Archive for the ‘In Your Store’ Category

The Art Bar at Kittles Art Supply

Thursday, November 1st, 2018
Catherine Monahon, Copywriter, MacPherson’s

Like most of us in the art supply business, John Kittle wears many hats. He is the owner, manager, lead art teacher, and lead framer at Kittles Art Supply in Show Low, Arizona, nestled in the White Mountains in a tightly knit rural community. Like many mom and pop shops, moms, pops and other family members help the business survive and thrive. Running a business in a sparsely populated area presents its own set of challenges; John points out his three core business strategies: selling art supplies, offering classes (including a summer camp) and running a custom frame shop. Catering to a small community means seizing every opportunity– and creating your own opportunities. Here is where the Art Bar comes in.

MacPherson’s Account Manager Kim Cichy clued us in to an innovative try-table that John designed, built and recently installed in the shop. The experience table—or Art Bar—acts as a bridge; an overlap between the customers who frequent classes and those who spend more time in the store, a connection between the products on the shelves and the experience of creating art in your own home. The station has also increased foot traffic and positively impacted sales.

John, who is an artist and designer in his own right, designed the Art Bar on his computer with a CAD program and then collaborated with a “builder-friend,” bringing the concept to life. The bar has been designed with both the customers’ and the staff’s needs in mind. For staff, it hasa repository for replacing the product, and items can’t fall off of it and make necessary mess. Angled like a drafting table for a comfortable drawing or painting position with a catchment to prevent pens, bushes or markers from rolling away, the bar has cubbies below that stock a wide variety of surfaces for customers to select from. The flat surface at the top of the bar features holes that house various containers of brushes, markers, gel pens and more.

Curating The Menu

Staff members become Art Bar-istas of sorts—they tidy the bar, notice what works and what doesn’t. The incorporation of a Buddha Board was key. The board reacts to water, allowing customers to experiment with different brushes allowing them the opportunity to make an informed decision on their purchase.  Testing brushes and experiencing synthetic vs. natural hair, different shapes, and handle lengths- with no messy clean up, paint stains or dirty tools makes the buying experience fun and educational.

A sample menu of the most popular products for testing out at the Art Bar include:

As customers use items at the Art Bar staff maintain the supplies and switch out materials as needed. The little shelves underneath with extra materials serve as a repository for staff to pull from. If the Art Bar inspires someone to ask to try a specific product that isn’t there, John pulls the item from the shelf, no problem. This “go for it” attitude results in positive experiences and translates to sales.

The Regulars

Who frequents the bar?

“The coloring trend is still big here—so we get groups of older women who love to color coming in and they beeline for the station. I put out differents sets for them to try on Johanna Basford coloring canvases and other surfaces. The station has made a positive impact on sales because people can get to know new sets and bring them home.”

While the crafty retirees are in and out almost daily, the Art Bar is just as popular with teens. On Fridays in their community, schools are either a half day or not in session at all. John has used this as an opportunity to host after-school art classes; after class is over, the “adolescent types” congregate around the table to continue creating and socializing. The low-stakes concept of an experience station invites people to relax and get to know products outside of a structured class environment and without the pressure or confusion of standing in an aisle trying to make a decision.

The key motivation for creating the Art Bar was allowing customers to explore different surfaces including mixed media paper, Ampersand boards and various sketchbooks. As you can see by the menu, it has turned into much more.

Do you have something like an Art Bar in your store? A kids area? Other innovative sales tools? Share your story with our community. Email us at artdogblog (@) MacPhersonArt.com

 

Ready, Set, Go: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday & Giving Tuesday

Thursday, October 25th, 2018
Cassie Brehmer, Midwest Account Manager & Catherine Monahon, Copywriter, MacPherson’s

Mark your calendars! While you’re focusing on sales and promotions for the winter holidays, keep these three retail-related holidays on your radar. We’ve put together key links, hashtags and merchandising ideas so that you can easily integrate Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Giving Tuesday into your promotions next month.

