Networking: building relationships

I went to my second networking forum of the year today.

As picture framers we do tend to sit in our little workshops, hidden from the world, waiting for people to hobble in and spend a little money.  After dipping my toes in the water recently, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how much positivity it’s brought to the business.  It’s freshened us up, dusted us down and given us a renewed confidence.

OK, so its early days and not everyone you meet is going to come in a give you an order.  But I feel a bigger sense of purpose.  That purpose is raising the profile of picture framing as a skill and a craft.  Even if it is in my little community!

Designer makers, wood turners, ceramists, painters, furniture makers and other arts and crafts people are taken seriously from an artistic, skilled or creative point of view and I feel put out that framing gets over looked!

The perception of framing is often awful!  You get tarred with the same brush as the cheap ready frame imports, money for old rope (or wood), the “framing 4 u” type high street shops that do a great service in their own right, but they are not representative of the whole framing industry.

That’s like saying a table is a table.  I mean, one man’s table is another man’s firewood (if you get my drift).  You can buy a cheap table from a big store, you can buy a beautifully handmade table as a bespoke product or you can get something in-between (I don’t know where I’m going with the table analogy, but I hope you get my point!).

So, if by going to a networking group, just one person learns something new or what’s involved in the process, that can only be a good thing right?

If we can also make some new friends and customers along the way, even better.

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