Archive for May, 2009

Inside MacPherson’s: Emeryville, It’s Our Home!

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

MacMessenger is MacPherson’s very cool internal newsletter. Here is an article written by Alyssa Bardini from our HR Dept that explains the many charms of our home base.

e_marina“Ever wonder where in in heck MacPherson’s headquarters is located? Emeryville is a small town of 1.9 square miles and approximately 10,000 residents, but you’d never know it. Decidedly urban, “E’ville” is situated between Oakland and Berkeley, and is literally at the base of the Bay Bridge to San Francisco.
e_macphersonsIf asked to describe Emeryville, I’d say it has three parts. These aren’t geographic distinctions, but rather distinctions in purpose and feel – industrial, commercial, and a third category that is much harder to describe, maybe the ‘insiders’ Emeryville.
You don’t have to look far to become aware of Emeryville’s industrial past and present. There is a good deal of warehouse and industrial space close to our office, some revitalized, and some we wish would be. Train tracks bisect the city, utilized by both cargo and passenger trains.
e_pixarCommercial development has been booming in the area over the past ten to fifteen years. The popular Emeryville Public Market provides a wide variety of international foods. New, brightly colored apartments and townhouses are scattered throughout the city. The big, blue IKEA is a noticeable part of the city’s landcape. Pixar Animation Studios, Jamba Juice, Bayer, Leap Frog, and of course, MacPherson’s, are all centered here.
Some of the most interesting places in Emeryville have been created by innovative people that have repurposed industrial spaces to become one-of-a-kind restaurants, bars, shops, art studios, and more. These places are often tucked-in to their surroundings and could be easily overlooked, but are well worth finding. For example, gourmet chocolatier, Charles Chocolates, is located in an old brick building just a block away from our office and features factory tours and tastings. Semifreddi’s bakes bread to be sold to local restaurants and grocery stores as well as making great sandwiches in their shop. Periscope Cellars down the street produces wine in a WWII submarine repair facility.

e_freewayEmeryville also has some great community art to keep your eye out for. Large, colorful sculptures of active people brighten up the view under the freeway. The utility boxes here are bright yellow and feature artwork of stylized people in a variety of situations and predicaments. Newspaper stands painted by community members, including the son of MacPherson’s Customer Service Representative, Melissa Moralejo, can be seen throughout the city.
Among the urban surroundings, there are some great outdoor spots to enjoy. The city is located just on the water, with paths for running and bicycling along the edge of the bay. An exciting development for those us at MacPherson’s is a new park that is being created just behind our office. A popular community garden is located just past the park.
Aside from all the great places you’ll find within Emeryville, one of the great things about the city is its close proximity just about anything you could want. From here, you can be hiking in the hills, enjoying a major league baseball game, or shopping in San Francisco all in under twenty minutes.

Oh, and as for spots in Emeryville to buy art supplies? We are seriously limited! There are two chain locations Aaron Bros and Michaels, but no independents within easy driving distance. How about it all you creative retailing entrepreneurs? This place is crawling with artists and there’s a great art distributor just around the corner!”

Chroma Understands . . .

Thursday, May 28th, 2009


Chroma, maker of the groundbreaking Interactive Acrylics recognizes that the economy is taking its toll on everyone. Customers are spending less money and only buying what they need – not what they want.
Chroma wants to help you, the retailer . . .
– draw consumers back into your stores
– increase your foot traffic and sales
– battle through this turbulent economy
As a result, Chroma has taken the bull by the horns and developed an aggressive new “Artist Friendly Pricing”  program that MacPherson’s can offer to you. Continuing with Chroma’s approach to offer an affordable painting experience, this new program offers lower costs to you, the retailer, as well as increased MAP discounts which are passed on as lower prices to your customer, the consumer!

What this means for the MacPherson’s customer is that starting June 1, 2009 and going through 2010, you will be able to purchase any of the 80ml Atelier Interactive tubes (MacPherson’s stocks the entire line) at the same discount we are offering of 60/20 (68%) off. (Please contact your MacPherson’s Rep for more information.) All MSRPs will remain the same, but by increasing the MAP discounts, you will be able to advertise/sell Interactive at 40% off everyday and 50% off twice a year during the Winter and Fall Back-to-School periods. This allows you to pass these great savings onto your customer while protecting your current margin at the same time.

To support the program, Chroma will be offering a myriad of Point of Sale materials to be sent to you prior to August 1, 2009. In addition, Chroma will send out E-Blasts to its databases of Fine Art Associations, College Professors, College Students and Professional Artists announcing the new pricing program and directing them to your stores for purchasing. We will include the new pricing program in our upcoming advertising campaigns for the remainder of 2009 and throughout 2010. We will also continue our grass-roots efforts by conducting events throughout the  country at retail locations, colleges and art associations.
Remember . . .
Atelier Interactive offers these advantages:
– 1/3 more acrylic paint than the other leading brands
– Lower price points compared to other leading brands of professional artists’ acrylics
– Artist’s control of working time since Atelier Interactive can continue being worked wet, with the
addition of moisture or dry, by not adding moisture


Elmer’s News, May 2009

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Mike Mankowsky writes…

“It was great seeing everyone at the NAMTA Show in Louisville and what a privilege to have such a wonderful venue to showcase our new products and promotions.  For those of you unable to attend, here is a brief recap of our show highlights.

