusion that both of them are warm hearted, sincere, fair minded and respectful and they generously offer assistance and knowledge. Neither of them are boastful, belligerent, big headed or envious! I like them both and am thankful that they are part of our industry!

Hucksters? - Horse manure!
 

i-FRAMER

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
so anyway back to the topic. Who thinks M & P's are making a comeback or not.

i don't necessarily think so. All i see is framing is a great business and lifestyle choice we will all grow old into.
But if left just to a single person or couple operation, then the business goes when they go.
if lucky they may sell for a 1/4 of what's it worth.

the younger generation who buy into them are more likely to run it as a business then a lifestyle (at least in their earlier years).

the m & P's are still catering for their customers they have had for years (the ones growing old with them).
the younger run framing businesses will target those younger age brackets, that they may too grow old with them.

So in conclusion my thoughts would be - they won't die out completely, but we certainly will not see any increase in them.
 

Mike Labbe

Member, Former moderator team volunteer
Just so you don't think we are ignoring the feedback. We have received and read each of the (dozen or so?) moderator alerts for this thread, unanimously calling for one person's removal.

The individual was assigned an infraction by one of the mods, for the first round of attacks in this thread, with a friendly warning. He understood and accepted it as reasonable, but yet there are now new aggressive posts. This is frustrating, unwelcoming, disappointing, and a waste of staff and members time when we could be focusing on positive things like the recent trade show. If it continues, the next step will be a 30 day suspension.

We're all on the same team here, folks. I really don't see any benefit to being aggressive towards peers or perceived competitors. As past experience has shown, that sort of activity tends to bring the opposite of desired effect.

We have a common sense policy against personal attacks, which I will re-post below, and we're all here as guests of framer.
Common Sense Policies: (repost)
Periodically, it's good to take a few steps back and look at the big picture. We receive a lot of feedback from new and current members, and there has been a shared and growing concern lately. At times, certain members are making posts that give the appearance of a hostile or unwelcoming environment. A small minority are sometimes abusive and/or self involved. This creates an atmosphere where new and existing users may not feel welcomed, and may hesitate to participate. It is against what we envisioned this forum to be, and stifles participation.

The staff has discussed this at length, and will be making an extra effort to get things back on track. Rule number one has always been "BE NICE!", and this is an opportunity to take a look at our own posts to make sure the forum is a welcoming and friendly resource for our peers. The moderators will also be taking a more active role in the future, to keep things on track.


Working together in a positive way, we can make sure this forum remains the number one resource for our industry.


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Although the administrators and moderators of The Picture Framers Grumble will attempt to keep all objectionable messages off this forum, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the author, and neither the owners of The Picture Framers Grumble, nor Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. (developers of vBulletin) will be held responsible for the content of any message.


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Main Rules
1. Be Nice.
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3. A debate with strong opinions is fine; however, DON'T GET PERSONAL or your membership could be be suspended, banned or removed at our option.
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Breaking the rules:
Title Points Expires Warning Extend
Insulted Other Member(s) 1 10 Day(s) Yes Yes
Signature Rule Violation 1 10 Day(s) Yes Yes
Waste Moderator's Time 1 10 Day(s) Yes No
Personal Attack 2 10 Day(s) Yes Yes
Inappropriate Language 3 10 Day(s) No Yes
Spammed Advertisements 5 10 Day(s) No Yes

If you break the rules you will be given points. If you get a 2nd or 3rd violation the 10 days until points expire get added together. If you get 3 points your access to Warped forum and all private groups are removed. Your user title becomes "Limited User". If you manage to get 5 points you are put in "Timeout" where all posting and PM's rights are removed but you may still read the basic board. 6 or more points and you've earned a ban until your points come down. One point is removed every 10 days. We can also give a custom rule violation and give any points we want if needed. I really hope that does not happen.

Some violations we may give a warning but it up to the moderator and the circumstances.framer
admin
The Picture Framers Grumble

Thanks in advance for keeping this forum the cooperative and friendly resource that we all enjoy. I just wanted to pass on that we are here to help this forum succeed/stay on track, and have heard your concerns.

It would be nice if we can get back on topic, for what this thread is supposed to be about.

Thanks
Mike
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
With all due respect Mike, you really should do the right thing and recuse yourself from matters involving me. You've had a vendetta against me since I called you out for refusing to divulge your affiliation with a software company whose products you were promoting. Your provocative post here is further evidence of this vendetta. It's the second time you've done this in order to bait me and then suspend me.

I've done nothing today but respond to the comments in posts that were directed at me. But you make a post that is both unfair, and an abuse of a moderator's authority, in my opinion. It was designed to bait me so you can suspend me when I defend myself. And I have no doubt you will. I contribute a lot to this forum and the industry. Your pointed actions bring down this forum and show a personal bias that's obvious to all. Every forum needs fair and reasonable moderation, but you sir are neither.
 

