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What can the PPFA do?

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by Maryann, Oct 25, 2007.

  1. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    Not that Owensboro was a big destination for these guys but I think I can get to Romulus MI is about 78 hours. Wanna car pool Jerry?

    Why wouldn't they have a convention in the heart of frame country, North Carolina?

    What is top secret about this?

    A while back I learned that the chamber had taken a ton of work to a competitor. The reason they gave was "Well Jay isn't a member any more." Well I am the ONLY framer that has ever been a member and so I got bumped BEHIND those that have never been a member....wait I'm getting side tracked. My point is that while offering me the work to me would be fantastic time to ask me rejoin. If the PPFA has something magical in the works, wouldn't that be a great time to hit people up to rejoin?
     
  2. Jerry Ervin

    Jerry Ervin PFG, Picture Framing God

    One would think Jay.
     
  3. BILL WARD

    BILL WARD SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    obviously, Jay, they cant have these meetings EVERYWHERE, but I do note, by it's absence, they have elected to ignore the ENTIRE eastern US----strickley a western us thing------perhaps their demographics support that? well, for my $$ they can bloody well have it. maybe in 10-15 yrs the concept will prove out & they might just decide to venture toward the atlantic
     
  4. Jerry Ervin

    Jerry Ervin PFG, Picture Framing God

    On the sign up page, there is other cities that have not yet been scheduled.

    Atlanta, GA
    Boston, MA
    Chicago, IL
    Columbus, OH
    Denver, CO
    Indianapolis, IN
    Las Vegas, NV
    Milwaukee, WI
    Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
    New Orleans, LA
    Newark, NJ
    Orlando, FL
    Philadelphia, PA
    Portland, OR
    Raleigh/Durham, NC
    St. Louis, MO
    Vancouver, BC


    I signed up with interest in NC meeting.
     
  5. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    Where, exactly, are you getting all this info?
     
  6. Jerry Ervin

    Jerry Ervin PFG, Picture Framing God

    http://thesmartgroup.biz/pcmt/index.htm

    http://thesmartgroup.biz/

    http://a-z.com/

    http://www.a-z.com/azmedia/


    My questions are; are these newspapers going to run all this stuff for free? Me thinks not. Isn't A-Z Media an Advertising Firm? Yes. They are going to want some bucks from someone for all this. Aren't they?

    I thought that print media was soon to be a thing of the past? Am I wrong?

    Do they expect everyone that is involved to be on their lame shopA-Z website? Most of us here are not involved with mail order.

    What is the bottom line cost of each that participate?

    At least Paul C was upfront with his vision and gave some dollar figures.

    The deeper I dig, the more questions I have.

    My biggest question is, why all the secrecy?
     
  7. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Print media is dying and expensive. We just had an art show and I elected to pass on all newspaper advertising because just about any other medium was less expensive. To run a 4 inch ad in the Sunday Arts section it was $4500 for black and white and $7500 for color. I actually laughed. Even the small local paper was over $400. For $7500 I could run 1,250 30 second commercials on local cable. However, after we got the show on TV and promoted the newspaper came in and said that the rates we saw on their website weren't what you pay when you buy through him, the rep. So, I guess you have to be a good negotiator. Personally, I'd rather have just clicked and bought space at a reasonable price.

    Now, the newspaper itself might be getting a bit tired and costly but most of these newspapers also operate some pretty big localized websites. One can get some good exposure on those and the articles, if you can get someone interested enough to write one, don't disappear by tomorrow's paper. Also, once they get their leaders and system in place there are all sorts of possibilities. They said there would be a reality TV show, and I really can't imagine what that will be like, but why not have the local leaders organize free media exposure: TV morning show appearances, informative news articles, educational presentations at Home Expos - there are all sorts of things that can get exposure for the industry. However, if it's all tied in with photography I'm a little fearful that it will start putting the impression in people's minds that they can go to their photographer when they need framing done. As such, maybe the PMA purchase of the PPFA will actually be a conduit of their industry absorbing ours.
     
  8. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Okay-So is what anyone else is doing better than this plan?

    Guys-the plan is set; while open for discussion, it's not open for debate

    The engines driving this are so much bigger than we. Because of PMA, we are included on the bus

    You need to let it go
     
  9. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Gotcha.... shut up and watch. Debate quashed.

    Personally, I thought Jerry got the word out, Jay made a suggestion about inclusion vs. exclusion, and I made some points on potential benefits and problems. I continue to fail to see the reason for secrecy and now the stifling of debate.
     
  10. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    Are we really being dragged along?

    "PMA and The SMART Group help retailers who are interested in growing the scrapbooking and photo categories and raising awareness of those industries within their respective markets."

    Perhaps we rank just below scrapbooking stores.
     
  11. Barb Pelton

    Barb Pelton SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    No Secrecy; it's just a brand new concept that is just getting it's start. There is yet a lot of work to be done. The first phase concentrates on the print media, but there are more phases to follow.

