International Art Materials Association

    eNews:  July 17, 2019

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July 31st is the last day to apply . . .

Members - there is still time to help Namta get the word out.

Please include information about this program in your Emails, Tweets, Facebook page, etc., and encourage those who are using art “to make a difference in people’s lives” to apply for one of the 2019 Grants.

Namta’s Grant Program provides a great way to demonstrate the effort you or your association are making to support Art Advocacy in your community. The program awards grants to applicants who support the arts in any of four categories:

  • Public Art
  • Art Education
  • The Military
  • Health and Healing

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Thank you to our 2019 Grant Sponsors

Brand Aid: How to Build Brand Equity
by Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender
Branding is a buzzword that’s been around for a long time, and with good reason. Your brand and its perception in your community are critical to your store’s success, but along with that buzz there is also a lot of confusion.  Everyone talks about branding – there are a gazillion branding books on Amazon alone – yet there are still a lot of questions about what it is and why brand equity is so important. Branding isn’t hard; it’s easy when you understand what it is, and what it is not.
You may have spent hours designing the perfect logo for your store, but that’s not your brand. You know the red star that appears in every Macy’s ad? It’s a logo, not a brand. Your brand is more than your website, your blog, or your presence on social media. It’s more than your ads, brochures, business cards, bags and everything else you use to put your store name out there. Your brand is even more than the name you chose to hang over your front door. Each of these things are critically important to your brand identity, but they are the components used to build your brand, not the brand itself.
A brand is the emotional connection – the physical reaction – customers feel when they hear your store name, see your logo, visit your website or walk in your front door. It’s the concept you own in the mind of the customer, it’s the experience they can get only from you. The best way to describe a brand was coined by Adrienne Weiss, CEO of Adrienne Weiss Corporation: “A brand as a country, complete with its own language, rituals, culture and customs.”  We’re willing to bet that your store also has its own language, rituals, culture and customs, too. Using this definition we’ve created a checklist of things to do to help you build your brand:
Step 1
Write your store’s story
This step sounds easy, but it’s not. It’s hard to write about the things that got you to where you are today, but you have to do it.  Start by writing why you decided to open a store. Write what’s unique about you and your store; talk about how you make a difference in your customers’ lives and in your community. Make it a fun adventure people will want to read. If you get stuck, ask your family and store associates – and maybe even customers – for help.
When your story is finished, spread the word about who you are through your in-store signing, on your website, your social medias, marketing, advertising – anywhere and everywhere you can.
Step 2
Turn your store’s story into a “60 Second Elevator Commercial”
We used to kick ourselves after someone asked us what we do and we’d reply, “We’re professional speakers.” Afterward we’d think of all the cool things we should have said. Now we say, “We are consumer anthropologists. We study consumers in their natural habitats and share what we find in our keynote and seminar presentations.” So if you’ve ever answered, “I own an art supply store” when asked what you do, then you know that feeling of missed opportunity. Write a 60 second condensed version of your store’s story and you’ll never find yourself in that position again.
Everyone associated with your store, from associates to teachers contracted to do classes, must memorize it as well. The best way to build solid brand equity is to tell the same story over and over.
Step 3
Create a screening process that’s unique to your brand
Branding requires discipline and it requires consistency. Every, single thing – the smallest details, from bags to type fonts, need to be screened to ensure they properly tell your brand story. So, think of who you are and what you want representing your store, and imagine a giant window screen. If the item or service you are considering is in alignment with your store’s story – and would easily pass through your brand screen – then go ahead and use it. Clear as mud? Here’s an example: Home Depot is widely known for orange – it’s the retailers brand color – so if a supplier offered employee aprons in red at a great price would they fit through Home Depot’s brand screen? Nope. Because even though they are a great deal, Home Depot’s color is orange – any other color doesn’t fit with its brand identity.
Here are some of the things you need to put through your store’s unique brand screen:
  • Choose a signature color(s) and use it everywhere.  If you chose a particular shade of blue as your signature color, then this is the color to be used in everything that represents your brand. Starbucks signature color is green, Ace Hardware’s is red, Tiffany’s is a trademarked shade of robin’s egg blue, and McDonald’s has the golden arches. Any other color in each of these examples would be unacceptable – they’d never make it through the retailer’s screening process.
