In Your Store

Kids & Art Supplies Vol. 3: Middle School & Beyond

Introducing the third and last in a series inspired by MacPherson’s parents and their children’s experiences with art supplies. After exploring the emergence of creative play and early childhood development and learning more about the supplies that captivate elementary aged children as they grow and change, we turn our attention to big kids and young adults.

Serious Business

If your customers’ children are old enough to be googling tutorials and devising crafty pranks, they are old enough to join in on a trend the parents at MacPherson’s have noticed: kids’ entrepreneurial spirits! Head of Marketing & E-Commerce John Stephen’s fourteen year old daughter, Molly, is in the slime biz. Complete with her own Instagram shop, she sells slime to kids at school and at community events. From unicorn slime (with miniature unicorns in them) to scented glitter slime, she has quite the assortment. And the entrepreneurial spirit only intensifies with age. E-commerce Manager Gina Farias’s eighteen year old son upcycled old shoes with Angelus and sold them at his high school for extra pocket money.

Tap into this market. Chat with parents and kids in your community. If there are any teens or middle school aged kiddos who are running their own art-y business, follow them on Instagram and display their handles at the register. Offer to carry some of their items in the store for a limited time or buy a few items to display at the point of sale. Kids and parents will be inspired by creative items, especially if you make it clear that they are made by kids with supplies available in your store. Showcasing kid-made creations also reminds people that the ability to create is a valuable skill and valid contribution to society, no matter how pervasive the “starving artist” myth may be.

Dreamy Teens

As kids mature into young adults, their arts and craft time can evolve into a time of reflection, relaxation or dreaming about the future. Teens in this day and age have more going on than any other generation of teens. No wonder they could use a planner with space for a zendoodle or two. “My nieces use the time they sit down and draw to let their minds go,” Gina says. 

Popular supplies with teens include journals, markers, pens, watercolors and sketching products. In addition to merchandising these items, think about classes (if you offer them). Teens, and their parents, are looking for after-school activities, either to meet people and hang out with friends, develop a particular skill or add an edge to their college applications. What classes do you offer that might appeal to teenagers? What special teen-related events could you host? Check in with local art teachers; how might you support their curriculum? Teens interested in art may need to learn how to photograph artwork for an art school application or fine art portfolio. They might be interested in learning from people on your team who graduated from art school. Think about how your store might connect teens with one another, their interest in art and their vision for the future.

How does your store connect with young people, from tots to teens? What is your children’s section like? Which products are particularly exciting to your community? Do you host any events popular with teens? Drop us a line at artdogblog (@)

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