    The newspaper sections will be paid for by advertisers. Of course, you and I will probably not have those types of dollars, but people like LJ do, and certainly the HP's and Epsons do. They are already spending advertising dollars, so this doesn't have to be an additional expense to them, just a redirection of some of those dollars.

    This is not about Photography, but about preserving memories, which is becoming more and more important to consumers. The focus is to provide education to the consumer on how to preserve those memories and their options. It might be restoration work, or creating a keepsake scrapbook, or getting them professionally framed. It may be how to add personal items to take it from just a framed photo to a shadowbox that tells a story. The articles will be designed to give the readers ideas as well as the importance of having these items preserved and the best way to accomplish that.

    Framers have repeatedly asked for PPFA to drive business in to their stores and this is an effort to do so, while educating the consumer. We are fortunate to be able to team up with other groups under the PMA umbrella, because our industry alone does not have enough big players to pull a campaign like this off. The Photo Marketing industry alone probably doesn't either. But when you combine us, them and the scrapbooking industry, then we barely have enough numbers. Barely.

    Many involved have spent time conferencing with Dennis Conforto as well as others who were considered to steer this project. He has a passion for this project that is much like the passions of so many of us that spend time volunteering to try to project our industry into the future. No involvement with a website is necessary.

    I would argue that the print media is not dying, but evolving. There are exciting changes on the horizon in the print media and this project will be able to evolve along with them.

    No cost to participate. (Unless you decide to advertise, and then it is a redirection of advertising dollars). Attending a meeting when it comes to your area will get you more information and get you better involved.

    I am convinced this project has merits unrivaled by anything we've seen attempted in recent years. I am also convinced that Dennis is the right person to steer the effort.
    I am excited enough that I will continue to do what I can do to help the project grow momentum. I enjoy talking to people who are share my passion for this industry, and I want to see it, and all of us, prosper.

    If you can't access the newsletter (my bad), e-mail me and I'll try to get you more info.....(but for now, back to framing-we're swamped!!!)
     
  12. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Okay, Johnny

    What's your plan?

    On a more important issue, I think Notre Dame ought to fire Charlie Weiss

    And, I am more than a little po'd that no one is telling what they are going to do

    After all, I have about 6 quick reasons

    The nerve of that bunch at Notre Dame
     
  13. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I don't have a plan Bob, I'm not the PPFA. I'm starting to fear the PPFA isn't even the PPFA anymore. I guess my plan is just to sit back and bitch while the PPFA sells out my industry to MotoPhoto.

    I guess one smart response deserves another. It doesn't sound like you guys have a lot of input though. I'm sure it's not as nefarious as all that, but this whole episode as been very surreal.

    Sounds like the juggernaut has been set in motion. It will be interesting to watch, no doubt, and despite my willingness to voice concerns I do wish the organizations involved success with the endeavor in it's stated intent. And I hope the PPFA monitors the effects closely.
     
  14. Whynot

    Whynot SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I am not sure this is the best road possible in case that a very important and generaly useful idea needs be promoted, because not all framers go to the shows and yet fewer will get to sit in Bob's class. Then why should one pay to hear Bob or anybody else plead for PPFA's benetits? If anything, PPFA should pay to get its name and merrits be advertised.

    With some of their members dropping out after a while, while others won't accept to pay the membership just to see if it's worth it, PPFA pays dearly for it's selling inability. For instance, I had temorarily registered on their site and the first thing I wanted to check out was their forum. Forums are adictive and among the most appealing features in any virtual association. I never went back to read what was available for free after being halted at the forum's gate for not being a full member.

    Yo, PPFA people, the "stop" (paid for membership) sign must be put after the potential client got drooling over the exciting table of content (review) of what you have to sell, never before. If that's how good you are at selling yourself, hard to believe that you are getting any better at teaching others how to, which is not to say that you may not be useful and helpful beyond those curtains. With fewer independant framers left around than ten years ago, I expect that PPFA will become increasingly more agressive and inovative.
     
  15. Maryann

    Maryann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    And that's all some people do......besides complain.

    I was foolish enough to think that we could do a little creative brainstorming without bashing.

    Perhaps the question would have been better asked on the PPFA forum. You know, that secret website where many are excluded.
     
  16. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Some people! I'll tell ya, some people are people who are something!

    Hey, the PPFA is pretty divisive, what can ya do.

    Creative brainstorming would probably include debate and that's prohibited.
     
  17. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Johnny, if you think PPFA is divisive and that bothers you, how would you change it? If you were the King of PPFA, what would you do differently?

    I'll disagree with Bob here, and suggest that you should debate this topic until you get it all figured out your way. And then you can be a real hero to everyone in the industry.
     
  18. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Yaknow, what's with all these "Then you figure it all out perfectly!" deflections. I came into this thread highly annoyed. You're getting suggestions if you want to read them.

    What can the PPFA do?