Elmer’s General Craft Products: Our newest product launch…..a comprehensive line of kid’s crafts and general craft products.  From pom poms to feathers, from magnets to gemstones, we have it all. Over 240 line items are available, all under the Elmer’s brand name…..a  name Moms and all consumers know and trust.  Now you can offer a great range of craft items in a limited area and realize the benefit of achieving truly incremental sales.  We have designed both a 30″ and a 4′ planogram to provide space efficient merchandising or you can order open stock and customize your own mix of products.  Take advantage of the growth in kid’s crafting and the prevalent trend of consumers looking for more stay at home activities and add the new Elmer’s craft products to your product offering.

Foam Board Merchandiser: This display serves as a silent salesperson in helping to alert your customers to the great variety of 20″ x 30″ foam boards that are available.  Utilizing only a modest 20″ x 30″ footprint, this solid metal display showcases 16 varieties of foam board and will hold 13 sheets of each version.  Now is a great time to refresh your current offering of foam boards and make sure you have the most recent additions, including ½” White and ½’ Black on Black, both White and Black Guideline, Acid Free 2 Packs, along with both Greystone and Sandstone.  Foam board is an excellent premium alternative to poster board and by having prominent visibility and availability of the product, you will greatly enhance the demand.  The merchandiser is available to you at no charge with the purchase of 16 different sku’s of 20″ x 30″ foam board.

Foam Board Accessory Panel: Want to turn dead air space into a profit center?  Then the Elmer’s Foam Board Accessory Panel is just what you need.  This all metal display rack hooks on to the side of our foam board merchandiser and allows you to merchandise a great assortment of foam board accessories, including X-ACTO knives, Elmer’s glue sticks, foam board hinges and easels, stencils, and Elmer’s paint markers.  The power panel can be mounted on the foam board display without any tools or hardware and comes complete with hooks and a header.  Best of all, it is available free with the purchase of the product assortment.

X-ACTO Designer Knife: This is the next generation  X-ACTO Knife!  Featuring a contemporary design, it is deeply contoured in the grip area for enhanced control and comfort.  The handle is fully rubberized and  is designed with a rear blade release for safety.  The product is carded, includes a safety cap, and uses the #11 blade and others.

Bienfang BTS Drop Ship Promotion: Here is a great way to maximize your profitability without having to overstock on merchandise.  With just a $1,500 Suggested List order of Bienfang fine art pads, you can qualify for extended discounts and BTS promotional pricing.   Better yet, once you qualify at that level, you can order  any Elmer’s product (X-ACTO, Conté, Painters. Foam Board, etc), as long as the product is in standard carton quantities, and the entire order will be shipped prepaid.  To further help consumer demand, we have redesigned our fine art pad covers with full color graphics on a black background and we have reduced the standard pack on all of the fine art pads to 6 pads per carton.

Please contact your MacPherson’s Sales Representative with questions on any of these products or promotions or you can reach me directly at  Thanks very much and best wishes for a very successful Summer Selling Season.”

Industry News

Friday, May 22nd, 2009


Big News from ColArt:  In August/September Justin Wraight, head of ColArt Americas will be returning permanently to England to become Chief Commercial Officer for the ColArt Group, responsible for the commercial activities for all key ColArt markets namely, North America, UK, France and European Subsidiaries, together with the International Sales teams. He will report to Thomas Bräutigam. The new president of ColArt Americas is Doug Johnston and he will report to Justin.

A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts announced that David Stern will join the company as its Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer effective  June 8, 2009.  Mr. Stern, 42, served as the Divisional Vice President, Financial Planning and Analysis for Coldwater Creek Inc., a specialty retailer with approximately 350 retail stores in 48 states.  Mr. Stern has a B.S. Accounting from University of Maryland and an M.B.A. from Wake Forest University.

Newell Rubbermaid Inc. is turning to a beverage executive to try to drum up more growth at Sanford’s office-products unit. The company announced that Penny McIntyre, a senior vice president at Coca-Cola Co., will take the helm at a division that houses such brands as Sharpie , Prismacolor and Rolodex office organizers.

Robert Antovel reports with pride that his art department manager Stephanie Mangone is now a Certified Art Material Professional (C.A.M.P.) having recently passed NAMTA’s ERG test. I think the included picture underscores the pride and support Robert has for his team! (And don’t forget, there’s additional parking behind the building!)


Galen Martin (Nora & Ed’s daughter) from Artel’s in Modesto, CA had a baby boy recently. Jonah Michael Martin, 6 lbs. 10.5 doing fine along with mom, Galen! Congratulations to the Faria family, best wishes to Nora… you go team Artel’s!

On the lighter side, here is our very own cartoonist Lance Blayney’s take on Spring in Reno, NV


Letraset Aqua ProMarker; A “Breakthrough” Item that’s a Sleeper!