Black Friday, November 23rd

Black Friday is the informal name for the day following Thanksgiving, the fourth Thursday of November. Traditionally recognized as the beginning of the holiday shopping season in the United States, Black Friday is an opportunity to reach a wide audience with deep discounts.

While this “holiday” is often utilized by larger nation-wide retailers to have “blow out” sales, in recent years some companies, like REI, have taken a different approach; not participating due to the perception that the focus on shopping takes away from the otherwise family-oriented holiday weekend. To keep your Black Friday sale family friendly, consider holding a small event with a family theme in addition to a sale. Choose a project like rock painting, alcohol ink on yupo, or ornament marbling.

  • Merchandising Tips
    • Consider having one or two items on closeout pricing. For great deals, check the October SuperMarkdowns list on the Macpherson’s homepage in the Tools drop down menu.
    • Alternatively, be a little cheeky and offer your own version of a Black Friday sale: a sale on all of your black paints, papers, sketchbooks, pens, markers, spray paint, etc.
  • Social Media
    • Black Friday is a great day to post on social media—in 2017 more than 130 million people discussed Black Friday on Instagram and Facebook…that’s more than the Superbowl!
    • Announce your holiday hours and any promotions your followers can expect over the coming weeks.
    • Hashtags: #BlackFriday #deals #giveaway #sale #Christmas #Thanksgiving #Retail #ShopSmall

Small Business Saturday, November 24th

Small Business Saturday is a day promoted by American Express and the United States Small Business Administration as part of the Shop Small movement—a nationwide effort to celebrate small businesses and strengthen communities.

The “Shop Small Studio” is full of free, easy-to-download promotional materials, ideas for events and tips for effective merchandising. To participate in Small Business Saturday and access these resources, you do not need to be affiliated with American Express. For access to even more planning resources, register your business here and receive promotional goodies such as stickers, balloons and tote bags.

  • Merchandising Tips
    • Feature locally made products on the day of, as well as store merchandise like t-shirts, mugs or tote bags.
    • Invite local artisans to set up a booth in your store.
    • Host a creative event for children or adults like “Make a Wishlist” where children can walk around the store and write down which items make it on their dream list for the holidays.
    • Utilize the Shop Small Studio to create custom signage.
  • Social Media
    • Share your story. Reconnect. Show your community why you love being a part of your neighborhood, and how valuable this season is to your business. Honest communication and a humble thank you will make a meaningful impression, differentiating yourself as a small local business that truly cares.
    • Hashtags: #ShopSmall #smallbizsat #smallbusinesssaturday

Giving Tuesday, November 27th

#GivingTuesday is “a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.”

Giving Tuesday is a great opportunity to build relationships with an organization or cause that your customers care about. Register here and download the media toolkit. Click here to see what other retailers have done in the past.

  • Merchandising Tip
    • Get wishlists from local community centers or arts organizations and set up donation boxes so your customers can do a little good while shopping for gifts
    • Poll customers or staff to help choose an organization to contribute to that is meaningful to your community
  • Social Media
    • Hashtags: The creators of #GivingTuesday say, “Create your own hashtag. We’ve seen #GivingZooDay, #GivingTreesDay, #GivingShoesDay, #iGiveCatholic, and more. Have fun creating your own twist on #GivingTuesday.”

#GivingTuesday even has an extremely well thought out social media toolkit with pre-written posts to help you post online. Tag @givingtues in your posts.

Super(natural) Merchandising: Window Display Or Portal To Another World?

Friday, October 19th, 2018

Last month, we showcased budget-friendly strategies for eye-catching window displays, with a focus on creating a unique experience and a call for submissions from retailers who are proud of their windows. The holidays offer opportunity for an extra dose of creativity, and it helps to have enthusiastic staff who take initiative. We are pleased to share a creative window just in time for Halloween: this Stranger Things display grabbed attention last year at JWS Art Supplies, in Great Barrington, MA, a quaint tourist town near the Berkshires. JWS has a reputation for having fun window displays that allows them to get extra creative when their favorite holiday comes around, bending some of the rules most adhere to—this window doesn’t feature art supplies, but it draws traffic all the same!

