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Question You're the new CEO of The American Picture Framing Academy

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FrameMakers

PFG, Picture Framing God
I would stop wasting time stirring the pot, and concentrate on what my business is about. If it is teaching, then I would be looking for people to teach.

But in reality, I see the framing market shrinking so I would be looking for other career fields.
If I were to keep educating people on framing, I would concentrate on a complete business that framing was one aspect of.
I would hire someone to teach on digital printing and image capture as one example. Another would be web presence. Most framers web sites suck the big one. Few offer e-commerce and those that do for the most part don't sell framing on their sites.
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Congratulations! What would you do, and what changes, if any, would you make?
Dave, I just knew someone was eventually going to do this. I just wasn't sure who, or when. Good one. :thumbsup:

First thing I'd do is fire me (with a nice golden parachute naturally). Of course, that would leave me with more time on my hands to post here. :)

Okay, open season everyone! Just remember this bear shoots back. :)
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
But in reality, I see the framing market shrinking so I would be looking for other career fields.
If I were to keep educating people on framing, I would concentrate on a complete business that framing was one aspect of.
I would hire someone to teach on digital printing and image capture as one example. Another would be web presence. Most framers web sites suck the big one. Few offer e-commerce and those that do for the most part don't sell framing on their sites.
Good ideas. You interested? Are you free to travel to places like Vegas, Orlando, New Orleans, Baltimore/D.C.? Can you put up with me for days at a time? :)
 

Emibub

PFG, Picture Framing God
If I may, the first thing I would do is make sure that my social skills were fine tuned so as not to alienate those I was trying to attract for business. I would change the company motto to "You catch more flies with honey than vinegar". I would then send out "Under new Management" brochures to any and all who could have come in contact with previous president's meanderings on the Grumble. Finally, I would have the facility checked for possible gas leaks that might have lead to the previous owners relentless compulsion to focus on the BB's.

I would then have the letters a-o-s- stricken from the alphabet.
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Kathy, for someone who openly bragged on this forum about not paying the person you bought your business from, you probably shouldn't be lecturing people about such social behavior and ethics. I wouldn't have brought it up, but you asked for it. When you take a cheap shot, expect one back.

As for my attention to the BBs, I plead guilty. I'm in it to win it and I intend to hold big companies responsible for bad behavior. Only a fool ignores their largest competitor.
 

Emibub

PFG, Picture Framing God
Yikes Paul, I was having a little fun with you there! Like I said, work on the social skills.................my ethics are firmly intact thank you very much! As to folding my business I am folding it before it folds me! I don't recall ever bragging about not paying the previous owners but if I ever did discuss it I am sure I must have made it clear that I was advised to not pay them any more money due to many things that were not disclosed when I purchased it. As I told them "You will get paid when I do". I felt guilty for exactly one nano second.
 

D_Derbonne

PFG, Picture Framing God
Nice Paul. I don't remember Kathy ever bragging about not paying anyone on TG or in private.
She's closing her doors and it's a sound business decision.

You may need to work on your social skills after all.
Of course I've been accused of needing a little work in that area myself.
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Sure you were Kathy, but I've edited my post.
 

Emibub

PFG, Picture Framing God
Paul, I was having some fun with you. Your PM suggested you would delete your unkind post about me if i removed my posting. But, I don't think I want to. I will let is stand. If anybody has been up front about their situations here on the G it has been me. I don't believe I have done anything unethical in running my business. I try to lead an ethical life. In fact, there is nothing worse than calling my ethics into kwestion. But, considering the source and the context and my mood, I am okay with your posting.:thumbsup:
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
You were in business for more than six years, but apparently you didn't make any money. Sure. :thumbsup:

I pay my debts and I don't unilaterlly decide that someone who lends me money doesn't deserve to get paid. Maybe you need to try harder.

People who are in this business don't need to be told that they should ignore the BBs, that the BBs are their friend and send them business, and that they should bury their head in the sand. Anyone who's read my articles http://pictureframingschool.com/pictureframingschoolcom/Guerrilla%20Framer.htm, or attended my school, knows my approach.

