Namta Connect Virtual Schedule

Namta Connect keeps members in touch with Supplier Demos, Business Presentations, and Member Meetings
- all on the ZOOM platform.

Session Times are listed in Eastern Time

3 pm Eastern =
2 pm Central  = 1 pm Mountain  = 12 noon Pacific

Thursday - September 29 - Sign Up
3 pm Eastern Time  

Technology in Creative Products: a Panel Discussion
Moderator: David Pyle
Panelists: Jie Qi with Chibitronics, Shelley Mathews with FullCircle26, Joy Fishburne-Macdonell with Cricut,
What is driving innovation in creative products? What materials and methods are creators experimenting with? How do products operate in both the digital and physical and how can retailers capitalize on these new modes of creating?
With this outstanding panel of visionary experts, we’ll dive into the intersection of technology and creative products. Explore how products like laser cutters, 3d printing, and circuitry enhance existing crafts and how we can incorporate them into our product line up. You’ll leave with new ideas on how these products can drive growth and opportunity for your business. Come with us and boldly go where no creative products person has gone before!

About Jie Qi:
Jie Qi is a multi-disciplinary designer, inventor and entrepreneur based in Florida. She is co-founder of Chibitronics, which produces high-tech arts and craft supplies like LED sticker lights. Chibitronics combines art with engineering to empower creators of all backgrounds to make their own expressive and personally meaningful technologies. Jie holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Columbia University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in media arts and sciences from MIT. She has been featured on WIRED, Fast Company, the Financial Times and the New York Times. She has given invited talks and workshops across diverse venues including Rhode Island School of Design, NYU, LEGO, Google, Microsoft, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Her award-winning work has been exhibited internationally including at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Exploratorium Museum, Ars Electronica, and in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.

About Shelley Mathews:
Shelley Mathews is a lifetime entrepreneur, specialist in bringing products to market and future thinker. As a professional in sales, marketing and business creation, her company FullCircle26 Inc. offers a platform for access to education, food, and enterprise.
Shelley started her destiny in entrepreneurship as a child with a lemon-aide stand and side hustles through-out adulthood to support her education and life-long dreams. Her journey from sales representative to vice president of sales for top brands including Memorex, Rubbermaid, Crayola, McGraw-Hill Children’s Publishing and Dixon Ticonderoga solidified a track-record of success and confidence to leave corporate life and start her company FullCircle26 Inc. (FC26I) in January 2017.
FullCircle26 Inc. today has represented top brand names including Armadillo Art & Craft, Bob Ross, Dixon Ticonderoga and currently ArtVenture LLC, Chibitronics and OPCOM.  In 2019, FC26I became the North American distributor for OPCOM Hydroponic systems. The company’s portfolio continues to grow with Agtech and STEM/STEAM products for various channels of trade including education, art, consumer, and eCommerce.  
Shelley is a life-long learner with an undergraduate degree in Business from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse and master’s degree in Marketing Communication from Roosevelt University. Her interest includes ancient history, cooking, gardening, and songwriting to maintain a life of learning, health, and creativity.
FullCircle26, Inc. is a full-service factory representative organization offering services to small, innovative companies looking for representation with key national distributors and regional retailers. Our focus is on servicing and distributing quality products that include Agtech and STEM/STEAM related merchandise with customers in the Education, Art & Craft, Commercial and Hardware channels

About Joy Macdonell:
Joy Macdonell is a Sr. Channel Marketing Manager at Cricut where technology and creativity connect. Cricut makes smart cutting machines that work with an easy-to-use app that helps everyone design and personalize almost anything – custom cards, unique apparel, everyday items, and so much more. Joy continues to expand on her almost 30 years of craft industry experience at Cricut where she focuses on the innovative connection between creativity and technology.

Tuesday - October 4 - Sign up
3 pm Eastern Time 

My Biggest Success (and Most Notable Screw-up)
Speakers: David Pyle with guests Rich Kizer and Georgeanne Bender
Guess who’s coming to Namta Connect? This regular series will interview key figures within the industry - this month with long-time creative products industry consultants Rich Kizer and Georgeanne Bender. David Pyle will open the door to discuss memorable and pivotal moments: what’s been learned over the years? What opportunities do they see ahead for the community? What’s the wackiest exchange they’ve had with a customer or client (names changed to protect the innocent!) You’ll walk away with deeper insights about the arts and crafts landscape and tactics to employ in your business. Rich and George have done so much within our community over the past decades to help identify trends, skills, and opportunities unique within the creative products market. We can’t wait to see what they bring to this discussion.
Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender are consumer anthropologists, speakers, authors, and consultants who have helped thousands of businesses in the retail, creative, restaurant, healthcare, deathcare, hospitality, pet, collegiate, travel, beauty, tech, auto, sales and service industries grow their sales since 1990.KIZER & BENDER are listed among the Top 40 Omnichannel Retail Influencers, Top 100 Retail Influencers, and the Top Retail Industry Experts to Follow on Social Media. They made Meetings & Conventions Magazine's list of Meeting Planners Favorite Keynote Speakers, were named two of Retailing's Most Influential People, and their award-winning Retail Adventures Blog ranks high on the Top 20 Retail & Marketing Blogs for 2022. As global retail thought leaders, KIZER & BENDER serve as BrainTrust panelists for RetailWire, retailing’s premier daily online discussion forum.

Thursday - October 6 - Sign up
3 pm Eastern Time 

Rights Management for (and with!) Designers and Influencers

Speakers: David Pyle with Tammy Browning-Smith
Gone are the days when you shake hands over a design idea and simply go to market. With so many channels for sales - and so many different applications for a design - how do you know what rights you have? Are you licensing or doing 'work for hire?' As a manufacturer, how can you develop long-term (and mutually profitable) relationships with designers and influencers?