Stranger Things is a popular show on Netflix in its third season. Set in the fictional town Hawkins, Indiana, in the 1980s, the science-fiction horror series has somewhat of a cult following. Think synthy, spooky and supernatural, or, as it is called on the show, the “upside down.” The story revolves around a group of kids’ experiences after their friend disappears and a girl with otherworldly powers mysteriously appears shortly after.

For people who know Stranger Things, it’s an instant draw and a photo opportunity with the lifesize “statement piece”—the Demigorgon, a supernatural demon on the show that staff member Meghan Spaniol recreated with a mannequin, chicken wire, newspaper, paint and a lot of hot glue. For people who have no idea what Stranger Things is, the window is a conversation waiting to happen. From the box of waffles to the Christmas lights, every prop ties into the story.

“We’re known to have a lot of displays in our town. What’s funny is our window doesn’t usually have a lot of art merchandise,” manager Emily Levine muses. “We use the art supplies to actually create the window displays, and those bring people in. Our repeat customers love the window, look forward to it and remember it year to year. New people come in and say, I didn’t know you were here! I love your Halloween set up!”

Logistics for creating a display can feel overwhelming, especially during the holidays. Catering to staff interests and skill sets and using inexpensive or free materials helps.

“We use a lot of supplies that we carry, and we don’t budget much for them. We probably didn’t spend more than $50 on this window, I would say probably even less. We have to be pretty resourceful since we change our window so often, about every two months or every month if it is a holiday. The mannequin we got for free because somebody was getting rid of it, and other things are usually made out of cardboard and foam core scraps. Our biggest expense would be lights, and fabric, which we use a lot so we have a pretty good stock of them.”

Tying In Product & Incentivizing with a Monthly Challenge

Balance is key: while other-worldly windows that draw on pop culture are a great way to create an experience for customers, bringing that imaginative spark to a window that focuses on a specific product line or targets a specific artistic community can drive sales.

Another JWS hit from last year was a window featuring giant sculptures (something of a crowd pleaser in stores) of COPIC markers accompanied by a jumbo illustration done by Meghan. This display is inspired by Instagram challenges and tuned into the social media following for COPIC markers. Staff created a monthly challenge for customers to boost sales of specific color lines.

“Customer participation is growing quickly for the COPIC challenge. They receive 15% off the bundle of three markers when they buy it for the challenge and if they tag us on social media they get a discount on any item the next time they come in the store. We display the art they make in the store if people bring it in, or they can also tag us on Instagram to enter. If they win they get the next month’s bundle for free. It’s picking up each time we do it, and with any new thing you’re trying it takes some time.”

Your windows can be a creative playground, a connection to your social media presence and an open invitation. We look forward to learning more from our community and seeing what the holidays have in store.

Do you have a window you are proud of? A monthly challenge your store has championed? Share it with us at artdogblog (@) macphersonart.com. Or better yet, document your next window display design process, from ideation to execution. We’d love to celebrate your team and amplify your expertise.

Venerable Vintages: The Ghosts of Products Past

Friday, October 5th, 2018

An early iteration of the Prismacolor logo; over time the rainbow arch has simplified to an iconic prismatic line.

Catherine Monahon, Copywriter, MacPherson’s

Introducing Venerable Vintages, a monthly feature of archaic art supplies. Anything from art industry ephemera to unlikely heirlooms; Venerable Vintages is a chance to indulge in the art supply nerd in all of us. To submit a collection or special item, send images and descriptions to us at artdogblog (@) macphersonart.com.

Many of us have a soft spot for vintage labels, first edition products or timeless typography from “back in the day.” The classic designs, often done by hand and screen printed onto the package, are in harmony with the contents. Aging art supplies are more than rusty compasses or dried out paint pans – they can tell a story, too.