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

leapmasstConsumers are still willing to part with their hard won money for new products, but you’ve got to show them that it will help them achieve more that what their current tools will do. Here is just such an item. It turns out that Letraset’s new Aqua Promarker was one of the top picks for truly new and unique items from the NAMTA show in Louisville. The buzz words are “Pigmented” and “Watercolor” and Aqua ProMarkers twin-tip versatility produces amazing and  different tonal affects or blending even after the ink has dried. Acid-free and lightfast, Aqua ProMarkers are perfect for scrapbooking, stamping, and watercolor-style illustration. Each twin-tipped marker features a brush nib on one side and bullet nib on the other.
* Assortment includes six each of 20 popular colors – a total of 120 markers
* Display measures 13″w x 17″h x 5-1/2″d
* Single marker MSRP: $3.19
* Rack ships FREE with assortment
* Order must be submitted on linked order form & faxed to MacPherson’s Customer Service @ 800/283-8329
Item No.              Description                                                 MSRP    Promo Net
LEAPMASST     Aqua ProMarker Assortment Display     382.80     172.26
Item No.     SKU     Description
LEAP6ALI     024769     Alizarin Crimson
LEAP6BLU     024756     Blue Prussian
LEAP6LEM     024761     Cadmium Lemon
LEAP6ORA     024762     Cadmium Orange
LEAP6RED     024754     Cadmium Red
LEAP6CER     024757     Cerulean Blue
LEAP6GRE     024758     Cobalt Green
LEAP6TEA     024767     Cobalt Teal
LEAP6GOL     024752     Gold Ochre
LEAP6LAM     024760     Lamp Black
LEAP6LIG     024753     Light Sienna
LEAP6NAP     024653     Naples Yellow
LEAP6PER     024765     Permanent Green
LEAP6ROS     024770     Rose Carmine
LEAP6SAP     024759     Sap Green
LEAP6SEP     024763     Sepia
LEAP6TUR     024766     Turquoise Hue
LEAP6ULT     024768     Ultramarine Violet
LEAP6VIO     024755     Violet Hue
LEAP6YEL     024764     Yellow Green

Value Innovation: New MABEF Easels Series

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009


The new value version MABEF sketchboxes and easels offer the same high quality Italian craftsmanship, life-time guarantee, and durable oiled beechwood construction as their regular version counterparts, but at super hot prices that are 30-45% less! With a few adjustments to bring the prices down, these easels and sketchboxes offer big value at smaller prices! Perfect for today’s economy-minded shopper.

Compare the value version retail pricing to the regular version retail pricing below;

Ask your MacPherson’s rep for more details!

Princeton Real Value Brush Sets are a Smash Hit at NAMTA

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009


Princeton had a big hit at this year’s NAMTA Show in Louisville. The new Real Value Brush Set end-cap program received rave reviews for the huge upgrade in packaging and its complete merchandising system. This new 9100 series updates Princeton’s 9000 series pre-priced brush set range that has been so successful for retailers across the country.

The new 46-set range is arranged in 8 distinct price categories with lists from $3.99 to $18.99. Each price-point is color coded on the display. Pricing signage bars are provided with multiple graphic inserts allowing you to show the sets at list, 25% off, or 40% off. The same pricing bars flip-up to reveal UPC barcodes for scanning. The coordinated program even comes with an impressive header sign to cap it all off.

The best news of all is that Real Value Brush Sets are available for immediate drop-ship, freight pre-paid, from Princeton. An initial pre-pack assortment comes with 6 each of all the sets and a complete merchandising kit for 36″ wide end caps. This is a program that can brighten the look and the sales on one of your store’s prime end caps.

iHockney: Artist David Hockney Uses his Apple Phone to Paint Mini Masterpieces

Monday, May 18th, 2009

By Beth Hale of the Daily Mail


In a lengthy career as one of Britain’s most celebrated artists he has embraced most art forms. Now David Hockney has mastered the art of communication  –  by using his phone to paint pictures. The 71-year-old has taken to using the touchscreen of his iPhone to create mini-masterpieces. Hockney has had the phone for only four months, but he has already turned it into a hi-tech canvas. It even fits neatly on a miniature easel in his London studio. He has painted flowers and drawn landscapes on the iPhone, which is manufactured by Apple and lets users input commands directly on the colour screen with their fingers. As well as being a mobile phone, the iPhone takes pictures, plays music or video and acts like a handheld computer with high-speed internet access. ‘I lie in bed and send illustrated art lectures to friends and also my own iPhone paintings,’ said Hockney. ‘I like to draw flowers by hand on the iPhone and send them out to friends so they get fresh flowers. And my flowers last!’ Hockney is not the only one to have been swept up in the iPhone phenomenon, which allows users to download thousands of applications.  They include everything from video games to translation dictionaries, restaurant finders, weather reports and live train updates.