    Ohhhhhh.... it IS doing something amazing! The Who's Who of the industry is very impressed! It's going to add a billion dollars of growth! It's out of this world! But.... maybe we better talk about it elsewhere. Somewhere that you can pay to see if you're interested. ###### that's just so freaking irritating.

    And if we don't like it we're sniping. Look at the commetns by the PPFA faithfull! You don't see antagonism there? Annoying, baiting comments? Sarcasm? So you're getting it back.

    I'll tell you what. I do have the plan to solve all the industries problems. I have it hidden behind a password on my site. If you pay me $50 for the first year (well not a whole year but we'll say a year) I'll give you the password and you can see a big fat page of nothing. Gotcha!

    I'm so pissed off.
     
  19. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Jim-I sure didn't mean to suggest that people shouldn't talk about it; they will

    What I hoped to convey is that this plan is pretty well set

    If people wish to see how it might benefit them, they can easily go to any regional meeting

    Bottom line: Each regional newspaper will actually have much impact and that will be driven by which advertisers actually pay the tarriff. Unfortunately, as much as we would prefer to impart our will, we simply are tip the tail of this dog

    That's just the way it is
     
  20. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Bob,

    I'm glad to see PPFA, and PMA for that matter, getting involved in marketing for our respective industries. I think it's great that our trade assocation is responding to the needs. There's nothing our industry need more than a collective marketing effort.

    Is it perfect? No. But then again, nothing is. What is does however, is gives us a chance to latch onto the coat tails of the more well-to-do photo industry giants.

    I do have some concerns however, which I have not seen addressed.

    First is the fait accompli nature of this program. I'm surprised that it's a done deal when the membership was not even give a chance for input. You're a PPFA officer, yet to the best of my knowledge you only found out about it when the general membership did. Maybe there are good reasons, but I find that a bit troubling.

    Also, I did a bit of research on Dennis Conforto (Google his name) and was somewhat surprised by his claims of one billion hits on the scrapbooking.com website. One billion? That's the equivelant of every U.S. citizen visiting his site three times. Such claims raise a red flag for me.

    Also, the Scrapbookingtop50.com site that bestowed some award on him, or his website, seems to be a rather mysterious organization whose phone is disconnected and whose registrar is (perhaps coincidentally) located near scrapbooking.com. Maybe this is all coincidence, but it does give one pause.

    Finally I have to ask, is the scrapbooking industry a friend or foe? Aren't we both competing for many of the same dollars?

    Let me again reiterate that I'm generally in support of any marketing effort by the PPFA and PMA, whose members face problems similar to ours. I just wonder if anyone really looked at some of these issues before jumping into a stranger's bed.
     
  21. Whynot

    Whynot SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer


    Man, I certainly don't understand why you people need to be so secretive about a program that's so huge, meant to benefit framers regardless of their affiliation to PPF, and already successfully off on its implacable destine. What indi framer terrorists are going to stop or derail it, and why would they do it? And, in general, why would you scoff at naysayers rather than effectively shut them up with convincing facts? Are you sworn to keep it secret or you just want to be paid to share the new Bible? A secret that can be penetrated by any ignoble framer against a fee is not a secret worth knowing. I don't think for a second that Bob and Jim are being sent on The Grumbler with the mission of making half true assertions for the minor league here, and then produce the rest of their correct views, on PPFA forum to the ticket payers' eyes only but, I do believe that if PPFA members frequent The Grumbler instead of their exclusive forum, that's not because their days are four hours longer than ours.
     
  22. JRB

    JRB PFG, Picture Framing God

    A truly interesting thread. For the dissenters, I feel that the PPFA should be more than welcome on The Grumble, it is, after all, the only serious picture framing organization we have. The Grumble is a forum, not a paid membership organization. Anyone associated with our industry, including professional organizations, should be able to kibitz with the rest of us on this "open" forum.

    I have no great love for the PPFA, nor do I harbor any hatred of it. I think it is an excellent organization, especially for newer framers. Since there are few choices in trade organizations for our industry, the PPFA is going to have to do. Expecting it to be an all encompassing organization that can solve all your business problems is just plain silly.

    I am not to fond of the statement " It's not what the PPFA can do for you, It's what you can do for the PPFA." What is the point of joining any organization that expects more from you than it can do for you? An organization is a collective that is supposed to be of a benefit to those who join, primarily through the strength of numbers.

    The concept of generic advertising has been tried many times over the years, the last one was by Framers Choice. Although it sounds good on paper, it rarely, if at all, works.
    Do not expect the PPFA to pull some magic bunny from it's hat and double your business any time soon, it ain't gonna happen.

    Telling PPFA members to go and conduct their business on their own forum is not, at least to me, what The Grumble is all about. If they are in our industry, they should feel welcome on this forum. I think without any PPFA members posting on The Grumble, there would not be much of a Grumble at all.

