Member News

June 15, 2022
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Rachel Rowe (pictured left) from Cranfield Colours in Wales, UK shares her thought with Namta and Members.

How do you look back on Namta-Creativation in Orlando?
It was a really encouraging event on so many levels. We are clearly not through the various challenges the world faces, but the show gave us all the chance to see real people once again! Whilst Zoom has been great in maintaining social and business contacts, nothing beats a conversation face to face. Aside from the personal interaction, it was good for business too and I imagine this will have been the case for the vast majority of delegates and exhibitors.

What surprised you about this year’s show?
Perhaps because we have been starved of one-to-one contact for several years, there seemed to be a genuine sense of fraternity amongst exhibitors this year. Whilst we clearly ‘compete’ with other paint and ink manufacturers, I sensed there was a greater openness and honesty between us as we all compared notes and discussed our shared ‘aches and pains’ over morning coffee or an evening drink. Despite the art material world meaning everything to us, it is a comparatively small sector and Namta gave a chance to catch up with friendly competitors and be reminded that our challenges are not unique.

How long have you been in the Art Materials industry?
I joined Cranfield almost 15 years ago in a sales management role and was appointed to the board of directors in 2020.
What changes have you seen during that time?
The largest changes I have seen in the art materials world have been in recent years. Many of our clients have seen a growth in their on-line sales and it's undeniably been toughest on retailers who relied only on bricks and mortar stores. These pressures were present prior to Covid19 but clearly were exacerbated through the various lock-downs. More recently online stores too have suffered from raw material shortages and a downturn in public confidence and spending. Nonetheless, many of our clients (both large and small, online and in-store) have sprung back offering a sensible portfolio of products augmented by competent and qualified technical advice and support. As our products are considered ‘high-end but affordable’ we have been fortunate to have remained busy throughout and especially our soap and water washable Caligo inks have benefited in a resurgence in printmaking generally and ‘kitchen table’ printmaking especially.

I’ve seen Cranfield expand at a steady and sustainable rate and trust I have been part of the team that keeps us focused on our core beliefs and standards. The Cranfield ‘family’ work together through thick and thin and recent years have cemented what I always knew to be true. We have a passion about making beautiful colours and coming in to work is nearly always a pleasure. It’s a colourful place to work and the factory itself has never lost a sense of wonder for me.

Are you an artist yourself?
Honestly? No! I do love art but despite access to such beautiful art materials, I simply have no time! Here in our home town of Cwmbran there is a famous British biscuit manufacturer and when the wind is blowing in the right direction, the smell is glorious. However anecdotally, when new people start working there, they have normally gone-off the prospect of ever eating another biscuit after a fortnight! Surrounded by paint and ink all day, I relax by taking Henry (so cute! pictured left) my Pooschon dog for a walk or relaxing with my husband and children. Maybe I will paint in retirement!
Do you intend attending and exhibiting at Creativation by Namta in Columbus?
I most certainly do!


Meeting with Dave and Jeff
Art Supply Insiders
by Savannah Davis (above right), Namta

“Everything you want to know about Art & Craft Supplies but were afraid to ask! We not only talk about Art & Craft Supplies but we interview the manufacturers & artists that create them and the retailers that stock and deliver them.” - Art Supply Insiders

I click ‘launch meeting’ on a Friday afternoon preparing to meet with Jeff Morrow and Dave Lee of Art Supply Insiders. Hoping they don’t mind I claimed a late meeting time and potentially delayed them starting their weekend.  That worry instantly subsided as our meeting began and their passion for the craft and art materials industry seeped through my screen. Jeff Morrow and Dave Lee have both been in the art materials business for many years. Dave was a sales rep for two major manufacturers and an independent sales rep. Jeff was also a sales rep and general manager for a West Coast art material distributor. In 2010 they started The Brush Guys, an online retailer of artist brushes. They sold that business in 2019.

Now Jeff and Dave have launched an exciting new podcast venture focused on both craft and art materials and are generous enough to share it with the Namta membership- with benefits to both the end-user and the retailers. Because I have just met Jeff and Dave, it is hard for me to imagine them in any facet other than podcasting- they are just so good at it.  Their part of our conversation perfectly weaves practical information through storytelling and interviews and before I know it thirty minutes have passed. Similarly to when I sampled a handful of episodes earlier in the week, I have concluded my time with them and have been both enriched and entertained throughout the duration of it. I cannot encourage you enough to check it out for yourselves!

According to Jeff and Dave, each podcast will provide benefits for end-users:
• Art Supply Insiders features guests from manufacturers who can give insight into their established lines and introduce new products. We believe no one will do a better job of explaining materials than the manufacturers who make them.
• Corporate leaders are the true insiders in the art supply industry. Their expertise is fundamental to understanding art supplies, yet end-users rarely benefit from their knowledge.

