International Art Materials Association

   eNEWS:  April 11,  2018 

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The Biggest Advantage of A Small Business:

Being A Small Business
By Tom Shay
Profit Plus Solutions
The difference between a big business and small business is often defined by the number of locations, number of employees and the amount of revenue.

Knowing this, most NAMTA retailers and suppliers are likely an easy fit into the small business category.

Years ago, I remember hearing a lesson about small businesses trying to be like big businesses. The story told of a small business that carefully monitored the ordering of inventory using what many of us know as the “onesie-twosie” method. It was simply ordering only enough inventory to cover your needs until the sales representative called on your business again.

The story told of the business growing to the point where the owner said, “We have made good money and have cash on hand. Now we can order like the big businesses”. The moral explained in the lesson was asking, “Why would you work to make money performing as a small business and then decide you want to change the way you order?”

There are, however, situations (ordering inventory is not one) in which we should make an effort to mimic a large business. The most obvious is having processes in place for many of the things we do. These processes ensure consistency for your business and, more importantly, a consistent experience for your customers.

It also means the owner and manager of the business are not constantly running around redoing some jobs but instead can spend more of their time taking care of owner/manager responsibilities. It can also mean working fewer hours each week.

The one word of caution about creating processes is that you do not take out the personal experience a small business can have with customers . . . something that’s much more difficult for a big business. 

A customer of a small business hearing, “I’m sorry but our customer service policy is …”, is likely to soon be looking for somewhere else to do business.  Your advantage in being small is stocking or obtaining items your customers request and listening/responding to their needs.
In today’s business world technology and automation have often greatly reduced human interaction.  But now, more than ever, the small business has the opportunity to have that human interaction and that’s a significant advantage vs. big business.

What’s your biggest advantage as a small business? It is being a small business and we need to act like a small business more often.


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 -

By the Numbers

In the 2018 Artists & Art Materials Study Survey Report, when asked, "How much did you spend on art supplies this year versus the previous year?", the largest percentage of participants (48%) spent more on art supplies this year than the previous year.

Notable Quote

“The key is, no matter what story you tell, make your buyer the hero.” 
- Chris Brogan

Chris Brogan is an American author, journalist, marketing consultant, and speaker about social media marketing.


Art Materials World

  • Sign up for your 2019 Booth.
  • Submit your booth application by this Friday to get first round placement.
  • Call Rick Munisteri to discuss - 704.892-6244, or email [email protected].

2018 Dallas Show Winners

See who a group of Retail Judges chose as award recipients.

2018 Dallas Photo Album

The Album is also available on NAMTA's New 365 Mobile App under the NAMTA Info icon, and on the Home Page of

2018 Dallas Digital Convention Directory

Access the 2018 Show Directory at your convenience. Also available to on the Home Page of If you need help logging in, contact Karen.


Art Advocacy

NAMTA Art Advocacy Grants will be given for programs that promote and foster the visual and creative arts in one of the following categories:
  • Public Art
  • Art Education
  • The Military
  • Health and Healing
Application will be available May 1 . . . see details

Let your customers know about this grant.  Print this flyer and leave it at your checkout, or attach the PDF to your newsletters and social media.

Donate to the Art Advocacy Grant Program.

How Does Art Therapy Help People With Autism?

By Lisa Jo Rudy | Reviewed by Joel Forman, MD
Updated July 27, 2017

Why Use Art Therapy to Treat Autism?

One of the hallmarks of autism spectrum disorders is difficulty with verbal and social communication. In some cases, people with autism are literally nonverbal and unable to use speech to communicate at all. In other cases, people with autism have a hard time processing language and turning it into smooth, easy conversation. People with autism may also have a tough time reading faces and body language. As a result, they may have difficulty with telling a joke from a statement or sarcasm from sincerity.

Meanwhile, many people with autism have an extraordinary ability to think visually "in pictures." Many can turn that ability to good use in processing memories, recording images and visual information, and expressing ideas through drawing or other artistic media.

Art is a form of expression that requires little or no verbal interaction that can open doors to communication.

All too often, it's assumed that a nonverbal person or a person with limited verbal capabilities is incompetent in other areas. As a result, people on the autism spectrum may not be exposed to opportunities to use artistic media, or the opportunities may be too challenging in other ways (in large class settings, for example).

Art therapy offers an opportunity for therapists to work one-on-one with individuals on the autism spectrum to build a wide range of skills in a manner which may be more comfortable (and thus more effective) than spoken language.


The arts contribute $763.6 billion to the U.S. economy, more than agriculture, transportation, or warehousing. The arts employ 4.9 million workers across the country with earnings of more than $370 billion. Furthermore, the arts exported $20 billion more than imported, providing a positive trade balance.  See more on this FACT



Visit for news, resources, and facts about Advocating for the Arts.

New Product

American made Ruby Red Paints, Inc. now offers three new UV/Blacklight Theme Kits. Each kit will easily paint thirty full faces. The products are FDA/cosmetic compliant with a child toy safety rating. They come in three versions Cool Colors, Warm Colors and Top Colors. . . 

Read more about UV/Blacklight Theme Kits


NAMTA has been contacted by an Art Conservator at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts who is researching the use of Foam Boards (e.g. Fome-cor) as an artist’s support from the 1950’s-1980’s. They told NAMTA that it has been hard for them to find any information on the availability of foam boards from this period because they’ve not been able to find an archive of old Art Supplies Catalogs.

If you have any suggestions, or if you have any old art material catalogs from the 50s, 60s, 70s or 80s that have information on this product, and would be willing to share them, please contact Karen in the NAMTA office. Thank you.

Welcome New Members

Art on the Columbia
supports and contributes to the community of artists by offering professional fine art supplies, hosting and supporting shows, events, classes and contests, and creating an artist’s oasis and destination spot.

Smart Trading LLC is an online retailer and distributors of USA Made art materials for Asia markets. "YOU’ RE BRILLIANT. WE’ RE SMART. IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES."

NAMTA regularly searches the web for articles and stories that may be of interest to members.


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There are 4 positions currently posted by NAMTA Member Companies on the Jobs page.
NAMTA Members - post your available jobs for free. Fill out this form


New Artists & Art Materials Study

The 2018 Study,
packaged in 3 reports, included Tables and Trending, the Artists & Art Materials Survey Report, and Artists & Art Materials Survey Comments.

All three reports are FREE to download for NAMTA members.


NAMTA 356 Mobile App

The NAMTA App is not just for Art Materials World anymore. It's 365 days a year and brings you much of the same information you can find on

Go to the App Store and download NAMTA. Contact Karen with membership directory updates.

Take a look at this form and see if you'd like to answer the questions to be a Spotlighted Member in an upcoming issue of eNEWS.  This is a great way to let your colleagues know a little about you and your company and products.




Questions, email Karen or call 704.892.6244