Tammy Browning-Smith, with her deep experience as intellectual property counsel in the creative products industry, will join David Pyle to discuss the dramatically shifting IP landscape for designers, influencers and brands.

Tuesday - October 18 - Sign up coming
3 pm Eastern Time 

Wellness and Creative Products – a Panel Discussion
Facilitator: David Pyle
Panelists: Joe McClain with Help Heal Veterans and Jess Bramson with D.M.C. Group
How do we sustain growth and interest in creative products after the pandemic boom? How can we communicate the necessity of our products for our wellbeing and make them stand out in the vast wellness industry? The concept of wellness, propelled by the pandemic, is a trend that is growing steadily and not disappearing. What opportunities do we have to drive growth for our businesses? Join Joe McClain with Help Heal Veterans and Jess Bramson with the D.M.C. Group to talk about their takes on how crafting impacts wellness and how we can use our products to make a substantial difference in the quality of life for our consumers. Don’t miss this inspiring conversation.
Joseph S. (Joe) McClain is the Help Heal Veterans Chief Executive Officer.  A veteran of the U.S. Navy with nearly thirty years of service, McClain has experience leading large, complex, multi-national and diverse organizations. He is a results-oriented strategic leader with a passion for service. The son of a career U.S. Army veteran, Mr. McClain is a United States Naval Academy graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering. He holds a Master of Arts in History from the University of Alabama and a Master of Arts in National and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.   In the military, McClain served in a variety of operational command and staff positions, including numerous overseas deployments flying the carrier-based S-3B Viking aircraft. He served as Director, Congressional Liaison for the U. S. House of Representatives for the Secretary of the Navy. In this role, he was responsible for developing and implementing the Navy’s legislative strategy. He also served as Commodore of Sea Control Wing Atlantic, leading approximately 1300 personnel in seven squadrons with 60 combat aircraft. He has held leadership positions as a commander, mentor and manager in various units including leading the “Blue Wolves” of Sea Control Squadron 35 (VS-35) as Commanding Officer. After retiring from the military, McClain served as President of the Beer Institute in Washington, D.C. As a national advocate for the brewing industry, Mr. McClain represented America’s brewers and beer importers. He also served Vice Chair of AFCI up until its merging with Namta.  McClain is passionate about the veteran and military communities. A third-generation service member, he knows the struggles and challenges veterans and their families face, and he is committed to improving their care and quality of life. A native of Omaha, Nebraska, McClain lives in San Diego, California with his wife Deanna. They have three children; their oldest is on active duty with the U.S. Navy. In his spare time, McClain enjoys surfing, martial arts and playing guitar in a local rock band.

Jess Bramson is a professional project marketing manager with over 20 years’ experience developing new global products for premium art materials brands, including Winsor & Newton, Liquitex, Rowan and DMC. As a professional and experienced B2C marketer, Jess is dedicated to developing products that embrace the core demands & motivations of the artist and future-artist/consumer. She is currently leading the kit development programme for The DMC Group, the needlecraft industry’s market leader, with a portfolio of complementary yarn and embroidery brands that are sold in over 120 countries worldwide. Jess has a strong personal affinity with the art materials market and art world, having studied at the Courtauld Institute of Art, esteemed for its history of art and art conservation specialisms.


Tuesday - October 11 - Sign up
3 pm Eastern Time 

Energize Your Holiday Marketing with Powerful First Party Data Collection
Presented by Traci Reuter

The holiday season is a time to get your marketing right, so you can reap the rewards of the season.
First party data is the most powerful form of data in marketing. It's data that you collect from your customers, which is then used to create personalized experiences. The holiday season is a great time to collect customer data and use it for marketing purposes throughout the year. In this session you will learn why the holiday season is the best time, strategies for collecting and then how to use that data throughout the year.

Join Traci Reuter, Founder & CEO of Divine Social, a digital media advertising and email marketing agency. Traci brings 30 years of sales and marketing experience.  She and her team are behind many of the biggest brands in the arts, crafts & soft crafts space.

Thursday - October 13 - Sign Up

3 pm Eastern Time  

Tips and Tricks to Grow Online Sales
Presented by Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender - experts on generational diversity, consumer trends, marketing and promotion, and everything retail.

Three things are happening right now that no retailer can afford to ignore:

1. Today’s consumers are only loyal if you make them loyal; 2. Day-to-day loyalty comes from day-to-day marketing; and 3. Word of mouth is still the number one thing that attracts new customers to your store. Once you capture a customer’s attention, it takes work to keep it, so what’s a retailer to do?
During this presentation, KIZER & BENDER will share strategies to keep your customers close. You’ll learn how to personalize and expand the customer experience online and via social media with easy-to-implement, retailer-tested ideas, strategies, tactics, tips and techniques you will be able to implement the second you return to your store!

 Thursday- October 27 - Sign Up
3 pm Eastern Time  

Introducing OLO Marker - The Heart of Color
Presented by John Darland and Lori Craig

Join Global Creative Inc. to learn about the new, patented OLO alcohol marker that is revolutionizing the art [or marker] industry. Explore the innovative and customization features of the OLO system and learn why OLO is the new choice for art marker artists.

Top creatives are buzzing about OLO's high-quality features, ease of use, and value. We are excited to share engaging retail options that will draw attention in any size fine art or craft supply store. See you there!



Demo/Present Your Product
  • Supplier Members, this benefit is included in your membership.
  • Sign up to present your products to membership in DEMO ALLEY VIRTUAL SESSIONS on Namta Connect!
  • Contact Rick Munisteri with questions.

Have you missed some Namta Connect Sessions?


Visit Namta Connect The Studio to see recordings of past sessions.