Criticizing what you percieve as a deficiency in my social skills, and making fart jokes, is just a cheap shot and has nothing to do with business. I save my social skills for social settings, but I approached this thread good naturedly, as my inital posts show. You take a cheap personal shot, as you've done in the past, and then when I retaliate, you say it was all fun and games.
 

Emibub

PFG, Picture Framing God
Paul, I work a second job to support myself, I have for 4 years. I have not one dime in savings, I have no retirement left. I have no credit left. My vehicle I depend upon that I recently purchased to replace my other failing vehicle cost me 3k and has 170k miles on it. That is one of my biggest assets. I have held this place together with smoke and mirrors. I have had not one dime to fund this place for 6.5 years. It was shown to me through legal advise that I owed these people nothing. I even offered to give it back which of course they declined.

I'm not sure why you chose to bring this up. If I was worried about any of it I would have taken your deal and deleted my posting. But, I am perfectly comfortable with anybody reading this. This is a first for me. Nobody has ever posted something horrible and then PM'd me and tried to bribe me into deleting my post. It didn't work, sorry. I think your ugliness will stand all on it's own.
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Kathy, I'm sure your sob story will cause someone to come to your aid here. It's not hard to find someone to attack me. Charactherizing my offer as a bribe is as disengenuous as claiming that you "were shown through legal advice" that you didn't have to repay the seller.

Every business owner here, including this one, went through the same trials and tribulations that you did. We worked two jobs, we sacrificed, we drove crappy cars, and we even paid our bills.

Most of us didn't make a decision not long after buying a business to not pay the person who trusted them to do so. Many here will sell their business someday. Hopefully, they'll get paid.
 

EllenAtHowards

PFG, Picture Framing God
OK. I'm not reading this thread any more... life is too short.
 

D_Derbonne

PFG, Picture Framing God
Paul, where did you get your so called facts?
I'm sorry but it seems that Kathy struck a nerve with her first post. She's a big girl and I'm sure she can speak for herself.

I've never used the "ignore" feature but I'm about to start now.
 

Emibub

PFG, Picture Framing God
Many here will sell their business someday. Hopefully, they'll get paid.
Not if they sell it to me! You can bank on that!

..................a little break in the action here...........fart joke? I have reread and I don't see anything resembling a fart joke?
 

DTWDSM

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
OK, Paul you opened yourself up here but as much as I would like to throw a couple zingers at you I can't, and most here could't either. You questions deal with companies that we all work with on a regular basis. As far as I know there are very few, if any here on the G that have used your services so it will be hard for anyone to give fair criticism.

That being said, if I were to run a picture framing school here is what I would do in no particular order:

I would allign myself with some of the top suppliers around and make sure that they either had a person come in and introduce their company or I had the materials to do it for them and make sure that my students could get at least a discount for a "Grand Opening" Period or set discounts according to volume.

I would teach the basic framing skills needed to run a frame shop, including how to cut mats by hand and by CMC. I would also have a toll free "Hot Line" which the students could use for their framing questions when they get stumped, free for at least the first year.

I would make sure that I had somebody who was an expert on the day to day finances of a frame shop give some of the instruction. I would have a realtionship set up with a national CPA organization with references for CPAs in each state who have clients in our industry

I would make sure that I had a real estate specialist give some of the instruction. I would have as relationship with a national organization who could give referrals for my students to work with

I would have someone who is a specialist in marketing and advertising give some of the instruction. I would have a realtionship with the American Marketing Association to provide referrals for my students.

I would have realationships with national marketing companies that would work with my students on marketing projects at a reduced cost. (Yellow Pages/PR Firms/Marriage Mail/Direct Mail Companies)

I would have a Merchandising specialist who would give some of the instruction.
This person would have to be knowledgable in not only framing, but art, gift type items, store layout, and visual merchandising.

