When it comes to infusing holidays with creative fun and artistic rituals, art supply retailers are the ultimate champs. Kittle’s Art Supply in Show Low, Arizona, has created a new holiday tradition for many families in town: their annual Christmas Ornament Marbling Day!
A proud marbler shows off his work; ornaments hanging to dry before customers can take them home.
On Saturday, November 16th, for the fourth year in a row, staff set up marbling stations stocked with Marabu Easy Marble. Pick your colors and go: this event is a hit with every generation, from toddlers to grandparents. Kittle’s orders the glass ornaments in advance, but luckily they bought extra on the day of the event! Over fifty customers visited the store to marble, making about 500 ornaments. They sell six packs of glass ornaments for $20; a lot of people enjoy the process so much they go back for six more after the marbling is done.
A young artist focuses on her palette and is pleased with the results!
“The feedback is always awesome,” owner John Kittle says. “Lots of ooooo’s and awwwws! The customers love the pretty results with each dip, and the fact that each ornament is different and that anyone can do it!”
Staff, parents and kids at their stations, ready to go!
The event has not changed much over the years. They have figured out a strategy for success and stuck with it. Scheduling involves two extra staffers for a total of four people to manage the flow, keeping demos going and helping customers handle their ornaments. Staff allots a four hour window for the workshop, providing flexibility for customer’s busy holiday schedules. Staff demonstrate the ornament marbling every 10-15 minutes so that newcomers get up to speed and can get started.
One development over the years: staff have learned to emphasize “Family Fun” with their marketing strategies. “There aren’t many art related things out there for a family to do together,” John Kittle points out. Parents and grandparents bring children; friends out shopping come to create and a lot of couples doing a fun day date mark this day on their calendar as well. Families love it because all ages can participate and be successful.
In general, Kittle’s makes a point to host events and classes for creative people of all ages. They throw “paint your own holiday wine glass” nights using DecoArt and Posca pens, regular paint & sip events, paint your own pottery studio events, Paints & Pallets nights (board art) and weekly kids classes.
We can’t wait to see what other creative events our industry cooks up for the holiday season. Do you have an annual event your community loves? Share your story with Art Dog! Email us at artdogblog (@) macphersonart.com.