For the moment his computer-created art is being printed in limited editions, which will sell for thousands of dollars. That is considerably less than some of his more traditional paintings fetch. In two weeks a painting entitled Beverly Hills Housewife will be auctioned in New York and is expected to make up to $10 million. The current record for a Hockney was set in London three years ago when The Splash sold for $4.5 million.

Editor’s note: Not much opportunity in the way of traditional art materials here, but we did note the AA Itty Bitty easels as a perfect way to display your iPhone art work! Natural = AA10108, black = AA10110.


ColArt’s Hot May News

Monday, May 18th, 2009

ColArt’s Fall Back-To-School promotion has all these essentials to stimulate the second half of 2009! (+10%)
·         All Winton Oil Colours
·         Galeria Acrylics (60ml & 200ml) with 9 new colors
·         All Liquitex Painting Knives and sets
·         Liquitex Professional Acrylic Inks
·         Reeves 22ml tube sets & New Water Soluble Wax Pastel Sets

CAP Dealers will enjoy the added margin on these critical cash generating ranges! (+10%)
·         All Artist Oil Colour!
·         All Artisan Water Mixable Oils!
·         All LIQUITEX Heavy Body Acrylic Colors!

DERWENT: All Pencil Tins: +20% OFF!

There’s still time to buy the ColArt NAMTA “Extreme” Deals featuring the all New W&N Artist Acrylic Tube Colour, Complimentary AA Brush Range, New Galeria Colours, and the value priced Studio Acrylic Range!


image012LIQUITEX has introduced 2 New BASICS School Class Packs featuring tube color and brushes. (96ct in ea. Pack with +10% Off!)

has re-launched its popular Water Colour Pencil range with an improved softer formulation and improved lightfastness! (+10% Off!)


W&N’s New Artist Linen Canvas range (triple primed and acid-free), available in 25 sizes in both (13/16”) width and a Deep Edge (1 5/8” width) and may be combined with all other W&N Canvas ranges to qualify for up to an extra 30% OFF!

Strathmore Artist Papers™ May 2009 News

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Back-to-School is under way!
By now you should have received Strathmore’s aggressive 2009 BTS flyer. To help you nail down your share of the most important selling season of our industry, Strathmore has all of the essential art pads on sale, 31 of them with an extra 20% off! In addition, buy 8 cartons of 8 items from the 20% off group on a drop ship and we’ll help with your advertising and promotional efforts with an extra 5% off! Your MacPherson’s rep has an order form and can help you build a great promotion, or ask your local Strathmore rep.

If you haven’t already added Strathmore’s exciting new Sequential Art Surfaces assortment, the complete assortment is currently being offered with a free rack at an extra 10% off. Open stock, too! 90 days dating is available on drop ship orders for those who qualify; ask your MacPherson’s rep for details.

In addition, Strathmore has added two new items to its Artist Trading Card line the following comments are from Laura Maceyka, our Marketing Coordinator:

New! Strathmore ATC sleeves and frame cards!
Strathmore Artist Trading Cards have been going strong since their launch a year ago in Reno. NAMTA Louisville provided the perfect setting and timing to introduce two complimentary items to the line. These items make it convenient to create, swap and collect!

The clear rigid vinyl sleeves are acid free and just the right size to protect ATCs during live swaps and in the mail. Customers and swap attendees will stock up on sleeves to protect and store their ATCs. Sleeves are 3” x 4.5” and are retailed in packs of five for $3.79

Strathmore’s popular photo frame card is now ATC sized to display; trade or gift finished trading cards. Acid-free poly sleeves are included to protect the artwork from any damage during insertion into the frame card. ATC frame cards are sure to attract collectors and swappers alike. Retailed at $4.99 per pack of 6 cards and envelopes, these items won’t hang around long.

Stock up and save on these new items during Back-to-School by taking an additional 10% discount.

Visit for the complete Srathmore Back-to-School Promotion and information about all of its merchandising materials or ask you MacPherson’s sales reps for details.

Catch the next blog for details about Greener Options Cards, the newest addition to our eco-friendly family of products.

® And ™ used under license from Mohawk Fine Papers Inc.

On A Personal Note…

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Frank Stapleton

Some of you may recall that in 2001, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and made the decision to have surgery to remove my prostate. The surgery seemed to go well and I was back to work within a month at my usual energy level. In a small percentage of patients the cancer can return. Short of intrusive biopsies, PSA tests are the only real way that doctors have to determine the presence of cancer. Over the past 8 years I have been retested regularly and 3 years ago my PSA began to slowly rise. Unfortunately, the presence of Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) is not de facto proof of cancer. Without a clear diagnosis, I was given a choice to watch and wait or to undergo a preventative daily low-dose radiation treatment lasting 7 weeks. I chose the latter. I began the process last week and will be out of the office for 1-1/2 hours per day, Monday to Friday. Side effects are rare with this procedure and my doctor assures me that my prospects for a long and healthy life are excellent.

As you can imagine, my travel will be restricted until early July.

In the spirit of the openness that characterizes our company I wanted you to be aware of this development.

Please wish me luck and thanks in advance for all your support!

Frank Stapleton

Three New “Golden Promotional Opportunities” for 2009!