This month we are taking a look at the collection of Prairie Clark, manager of I’ve Been Framed in Portland Oregon. I’ve Been Framed (@ivbnframed) is known for buying, selling and loving vintage art supplies. Prairie, who has been at the store for 24 years, is known for her collection, which includes the iterations of the Prismacolor logo, from a rainbow band to a spiral of color to a colorful gradient with packaging that features original colored pencil artwork. We took an interest in the Magic Art See and Draw Copier – an ingeniously simple predecessor to the projector.

Prairie’s enthusiasm for all things vintage is so effusive that on her birthday her coworkers gifted her a display case so that she could show off her treasures properly. They call it “The Museum,” and repeat customers beeline to it whenever they visit to see if anything has changed.

“I love having a little display case so we can rotate the supplies. It’s always fun to hear the stories – my grandpa had that one, or I had that one in college. Back then, all of that stuff was hand done by artists; that’s another element I love. Even the packaging and logos were designed by artists.

This set of Speedball linoleum cutters, a recent acquisition that Prairie rescued from an estate sale, feature designs clearly made from lino prints (we have a set at the MacPherson’s Emeryville office, and up close you can see the carving marks!).

There may be more to getting giddy over old art supplies than nostalgia; classics often resurface in the next trend or craze. For instance, the hand-lettering trend can rekindle interest in calligraphy supplies.

Stay tuned for our feature next month, where we explore a handful of items from MacPherson’s archives, and send us images of your favorite oldies!

Paperwork People Actually Want

Thursday, September 27th, 2018
Cassie Brehmer, Midwest Account Manager, MacPherson’s

This holiday season gift your customers with basic instructions for simple activities and projects for all ages. These Activity Sheets are especially helpful for aunts, uncles and grandparents who may be seeing their young family members for the only time this year. Plenty of easy DIY projects can be found online; all you have to do is assemble the desired items in-store in an easily shoppable layout, highlight that you have a FREE activity sheet, and provide an example of a finished project for reference. For the Holiday Season, going a little crafty is ok! Make sure to include your social media handles, website, and store hours and information on this handout so customers can connect and remember the value you added to their shopping experience.

Examples:

Kid’s Popsicle Stick Ornaments

  • Instructions like these, from the blog Fireflies and Mudpies, are available with a quick Google Search and provide ample inspiration to get you started creating your own project sheet.
  • Materials to highlight:
    • Acrylic paint or paint markers
    • Paint brushes
    • Popsicle sticks
    • Wood glue
    • Glitter/pompons
    • Scissors
    • Hemp/Twine

Photo from Francois et Moi

Shibori How-To

  • Indigo has been making a big comeback, and Shibori dyed fabrics are all the rage. Encourage your customers to try this trend by providing instructions on how to properly tie dish towels or flour sack towels to create the perfect patterns
  • Materials to highlight

Retailer’s Choice: Next “Demo Days” Feature

Thursday, September 27th, 2018
Cassie Brehmer, Midwest Account Manager, MacPherson’s

Last month we introduced a new feature called Demo Days, which outlines instructions and materials needed to create an in store demonstration or workshop.

Regular in-store activities help to foster a sense of community and make your store a destination spot for artists and hobbyists alike. Allowing your customers to participate in a hands-on activity that educates them on products and lets them leave your store with an item they are confident they can recreate. We’ve put together a list of demo ideas for 4th Quarter. Let us know which activity inspires you and we’ll outline how to do the most requested one in our next Demo Days feature. Want to see something that’s not on the list? E-mail us at artdogblog (@) macphersonart.com to let us know!

  • DIY wrapping paper – block printing on craft paper
  • Giant snowflakes with decorative papers.
  • Wintertime felt trees
  • Furniture antiquing techniques
  • Face painting for parents
  • Making your own calligraphy inks
  • Marbling glass ornaments
  • Oven Baked Clay – beads, ornaments, and more

Best Practices: Plan Ahead For Holiday Merchandising

Monday, September 24th, 2018
Cassie Brehmer, Midwest Account Manager, MacPherson’s

The holiday season brings in customers beyond the everyday shopper, which is an exciting opportunity to connect and encourage repeat business from these “non-regulars” throughout the year. In reality, it is also the season where empowering customers to help themselves will keep sale opportunities moving through your retail space in a healthy flow. Early October is a great time to set-up a a semi-permanent featured items table or end-cap up in store to rotate through Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the December holidays. Your regular customers may notice something new – and your new customers will see fun products at great prices.