    I feel the same about home framers, big box operators and employees, suppliers, manufactures, heck even flea market "art galleries." If they are associated at all with our industry, they should be as welcome as any of us on The Grumble. If you do not agree with me, please explain to me how we can stay abreast of all the goings on?

    John
     
  23. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Hi Paul-You know that i like you and respect you, so please don't take my response as personal

    I have been involved in this project for quite awhile

    I don't keep track of my hours, but it is really surprising that you have any knowledge of my involvement

    May I give you some insight as many of you are drawing some awful assumptions

    I took this responsibility (as an Officer) to create a "Grow the Industry" concept a few years back. Of the several projects that i have done (including attempting to develop a PPFA Buying Group), the most recent was the most satisfying

    I have spent many phone calls with the "Got Milk" creator followed with many emails. He is a brilliant promoter and a great guy that I call "friend". He spent a lot of time with me as we struggled to find a workable format, but we realized we were about 10,000 particpants and $1 Million cash short. Your project can probably speak to that success as well

    At the same time, PMA (along with Scrapbookers, Digital Imagers, Photographers, Photo processors...should I go on?) were all in the same boat-looking for opportunities to better our trades in an increasingly difficult market. truth was hardly any of us had anywhere near the critical mass to affect anything measureable. Again, you can speak with authority on the success of your plan

    Along comes Dennis and his SMART group

    Now, in fairness, I was dead set against his plan. It didn't fully address my charges, picture framers. We could have not been on further sides of this issue because this wan't all about me and framers

    I was scheduled to present the Market Research rationale to the Summit at Atlanta Decor and I'm not buying this program one bit. Can you imagine that I'm going to get up in front of the heads of the major vendors and suppliers of our industry, the media and friends with a plan that doesn't put framers at the forefront of a program? What's in it for us, I keep thinking?

    Then I met Dennis and it was pretty contentious. I refer to it as an "Adult Conversation"

    And, I could not have been more wrong (and you may not hear that fom me with any frequency)

    After my "Milk" education, i should hve been smart enough to do the math, but as a stubborn "what's in it for me" framer, I couldn't grasp the benefit of alliance. I was fearful that others with bigger shadows would never allow me to see the light. As if a bolt from above, I finally understood the program; that with critical mass (but, more importantly acknowledged, dominant mass) we had an opportunity to move the needle. Not by ourselves, but with others

    Fran Gray, Dennis and I gave a stellar presentation met with great enthusiasm by every single person that has spoken to me since. They all "got it"

    And, i realized how fortunate we were to be invited to the dance when we could never have had a dance of our own. And, at this dance, we could request a few songs and actually get to dance with the prettiest girl in the hall. And, with this group, we will all enjoy a splendid affair

    Make no mistake, there will be some at the dance that will never get out of their chairs, never ask the girls to dance and go home disappointed. But, most of will have a great time (or at least try to) and here is the best part: we all get to go inside without having to pay a dime

    So, Paul (and others) just wait a little longer for the band to start playing. And quit trying to figure out what's wrong with the dance and how much, if anything, I have done and what's being forced upon me. Trust me when I tell you that PPFA will be involved all the way to the bandstand

    A few weeks after Atlanta, dennis and I were communicating and I ensured him I was on board and he had my full support; that I was comfortable being in the same bus. His response was that while he was driving, i could sit up front with him

    I take him at his word

    And, it isn't up to me to tell him how to drive the bus

    The road map is clear and concise and it doesn't need a bunch of backseat drivers
     
  24. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Don't turn it around, John. Of course they are welcome to talk here. Who would I be to say otherwise? I'm nobody. When I said "GO DO IT," meaning go talk about it there, I meant stop saying you're going to talk about it there (where we can't see) over here (where it's baiting). Please don't insinuate otherwise.
     
  25. DVieau2

    DVieau2 PFG, Picture Framing God

    Bob,

    I don’t fully comprehend the program but I’m confident it will be good.

    Thanks for the explanation and for putting up with all the nonsense this thread generated.

    Doug
     
  26. JRB

    JRB PFG, Picture Framing God

    John, all you have to do is join, if you want to see what's on the PPFA forum. Another approach is just be nice to their membership, and you will probably get a good idea, right here on The Grumble.

    I can promise you that whatever insinuation you picked up from my post, was not aimed at you, or anyone else. Please believe me when I say I do not insinuate, I go right to the meat of the matter. You will clearly understand if I have an issue with you, or anyone else. I take great pride, and personal pleasure, in being a cranky old man. :)

    John
     
  27. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Sorry Bob, I had no idea you and Fran were so involved as I stopped getting the HH mail because I couldn't find time to go through all of it. I certainly won't take your comments personally.

    What I like is that a bunch of groups, recognizing they don't have the money to reach critical mass seperately, are banding together. I also like the concept - which if I understand it, is to produce a special section for inclusion in the Sunday (presumably) newspaper. It will contain common elements, such as articles and ads from national companies, plus an opportunity to insert local ads from us and other PMA members if we so desire.
     