I would provide comparisons between going completely independant or going independant with a franchisor's backing. A specialist from each direction would have equal time to present.

I would have a relationship with a national bank, such as Wells Fargo, who would be able to teach the students about thier financing options, I would also make sure that there was a deal for students if they would finance with that particular bank.

I would also have a personal financial advisor, with clients in our industry, sit down with each student individually and give a free consultation to see if they were really financially ready to get into business for themselves and make sure that the student has a plan that will not take away any retirement savings that they have as well as continue to fund the retirement savings in some way.

Of course I would have an insurance specialist come in and present to the students as well.

I would make sure that I had the best relationships with some experts in our industry at all levels, the big boxes, franchises, independants alike. There is a wealth of knowledge out there and most will be willing to share if you don't burn the bridge.

I would charge a fair price for this school, I do not know what you charge but as you can see with what I would provide, the school would take some time so it would not be cheap, I would have to do some research on what would be a fair price. Class sizes would be small so everyone would get the attention that they deserve since they are paying for it.

People like Bob Carter, Jim Miller, Baer, Rob Markoff, Warren Tucker, Marc Bluestone, Jay Goltz, and of course myself :), would appear at most, if not all of the classes at some time.

As I said before, I really know nothing about what you do so you may do some of this already, knowing my background you may also say alot of this sounds like what a franchise does (some of it is) but, I would want to make sure that my students will have every opportunity and resource to succeed anywhere where they wanted, even next door to my school, because I would not run a frameshop myself.

How did I do there???
 

DTWDSM

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
OK. I'm not reading this thread any more... life is too short.
But Ellen I thought that I had a post that was very constructive and did not get into the banter that is going on.

I am thinking that with the right financing I may get this puppy going now that I have given it some thought.
 

Steph

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Wow what a great, well thought out response Tim. I think you should go for it, you'd be great at it. More options in any industry is a good thing. I don't have the resourse to be your backer but I could be your friend ;)
 

Emibub

PFG, Picture Framing God
Sorry Tim, didn't mean to derail the thread. I have to kwestion your use of the word "Banter" though. I look at it more as "character assasination". I can't help it, I went back and reread my original posting and it still makes me chuckle. come on............"under new management"...............it was funny. I'd like to add another change I would have to make after this "Banter". Make sure all people involved go through anger management courses and sensitivity training. I'd also fumigate the furniture for potential previous farting residue. ( I figure since I was accused of making a farting joke I may as well have at it).

There, time to go home, I am done now.
 

DTWDSM

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Kathy, it all comes down to this comment:

Okay, open season everyone! Just remember this bear shoots back. :)
With that quote I knew that there would be someone that would go back and forth with Paul.... I think he likes it, just admit it Paul, you like it don't ya?

The best thing is to let it go and don't let what anyone says on a public forum get to you. We all are much braver about what we say to each other when it is not in person.

Banter was just the word that was typed, don't read anything into it. I chuckled at the Under New Management sign as well :)
 

Whynot

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Paul, I was having some fun with you.
Kathy, I noticed that your feline sense of humor is peculiarly insidious and flammable. God forbid someone plays back on you same kind of razor sharp jokes (teasing, paws).

On the other hand I wish to see Mike's face because he must now be in between a rock and a tough place. He can't touch on TG sponsor or on TG orphan (soul child, pet) without being Labbeled a ####### by some or orthers. So he'll probably flex his muscles on Bonnadema for misspelling a certain Idish word. Help yourself, Mike, and feel better.
 

Emibub

PFG, Picture Framing God
Cornel, I can take a joke. Paul wasn't joking. I was, and yes I will admit to using humor as a weapon. As much as I have teased Paul in the past I figured he could take it. I expected a response but maybe a more light hearted one. But, if I couldn't take it I wouldn't set myself up for this kind of abuse. I think I won this round. I was one step away from "I'm rubber you're glue"...................