October

Ah, Halloween, the season where a customer could ask for literally anything under the sun to create the perfect costume… The obvious requests for essentials like masks and face paint and glitter arise – but for creatives wanting to explore more advanced costume making techniques, consider featuring any of the following:

  • Mold making tools and supplies
  • Plastercraft
  • Styrofoam
  • Carving tools
  • Armature wire
  • Glues that adhere to multiple surfaces
  • Fabric paint and glue
  • Oven-bake clay
  • Beads and ANY craft supplies (buttons, sequins, rhinestones, findings, etc.)
  • Economy acrylic paints
  • Googly eyes
  • Tissue paper

Provide project ideas, images of how the products can be used, and share relevant YouTube videos on your social media pages. This a great time of year to educate curious customers on new materials and inspire them to try something out of their comfort zone at a great price.

Click here to revisit featured Halloween items on www.MacPhersonArt.com!

November

Holiday shopping begins!  You can leave a lot of your craft items from October on your features table here. In preparing for the holiday rush, start showing your customers how to make their own wrapping paper or placemats using a block printing techniques, how to create a handmade “hostess” gift, fold easy origami ornaments and the classic – homemade holiday cards. Consider featuring the following:

  • Craft supplies
  • Block printing tools and materials for printing on paper and fabric.
  • Craft paper rolls or white paper rolls
  • Hemp/twine/ribbon
  • Candle or soap making supplies (easy hostess gifts!)
  • Origami paper and other paper crafts
  • Card making supplies (see project ideas from Strathmore here)

This is also a good time to get store staff involved by writing notes about supplies they are “thankful for” and prominently posting them on displays. Start to set out some holiday sets as a preview for what’s to come.

December

Holiday Bonanza! It’s time to feature all those sets you brought in at great discounts for the holidays. Create signage to educate your customers on the differences between sets. Physically separate them into categories for “Child/Beginner,” “Hobbyist,” “Student” and “Professional.” Don’t forget to have a few sets open and ready to try with appropriate surfaces. Focus trending products under a sign: “Your Grandkids will LOVE….{Insert: marbling, alcohol markers, slime kits, or glitter gel pens}”. Put together a house kit for a trend like bullet journaling, with a creative staff-made examples! Other products to consider:

  • Fine paper/wrapping paper
  • Ribbons/twine/hemp (for wrapping and gift tags)
  • Gold and silver writing pens
  • Scrapbooking appliques and stickers
  • Blank cards (see top selling Strathmore cards on Page 25 in the Buyers guide)
  • Knives and blades
  • Tape (double sided and regular)
  • Glitter/glitter glue
  • How-to-calligraphy and hand lettering books
  • Paper mache figures
  • Origami paper
  • Ready made frames

Wicked Halloween Assortments

Monday, September 24th, 2018

Halloween is just around the corner, so don’t forget to check out this assortment of key Halloween items and seasonal goodies, perfect for a prominent display or end cap.

White pumpkin, marbled with black and white Marabu Easy Marble

Thumb Through Your Fall Buyer’s Guide

The Fall 2018 Buyer’s Guide is full of inspirational resources for the coming fall (check MacPhersonArt.com for a link to the current Buyer’s Guide and promotions). Try a fun fall demo so customers can see how easy it is to use some of these products, like the marbled pumpkin featured on page 61. Click here for a refresher of how to transform a pumpkin into festive decor – no carving required!

Inktober For Everyone!

