Archive for April, 2010

The Day After Earth Day

Friday, April 23rd, 2010
Earth Day materials

Our beautiful natural materials on the Artterro project table (made of recycled doors!) We love having stacks of art supplies around our office to inspire us!

At Artterro, we love Earth Day. Gathering the world community to pay tribute to the planet and recognize our impact on it is significant! The fulfillment of sustainability and environmental stewardship, though, takes regular commitment and as a sustainable business, we feel empowered as we strive to make responsible choices everyday.

Our minimal packaging allows us to spend more on the amazing materials AND you get to see what you're buying!

Artterro kits are very intentionally packaged. We use sturdy reusable bags, print all inserts on 100% PCW recycled  paper with vegetable based inks at Green Solutions Printing in Eugene, OR. They are a terrific small business committed exclusively to environmentally responsible printing and use renewable energy to power their presses. When packed in shipping boxes, our kits take up a fraction of the space conventionally over-packaged craft kits do, reducing transportation resources.  Our kits are assembled in the US at Goodwill Industries in Milwaukee, WI to provide social services and job skills to those in need and to avoid the intense resource suck of overseas production. And best of all, customers are not left with a pile of wasteful boxes and molded plastic inserts that ultimately end up in the trash.

And then, there’s the materials… Who could thow these away?

Handmade 100% Post consumer waste recycled decorative papers. We have a terrific paper supplier who works as a husband and wife team. She designs all the patterns!

Handmade 100% wool felt

Glass and wooden beads

We have a lot of goals but one is to teach children and families to value quality materials. In our fast food culture, we have gotten so used to cheap, easy and disposable. We want kids not only growing up exploring their creativity but doing it with art supplies that inspire them. We want them to learn to take care of them, to care about what they’re made of, to reuse them when tired of an old project, and to add recycled items from around the house to personalize their artwork.

While at the recent NAMTA art materials trade show we heard a few buyers comment, “I love the concept. The materials and projects are great. I get the idea of the packaging but I just wish it had a box… my customers are used to thinking they get more if they buy a big box.” We have heard this before and learned educating our customers is key. It’s a huge cultural mind shift to believe you can actually get more value from a smaller package! And it’s exciting to see that more and more people get it. In fact, we’re thrilled to announce we were just named a “Top Green Toy for Earth Day 2010″ on the education.com website!

So we continue on, trying our best to make sustainable choices, not because it’s a savvy marketing strategy or even because it’s good for the environment. When we focus on the big picture instead of just the bottom line, we become better people, better role models for our children, and lead more balanced lives. To truly make a difference on Earth Day and beyond, striving to create balance within ourselves and our workplaces translates into a healthier environment all around.

So happy Earth Day, and enjoy making lots of sustainable art with the people you love!

A lovely wire sculpture made with our Garden Art kit adorns a plant on our window sill.

Three for Three!

Friday, April 16th, 2010

The table at our booth displaying our "Best New Kid's Product "awards, 3 years in a row!

We’re here in Indianapolis for the International Art Materials Trade show (NAMTA) for the third time. It’s been a great show! We’ve met a lot of new potential customers and reconnected with friends from previous years. It’s always satisfying to share our products and sustainable concept of our company with new people, especially in the art community. We’ve gotten a warm reception, many appreciate the focus of providing quality art materials to children. They, like us have been frustrated by cookie-cutter kits overwhelmingly given to kids made of plastic beads, foam shapes, dried out paint pots and pipe cleaners!

And, we’re excited to announce for the third year in a row, we’ve been awarded the “Best New Kid’s Product” title for our new Wool Felt Bug kit! Check out the pics below. It includes an assortment of colorful wool felt shapes, fun ribbon, wire, beads, craft thread and needles. You can make 7 one-of -a-kind art bugs with one great kit!

Our new Wool Felt Bug Kit

Bug kit samples

We also introduced a few other new products, all of these will be available in stores this fall. For a couple of years now we have heard over and over again requests for a class-sized kit. So we’ve listened and delivered! The new Artterro Creativity Party Pack is a collection of decorative 100% recycled handmade paper, wool felt shapes, wire, beads, craft thread and needles. Enough materials for 12 people to make 2 projects each. This kit is perfect for birthday parties, classes, after school groups, camps, and family gatherings!

party pack

Our new class sized Creativity Party Pack has enough materials for 12 people to do 2 projects each!

And we’ve created a group of four Artterro Extras for all of you that want a little more beads, paper or felt to go with a project.

New Artterro Extras! Need a little more felt, beads or paper? We've got just the thing.

Over the past couple of days, we’ve talked to a lot of other exhibitors wanting to know where they can buy our products for themselves and their families. Our list of stores is always growing but we could use all of your help to spread the word about our products and company. If you have an art, craft, toy, gift, or natural food store in your area you think should carry our kits, please feel free to let them know about us!