It's always good to network and keep updated on new developments, but framing is a tiny industry and the resources are somewhat limited. There is one magazine, Picture Framing Magazine. There is one convention in Vegas every January. Beyond that, the regional sales representatives are the best resources available. While I read as much as I can, I skipped the yearly convention due to the expense of shop renovations. So when any other opportunities come up, I try to take part.
Every year TC Moulding hosts an open house in Minnesota. And so I made the trek up to MN early Friday morning. Sure enough, there was snow piled in parking lots, but the worst of driving was rain and, I think, some hail.
But I wanted to make it up for a 9:30 a.m. Valiani computerized mat cutter class. I made it in time, and had some coffee while we listened over the sound of saws and air compressors.
Then there was a little reception that evening. I went around to the vendors and placed an order and watched the weather. I wanted to get to the hotel before the snow started. Jim Stauch, my sales rep, dressed up in Marshalltown colors for the event.
After the quick visit and a few bites to eat and a drink. It was time to high-tail it to the hotel. I had a perfect view of the changes hitting the city. I ended up spending an extra night and made a two page to do list and watched TV.
I took the trip home slow and easy and made it without incident. It"s always great to be home! I'll be back in the shop tomorrow, but it was nice to make the trip... I just wish the weather would have been a little nicer!