Also, I don't think I am the forum orphan. I prefer poster child for bad business decisions or forum ne'er do well. I like the image that conjurs up much better.
 

FramerDave

PFG, Picture Framing God
OK, Paul you opened yourself up here but as much as I would like to throw a couple zingers at you I can't, and most here could't either. You questions deal with companies that we all work with on a regular basis. As far as I know there are very few, if any here on the G that have used your services so it will be hard for anyone to give fair criticism.

That being said, if I were to run a picture framing school here is what I would do in no particular order:

*snip*


As I said before, I really know nothing about what you do so you may do some of this already, knowing my background you may also say alot of this sounds like what a franchise does (some of it is) but, I would want to make sure that my students will have every opportunity and resource to succeed anywhere where they wanted, even next door to my school, because I would not run a frameshop myself.

How did I do there???

Kind of sounds like a franchise, doesn't it?
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Tim, thanks. Awesome post and I appreciate you getting this thread back on track instead of using itas an invitation to mount a personal attack.

I do a number of the things you mentioned, but I'm always looking for ways to improve the classes. My teaching philosophy has always been to provide as much information as I can, while also making the classes as enjoyable as possible.

I'm very proud of the fact that the school has grown from a single student to becoming the largest in the industry. I also laugh when people on this forum tell me that my directness here is bad for my business.

Believe me, it ain't! I get students almost every week from this forum. These are people that want to be successful and want to make money. I can't guarantee their success, but I sure can help. The two comments Vicki (my wife and co-instructor) get the most are, "I can't believe how much I learned," and "I can't believe how much fun it was." Our students learn more than how to make frames. They learn how to make money making frames.

Our plans are to expand over the few years and we'll be offering territories so we can cut back on our travel. We love what we're doing, but we've got four kids, including three still in college. We'd like to be home a bit more.

I knew this thread would attract vultures, but I also expected it would produce some good feedback and ideas from some of the people who really understand what it takes to be successful in business. Thanks again for your input.
 

DTWDSM

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I also laugh when people on this forum tell me that my directness here is bad for my business.
Paul, you know that we don't see eye to eye quite often, I am also a direct person as well. I think that it is more the tactfulness of your message that is the problem than the directness. Kathy's origianl post mentioned nothing of your ethics and you went back at her about the non-payment subject, of which I know nothing of the detail about and I am guessing you know very little if any either. We don't know about the original details of the sale were so why bother bringing it up?

Also, I am available for consulting and I will make sure to say that I am paid in my tag line if you choose to take me up on my services. :)
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Sorry Tim. I was about to hire you as a consultant, but you just blew it.:)
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
How would you offer territories, via a franchise offering?
Probably not via franchise Mike, because it would be done on very limited basis. Feel welcome to drop me PM or email if you're interested.
 

surferbill

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Kathy, I noticed that your feline sense of humor is peculiarly insidious and flammable. God forbid someone plays back on you same kind of razor sharp jokes (teasing, paws).

On the other hand I wish to see Mike's face because he must now be in between a rock and a tough place. He can't touch on TG sponsor or on TG orphan (soul child, pet) without being Labbeled a ####### by some or orthers. So he'll probably flex his muscles on Bonnadema for misspelling a certain Idish word. Help yourself, Mike, and feel better.
Bonnadema, or should I say Cornel,
We missed you, welcome back.
I was getting bored with only Kathy and Paul mixing it up. :D
 

Jay H

PFG, Picture Framing God
I've never used the "ignore" feature but I'm about to start now.
My ignore list is literally longer than my friends list. You have no idea how happier you'll be and you'll find that your daily growth won't slowed one bit. There is more said around here on accident by some of the most passive people than many of the most vocal do on purpose. You won't be sorry (just don't add me to that list).

Carry on.

Oh and on topic, if were ceo I wouldn't show Vivian Kistler videos as part of instruction or offer to sell matboard samples to my students. Thats complete rumor and might be very false. If so please forgive me as I'm in the wrong. If it's true, as a local police officer from my home town suggests, then I would stop.
 

