International Art Materials Association

   eNEWS:  June 6, 2018 

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Building the Team

by Tom Shay, Profit Plus Inc.

In a recent article, Being the Team, I made a comparison of your employees and a sports team. The point of that article was to get past having “employees” and, instead, having a team that was customer focused.

I discussed the team being most effective when everyone gets together before the business opened each day and talks about short term activities (what needed to be done that day) along with long term activities (exercises to improve our sales skills).

The team meeting to start each day is a wise investment of 15 minutes of everyone’s time.

This month I want to discuss an investment in your team that pays tremendous dividends in sales, profits, and in controlling how much of your time is spent handling issues that should be handled by your team.

Just like the sports team model, we again look at a team “staff education” program. This is a 60-minute event held, minimally, once a month, and involving every individual in your business.

While the initial meetings should be conducted by you so your team experiences the format, the ensuing sessions should be conducted by members of your staff. This strategy helps to free up your time as well as helps your staff experience the challenges and time consumption of creating and teaching the class. It’ll also help your staff members be respectful of their fellow team members as they create and teach the class.

The focus of each meeting should be the things that most businesses take for granted; knowing the products and knowing how to sell.

Engage your staff with educational games. For example, give each person a list of 25 items you sell. The “game” is for them to name at least one additional item they could sell when the customer has asked for one of the items on the list. The person with the biggest list for each of the 25 items wins a prize. A nominal gift card to a nearby coffee shop works great.

Also included should be a discussion of your company’s policy and procedure manual. Your policies cover things like the dress code for your staff and how they are to handle scheduling vacation and unplanned absences. Your procedures are for tasks like writing special orders and how to load the truck for deliveries.

Your class should have a guideline that is printed and given to each attendee so they clearly see there is a schedule to be followed. It also prevents the leader from rambling and getting off task.

Just like in school, there should also be a written assessment. Research shows more information is retained when the individual is quizzed about what they have heard. Having a reward for each person who has a high score makes the class extra enjoyable.

The net benefit of this investment in your business is that it focuses on education instead of training. You are educating people and teaching them to think. After all, you did hire them because you thought they were smart and had skills. You need to give them opportunities to demonstrate those skills.

All of this requires a commitment by you as well as your requiring everyone in the business to participate.

The best part, however, is that after a few months of consistent education you will be amazed at how your employees have become sales, profit and productivity producing team members.

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 -

Jin Takemura

Jin Takemura passed away ‪last week, surrounded by his parents, his aunt, and his younger brother Don Takemura.

Don, who is President at Itoya, said that his brother was loved by many and will truly be missed, any that many may not have known of Jin's illness - maybe because of his pride, or his shyness, or perhaps he simply didn’t want people to worry about him or treat him differently.

Along with being on Itoya's Board of Directors, Jin held past positions of President, Vice President and General Manager, and Director of Sales and Marketing.


By the Numbers

In the 2018 Artists & Art Materials Survey, 48% of student artist's said they spent the largest percentage of their money on art supplies in the Local Art Supply store. Online Art Supply stores came in second at 14% in the student artist group.

Professional artists said they spent 39% in the Local Art Supply store, and 28% online. See this and more in the 2018 Artists & Art Materials Survey Report.

Notable Quote

Skill without imagination is craftsmanship and gives us many useful objects such as wickerwork picnic baskets. Imagination without skill gives us modern art. - Tom Stoppard

Sir Tom Stoppard OM CBE FRSL is a Czech-born British playwright and screenwriter. He has written prolifically for TV, radio, film and stage, and found prominence with plays.

Modern art includes artistic work produced during the period extending roughly from the 1860s to the 1970s and denotes the styles and philosophy of the art produced during that era. The term is usually associated with art in which the traditions of the past have been thrown aside in a spirit of experimentation. Pictured, The Scream, which has been described as an icon of modern art.


NAMTA Suppliers

Sign up for your 2019 Booth - fill out this form, or contact Rick Munisteri

Know an art supply retailer that is not a NAMTA Member? Let us know so we can make sure they know about Art Materials World 2019.  Send info to Karen or call 704-892-6244.