  28. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Johnny, it was not me who said you were sniping, but your hostility does seem extreme, and for no apparent reason. The only thing you have made clear is that you are "so pissed off". Why is that?

    You do not have to join the association in order to learn about the concept that is just getting started, or to eventually gain some side-benefit from it. Nobody is saying you have to join PPFA for any reason.

    OK, but that does not explain your disdain. If you have no intention of taking part in this, why do you care about it at all? You have nothing at stake. Why are you "so pissed off"?

    Your sarcasm hints that you might think all of this should be free. Is that it?

    In any case, PMAI is trying to do something to benefit small independent framers. All of us -- whether we choose to get involved or not -- should be able to find something positive in the effort.

    ######? I haven't exactly led a sheltered life, Johnny, but your 6-letter obscenity is yet another mystery. Could you be a little more specific?
     
  29. Baer Charlton

    Baer Charlton SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    What can the PPFA do for you. Nothing.
    What do you have to do for PPFA. Nothing.

    You can pay your money, and go to meetings and sit. Never say a word. Do nothing but just soak it all up. . . and I'm not being sarcastic. It's the truth. I know several people who do just that. They are in every organization.

    Then there are the "Mother Hens", "The I gotta keep doing somethings", The "If I don't do it, who will?"s, The "Can I help with setting up?"s, the "I thought donuts would be nice so I brought a bunch of them to go with the Hot Chocolate I made". Then there are the Ghados, and everyone waits for Ghado... and it just seems right that when Ghado shows up, the meeting is ready to start. Ghados never contribute in any way other than their physical presence.... and I've gotta tell you; when they don't show, it just doesn't seem like a real meeting.

    So go ahead and join PPFA [or not] and come to meetings and just be a Ghado. We even need Ghados; they help fill the room. And when they aren't there... life just isn't the same.

    And if you recognize you're self in any of the other categories.... please, we need your type too.

    Now about enrolling in the National Save the Snail Darter Society . . .
     
  30. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Hey Paul-Many at PPFA are heavily involved an dplease i do not want anyone that put my face on this project; it ain't about me. I have just done my part to help

    A lot of folks have put time and effort; I just have a little more free time and make some calls and do a little research. This isn't really a PPFA project; it's not really a PMA project-it is an Industry Project

    You asked if the Scrapbookers weren't competiting with us for the same dollars

    Sure, just like every auto industry or restaurant industry directly competes with each other. But, the larger issue is to get people spending money in restaurants first, then in my restaurant second

    The concept in it's simplest is that it starts with a photograph; it can be put ino a scrapbook or an album or a readymade or a custom frame. And, it needs to be printed or enlarged or restored. And, it needs printers and it needs ink and it needs paper

    And, these are memories and they need to be shared and displayed and preserved

    See how the circle connects

    Who gets the biggest slice of that pie?

    The segment that does the best job of attracting and fulfilling the consumer's need's

    What's more basic than that?

    Bob Carter didn't think this up; he is no way smart enough

    But, he is smart enough to realize of every plan trotted out, this easily makes the most sense

    Without PPFA, our group could easily have been left out; without PMA, there would be no central force providing financial and logistical support to get this far. Without Dennis, we would simply be sitting on the same tired park bench complaining about the pigeons
     
  31. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Jim,

    I don't remember exactly what word was in the spot with the #s but it wasn't horrible. Maybe the alternate version of darn-it.

    As for being upset, well, I'm disappointed that you're not.

    Hey, even Bob said he was upset when he first heard about it. Then he had a glass of milk and got struck by lighting or something and he understood it all, but before that he had a contentious talk with someone. I guess that having been presented with a teaser, being told that it would be better to talk about it behind paid doors or that we could join to find out, finding out some stuff anyway but still not having anyone in the know contribute, being told it's not up for debate and our industry is clinging on to the coattails, then being told that we should get over it and it's all great, it's all figured out - but never why, all the time reading little digs - go crawl back under rocks or whatever.... that's not supposed to elicit anything like Bob's own first reaction?

    Maybe I should just follow suit like some others.... Bob, I apologize. I admit that don't know what the heck is about to go down but I can say without a doubt that it's terrific. Sorry there are people who aren't blindy signing up for mambo lessons.

    I care first and foremost because it's something that could affect my business. And I'm sorry, but if the PPFA is doing something that could affect my business it scares the heck out of me.
     