DTWDSM

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Aw come on Paul, you haven't ever met a good consultant that you didn't always agree with? Isn't that what consultants are for, to make you think differently?

H3ll, if you are going to pay me (and I am not cheap) my job is to show you another way of thinking isn't it? You don't have to follow my advice but a consultant's job is to give intellegent advice.
 

rsee

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
My thoughts

That being said, if I were to run a picture framing school here is what I would do in no particular order:

I would allign myself with some of the top suppliers around and make sure that they either had a person come in and introduce their company or I had the materials to do it for them and make sure that my students could get at least a discount for a "Grand Opening" Period or set discounts according to volume.
I like most of your ideas, though I think your school ideas would probably end up in a "class" that would probably take a 3 or 4 weeks to cover. (not that I think that's a bad thing)

The one concern I have about aligning with "top suppliers" is that there's a slippery slope between providing information and "selling". From reading your posts I can tell you're probably very good at selling, but in a learning situation there is a certain responsibility to your clients to not charge them to watch a commercial. I would imagine many of us here have been to "seminars" that were presented by top suppliers that simply break down to a long commercial.

I also wanted to mention that when I suggested in an earlier post about vendors having a tiered system for pricing, I was told that "we'd be telling them how to run their business" - but you have stated exactly what my point had been. (I am chaulking some of the responses to that post of mine to the fact that I was very new-and I've noticed there's a certain degree of challenging that goes on with new posters) So I thank you for validating that my idea wasn't actually "telling them how to run their business", but instead probably represented a fair way of doing business that wouldn't shut out the smaller players. I had stated at the time that, while I'm new to the framing business, I have over 20 yrs experience managing a 300,000 square foot non-profit (this is by design, so they can provide for medicare/medicaid patients as well as private pay) nursing home campus (where I utilized well over 100 different vendors and was responsible for a multi-million dollar budget).

I really liked your idea about personal financial advisor (there's so many complexities and I think it's easy for neophytes to get carried away in the technical aspects and not pay as much attention to logistics and sound financial/business decisions.


I also liked the idea of promoting the students, even if they are next to you - not running a shop.
small print disclaimer
Lastly, I realize that this thread has had a rather heavy tense tone to it, but I'm hoping that people will take my post as it is intended - staying on topic, my opinions of a post that was on topic. Nothing intended as personal toward anyone and I have no time or desire to flame or be flamed - life is way too short. After hearing of Val's bout with pneumonia, I am aware of how fortunate I have been this spring as I had pneumonia coming out of winter, hovered on the brink of hospitalization for 4 weeks, and am still working on building my strength and my lung capacity back up (and I have run marathons within the last 18 months, so this has really shown me how short life is and that we do truly need to focus on what is important)

keeping everything in perspective:beer:

Ron C
 
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DTWDSM

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Ron,

You are correct in thinking that my school would take 3-4 weeks. People go to college for 4-8 years to get a degree and still don't know what the h3ll they are doing so 3-4 weeks would not be enough but it could give someone a good start with support behind them for at least a year.

As for the suppliers, sales pitch no, a Introductory commercial yes. Look at some of the posts here, people complain about finding out that LJ does not sell to home based framers. All of these companies have reps that cover the US but they don't all tell you the same things about the company, this would be a place that you can get the basic info from which you as the business owner can decide who you will buy from.

As for different tiers for pricing, let's face it most already do this but they do not advertise it. I know that I can but from "XYZ" company better than most here, my volume speaks for itself and most suppliers would love to have an account like mine, I buy alot and I pay my bills on time, or early if a prompt pay discount. I don't know how you stated it in the other post but it's already being done in one way or another.

Now back to you....What was the Nursing home you ran? I worked as a sales rep for a company that I would guess you bought from. I sold mainly to the HPSI purchasing group across the country which I know there were some big non profit ownership groups.
 