Friday, May 15th, 2009

GOLDEN Offers Three Exciting New Promotions in 2009


1.     GOLDEN Back-to-School “White Hot” Promotion
Recognizing that core products are a cornerstone of the high-selling BTS season, GOLDEN has designed a promotional campaign to both engage the value-conscious artist and to stimulate increased sales at retail.
Consumer Offer: Buy 6 tubes of GOLDEN acrylics, get one 5 oz. tube of Heavy Body titanium white FREE!
How to Participate: For every six 2 oz. Heavy Body tubes you order, you will receive one promotional 5 oz. box of Heavy Body Titanium White at no cost. A magnetic rack-top magnet is available to help communicate this offer to your customers. For more details and ordering information, please contact your MacPherson’s sales representative.

2.  Mix. Play. Win. GOLDEN Mix More Media Competition
GOLDEN wants to celebrate the cutting-edge work that is possible with the latest of mixed media tools, the GOLDEN Digital Mixed Media (DMM) products. Starting on June 1, 2009, GOLDEN is launching a Point of Purchase display competition to highlight the unique, creative uses of these products. The contest is open to any staffer employed at stores carrying the GOLDEN DMM products, so encourage your folks to get their creative juices going to create increased dynamics within the store and a chance to win big!
Artists win.  The DMM POP Display will be judged in four different categories by a professional independent selection committee. Prizes include ink-jet printers ranging in value from $75 to more than $750.
Retailers benefit,  too.  All retailers with participating store staff will receive a 10% rebate on Digital Mixed Media products purchased July through December 2009. Plus, retailers who display a winning entry submitted from their store staff will also receive an ink-jet printer and a set of print-ready acrylic skins.
Join the fun! Visit for full contest rules.

holiday-promo3.  GOLDEN Holiday Promotion
There’s no better time than around the holidays to share in the giving of gifts, and for GOLDEN to show appreciation and to acknowledge its customers. For the 2009 Holiday season, GOLDEN offers a holiday promotion designed to encourage creativity and promote positive, long-term relationships.  In appreciation for retailers’ support of the OPEN Acrylics line, GOLDEN will provide retailers with complimentary OPEN promotional kits.
The kits, containing the three sample-sized OPEN Mediums and an OPEN Acrylics DVD, are provided as a give-away opportunity to further engage customers with the unique properties of OPEN Acrylics and to encourage repeat purchase activity.
Consumer Offer: Buy six tubes of GOLDEN OPEN Acrylics, get a FREE OPEN Mediums Kit containing the three OPEN Mediums plus an OPEN Acrylics DVD; an overall value of $15.00!
How to Participate: Stores that have already purchased an OPEN Set-Up configuration, or who place orders for an OPEN Set-Up before September 30, 2009, will automatically be shipped a defined number of promotional kits and a magnetic rack-top header to help communicate the promotion to their customer. Promotional kits will be shipped in the first week of November. Be sure to stock up on OPEN 2 oz. tubes in advance of the promotional start! For more details please contact your MacPherson’s sales representative.

New Principal 6 OPEN Acrylics Set Launched
The new OPEN Acrylics Principal Set is a must-have for back-to-school and holiday!  For artists ready to try the innovative new GOLDEN OPEN Acrylics, the Principal 6 OPEN Acrylics Set offers an attractive, traditional palette designed to appeal to painters currently using either acrylic or oil media.

Orders are being accepted now for the set, which will begin shipping June 15, 2009.  It includes six 2 fl. oz. (59 ml) tubes of OPEN Alizarin Crimson Hue, OPEN Hansa Yellow Opaque, OPEN Ultramarine Blue, OPEN Sap Green Hue, OPEN Burnt Sienna and OPEN Titanium White.

Item Number: GD0931-0  UPC Number: 738797093102  US List Price: $49.95

GOLDEN Attendance at Upcoming MacPherson’s Dealer Workshop
GOLDEN Sales Director, Bill Hartman, is looking forward to seeing many of you at the upcoming MacPherson’s Dealer Workshop taking place mid-June in California.  Much of Hartman’s presentation will focus on the review of the upcoming promotions outlined above.

If you have any questions about any of the above information, please contact your MacPherson’s sales representative.

Another Supplier Rethinks MAP

Friday, May 15th, 2009

We received a letter from Artograph’s President Don Dow announcing that effective immediately Artgraph would discontinue its Minimum Advertised Pricing (MAP) program. This is the second such letter we have gotten in the last month (Logan was the first.) And we heard at the NAMTA show in Louisville, KY that many other manufacturers are reconsidering the merits of these kinds of efforts to control brand-destroying price wars. Don Dow pointed out that Maryland recently passed a law that prohibits manufacturers from requiring state retailers from charging a set minimum price for their products. Thirty other states are considering similar legislation.
For further information on this new law go to Wall Street Journal Reports. This will be a hotly debated topic in the coming months as the negative effects of the economy cause everyone to reexamine all aspects of the consumer’s experience, from pricing, branding, merchandising and more in hopes of finding ways to revive sales.


