International Art Materials Association

    eNews:  July 3, 2019

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When The Light Bulb Goes On
by Tom Shay

Two men were taking a walk through a wooded area and came upon an old wagon. Thinking it could be a lovely yard decoration they decided to pull it out and take it home with them. The wagon originally had four wheels but the two front wheels were missing. What was the front of the wagon now had handles, and the rear of the wagon had a large latch where something could be tied and pulled behind the wagon.

The two grabbed the rear handle and began to pull, but after a hundred yards one realized that this was a slow process because the axle for the missing wheels was dragging in the dirt. He said,” Let’s pull it from the other end. It will go quicker." When they changed ends it did work quicker but then the second one said, “it is working better but we are getting further away from home."

Makes you wonder when the light bulb will go on?

Some small businesses continue to experience this same type of result.

I visited a small, local retailer that does both B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer), and I watched the staff as they had multiple exchanges with customers.

One of the businesses had a sizable showroom floor and warehouse, and at its checkout counter there was a space for both business and regular consumer customers. The staff is product knowledgeable, but on more than one occasion I’ve heard a B2B customer ask a question only to be told they’ll have to wait for their answer because the boss is at the other counter.

The owner was at the consumer side of the business, and he had decided to be the primary salesperson, perhaps because he believed he has the most product knowledge or the best sales skills.

I observed other examples of this routine but suffice to say, it’s clear that the owner has made the decision to be a part of everything that happened in the business. Yet, this same owner often complains about doing so much of the work.

It’s important to remember that just about any task that can be put into a routine can also be delegated to an employee.

Additionally, I often wondered when the owner has time to do the things only a business owner can do. Owner duties could not possibly be done during business hours, when the owner is busy doing everything I’ve just described and more.  

Bottom line -
You have to wonder when the light bulb will go on!

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Tom Shay is a fourth-generation small business owner, author, columnist, coach and speaker who has authored several training manuals for retailers that can be found in the Resources section of the Namta website – His knowledge of small business marketing, business strategy, staffing, and financial management have provided small business owners with the help necessary to increase their profits plus build their business for the future. You can learn more here -


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Cornelius, NC 28031


Temporary Office Phone Number


Visit our Contact Us page for staff emails, or email Karen at [email protected] for general information or assistance.

Art Matters - Art Advocacy


"Drawing is superior to activities such as reading or writing because it forces the person to process information in multiple ways: visually, kinesthetically, and semantically. Across a series of experiments, researchers found drawing information to be a powerful way to boost memory, increasing recall by nearly double."

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Namta’s Grant Program provides a great way to demonstrate the effort you or your association are making to support Art Advocacy in your community. The program awards grants to applicants who support the arts in any of four categories:


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Help Us Get the Word Out!

2019 Namta Art Advocacy Grants

Members - please include information about this program in your customer communications and encourage those who are using art “to make a difference in people’s lives” to apply for one of the 2019 Grants.

Thank you to our 2019 Grant Sponsors

Would you like to help? Grants are funded by donations and Namta. If you are interested in sponsoring the Grant Program with a donation click the jar to the left to donate online, or you can contact Sue Cohen at Namta at 704-892-6244 or [email protected].


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100 Art Therapy Exercises - The 2019 Updated List

from Expressive Art Inspirations

The article has 100 examples of Art Therapy activities for Emotions, Relaxation, Happiness, Portraits, Trauma and Loss, Collaging, Self, Gratitude, and Inside the Mind.

  1. Draw or paint your emotions. In this exercise, you'll focus entirely on painting what you're feeling.
  2. Create an emotion wheel. Using color, this activity will have you thinking critically about your emotions.
  3. Make a meditative painting. Looking for a creative way to relax?  Have trouble sitting still to meditate?  Meditative painting might be just the thing you're looking for.  No painting skill or experience necessary - only a desire to relax and become more creative.
  4. Put together a journal. Journals don't have to just be based around words. You can make an art journal as well, that lets you visually express your emotions.
  5. Explore puppet therapy. Puppets aren't just for kids. Make your own and have them act out scenes that make you upset.
  6. Use line art. Line is one of the simplest and most basic aspects of art, but it can also contain a lot of emotion. Use simple line art to demonstrate visually how you're feeling.
  7. Design a postcard you will never send. Are you still angry or upset with someone in your life? Create a postcard that expresses this, though you don't have to ever send it.
  8. Create a family sculpture. For this activity, you make a clay representation of each family member-- mother, father, siblings, and any other close or influential family members to explore emotional dynamics and roles within your family.
  9. Paint a mountain and a valley. The mountain can represent a time where you were happy, the valley, when you were sad. Add elements that reflect specific events as well.
  10. Attach a drawing or message to a balloon. Send away negative emotions or spread positive ones by attaching a note or drawing to a balloon and setting it free.