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018
Catherine Monahon, Copywriter, MacPherson’s

In 2009, illustrator Jake Parker set out to challenge himself for the month of October: create a work of art in pen and ink each day, and share it online. He dubbed it with the catchy name “Inktober” and got to work. Nearly ten years later, tens of thousands of artists are a part of the Inktober community. 31 drawings in 31 days, all under the hashtag “#inktober,” the artwork spans from fantastical to realistic, lettering to abstract. As long as it’s ink, it qualifies. Each day of #Inktober has a corresponding prompt to tackle creative blocks; see the list here for inspiration.

Inktober in Your Store

While Inktober reminds professionals to loosen up and have fun with their craft, it also challenges beginners and enthusiasts to push themselves and improve. It is a great opportunity for you to engage with customers who use pen and ink or those who would like to challenge themselves in new ways. So what supplies are your customers craving?

We’ve compiled a list of supplies you can feature in September to get your community excited for October 1st! In addition to featuring ink related products, you can also host in store competitions, staff artwork or have a gallery showing in November featuring the work of local Inktober artists.

Collaboration

Jake Parker, the founder of Inktober, is professional illustrator who has helped build the Inktober community over the years. If you would like to use the Inktober logo for promotions, please connect with Jake directly. He is open to collaboration; run an idea by him if you’d like to go beyond an endcap or demo and do Inktober events, gallery openings and more. He also offers online classes if your customers are interested. Please contact him and tag him in social media posts with #inktober @jakeparker.

Beyond October…

Monthly challenges have gained popularity in recent years and are a great way to engage with customers or showcase specific products. Check out Dynovember, March of the Robots or Sketch a Day May to learn more about what future months hold!

Come To My Window: Create Innovative, Inviting Budget-Friendly Window Displays

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018
Catherine Monahon, Copywriter, MacPherson’s

While the upcoming holidays are a great incentive to create expressive, themed window displays, we think any time is a good time to step up your display game. Our Emeryville office is just down the street from a bustling quirky-chic shopping destination in Berkeley, CA. While our designers were hunting for inspiration this summer, they couldn’t help but notice the impact of window displays in this creative retail hub. Nearby stores whose window displays we love include Papercraft, Athropologie, and a local toy/art supply store that specializes in the weird and wacky.

We discovered a handful of resources from the creative geniuses at Anthropologie; click here to learn more about how they design their store experience, from window displays to promotions to discounted items.

Change the experience, change the results

This article outlines seven easy, low-cost tips for displays that catch the eye and draw people in.

Staff skill set

Discover your employees hidden (or not so hidden) talents! This article showcases the portfolio of an artist who worked for Anthropologie as a display coordinator. Check in with your staff and discover who may have a knack for construction, installation or arranging. Maybe someone on your team is into a little-known craft that can add craftsmanship and intrigue to your display, like paper quilling.

A clever window display by Fortnum & Mason in London, 2016.

Get Featured!

We’d love to see your store’s window displays – please email us at artdogblog@macphersonart.com include a photo or two and the names of employees or community members who had a hand in the design or construction.

Halloween and Cosplay Go Hand in Hand: Creative End Caps For People Who Love Dressing Up

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018
Catherine Monahon, Copywriter, MacPherson’s

Halloween is a great time to introduce customers to the wild, varied, inclusive world that is Cosplay. CosPlay is the practice of dressing up as a fictional character–any fictional character–and it is not just popular during Halloween. Customers’ imaginations are already in gear for creating witty, spooky, realistic or outlandish costumes, so this is a great time to introduce another costume-related art form. Peak the interest of that special group who secretly wishes Halloween happened more than once a year and engage with a community of cosplayers you may have never known about.

The Cosplay Community

The word Cosplay is combination costume and play, and it is a global phenomenon. The philosophy of Cosplay is “you can be whoever you want”–cosplayers are driven by passion, obsession and creativity, and they are in dire need of all kinds of supplies to make their favorite character come to life. Cosplay originated when sci-fi fans in 1908 who would dress up as Mr. Skygack, a martian from a popular comic.

The day book. (Chicago, Ill.), 10 Feb. 1912. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.