We met a retailer whose signature color was red. Her store was well known for its bright red shopping bags; people saved them and carried them around town – they became walking billboards for her store. One Christmas she decided it would be fun to try silver shopping bags. Big mistake. She had to rebuild that part of her brand identity. The moral of the story is this: even if you are offered a good deal on something in a color that’s not your signature color, walk away.
  • Choose your type font carefully. Use both upper and lower case letters (all caps can be tough on older eyes) and make sure that your font is easy to read. Some fonts that look great in a 14 point become hard to read when blown up on your store front sign.
  • Bags, boxes and gift certificates. You run a unique and upscale store. While it might be easy to purchase plastic bags similar to those used in grocery stores, that’s not who you are. There are plenty of choices available through a variety of store supply companies. And you can always jazz up plain bags in your signature color with custom stickers. Same thing goes for boxes.
Plastic gift cards presented in a paper sleeve might work for big box retailers, but you need to be creative in your presentation. Victoria’s Secret nestles gift cards in scented tissue paper, inside a shiny box wrapped with a big bow, an infant and toddler retail store places their gift cards in a baby bottle that’s decorated with colorful ribbons. Dress yours up in a package that uniquely represents what you sell.
  • Bring your brand to the sales floor. Your sales floor is your largest brand-building piece. There isn’t a single part of your store (restrooms included) that’s not part of your brand identity. Take an objective look around: Have you included your signature colors? Are you using quality fixtures? Does your signing utilize your brand’s font? Are your store associates easily recognizable? Each element plays a big part in defining your brand culture.
  • Create one-of-a-kind in-store experiences. Customers will stay close to your store if you give them a reason to stay close. Classes, in-store events and clubs are all good reasons. We love Shoppertainment, that wonderful intersection where shopping and entertainment meet. Build your brand and your visibility by hosting one MAJOR and two to three MINOR in-store events in your store each and every month of the year. A major event attracts new customers to your store; minor events, like classes and demos, attract smaller numbers of shoppers. Both are important. If you are fresh out of ideas, drop us an e-mail and we’ll send you 10 customizable events and templates.
  • Build a strong brand presence online. In the past, shoppers let their fingers do the walking through the phonebook; today they visit your website. These days a website is not an option. You need a real website as in – websites have become the equivalent of business cards.
Your website is also your greeter. Make sure that it’s consistent with your brand image, and a good example of what shoppers can expect when they visit your store.
The photos and information you post on your website, social medias and email blasts also represent your brand. Think about what you post before you post it. Check your spelling and test links to make sure they work.
And by the way, your email address says a lot about who you are. Addresses from Yahoo, Gmail or AOL are convenient, but they aren’t professional. You need an email address that comes from your own domain name.
  • Become a shameless self-promoter. Other than word-of-mouth, the cheapest way to build your brand is through PR – public relations. That’s why you should send out a press release for everything of interest that that you do. The media wants – needs – your input! Did you know that the majority of stories that appear in your local medias came from a one-page press release sent by someone like you who had a story to tell? You can build brand equity for the cost of a single stamp or a quicker than you can hit “send” email. Drop us an e-mail us for our easy-to-follow “How to Write a Press Release” instruction sheet.
If you’re too busy to handle the public relations by yourself, then promote someone to the exalted position of “Director of Public Relations”. Buy your new director business cards printed with his/her name and this important title. This person will be your media contact who will collect the names of local editors and reporters, write and distribute your press releases, be your store ambassador at local functions and Chamber of Commerce events, and more.
  • Appoint an official “Keeper of the Brand” and give that person ultimate control over what’s purchased and what’s not. Before anything that represents the store can be implemented it must be approved by the KOTB. If it’s cool with the Keeper, it’s okay to move forward.
Here’s the thing: You work in a creative industry, so you’re likely to get sick and tired of your brand before it begins to automatically register with your customers. Resist the urge to change your logo, colors or tagline – anything that is considered part of your brand identity. You need to marry your brand!

Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender are professional speakers, retail strategists, authors and consultants whose client list reads like a “Who’s Who” in business.

KIZER & BENDER’s observations are widely featured in national newspapers, national and international industry and consumer publications, and on radio and television programs across the U.S. You can learn more at


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Art Matters - Art Advocacy

A Plan for Art Therapy for Vets, from a Veteran Marine

Mission to Art

Jessica Rambo, a United States Marine Corps veteran, is pursuing her dream of traveling with her tribe, and providing art to the veteran community.