Mike Labbe

Member, Former moderator team volunteer
With all due respect Mike, you really should do the right thing and recuse yourself from matters involving me. You've had a vendetta against me since I called you out for refusing to divulge your affiliation with a software company whose products you were promoting. Your provocative post here is further evidence of this vendetta. It's the second time you've done this in order to bait me and then suspend me.

I've done nothing today but respond to the comments in posts that were directed at me. But you make a post that is both unfair, and an abuse of a moderator's authority, in my opinion. It was designed to bait me so you can suspend me when I defend myself. And I have no doubt you will. I contribute a lot to this forum and the industry. Your pointed actions bring down this forum and show a personal bias that's obvious to all. Every forum needs fair and reasonable moderation, but you sir are neither.
Wow... so now the cannon is pointed at me, for sharing the concerns of many. We don't need any martyrs. Suffice it to say, I'm probably one of the most tolerant and patient moderators the forum has ever seen. (perhaps to a fault!) If the previous administration was still here, frankly - you wouldn't be here having this discussion right now, and allowed to continually trash your peers. The fact that your account has survived so many of these campaigns shows how mellow we are. NO ONE has had more chances than Paul Cascio. No One.

Let's not lose sight of the fact that we are supposed to be a group of professional peers, working together for a common cause. These periodic aggressive/bullying attacks are disruptive and plainly unacceptable, and more than a dozen good people took time out of their busy schedules to privately share their concerns about them. You probably find sport in it, but we are just volunteers, and this is all very time consuming and unnecessary. If the aggression stops, there won't be a need for these type of discussions.

It's not a vendetta, I'm just asking you to have some common courtesy and respect for other members of the forum. This is a reasonable and fair request, don't you think?

Thank you
Mike
 

Warren Tucker

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Reading the last few posts of this thread made me wonder what the heck did Paul Cascio do to offend the sensitivities of his fellow grumblers? I went back to the beginning of what was to me a pretty uninteresting discussion and finally found the Rob/Bob post which seemed mostly on point. To me, the grumble does seem to be a bit of a mutual admiration society with a lot of received knowledge that is rarely disputed. There is a certain personality that reacts to this sort of situation. Paul is a little caustic for sure but not so caustic that some of his opinions need to be squelched. If the gentle members of this forum can't handle some pointed criticism aimed at the anointed they are awfully thin skinned. How about a little tolerance? Paul may be an annoying gadfly, but gadflies are hardly more annoying than sycophants except, perhaps, to the faithful. To me, the apparent lack of tolerance seems to support Paul's position. And he may have a point.

FWIW, I think a lot of this accepted knowledge is wrong.
 

Framing:

In Corner
Hmmmmm interesting …. how this thread has spun out into some of the frustrating areas of business.

:kaffeetrinker_2:
 

DVieau2

PFG, Picture Framing God
>>>>>> but not so caustic that some of his opinions need to be squelched.<<<<

I don't see even the slightest indicator that anyone’s opinion is being squelched.

I do see a personality that completely sucks away the cordiality of a group of adults talking business.

Doug
 

RParrish

PFG, Picture Framing God
>>>>>> but not so caustic that some of his opinions need to be squelched.<<<<

I don't see even the slightest indicator that anyone’s opinion is being squelched.

I do see a personality that completely sucks away the cordiality of a group of adults talking business.

Doug
YES!
 

Bob Doyle

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Warren, while many threads here seem like we do reach a consensus and agree with each other about how to do things there are times when we don't and the ensuing discussion can be quite enlightening. There is a thread right now about coroplast vs fome core vs af corrugated board. While not a contentious thread there was some interesting comments going back and forth. We have had talks about pricing where many have differing ideas. Some say basically cost plus a profit margin others are cost times a set multiplier.

If you think that Paul is the victim then look at the time line of the insults thrown around. Also note that Jim has only made one comment in here, yet Jim was targeted for criticism. Seems like Paul was laying in wait waiting for a chance to attack. Hardly the victim of a vendetta.
 

Jean

Grumbler
We don't need to target the rich, just target customers who are buying their framing at Michaels, Hobby Lobby and the like. No one here lives off of $3000 frames. But if you can convince the consumer they can get real custom framing, with real professional design advice, at about the same price they're paying for the cookie cutter framing they've been buying, you can increase your sales dramatically.

All of us know that our prices are about the same, or even better in some cases, so why not sell that which differentiates the work of trained, dedicated professionals, from the untrained, fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants advice of a minimum wage red smock? And for the record, that's not a knock on the store level employees at these chain stores. It's simply a recognition that they don't have the training, knowledge and experience that independents do. Most of them have never made a custom frame, and some have never cut a mat.

We have competitive advantages that we're not playing up, and not taking advantage of.
I think few would disagree with this. My question is what are some successful ways of doing this???
 
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