International Art Materials Association

   eNEWS:  February 15, 2017 

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Ten Characteristics of a 

Art Materials Business Owner

by Tom Shay

This two-part article addresses 10 unique characteristics of successful business owners and managers. It’s not an all-inclusive list but it does reflect actions that contribute to sustaining and growing an art materials business.

1.   The individual enjoys what they are doing. You can see it in their faces when they walk into their businesses. There is a pleasant smile for each customer and staff member. There is a sincere word spoken to each.  They are always looking for information and ideas that will give them a competitive edge in their marketplace.

2.   They know their first job is to manage the business. While they may be the best salespeople or technicians within their businesses, they understand the numbers necessary for financial management. They have plans for the future and they know what they want to do and are not allowing conditions to dictate to them.  Almost everyone works at the business. Successful owners or managers know when to work in the business and when to work on the business. When they are working on the business, they are doing the job that no one else in the business can do.

3.   They are active in their community and their industry trade associations. They will tell you about the benefits - new ideas, new business, new connections - they have received as a result of their participation.  This interaction brings a boost to their spirits.

4.   They attend industry trade shows and seminars. They know the progressive competitor is going to be there, and the complacent competitor will be staying home.  They know that the trade show is where they write orders, look for niche-market opportunities, and get a feel for where the industry is headed and how fast it is getting there.

5.   They deal with branding and marketing. Our owners or managers have a clearly defined, written and posted statement that explains what their business is attempting to do in the marketplace. Their marketing is the result of their constantly doing small experiments in unique ways of promoting.  The position marketing and promotion is always being updated to reflect the changes in their community and to appeal to their customers.

We’ll cover the final five “Success Traits” in our next article.

Tom Shay is a fourth generation small business owner, author, columnist, coach and speaker who has authored several training manuals for retailers that can be found in the Resources section of the NAMTA website – His knowledge of small business marketing, business strategy, staffing, and financial management have provided small business owners with the help necessary to increase their profits plus build their business for the future. You can learn more here -



2016 Memberships have now expired.  Call 704.892.6244 or email Susan Cohen to renew your 2017 Membership today.  

2017 Membership is required for Art Materials World 2017 Exhibitors and Attendees Members.


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Retail Operations Manuals

Have you see these 3 Manuals for Art Supply Retailers?

  • Volume I - Managing People
  • Volume 2 - Advertising and Marketing 
  • Volume 3 - Merchandising

Volume 4 - Writing a Business Plan 

Retail Operations Training Manuals are FREE for NAMTA members.  You must be logged in to access manuals.  Email if you need help logging in.

Advocating for the Arts

While you are at Art Materials World 2017, be sure to stop by the NAMTA Booth #453 and talk to Leah Siffringer about  NAMTA's Art Advocacy Program. 

Take a short Art Advocacy Survey while you are there and receive an ART Matters pin (pictured).

Fact of the Week # 116

Art Therapy shows promise as a means of treating hard-to-treat symptoms of combat-related PTSD, such as avoidance and emotional numbing, while also addressing the underlying psychological situation that gives rise to these symptoms. From      Read all the Facts

Connect with your Peers with the Online Directory

Wondering who else is a NAMTA member? Looking for an email address? Search for NAMTA Members using the Online Membership Directory.

If you need help with the website or logging in, email Karen or call 704.892.6244.

Member News 

Last year, Golden Artist Colors became part of a partnership where they offered a professional painting instruction course for art teachers, focusing on helping teachers explore a range of painting media and techniques to reinforce or establish their individual voices.  A Master Teacher Program was presented at the Golden Artist Color facility, and it was called a “great success” by Mark Golden, CEO and Founder of Golden Artist Colors. Read full article

Weber Group is now part of AIMRep, an associated independent manufacturers representative group covering the US. 

Accent Arts in Palo Alto is relocating across the street to its longtime storage facility at 421 Jacaranda Lane and will also be changing its name to Accent Arts in the Alley to commemorate its new location in the one-way alley. 

Bob Ross has been nominated for a Shorty Award. a highly acclaimed recognition of the best content across the social media landscape. If you'd like to help Bob Ross Win a Shorty, click here

New Member


Cottage Mills
/ Jaymo has been helping creative people for over 25 years with its unique creative tools, notions, storage systems and artwork display products. Company email  2017 Art Materials World Exhibitor



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