Industry News

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

Celebrating a Super Rep; John Colbert, serving the Pacific Northwest for 39 years. Here is John’s bio in his own words:


1970 – Joined Chartpak as a factory sales rep in the Northwest. Territory was expanded to Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska and Hawaii.
1980 – All Company reps became Manufacturer’s Representatives for Chartpak.
1983 – Joined Rhodes & Co as the Manufacturers Rep in the Northwest.
1997 – Started CER (Colbert, Eichinger, Rhodes & Co) along with Tom Eichinger covering the 13 western states.
2005 – Tom and I agreed to split the company and I started Northwest Sales Assoc.,Inc.
2009 – Mooney Sales &  Marketing to take over all sales of Northwest Sales Assoc.,Inc.
I have enjoyed 39 great years in a wonderful industry.

Best wishes, John, for a happy and productive retirement and thanks for all those great years!

coverpage_noraSometimes news travels slowly to Lake Wobegon. We are pleased to report that last November, Nora Hackenberg of Artist & Display in Milwaukee, WI was featured with a cover article in Today’s Wisconsin Woman. Check out a great article that celebrates Nora, as well as Lynn and Jack Klein. This exceptional team has created an art retail institution that stands out globally for its innovations in merchandising, promotional activity and superior customer service. Read the article and see for yourself!  Nora Hackenberg; An Artist\’s Artist


Armadillo Art & Craft and Colorfin LLC, manufacturer of  PanPastel™ and  Sofft™ Tools,  announced last week that it has reached an agreement for Armadillo to take on the physical distribution of all Colorfin products effective May 11th, 2009. The new arrangement will allow Bernadette Ward & Ladd Forsline, owners of Colorfin, to focus on manufacturing, consumer marketing, international sales and further product development projects.

We recently received a note from Susan Kocsis of Search Press that had some sad news about an art instruction industry publishing pioneer. Please contact Arthur with your words of support:

Good to see you all in Louisville. What a pleasant surprise, I have never spent any time there and thought it was really quite cosmopolitan for a “2nd tier” city or whatever they call it.
But I’m not really writing about Louisville, I’m writing about a former NAMTA member who was beloved in the industry and is in his final days.  I think members that know him might like to send a card or message before it’s too late.
Here’s his address
Arthur & Jo Schwartz
Woodstocker Books
15 Meads Mtn Rd
Woodstock, NY 12498
Work   800 669-9080
Home 845 679-4024

abelmanA.C. Moore Arts & Crafts, Inc. has announced that David Abelman will join the Company as its Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing and Merchandising Officer reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer, Rick A. Lepley. Mr. Abelman most recently served as the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Michaels Stores, Inc.

Greg Hamamoto, the retired Sales Manager of Yasutomo, passed away on April 27th at 78 years old. Greg was well known and liked by many during his 20 years in the industry.

More NAMTA News

“Best of” results: Louisville 2009 – Show Awards
Congratulations to the following exhibitors:
Best Small Booth: Alpha Art Materials, Inc.
Best Medium Booth: Masterpiece Artist Canvas, Inc.
Best Large Booth: Golden Artist Colors, Inc.
Best New Exhibitor: Grex Airbrush
Judges Special Recognition: Pebeo, Inc.
Best Point of Purchase: Tri Art
Best Packaging: Hot Cakes – Enkaustikos Way Art Supply
Best New Product: Hot Cakes – Enkaustikos Way Art Supply
Best New Kid’s Product: Arttero Story Book Kits

GOLDEN Wins NAMTA Award &  Hires New Creative Director ; Writes Bill Hartman, Golden’s Sales Director, “It was great to see many of you at the recent NAMTA Show in Louisville.  For those of you not able to attend, we missed you and wanted to make sure that we updated you on the latest news from GOLDEN.”

Golden Artist Colors was recently honored by NAMTA with the recognition of the 2009 Large Booth Award.  GOLDEN accepted the award at the Annual Meeting, which was held at the Marriott Downtown in Louisville.

farrell-chrisGOLDEN Hires New Creative Director
The key creative force behind the award winning NAMTA GOLDEN booth this year was  new Creative Director Christopher Farrell. Originally from Salinas, California, Christopher received a BA from the School of Visual Arts in New York where he completed his Bachelors of Fine Arts and went on to a brilliant creative career in marketing and advertising. Married to Brenda for 20 year, he spends his spare moments helping to raise their five children and riding his motorcycle.

Montana Hardcore Marker Demo, Louisville, KY

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

Bill Cavanagh of CC Lowell in Worcester, MA approached me at the NAMTA convention last week with a simple proposition. Any new product that we introduce ought to have a short YouTube demo video that retailers can use in email blast marketing (Constant Comment) to educate customers and thereby create interest and ultimately sales. There is a beautiful simplicity to the idea and what better place to test it out than at the mother of all art supply gatherings, the annual NAMTA convention.