  32. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Johnny-I hate it when someone uses my words (and position) to defend themselves when they just don't get it

    I brought up that I was against the plan because I had spent so much time working with Jeff on a "framers" program and then we shifted gears and I wanted it to be about me (and framers)

    Our discussion was contentious because I was too stupid to take the time to understand what was greater than I; that Dennis wasn't about to suffer this fool lightly

    Perhaps you missed the comparison, but i admitted, but privately to Dennis and in front of the Summit participants in Atlanta, that he was correct and I was wrong and that a lot of time and energy was wasted on me

    Come to think about it, there really are some similarities here

    It sure wasn't behavior that I was proud of
     
  33. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    This stupid, boorish non-certified framer just isn't going to understand how I missed it. Where your planning started is irrelevant. You didn't like the current plan, then you hashed it out and it's all good. I never even said I didn't like it - I really don't like how it's being handled. I gave some positive comments and gave some concerns. So I wasn't upset about things in the same way you were. The point was you had the right to be. I should shut up, accept it, and probably send a check, which still won't get me any input but might give me the right to know what you guys do - but that most likely wouldn't happen either.
     
  34. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    And, you know, it's about time people started getting upset. I'm really tired of hearing about how only a tiny percentage of people use custom framing and how tiny a percentage of people are even aware of it. What on earth has the PPFA been doing for the past 30 years? Why do we have an industry association and yet we continually have these dismal figures to talk about? Why aren't they going up? Do people just not care about what we sell? Because I gotta tell ya, our business has a lot of dedicated fans.

    There is a whole army of people and businesses out there who can be guided into changing those figures. The PPFA has thousands of members I would imagine. Some of them even have things like stores! Why aren't they being utilized? If we have such an image problem why aren't we mobilizing our chapters to get people involved in promoting our industry as they promote their own businesses. Local television stations are begging for content. Morning shows would love to have demonstrations. Local newspapers are begging for content as well. Local schools would love to have professionals teach continuing education classes. Art shows are profitable and press releases are free. How many frame shops sent a press release to their local paper taking advantage of the fact that we can say we have frames designed by a known name, Jonathan Adler? WHAT IF WE ALL DID? How many framers don't direct mail because they don't have someone giving them their first couple postcard designes and the knowledge of how to send them easily and cheaply? Your local cities local big Home Show, usually at the convention center, loves to have local businesses giving presentations on stage. Local cable and internet advertising is cheap and easy. A great web presence, even though it's getting in late, would drive our industry. Why isn't the PPFA providing content for member's websites? Why can't they help people make sure they use the proper keywords to get search engines to point to them, then help them provide content on the page that would get people excited about art and framing in gereral? Why isn't the PPFA helping motivate and instruct it's members to get out there and get people buzzing about us? You don't need a billion dollars - most of this is free. And it's impactful. And we just sit and bitch about the low numbers and the big guys taking away our share. What could we have done in the past 30 years? 10 years? People are there - they have to be motivated to help themselves and help us all at the same time.

    We can do it. We haven't been led. We don't need to rely on freakin scrapbookers. We need to be proactive like we are fighting for our lives because, guess what? We are.
     
  35. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    Passionate maybe but upset?

    Don't you think that this have just begun? Isn't that what this is all about?

    The PPFA already has a program that does just this.


    Are you serious?


    My goodness do we have any responsibility for our own actions?

    While I don't share your irritation, I do share your passion. I also agree with you that there are a few areas where the PPFA could make a much bigger impact. There are some areas where they already make a good impact.

    I could understand your anger if you were an active member trying to paddle some of these ships. Your not so why do you care? Your passion is coming across as whining.

    Their dues are very inexpensive (and yet you still cry about them). Why not join up and pick just one of your concerns that you feel most qualified to address. Then channel all your aggression and passion into that one issue. I’ll bet that you could really help the PPFA become the association that you dream of. They really need people like you and if they were to turn your efforts away, please let me know and I will join with you in trying to end them forever!

    But you won’t.

    Carry on.
     
  36. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Ya.


    No. Although we apparently have a chance of being included in something broader.
     
  37. JRB

    JRB PFG, Picture Framing God

    I have a question, on the assumption that all the advertising big box operations do, all framing businesses receive the residual affect from that advertising. In other words, one of my customers sees an Aaron Brothers ad on T.V., and that reminds my customer she wants to bring something to me.

    What, John, could possibly be a negative about combined advertising from several trade organizations? How could any adverting or promotions by other framers or trade organizations be a negative for your business? Has Larson Juhls's advertising had a negative impact on your business?

    Myself, I will take anything I can get that reminds my customers they need to frame something, especially if it doesn't cost me a dime.

    Dumping on people who's only crime is trying to help our industry, just does not make any sense at all. That rock you brought up, is Worthy of your consideration.

    John
     
  38. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    You claim you care so much. What exactly is you care about? I'm confused as to rather your passion is supporting the framing industry or whining about the PPFA.

    I did eliminate "helping the PPFA" as a possible motive beucase your stance on it is quite clear. Yet the subject still has you completely captivated. So is complaining really your passion?

    I don't care about backing paper. I don't care what kind you use or why. I wouldn't participate in a thread about backing paper. Since you couldn't care less about the PPFA why are you so vocal on this thread?
     
  39. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    This is the circular thing... I'm gunna repeat myself for a second in these next 2 posts.