Bob Doyle

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I'd open a used framing equipment website, and only train people on the equipment I was making a tidy profit on. And chide others about "full disclosure"

I'd berate students that questioned my skills as an instructor.


I'd start threads that are cryptic to sell services being offered at a future date.

I'd insult friends of the people that question me.

I'd put Bob Doyle on my ignore list. He's a mean bastard that holds a grudge when people pick on Kathy.

tata people, I am now probably on suspension from the Grumble! If not I'm putting myself on one as I don't like the ire this thread has brought up in me. Paul, I'm angrier at you than I can even admit. Yes I think this thread was started to show displeasure at your incessant "congrats you run my competition threads, but to act so glib and trash one of us who has admitted and been admitting to being struggling.... Good Bye.
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Aw come on Paul, you haven't ever met a good consultant that you didn't always agree with? Isn't that what consultants are for, to make you think differently?

H3ll, if you are going to pay me (and I am not cheap) my job is to show you another way of thinking isn't it? You don't have to follow my advice but a consultant's job is to give intellegent advice.
Absolutely Tim. You hire a consultant for that very reason.
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I like most of your ideas, though I think your school ideas would probably end up in a "class" that would probably take a 3 or 4 weeks to cover. (not that I think that's a bad thing)

The one concern I have about aligning with "top suppliers" is that there's a slippery slope between providing information and "selling". From reading your posts I can tell you're probably very good at selling, but in a learning situation there is a certain responsibility to your clients to not charge them to watch a commercial. I would imagine many of us here have been to "seminars" that were presented by top suppliers that simply break down to a long commercial.

I also wanted to mention that when I suggested in an earlier post about vendors having a tiered system for pricing, I was told that "we'd be telling them how to run their business" - but you have stated exactly what my point had been. (I am chaulking some of the responses to that post of mine to the fact that I was very new-and I've noticed there's a certain degree of challenging that goes on with new posters) So I thank you for validating that my idea wasn't actually "telling them how to run their business", but instead probably represented a fair way of doing business that wouldn't shut out the smaller players. I had stated at the time that, while I'm new to the framing business, I have over 20 yrs experience managing a 300,000 square foot non-profit (this is by design, so they can provide for medicare/medicaid patients as well as private pay) nursing home campus (where I utilized well over 100 different vendors and was responsible for a multi-million dollar budget).

I really liked your idea about personal financial advisor (there's so many complexities and I think it's easy for neophytes to get carried away in the technical aspects and not pay as much attention to logistics and sound financial/business decisions.


I also liked the idea of promoting the students, even if they are next to you - not running a shop.
small print disclaimer
Lastly, I realize that this thread has had a rather heavy tense tone to it, but I'm hoping that people will take my post as it is intended - staying on topic, my opinions of a post that was on topic. Nothing intended as personal toward anyone and I have no time or desire to flame or be flamed - life is way too short. After hearing of Val's bout with pneumonia, I am aware of how fortunate I have been this spring as I had pneumonia coming out of winter, hovered on the brink of hospitalization for 4 weeks, and am still working on building my strength and my lung capacity back up (and I have run marathons within the last 18 months, so this has really shown me how short life is and that we do truly need to focus on what is important)

keeping everything in perspective:beer:

Ron C
Great comments Ron and always welcome. It's only when someone makes a personal attack that they need be concerned. My policy is very simple, and consistent: anyone is free and welcome to criticize my ideas. When someone attacks me personally however, they can expect retaliation. Once they've ceased their attack, I do the same. If they continue, so will I.
 

leviegray

True Grumbler
My two cents...

Hmm I have been following this thread and I must say that it has stiired up lot of mixed feelings... Including whether it would be healthy to join in the conversation or not...

First, let me say that as a relatively new framer and shop owner I have found this site to be by far one of the most valuable resources I could have hoped to find. I am learning so much! What a great resource for expanding my techicnical skills and my judgement- both as a framer and as a small business operator. I am greatful to all for that!