A student at the University of North Carolina – Greensboro, Rambo uses her ten years of service in the Marine Corps to inspire her work and her passion to continue to serve. She has traveled the globe in search of adventures that capture the essence of hardworking service members and a diverse range of cultures and is now ready to take her family along for the ride.

Driven by the passionate belief that every veteran deserves a safe space for families to come together and bond, Rambo and her family have collectively created Painted Buffalo Studio to bring art to the veteran community.

Currently the Rambo family is converting a 1997 Blue Bird School bus into a traveling studio that she’ll use to help veterans anywhere.

“Some are in homeless shelters, some are in retirement homes, some are in the hospital and they can't come to take my classes, but I can bring my classes,” she said. “Hopefully, it will give them another tool in their tool box instead of drinking or drugs or getting into trouble. ”

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"Drawing is a powerful way to learn, a new study finds.  It’s better than writing notes, viewing images, or listening to lectures. In the study, students who drew information remembered nearly twice as much as students who wrote it. Drawing taps into visual, kinesthetic and linguistic area of the brain at the same time. So information is processed in three different ways establishing more connections across the brain’s neural network – and encoding learning more deeply."

from the article, The Powerful Effects of Drawing on Learning - 

The Question Is . . .

Members - answer this question before July 28 to be in a drawing to win an Art Matters T-shirt.

 ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Where on can you find Exhibitor Product Presentation & Demo videos that were taken at Art Materials World 2019 in San Antonio?

At the end of the year, whether you've won a bi-weekly drawing or not, everyone who has answered correctly will be entered in a final  drawing to win a $100 Gift Card.
You will receive one entry in the final drawing for each correct answer you have submitted.

One answer per question please.

The winner of an Art Matters T-shirt for July 3rd's question was
Neil Capozzi, Stuart Art Supplies and Studio in Stuart Florida.

Welcome New Members

Arnold Grummer's ® offers paper making kits and supplies for home, studio, classroom and community programs.
New in 2019: Updated product line and STEAM labeling.
New in 2020: STEAM Activity Sets, STEAM Lesson Plans and Resources online.
Company email: [email protected]

Arnold Grummer's ® is a 2020 Art Materials World Exhibitor

The Art Factor will be a new retail store in St. George, Utah, with plans to open this September. It wil  be a place where amateur artists, proficient artists, and crafters will gather to learn, browse, and purchase products. The store will offer an array of artists' materials, supplies, crafters' needs, and classes to educate.

Visit their website and send them a message -

Industry News

On July 4, 2019, Urania Christy Tarbet, Founder of International Association of Pastel Societies - IAPS, passed away. (Pastel portrait by Leslie B. DeMille - right.)

The legacy of Urania will always be tied to her founding of IAPS. Those who knew her personally were profoundly touched by being in her presence, but her lasting legacy will always be to those working in pastel. IAPS was her dream, and her mission of advancing pastel as a fine art medium continues through the efforts of all of you. Urania's familyThis is the message they wish to share:

The family of Urania Christy Tarbet say farewell to one of the greatest mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers, friends mentors, teachers, writers, authors, artists, and inspiration to others.

The Founding of IAPS
by Urania Christy Tarbet

It was a warm summer evening in the year of 1994, when the sky was filled with shining stars, my husband Bob and I were enjoying the beauty of nature as we sat on the deck of our Lazy UB Ranch, it happened. My pastel art dream came to the surface through pure frustration after having so many walls come between my art and the ability to show the world . . . read full story.



A Notable Quote 

“There is no finish line. There are only mile markers.”

- Michael Ventura - founder of Sub Rosa

Namta Staff recently found these business articles on the Web that may be of interest to you and your staff.

3 Myths That Feed the Elephant


by Marlene Chism is a consultant, international speaker and author. Connect with Marlene via LinkedInFacebook and Twitter and at

Passion and purpose bring people together even through conflict, but only to a point. When conflict starts to brew, it’s the leader’s job to address the elephant, yet leaders often use all kinds of tactics to avoid conversations that could prevent costly mistakes.

I’ve seen everything from changing job descriptions, stripping titles, hiring a new boss to deal with the incompetent employee, to shifting a non-performer to another department to avoid a performance conversation rather than face the problem issue head-on.

The result of allowing or avoiding can be traced back to three culturally acceptable myths that we all seem to buy into. This article exposes the three myths that keeps the growing elephant unexposed.