    I never said I thought it was a bad plan. I was annoyed before the posts that Jerry made. I've been annoyed for a while. I stopped reading for quite a while, and started again intermittantly... lousy timing on my part. I was turned off by the posts that started to be made by the PPFA... Great info, click here! ... and then you're told that it's privledged information so join up. Then I read here and there is this great plan blah blah, but not gunna tell you anything about it here. Bah.

    As for the plan I still don't know a whole lot about it. Might be great. I hope it is. What I saw I don't have a really wondeful enthusiasm for but I'm not really privy to what's happening. Which is a lot different than saying "I don't know what's going on but I'm sure it's great."

    Thing is there is a lot we could have been doing for years now, but we haven't, and our industry as we knew it is dying.

    The rock is worthy of consideration? I thought you were a real direct kinda guy? It sounds so much better when people are clever about it though.
     
  40. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    This is deflecting and making it about me, which sucks for everybody. Again, you don't have to join to have an opinion, and if you don't join you're not in a forced apathy. Caring about our industry is not exclusive to joining and cheering the PPFA. If you are interested in the health of your industry you are interested in your industries trade association. Except for the one recent post, which actually addresses the thread's original post by the way, my posts have been in response to people. But I agree, enough is enough so if you want the last word be my guest.
     
  41. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    One last thing that I meant to say above. Our industry has been shrinking. Everyone knows it. This large campaign may be great and it may help. But don't just watch it, and don't rely on it. It's not going to cure our problems all by itself even if it has a great impact. Our industry isn't shrinking because of the things we've done recently. It's shrinking because of the things we haven't done for years. Competitors around here are dropping like flies. Too many. Customers are saying things like "You're still here!" "I heard you had gone out of business!" "I drove past 4 places that were closed down before I found you!" That sucks! I want to at least know enough competitors will be around for my suppliers to stick around too. Stop saying "We will shrink another 50% to 5000 independant frame shops" and start doing the things we haven't been doing for the last decade so that we can reverse the trend. We didn't get in this mess by being on top of our game. We're not going to ride someone's coattails out.
     
  42. Whynot

    Whynot SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I believe that Johnny's must do list is a very good one indeed. If PPFA has already covered all those bases, that's great and anything extra makes it next to perfect. However, it appears to me that the regular PPFA member is yet far from understanding and even farther from mastering those concepts and tolls mentioned in Johnny's post. Without them framers are just half as professional as they'd like to believe of themselves, when proudly displaying their CPF diplomas, and just as well prepared to sink their business as any other uncertified framer would be. Framers' chances to survive in this environment have less to do with their certified ability to cut, join, mat and glass according to the norm, which is basic, but they have everything to do with their business and promoting skills. Finding efficient ways to teach their members such skills and then let them do their fight according to their local conditions would do more to the benefit of the industry than those mega-dollars ad campaigns that would hopefully return more costumers to starving framers obsessed by designing and too scared to charge a fair price and pay themselves more than 20 bucks an hour.
     
  43. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Oh, the irony of it...

    "We have seen the enemy, and he is us."

    Yes, our segment of the framing industry is shrinking, and that will continue. What will save us? A popular opinion is that we must work together to preserve and advance our segment of the framing industry. You agree, yes?

    I think you are right, Johnny -- small shop framers are sinking because of what we have not done all along. That is, we have not worked together to preserve and advance our segment of the framing industry all along.

    PPFA has always tried to bring framers together, and framers have stayed away in droves. The "What's in it for me?" mindset demands immediate rewards in excess of the perceived cost. It's incredible to hear framers say, essentially, "Here's my $200 dues, now save my business and don't ask me to help." No trade association could move the mountain for you, but it might help you acquire a bigger, better shovel.

    All these years, too many framers have rejected -- nay, resented -- a group that looks like could intrude on their little businesses. That is precisely the kind of attitude that has kept us from working together all along, and that is what keeps us from working together today.

    No, PPFA can not save us. We have to do that ourselves -- or not. In my opinion, the trade association's highest possible role is (and always has been) to help us accomplish important goals together, which we could not accomplish individually. The association can do that only by bringing us together.

    Personally I am sorry, Johnny, that you see our industry's only trade association as being divisive. It is unfortunate that you feel such hostility toward a group that does you no harm, but actually does you some good. PPFA is not divisive and, as an active member, I can assure you that nobody in that group wants it that way.

    You're pissed off? You're angry that small shop framers are sinking? OK, think for a moment about how our segment of the industry got to this point. You could help change that.

    Now, what exactly are you willing to do about the fate of our industry? Here's a hint: Getting pissed off and being disgusted probably is not the right answer.
     
  44. JRB

    JRB PFG, Picture Framing God

    I've been in this industry for several months, actually, over forty five years. Our industry has always been like a yo yo, it expands, it contracts. When times are good, all kinds of entrepreneurs jump on the bandwagon, thinking huge profits. Times start getting tough, the experts start jumping ship.