But what has been even more awesome and unexpected are things I am learning and ways that I am being inspired about humanity, humility and about becoming more the kind of human being I long to be. It was something I would have never expected to find here ( not sure why I wouldn't have expected it...) I find the blend and breadth and depth of caring and generosity and integrity and wistom to be a rare and awesome discovery.

Beyond the sound answers to all of my questions and quandries, and the welcome I have recieved personally, I have been so inspired with the caring and generosity of the response from this community to Val's situation and to the uncertainties and struggles of many others as well. I have witnessed and learned from both the level-headedness and tact and diplomacy and wisdom of many that is often beyond my level of evolution. I can definitely say that if I did not find it to be the prominent tone of this site I would have much less interest coming here.

I have to say that I have not found much of the exchange in this thread to be far up on that list of inspiration.

Since much of my direct introduction to picture framing was through the APFA, and since I am becoming somewhat invested in this community,this thread and does pull at me to comment and to offer input.

Having been a student of the APFA, I guess I am for once in a position to give more informed subjective feedback about what currently occurs than most who have sounded off. Paul, There are things I appreciated about your course and also many things with which I disagree, and have been disappointed. I would be glad to offer specific feedback but I must admit that given what you have said earlier in this thread, and the tone of much of the dialogue so far, I fear that if it was not all to your liking you might retaliate. I have little desire or interest in this- or in engaging in hostility or negativity. If you would like this feedback and are prepared to recieve it with openness and not hostility let me know and I can try to pass it on, either here or privately if you would prefer.

Since most who have posted here, aside from Paul do not appear to have much first hand information about the APFA and how it operates, it would appear to me that the initial impetus of this post has been primarily a response to how he presents himself in this forum. Apparently some find it irritating and do not appear to appreciate it ( given the content of this thread so far I would suggest that more seem to be reacting negatively to it that are standing up for it !)

Now for the rest of my two cents...I must admit, guess I am in the camp who find many of your posts here inflamitory and sometimes distasteful. I will try to focus my comments to those coming from one who now chooses to be an active member of this community and primarily concerning this issue in how it relates to the Grumble.

Paul, I was not one who learned about your school from the Grumble and to be honest, if I had witnessed how you participate here overall, prior to my decision to attend, I would have at very least had much more hesitation. And now as I witness it I must say that I find that it is not something which leaves me feeling proud to be a 'graduate'.

Since ithe Grumble has been such a positive and powerful resource for me, I am also curious why you did not tell us about it or include it in any list of references or resources which you provided. It leads me to wonder how you really hold this community or your place in it.

Being a newbie, I suppose I could be wrong but it is my impression that some of the most skilled and qualified people in the 'industry' are a part of this community and regularly participate here and I also find it curious that the APFA is represented as the largest school in the 'industry' and so few seem to know much about it. Paul, again I would suggest hat how you participate here is not inspiring people to hold your school as such a asset and contribution to the 'industry' but perhaps more a validation of your salesmanship.

I continue to long to be inspred and mentored that is by far most valuable and important thing I come here for. I get enough of being riled up and filled with toxic hostility and derisiveness from so many other sorces in this sometimes crazy world we live in.

For what its worth ( I already suggested two cents...)

With intention to be constructive and with aloha

Levie :soapbox:
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Glad to hear you are doing well Levie. I trust your new daughter is getting big. My focus is on the business of framing as well as the aesthetics. Sometimes that is a difference that's not truly appreciated until we're in business, and occasionally only when it's too late.

I am rarely one to flame someone else except in reaction. You and I are very different personality types, but we can each share different view without confrontation when it is done properly and respectfully. Aloha.
 

Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
That is a meaningful critique

When I teach, I make a point of reading critiques of my performances. While some are pointless (I made a statement like "If you are doing xxx and making money, God Bless you" and the critique was to keep religion out of it); some can be pretty helpful

Some quite stinging like "You are such a bore. I never thought the class would get over" signed, "Where are we going for dinner, Love, Debi"

I always read them, though
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Agreed Bob. And no matter how good we think we did, I'm sure we can always do even better.
 