Art in Streets of San Antonio

La Antorcha de la Amistad - "The Torch of Friendship" (top right in picture)

A monumental abstract sculpture stands in Downtown San Antonio in the middle of a traffic rotary (the intersection of Losoya, Commerce, Market, and Alamo Streets), near the River Walk and the Alamo.

The sculpture stands at nearly 65 feet and weighs more than 45 tons. The medium is enameled iron. The artist of the sculpture is world-renowned Mexican sculptor, Sebastián, and was commissioned by a group of Mexican businessmen living in the United States and friends of Mexico. The sculpture was presented as a gift from the Mexican government to the City of San Antonio in 2002.

The artist himself describes the concepts of the sculpture a torch rising from the ground, and as a symbolization of two different actors—the United States of America and Mexico—running together. He said the sculpture has many points of view from many angles, which is how he sees the two nations' relationship. "Sometimes it is complex. Sometimes it is harmonious," he said. "But the two countries are always close and always with a complex friendship. That's what I am trying to express with this combination of forms."

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, and Health and Healing.

Let your customers know about this grant
Print this flyer and leave it at your checkout or hand out to your customers.

Or, put this link to your newsletters and social media.

Thank you Colart Americas and Fredrix Artist Canvas/Tara Materials for generous contributions to the Grant Program.

If you would like to sponsor the Art Advocacy Grant Program with a donation, please click here.

Public Art

Posted on Americans for the Arts ARTSBLOG - May 29, 2018

Welcoming Travelers to a Community
through the Arts

- by Betsey Sanpere

As the gateway to a city, airports are the first and last place that air travelers experience; they are a doorway for passengers and visitors alike. An airport has a broad range of functions, but its visual impact can run the gamut from a blank canvas to a celebration of sights and sounds."Leap." Artist: Lawrence Argent. Credit: Sacramento Airport.When I landed at Sacramento Airport, I was delighted to see the airport’s massive art installation, the 56-foot-tall red rabbit titled “Leap” that artist Lawrence Argent paired with an enormous suitcase. Stepping off a flight at San Antonio, I was enveloped by bold images and displays from the NCAA Final Four . . .  read more

Fact of the Week #171: 
Evidenced-based arts treatments for PTSD and depression could save more than $1,000 in healthcare costs per veteran, a total of $1.7 billion.




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

Member News

Jack Richeson is pleased to announce the acquisition of the SIENNA product line from Craftech International.  SIENNA produces innovative plein air pochade boxes and accessories along with a beautiful counterweight easel.  The product range can be viewed at Products will be available for shipment from Jack Richeson starting June 15, 2018.  Catalogs and website information are also expected by June 15, 2018 at


Alumicolor recently signed a licensing agreement with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation to be the exclusive provider of drafting tools featuring Frank Lloyd Wright’s signature and designs. Frank Lloyd Wright is widely recognized as one of the greatest architects of the modern era. His buildings and design philosophy still have a major influence on both students and professionals in the field who draw inspiration from his innovation and genius. Read entire press release.

  Are You Hiring Creatives?

The Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) offers more than 40 preeminent degree programs designed to prepare students to excel in creative careers.

Opportunities exist for you to recruit global SCAD talent on campus - virtually, or in your market.
For more information, email [email protected].

Welcome New Member

Unison Colour is located in Tarset, Bellingham in the UK.

Unison makes premium quality artist pastels from their workshops in the Northumberland National Park, and they are regarded as one of the best pastel brands in the world today.

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



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Scaling-Up a Family Business
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Lingering Limbo: Businesses Uncertain about Tax Law Impact
Five months after massive federal tax changes became law, many small business owners still don’t know whether they’ll be winners or losers...

These are the 4 Different Work Styles and How to Work with Each
Experts have figured out that everyone falls into one of these styles. Once you understand them, you can figure out how everyone can get along…

Consumers Respond to #Hashtags, not @Handles
Marketers are still navigating how to best use social media to connect with consumers, and as it turns out, hashtags are more effective than handles...

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