Each podcast will provide retailers:
• Employee product training “on demand.” Avoid having to wait for the manufacturer to provide in-person training. The podcasts can:
    - Train new employees on product specifics.
    - Give existing employees a tool to brush up on product knowledge.
• Real-time updates on new art and craft products and product extensions from existing suppliers.
• An additional opportunity to hear in-depth explanations about potential new products.
• Clarification of business and industry trends that owners may not have quick access to.
• Opportunities for owners to recommend the manufacturers or artist’s podcasts they want their employees to hear.

 Art Supply Insiders Podcast is available anywhere you listen to podcasts, click here for full list and online episodes: 

If you wish to participate in a future episode, contact Jeff Morrow at [email protected].


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American Tombow Inc. President & CEO Jeffery Hinn (pictured left on photo) will retire at the end of June. Mr. Hinn, served as President & CEO for nearly 13 years and in 2016 became the first American member of Japanese-based Tombow Pencil Co. Ltd.’s board of directors.

The new President & CEO will be Takao Midorikawa (pictured right on photo), who has worked for Tombow in Japan for more than 20 years. His career includes managing internal communications between Tombow's Japanese headquarters and American subsidiary, and managing Tombow’s export division.


Tombow recently announced that two promising art students have been awarded Tombow’s Create Your Best Work
Art Scholarship for the 2022-2023 academic year.


Since 2006, Royal Talens has been involved in such non-profit endeavors such as "Paint a Future", helping to support our global mission of enabling creative expression for everyone, by stimulating and facilitating as many people as possible express their creativity, regardless of their level of experience, age, or country of origin.


In 2015, we further cemented this ambition by creating the Royal Talens Foundation, a non-profit organization of Royal Talens, with the goal to support as many projects globally that helped to bring creative expression through visual arts to as many disadvantaged youths as possible.

When the current refugee and humanitarian crisis emerged this year as a result of the war in the Ukraine, the Royal Talens Foundation took immediate action, sourcing and supporting 10,000 art kits for youths who have been displaced from their homes as a result of the situation. While the vast majority of refugees are in locations within Europe, there are estimated to be 100,000 refugees fleeing to the US and Canada, where they are being received in by refugee centers and family members.

Royal Talens North America is taking in 1000 of these Art support kits for youths in July and have already dedicated a small number of these to non-profit organizations who focus on support of refugees.  We still have some unallocated art kits that we would like to ask our retail community to help distribute.  If you know of a community in your area, or a non-profit who is a 501(C) entity, we would like to work with you to bring these sets to your store to distribute to these kids in need.  We would like to do this, because we feel that brick and mortar retail is a community hub for creative exploration, and we would like to see you be a part of this healing process for these displaced youths in your communities.

If you have any questions or would like to get involved, please email Kyle Richardson at [email protected].



HK Holbein has announced the appointment of Jamie-Lou Nicol to the position of General Manager for its Canadian operations, effective June 15, 2022.

Jamie-Lou has been with HK Holbein for seven years ... She joined our firm on June 15, 2015. She has proven to be a very important part of what we do and her dedication to all things Holbein is exemplary. She learned well from our late General Manager, Danny Arseneault, and we know that she will continue in the tradition of Customer Service and Brand focus.

Assisting Jamie-Lou with our day-to-day operations is Maria Steffen. Maria has been a great addition to our Team. She is skilled in so many areas and continues to offer a solid base to our operations. 


The Art Advocacy Grant application period is open until July 31, 2022.

Namta is an international association and welcomes people from all countries to apply.


2022 Grant Application and Information


Every ten dollars donated adds up - our goal is double the grants we award this year! If you or your company would like to make a donation to the Grant program,
please fill out this form or contact Sue Cohen at [email protected]


Williamsburg Artist Oil Colors, which are manufactured by Golden Artist Colors recently introduced a new Neutral Grays Set based on the Munsell Color System.

Be sure to check out the New Product Page for more information on this product - and many more New Products........


Creativation by Namta
Columbus Ohio

Education: March 31 and April 1, 2023
Trade Show: April 2-4, 2023


Sign up to get your spot to exhibit!
Contact Rick Munisteri at Namta for information, or to set up a virtual meeting to talk about your booth today.

[email protected]


Printable and with Pricing

2023 Booth Application

When you log in at you come to a Welcome page. Scroll down and find the link to the Online Membership Directory. then take a look at how your information, and your company information, is showing to other members logging in.


Update what you can. If you want to make it super easy, send an email to Karyn at [email protected] with what we need to change or add and we'll take care of it.


We have many new members who came over from AFCI and we did not receive what we call Company Profiles. We hope to get all of your profiles filled in and/or updated.


Health Benefits for All!
Namta has a member benefit to help you and your team when it comes to complete health benefits. MyHealthily created Manufacturers whereas a Namta member you can shop and enroll in complete healthcare coverage benefits. This includes health, vision, dental, hearing, and so much more!
As you might have read in our recent email, Manufacturers Healthcare is here to walk you through your options. The website is simple to navigate, and the options for coverage are vast. There are options for 1099, seasonal, and part-time employees too! 
Let your entire team know what they mean to your business with healthcare coverage today!



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