Cosplay has evolved to include comics, anime, TV, movies as well as all things science fiction. Characters from anime, movies like Harry Potter or the Miyazaki films, video games and sci-fi novels spring to life. This article highlights some impressive cosplay characters at this year’s Comic-Con San Diego, a yearly convention that is one of the biggest draw for cosplayers. It is essentially a festival where artists, writers, creators, actors and fans gather to peruse, converse and perform.

Connecting The Dots: In Your Store

So how does your store fit into all of this? Relevant materials are endless, including fabric, embellishments, face paint, craft foam, acrylic paint, mold-making kits, craft glues for different surfaces and more.

Specific materials that a Cosplayer looks for:

Sci-fi fans will appreciate a Cosplay shout out in your store, as will people who go that extra mile to create an artistic, wacky, one-of-a-kind Halloween costume!

Demo Days: Stenciled Tea Towel with Derwent Inktense Pencils

Monday, September 17th, 2018
Cassie Brehmer, Account Manager, MacPherson’s

I recently did a demo at Mangelsen’s in Omaha, Nebraska during their annual art fair using Derwent Inktense on Flour Sack towels. This demo is easy to replicate with any stencil of your choice, the project can take on any theme imaginable. We laid out several stencils on a demo table, the chicken was the most popular—maybe because of the rustic, homey feel—perfect for the tea towels, and let customers’ imaginations run wild  You know your customers best, so feel free to get creative with what materials you use; this demo can also be done on canvas tote bags, handkerchiefs, center piece runners and other cloth items.

Project time: 15 – 30 minutes

Materials

Steps

  1. Iron the tea towels to ensure smooth application
  2. Lay a paper towel underneath tea towel; this stabilizes it and keeps the aloe from staining the table below.
  3. Lay the stencil of your choice on the towel and lightly trace the design with an InkTense Pencil
  4. Fill outlined areas with aloe vera, which activates colors without bleeding into the fabric. Layer in colors of Inktense, blending with a paintbrush for added effects. Keeping adding aloe vera and InkTense until you like the results! Neat effects happen when layers dry in between applications.
  5. Once the piece is dry, heat set it with a dry iron for 20-30 seconds.
  6. Let participants know they need to hand wash it and let it dry completely before the first machine wash!

MacPherson’s YouTube: Hands-On Demos, Resources & Shareable Content

Tuesday, August 28th, 2018

We are excited to announce the launching of a MacPherson’s YouTube account! It is currently populated with videos from each of our vendors’ hands-on experiences at this year’s Dealer Workshop. In collaboration with our vendor partners and the Artist’s Network, we produced a series of instructive and inspiring videos showcasing this season’s new products.  Most importantly, you can learn about the products and discover ways to replicate the experience for in-store demos, events and creative displays. Create in-store connections with your customers and inspire your employees.

Check out the videos and remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you can stay current when we post videos in the future.

Fun and Easy DIY Card-Making From Strathmore

Monday, August 27th, 2018
Sara Prentice, Social Media Marketing Manager, Strathmore Artist Papers

DIY Cards

Greeting card season is just around the corner and these card-making techniques are a great way to inspire customers to buy all the materials needed to make their own personalized greetings well before the holidays hit! A seasoned artist or a beginner can enjoy these approachable cards. Perfect for the upcoming holidays, they can be easily customized for any occasion.

Trend Trifecta: Watercolor, Mixed Media and the Handmade Movement

Watercolor and Mixed Media remain hot topics. More people than ever are trying to learn about these mediums and show their creations on Instagram, Pinterest and other social channels. Anything and everything handmade is also on demand – the popularity of DIY activities has risen exponentially in the last few years. Combining these trending mediums with the handmade movement creates a powerful opportunity to drive sales.

3 Fun and Easy DIY Watercolor Cards from strathmoreartist.

 

In Your Store

This demo video provides step-by-step instructions and walks you through the process from start to finish. These printable instructions feature a full supply list and easy-to-follow steps.