So I whipped out my Lumix point and shoot camera, with HD video capability, and shot Mel Waters doing a “bubble” letter style marker demo. Short and sweet, it gets the job done. Judge for yourself and feel free to visit the YouTube site to get the embed code so you can start using in your own “guerilla marketing”. Oh, and don’t forget to order the hot Hardcore Markers that Mel is showing off!

FYI, note on the the “HD” button on the YouTube menu bar. Click it if you have fast internet connection to get a much higher quality image.

NAMTA 2009 Retailer Breakfast & Show Highlights

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009


Each trade show we enlist a small group of retailers to help us zero in on the best new opportunities. At the Louisville NAMTA show, we met bright and early on Saturday morning. Here’s what we gleaned in two categories; New Vendors and Items Worth Mentioning.

New Vendors

encausticsEncaustics: Clearly the show buzzword. The “Hot Cakes” line from Enkaustikos got all the attention for having a compact display and easy to understand merchandising. Sold in tins instead of the traditional stick form, it was hard for many retailers to pass up the drop ship show special. Get your Hot Cakes here! We’ll support the open stock colors and accessories.

Woodland Scenics: Modeling supplies for architectural landscaping and school projects. Open stock and complete kits offer tons of options for college bookstores and science fair project season.

Slice: A cute line of cutting tools w/ceramic blades. It was a big hit when shown at the retailer breakfast. Available in compact counter top POPs; with reasonable MSRPs of $4.99 & $6.99 they are a “no brainer”!

Jovi: Products designed to foster and develop art education among children. Featuring safe and non-toxic products for drawing, painting and modeling, high quality is their top priority.

Townsend Atelier: (Knead a Mold) Paint it on. It’s simple, has just a few steps and really works. Looks like a winner! Tell us how you feel!

All Empty Containers: We have some from Jacquard and Pennco, but the market loves these, so find more!

Williamsburg Oils: A cult following, but is this one for us? Tell us how you feel!

New Items Worth Mentioning

Canson XL Pads: Performance & value for sketching, drawing and multi-media
Global Flexi-Sketch: 300 pages of acid free sketch paper bound in colorful double-fold soft covers.
Gamblin Etching Inks: New colors and reduced MSRP’s can help breathe new life to printmaking departments.
Letraset Aqua ProMarkers: Waterbased, pigmented inks can be easily blended even when dry!  To quote Craig Lemley of Dakota Art, “This could be the biggest hit of the show!” Available in sets and open stock.
Colorfin: New super shades in open stock and sets.  Check out the new plastic palette.  It’s stackable, of course!
Jacquard: A new line of waxes for the batik artist, encaustic painter and even you.
Princeton Brush: Real Value brush sets- Better quality brushes in attractive, informative packaging.
Elmer’s: New Crafty Kids are products that make sense in planograms for easy merchandising.
General Pencil: Primo Charcoal Drawing Set
Pentel Slicci Pens: Super fineline and very sleek. We already stock these, so watch for them in SMIAB. They are also featured on page 27 of our Fall/BTS Buyer’s Guide.
Golden: The cry from several retailers was that we should stock every sku to make ordering simpler and to be a “single source.”
Strathmore Recycled Cards: Taking the whole idea of a green, eco-friendly holiday season to a new level with blank cards in 6 skus. All are $9.95 with tree-friendly fibers bamboo, hemp,  sugar cane and 3 others we can’t think of just now.
Chronicle Books: Urban art titles are very hot and CB has some great ones!
Krylon Sprays Rack System: The rolling rack is huge, but you may have the space. See the drop ship details in promos at glance; buy both and you get $70 in free goods.
Yasutomo: The new outdoor origami line looks fun and hot for the coming summer activity season.
Lineco: Clam Shell boxes priced right and look great. We’re looking into it.
Armadillo: Colorfix sanded pastel paper in ATC sizes.
Derivan Liquid Graphite from Armadillo: Little bottles of colored graphite you brush on to create wonderful and artful effects. Two small ranges, erasable and non-erasable. We have it!

Watercolor Artist Susan Tilton Pecora … Seen Sketching Historic Boston Scenery

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009


Wherever watercolorists roam, Sakura of America’s KOI® Watercolor Field Sketch kits are handy to take along.  Light-weight and affordable, on-site watercolor painting is simple with a studio right at an artist’s fingertips.

Highlights include:
•    Specially formulated half pan watercolors blend easily to create an endless color range.
•    Water brushes have a unique water reservoir barrel to carry water in the compact kit.
•    Each kit is packaged in a peg-able outer box, and has the ACMI “AP” seal of approval
Three convenient and portable sizes are available:

•    12-color ‘pocket’ size: #XNCW-12H, MSRP $26.49,
•    ‘Postcard’ size sets with a detachable, pegged palette, pull down ring on base for holding:
•    18-color: #SKXNCW-18N, MSRP $33.49
•    24-color: #SKXNCW-24N, MSRP $35.99.

Back-to-School Promo: 25% discount for KOI Pocket Field Sketch Kits!

First Look at NAMTA Louisville!