Click here to see the entire list of 100 activities

The Question Is . . .

An article in the May 22, 2019 issue of eNews is titled "Consumers Spent ______________ Hours in Shopping Apps Last Year,"

How many hours did consumers spend in Shopping Apps last year according to this article?

Members - answer this question by July 14 for a chance to be in a drawing to win an Art Matters T-shirt.

At the end of the year, everyone who has answered correctly will be entered in a drawing to win a $100 Gift Card.
You will receive one entry in the final drawing for every correct answer you have submitted.

Member News


Share Your Memories of Mr. Gwartzman.

On August 24th, 2019 the Gwartzman Family and Friends will be holding a memorial service for the late Mr. G at Gwartzman's Art Supplies. He was a staple in the Kensington Market/ Chinatown/ Spadina community and beyond. We're asking you, our customers, friends and family to share your memories of Mr. G for the memorial.


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in Lethbridge, Canada celebrates being in business, in the same location, for 30 Years. THE STUDIO retails art materials, teaches art classes, holds workshops, and houses a gallery of professional original art.

Notable Quote 

"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn."

- Benjamin Franklin


Pygmalion's Art Supplies

108 N. Grant Street, Bloomington, Indiana

Contact Jane Otten

[email protected] or 812-325-9808.




Namta Staff recently found these 4 business articles on the Web that may be of interest to you and your staff.

Summer Slowdown?

3 Things a Small Business Can Do

by Daniel B. Kline - June 2019

from The Motley Fool

For many small businesses, summertime presents a major challenge. Regular customers have other priorities -- kids are not in school, vacations disrupt day-to-day schedules, and summer activities like trips to the beach or pool take up much of the remaining time.

That can lead to big slowdowns for small businesses. Ideally, you've already budgeted for that, but there are things you can do to both increase business and set your company up well for the rest of the year. These ideas won't turn the summer into the holiday season, but they're still smart moves to make.

1. Lean into it

If things are going to be slow, use the summer months to take care of business. This is the perfect opportunity to make major changes, revamp your physical location, and work on fine-tuning marketing efforts for your busier season.

This is also a period when you should encourage your staff to take time off. If you had a really good year, consider shutting down for a week or having a rolling shutdown where you operate with a skeleton crew to offer your team some extra time off this summer.

2. Fill seasonal needs

When I ran a giant toy store, we boosted summer business by running half-day events where parents could leave their children with us. We hired a school teacher who led art classes, model building, and Lego events, giving parents a necessary break during the long summer.

Your business may not have such an obvious fit, but look at what the market needs and try to deliver it. Be clever by trying new things at a time of year when it's less risky to experiment.

3. Build up to an event

At the toy store, we held a summer sidewalk sale coupled with a customer appreciation barbecue. It was a fun event that felt appropriate for summer. It drew a pretty big crowd and our only promotions about the event were to our email and social media list.

Understand that your business may not command your customers' attention all summer, but that doesn't mean they don't like you. Don't try to take a lot of their time. Instead, find a way to remain connected and drive some business during summer months when people often have other things on their mind.
Be creative

If you know you're not going to be as busy as usual, take some chances. Try out new ideas -- if they fail, it won't be that big a deal. This is a season to put in the work to grow your business for the rest of the year. That can mean a lot of things. Attend community events to raise awareness of your existence, or focus on building a bigger social media presence.

Whatever you do, focus on longer-term goals. You may not be able to make huge gains during the summer, but you might be able to set yourself up to make them once the season changes to fall.

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