Val

PFG, Picture Framing God
The critic papers where they just draw a line down through the "Excellent", are the only ones that get an automatic passover.
I would rather have the one that was given me the next day after the class, because the person spent some real time thinking about what they did learn, and what they thought would make the experience fuller.

And I for one . . . . Ooo look a shiny birdy........ and where are we going to dinner Bob? Elements? I'm ready for a better view. :D

OOPS! Sorry, I forgot that I was on Val's computer. Is it Oh-beer-thirty yet?
And Bob was getting excited the prospects of going to dinner with two hot chicks....... sorry Bob, but one of those "chicks" has a beard and wears Crocs. :D
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Geez, what a surprise. I was ready to welcome Val back. A beer does sound good though.
 

Val

PFG, Picture Framing God
Okay Paul, it's Val really, here. Thank you for the (sorta) welcome back, and for your card and it's contents.

Now...can we please end this thread and the icky feeling it's caused in my stomach? It's serving no useful purpose that I can see, and it's REALLY buggin' the hellouta me...and others. But then, I'm just another sick puppy with a stomach ache.

Please??
 

Emibub

PFG, Picture Framing God
Can't end it just yet. I know it isn't Festivus but I feel the need to have the "Airing of the Grievances" first........................


After a couple days to cool off I went back and reread my original posting. Sure I was being a smart alec, I will be the first to admit that. But, I see no personal attack on you Paul. I was suggesting you don't come off in a very pleasant positive manner(your behavior here sure backs that up) and I would change that. I also suggested you might be obsessed with the BB's and I find that negative. Where was that any more of a personal attack than anything else anybody else said? It certainly didn't warrant the very personal attack you threw at me. The most disturbing part though was you PMing me and "suggesting" I delete my post and you would delete your attack on me. It creeped me out a bit.

As to your comments about me..................If I did bring up my decision to not pay the previous owners I am sure it was in context of a discussion. I don't recall bragging about it becuase I wouldn't. I think every person who has given me any business advice advised me to stop paying. I had to be convinced. The business was not here to pay them much less myself, there were things not disclosed at purchase, I did not represent myself well in the purchase. They were just as foolish as I was to think I could support myself off of a business that they were trying to get out from under. They knew I had to support myself on the store. I was the only one assuming the risk. They were literally weeks away from just shutting down and selling off the pieces. I did get legal advice and was advised it was not a binding contract. I offered to give the store back to them with the improvements I had made and they declined. I am perfectly comfortable with that decision. My ethics are fully intact. I can sleep at night. My explanation is for others reading this I could give a toss what you think of me.

As to the other comment you deleted about me closing my doors. Yeah, what about it? If it makes you feel superior to remind me I have failed then good for you. I could have easily kept it all to myself and disappeared into the ether but I chose to be up front about it. I did what I could with what I had. I could continue but the shopping center is declining, the economy is unstable and I don't have anything to fight it with financially or emotionally. Closing will be a relief.

I stand by my original posting, I am prone to opening my mouth and speaking up and I know being a smart alec makes me a target. I had just read your insulting post in the Online Exchange thread and it had pissed me off. You took a shot at somebody who volunteers his time to keep that forum running. You know full well how the Online Exchange works, you were rampant posting on it last year when you were setting yourself up as the saviour of the independents.(that would be a personal attack) I think it set the tone for my posting in this thread.

I don't think you did yourself any favors here. You seem to be smug in the thought that you have somehow exacted some sort of revenge or punishment on me. Just the opposite, I've gotten so many PM's and emails offering support over this. It has actually worked out in my best interest, I do believe your stock continues to fall.................but I will take the time to wish you well as I am trying to live my life without malevolence.
 

Emibub

PFG, Picture Framing God
Also want to add...............Bob Doyle, all I can say is if adding you to my friends list inspires that it was worth the price of admission. Thanks for the kind words!
 
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