i think this list serves as a surrogate guild. it is the free-est exchange
of ideas and resources re framemaking and supplies that i've ever
seen. it was rare to find this much magnanimity years ago. cherish it.
ask questions. ASK questions!
about other issues-there is no shortage of affordable insurance.
for 25 plus years i paid a small fortune for my policy. last year
on this list, don ferris (THANKS, DON!), told me about his
carrier. within a week i switched to N.I.P.C. in poulos(?),
washington and my rates are reasonable: 60% of what they once
were. no guild is needed to find lower rates. these guys have low
rates. advice: don't debate this 'need for insurance' issue.
just get insurance!!!!!!!!
about marketing-there really is no 'market'. huh?! if all of us pooled
our production it might come to 1500 frames per year. that is not
a market. that many units buried within the annual sales-of-bicycles
in the u.s. constitutes almost zip. i don't think we have to worry
about convincing 1500 (or so...) buyers that they'd be happy on
a hand-made/custom-made/whatdeva' frame. the public is well
aware of the options. the people can go to the mall and buy a ??????,
or 1500 (or so...) can call up a list guy and get a frame built to order.
re the big guys-i don't see it as an 'us versus them' mentality. they
do what they do best, and we do the same. there is no overlap.
if you have a potential client that is shopping you against a 'mall'
bicycle, no amount of marketing will help, nor will having a guild
change anything.