Here are some ideas for utilizing this demo:

Themed Supply End Cap – Download the printable instructions, create a few examples and place them on the endcap with the materials needed to make the cards. Beginning Artists and makers will appreciate having all the instructions and supplies at their fingertips, and seasoned customers will see these materials in a new light.

Social Media Engagement – Share these ideas,instructions, and videos on your website and social media channels to help build a following, drive engagement and generate in-store traffic.

DIY Cards In-Store Demo – All the information is ready to go, so hosting your own event is that much easier!

 

HOT TIP: Create your own custom kits with instructions so interested customers can easily take the project home!

Four Different Designs: Galaxy, Splash, Geometric, and Combo!


Galaxy

Materials

 

Splash

Materials

 

Geometric

Materials

Splash + Geometric Combo

Materials

  • Strathmore Mixed Media Cards – SM105-462 (10 pack), SM105-262 (50 Pack), or SM105662 (100 pack)
  • Royal Talens Ecoline Liquid Watercolor
  • ¼” Wide Painters Tape
  • Straw
  • Painters Tape or Artist Tape
  • Princeton Watercolor Brush
  • Permanent Ink Pen
  • Paper Towel
  • Graphite pencil (optional)
  • Eraser (optional)

Minimizing Support Induced Discoloration (SID)

Monday, August 27th, 2018

Information Worth Sharing: New Video From Golden, Perfect For Painters

Golden Artist Colors

Support Induced Discoloration (SID), what is it? and how to minimize it. from Golden Artist Colors on Vimeo.

Proper preparation can change everything. Set your staff up for success when chatting with customers and ensure that your community gets the best results when painting, from start to finish. Golden’s new video demos step-by-step how to minimize Support Induced Discoloration (SID). SID occurs when contaminants are drawn into paints and mediums as they dry – it is most noticeable with light colors, gel mediums and glazes. This video demos how to prepare a canvas or board with Gloss Medium to minimize SID before painting.

Videos are quick and easy to share on Facebook – a great way to boost your organic reach with valuable content. Check out Golden’s other videos on Vimeo and YouTube for additional resources.

In-Store Paint Pouring Demo

Saturday, June 30th, 2018

by Mia Fesmire, MacPherson’s Account Manager in Southern California

Summer is a great time to showcase the pouring trend – unstructured time lends itself to spontaneous art, and it is a project that works indoors or outdoors for kids and adults alike. We recommend merchandising several options of acrylics and pouring mediums to fit every budget in one location in your store. Check out videos on YouTube, which are easily shareable on your social media accounts, and don’t forget to provide finished examples next to the merchandise so interested customers can easily identify what they need. 

Paint Pouring Demo

Materials you need:

Steps:

  1. Create a steady surface for placing your surface of choice on top of the solo cups. We use 3 cups for an 8” x 8” primed wood panel. This creates an elevated platform so that the paint can pour over the sides of your chosen surface.
  2. Prepare your paint with your pouring medium. Remember that each product contains specific instructions, and the ratio will depend on the thickness of the paint you are using! Typically the ratio is 30% paint to 70% medium.
  3. We like to use squeeze bottles to prepare plenty of paint for multiple pours at one time. You can also store the paint for an additional project in the future.
  4. To prepare your pour, select 3 – 5 colors and layer the paint in a small cup (you’ll need about 3 oz. of paint for an 8” x 8” panel). Place the panel on top of your cup and flip them together. Balance the panel on the other Solo cups and lift the cup straight up. Tilt and maneuver the panel to create effects as desired.
  5. Drying time is about 24 hours.

Extra Tips:

  • Different consistencies in the paint will create cool effects!
  • Many YouTube videos recommend the use of silicone. This product is not suitable for pouring with children, and safety precautions should be taken if used, including proper ventilation. The long-term effects of silicone in artwork is unknown, which may result in your artwork not having archival quality. Silicone may also affect the stability of the colors in acrylic paint. If a customer is looking to make “cell” effects, we recommend using a straw to blow and manipulate the paint or adding additional drops of color onto the pour before tilting and spreading.