Myth No. 1
We’re all adults

"We're all adults" is a common phrase that is said when a leader doesn't want to address an elephant in the room. While we might all agree that everyone is past puberty, what we fail to acknowledge is that age has very little to do with emotional maturity or self-awareness. Adults at every age do things that are very immature, reactive and emotionally irresponsible. Look at the news. Adults rampage workplaces with weapons. Incivility affects well-being and performance in every kind of industry. Political leaders resort to petty name-calling on social media, exhibiting very low levels of self-control and strategic thinking

What to do: Stop saying “we are all adults.” Shame is not a management tactic. Course-correction is. Look for observable behaviors that either align with your mission or misalign, and bring that behavior into the conversation to course-correct the unacceptable behaviors and elevate the professionalism of your department.

Myth No. 2
We have a job to do

We all have jobs to do. That’s a fact. The other fact is that adults lose focus when they feel threatened, wronged or misunderstood; the "job to do" takes a back seat to "protecting my turf." The only time focus remains in job situations where focus is imperative to sustaining or protecting life; think 911 call centers, police, fire, and medical.

But rest assured, after the emergency, workplace drama ensues, even though there is still a “job to do.” That’s when the bickering, back-stabbing and gossip starts to undermine real teamwork. 

Underneath the “We have a job to do” slogan is one of identity. I’ve worked with countless professionals who have a belief that their identity can override their human nature.

You will hear something like, "We are educators, we are health care professionals, or we are C-suite executives" and it is followed with "and we have a job to do." The fact is, sometimes we resent our co-workers, occasionally feel jealous and sometimes secretly enjoy someone else's failure. Most of us simply don’t want to face our shadow.

Focusing on the job at hand is a good way to temporarily refocus your team, but they will still struggle if they can’t make peace with their own humanity, which includes emotions and feelings... wanted and unwanted, good and bad. 

What to do: Don’t let your need to keep your professional identity intact keep you from facing this very human reality. Notice your thoughts, feelings and emotions. Choose to confront the shadow side of yourself first so you can clearly help your team do the same. Yes, you are a nurse, educator, CEO or physician. So what? You are also a human, and humans are on a continuous journey of personal growth.

Myth No. 3:
It’s all about ____________

Fill in that blank with the following: customer, mission, client, patient or student.  Again, reminding the team that it's all about ________ works as a temporary reminder of our shared purpose, but trust me, when someone feels ostracized, criticized or disenfranchised, the focus on your mission, vision, values or customer takes a back seat to looking out for number one. 

Perhaps that’s why 12 cardiologists left the Heart Center of Northeast Georgia Medical Center for Northside Hospital. I suspect either someone wasn’t listening or there was a conversation that needed to happen that didn’t.

Purpose, passion and reclaiming “Why” drives clarity and brings people together, but only to a point. Even mission-driven employees who "love the cause" eventually disengage if they lose their connection to themselves and to their fellow employees. Aversion to inner drama eventually overrides the desire to make the difference, achieve the purpose or fulfill the mission.

What to do: Build an environment of connection. Connection is the glue that holds purpose and passion in place. By connection, I don't mean kumbaya naivete or a head-in-the-sand Pollyanna outlook. I mean civility -- talking directly to the person with whom you have the beef. Teach employees to talk to their co-workers and counterparts instead of running to the boss to complain. Confront and course-correct.


Even though we are all adults, we all have a job to do, and we agree on our purpose, unaddressed issues feed the elephants and take up all the oxygen in the room. As a leader you must confront your own humanity by dealing with your emotional landscape first, so that you can address small issues that turn into costly mistakes.

As the Workforce Ages, Phased Retirement Grows
The classic retirement scenario used to involve an employee counting down to age 65. For many, that future now looks very different...

Your Step-by-Step Guide to Overcoming a Business Crisis
As a business owner, you must be prepared for a crisis. You’ll encounter any number of setbacks ranging from mild dustups of confusion and frustration all the way up to category five storms that threaten your company’s very survival...

Hired The Wrong Person? Here's How To Clean Up The Mess
If you determine it’s time to let an employee go, when and how you go about this process is important for many reasons: legally, emotionally, and to keep your reputation intact…

3 Easy Ways You Can Save for Retirement--While Still Growing (and Investing in) Your Business
Building your business and saving for retirement might not seem compatible--but there are immediate benefits to long-term planning...


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