    I don't know about your town, in San Diego I have observed one thing, the good ones who want to work at it are always around, good or bad times. They start their business's, they retire from them, usually in a darn good financial position.

    If our industry is in a contraction, it will come back, stronger than ever. Myself, if it's contracting, I haven't seen it yet, at least not at my shop. I do know a few shops are closing, so maybe we are. When it's over, I'll still be here, so will Rob, and a bunch of others.

    John
     
  45. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    John, you're certainly correct that there have always been ups and downs in our little industry. However, what's been going on in framing since 1999 is not ups and downs. It's a complete change of order in the industry. The framing business will never be like it was before.

    I agree that times are tough, and framers -- expert or not -- are leaving the industry in big numbers nationally. Some of them are moving on to greener pastures, having enjoyed their peak in this business. Others are not so fortunate in moving along to new ventures. Some have tried to hold out too long, not understanding that their Ship of Prosperity has sailed away.

    All is not doom and gloom, though. Some framers are doing quite well, having their businesses in communities that are less affected by the influences of our national market.

    New entrepreneurs are moving in to replace the ones leaving, buying out existing shops or starting from scratch, or adding framing to another compatible business, such as photography. The good news is that these newcomers to framing are generally better educated and better able to market their framing businesses successfully. We're running on a faster track these days, and they can keep up.

    No doubt, the number of custom framers will continue to diminish for a while longer, and we may never again see 20,000 frame shops thrive in the USA. The good-growth number may be more like 10,000 shops, after a dip to 6,000 to 8,000 in the next few years.

    But who knows? It's all speculation anyway, by framers with more seat-of-the-pants opinions than hard numbers.
     
  46. JRB

    JRB PFG, Picture Framing God

    I'll have you know that all of my wild guessing and seat of the pants predicting are almost always, sometimes close to the mark.

    John
     
  47. Julia

    Julia CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    "Had you been to Atlanta and sat in on the PPFA Summit "Vision of the Future" on Sunday Morn, you could have listened to Dennis Conforto and some know it all from Az talk for about an hour on our plans"
    I was in Atlanta and tried to attend this seminar. I RSVP'd to the appropriate e-mail, but was told this seminar was only for suppliers. My suggestion to PPFA would be to open these sessions up to all members. I would have loved to attend, especially to hear the "know-it-all."
    Regards,
    Julia
     
  48. surferbill

    surferbill SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I've been reading most of the posts with interest. I belonged to the PPFA over 20 years ago for a short time, but dropped out because of a personal conflict with a past chapter president. I've been looking for a reason to join back up and participate for a few years now.

    I would not say it as bluntly as some of the other posters, but I have some of the same concerns as them. Namely, is belonging worth the cost of the yearly dues?
    I do feel a little guilty about not supporting an organization that helps picture framers. Maybe the new PPFA campaign will change my mind, and I'll join back up.
     
  49. Franny

    Franny CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    One of the very first things I did when I made the decision to open a shop was to join the PPFA. The information that they provide can be invaluable IF you are committed to the business of attracting and retaining customers and doing a great job with their valuables. I had mentioned in my first post that there is no Chapter here in the Northeast. One of my goals for this coming year is to investigate WHY and determine if there is enough support out there for me to go forward with starting one.
    I've read all the posts here regarding PPFA and they don't contain anything I haven't heard before about practically any "organization" that exists for the support of anything you can think of. I sit on the board of an organization committed to the education and promotion of Blues music and talent. Our main purpose is education so that this music genre is not lost. We bring talent into town for concerts and bring players into the schools for workshops with children interested in music. It is very rewarding to see children thrive and learn under the auspices of some pretty terrific musicians. But we have a lot of people that think that because they pay $20.00 to become a member that we owe them the world. There are bands and bars that think that The Blues Society of WNY should be making or breaking their careers for that same $20.00. Come on people. You will get out of the membership what you are willing to put into it. You cannot expect them to track you down to make sure that you take advantage of all they have to offer. With PPFA just the members only section and the newsletter is enough to keep me busy for a couple of hours every week sucking up the knowledge and information.It is well worth it for me. Did you ever think about the fact that small price not only can provide you with resources for different areas of your business, but it also does provide jobs for others. It makes the world go round folks, and you can either look at it with your glass half empty or with it practically filled to the brim. I choose the latter and thank you PPFA.
     
  50. mikki

    mikki MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    As someone said over the weekend I am not going to read the great american novel that has been put forth here but what I will say is I got to take three classes with a leader in our industry and eat 3 times for $50 bucks. My membership is new and it paid for itself right there!! Not to mention the knowledge and inspiration I came away with. Maybe you people just need a little southern hospitality to go with your memberships! Tennessee Kentucky chapter did a great job for my piddly membership fee.
    :beer:
    Grumble on yall but pass me the sweet tea and great PPFA meeting!
     
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