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009


So… How was it at the 59th annual convention of the art material industry? That is the question everyone asked when I got back to the office. Wellllllll… what do you want first, the good news or the bad? Let’s start with the “not so good”. While pre-registrations showed that the number of retailers (buying companies) was slightly up compared to last year, the number of pre-registered people was down. In this catastrophic recession that makes a lot of sense. Companies need to save money on air travel, lodging and the like by reducing headcount, but they also want to make sure that they don’t miss out entirely on all the great new products, deals and networking opportunities. Tom Richards from Chartpak made an observation that resonated with me, on the show and its seemingly low population of retail personel. For him it was a great show because the buyers who came represented at least 90% of the sales of art materials in the U.S.A. Tom‘s optimism and positive attitude reflected the general atmosphere at the show.


Enough of that, what about the good? I could write a book, but for starters the free NAMTA breakfast meetings on Thursday, Friday and Saturday were full of valuable information opportunities, some scary and some not so. On Thursday we heard about the scary CPSIA legislation from a Washington insider, got a report on the status of artists in the USA workforce from an National Endowment for the Arts expert, got Sid Smith’s Environmental Scan, a fascinating look at changes we are likely to see in consumer behavior as a result of the recession and lastly heard nature artist Wyland wax on about how a semi-talented, “save the whales” visionary can get ridiculously rich  rich in America. On Friday, the theme was the NAMTA General Session and Annual Meeting where for the first time printed reports on the status of our trade association  were made available. We’re doing great financially thanks to Executive Director Sid Smith and his marvelous staff! So rather than bore us with the numbers, they took the time to celebrate the career and contribution of Jeff Goldfarb of A.I. Friedman in NY who was inducted into the Hall of Fame for his years of service in support of our association. Lifetime achievement awards were bestowed upon Zora Pinney and Claudia Myers and we heard a fascination panel of industry retailers, reps, wholesalers, domestic and international suppliers discuss the challenges and complexities of the global supply chain.

As for the exhibits and the rest of the show,  I will use the words of our stellar Northwest rep, Catherine Thoele, talking from the MacPherson’s perspective:

“The MacPherson’s NAMTA deals were concise and were rewarded quickly with the Mac Bucks (which boosted the Louisville economy) and made the dealers SMILE!”


We held a VIP dinner event on Wednesday night at the Glassworks studio in Louisville and it was our best event ever! Thanks go to Rachel Thompson, our manager of trade show events. Retailers loved blowing their own glass ornaments and watching the comedy around the activity!


The NAMTA President’s Reception was another smash event. Held at the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs, the walls were still buzzing about Mine that Bird’s miraculous 50:1 win at this years derby. The food, drinks and conversation made the evening truly memorable. After it was over, a group of intrepid souls walked over to the track to imagine past races and bask in the sultry spring weather and full moon.

bio_chipwoolleySpeaking of this Mine that Bird, trainer Bennie Woolley Jr. was spotted at the Louisville Holiday Inn’s bar, posing for photos and signing autographs. It turns out  he was “hangin'” until he decided whether he wanted to drive his horse all the way to the Preakness in Baltimore, MD!


Friday evening, after the busiest day at the show, MacPherson’s hosted our annual Beer Bash, this year with a Bluegrass theme. Everyone was there to unwind and enjoy the the Bluegrass band, Hickory & Friends. The event was sponsored by our terrific suppliers: 3M, Ampersand, Art Alternatives, Borden & Riley, C&T Publications, Canson, Chartpak, Chroma, ColArt, Creative Catalog Concepts (CCC), Crescent, DaVinci Brush, Daler-Rowney, Delta of North America, Elmer’s, Gamblin, General Pencil, Golden, Grafix, Holbein, Kolo, Krylon, Kunst & Papier, Lefranc & Bourgeois, Letraset, M.A.B.E.F., Montana Cans, Okido, Princeton Brush, RGM, Royal Brush, Sakura, Sanford, S.O.S., Speedball, STABILO, Strathmore/Pacon, and Yasutomo. Special thanks go  Krylon, the official sponsors of the band!

Saturday morning, before the show opened for the last day, MacPherson’s held an intimate Retailer feedback breakfast to find out what products and trends were considered the hottest. Read our additional posts and see what a select and influential group of independent retailers had to say.

In the meantime, enjoy some authentic Bluegrass by checking out the video taken at the Beer Bash!

Sanford News- April 2009

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

•    Prismacolor introduced a new Archival Marker Display at NAMTA that features our Fine Line, Brush Tip and Chisel Tip Marker products

Here are some upcoming events at which our Prismacolor Consumer Specialists will appear:
Diana Garrett
•    April 24- SAIC
•    April 28- Joliet Jr College
•    April 30 College of DuPage
•    July 2009- Northern Illinois University Art Camp
•    July 2009- Columbia University AP Art Workshops

Shelley Minnis week of April 27-May 1st
•    San Diego State University
•    Art Institute San Diego
•    Art Institute Inland Empire

Art Dawg of the Month?…Not!

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Sometimes dogs just can’t compete with their lifelong taxonomic adversary. We caught this photo from the Urban Prankster website and could not resist.

Have you seen this cat?


Because it’s awesome!