Industry News

Nina Deckert succumbed to her battle with cancer on March 14, 2012.

From Mark Golden:  We lost a remarkable person as Nina finally yielded to an illness that took her away so quickly. To all of us who had the great fortune to know Nina, this news leaves in all of us, a hole in a life full of creativity, passion and love cut much too short. After hearing the news of her illness in the fall of 2011, it was assumed that no matter the seriousness or aggressiveness of this illness that Nina, ‘the fighter,’ would overcome this challenge as she had overcome so many challenges before. Nina was a fighter for all of us. My conversations and emails are full of requests from Nina fighting for her customers, fighting for us to continue to be a better and stronger company; challenging all of us to learn more, do more, to be more. It did not matter who she was speaking to, her convictions wouldn’t allow her to back down when she felt she could add value to a relationship or the service she could deliver. Nina was thoughtful and thorough, as was her manner, but it was her passion and care for her colleagues and friends that allowed everyone to so clearly hear her voice. That voice will be missed by us all. To her family and friends, our thoughts and prayers for your strength and courage to be able to move past this time, onto the memories of a beautiful person.

From Nina’s family:  There will be a memorial for Nina Deckert on Saturday, April 14th, 11am-2pm in the Brazilian Room at Tilden Park, Berkeley, CA. You are invited to attend for as long or as short as you are available. We plan to serve light refreshments. This is a casual event and Nina would want you to dress for comfort, whatever that means for you (ok, so maybe no au natural!). There are no planned speeches, just plenty of time to share memories. There will be a showing of her art work at Gruenwald Press in San Francisco in the week before and the day of the memorial. More details for both of these events can be found at including ways to RSVP.

Zora Sweet Pinney, an art supply industry pioneer passed away March 2nd at her home in Los Angeles, CA. She was 91. Those of us who knew Zora counted on her passion for art materials, an acerbic and penetrating humor as well as straight talk and a relentless honesty. Her store was appropriately named Zora’s, located in the tony Brentwood area of Los Angeles, and was stocked to the gills with unique art products from around the world that had one thing in common; quality.  Her staff was for a time the best in the industry and they were world renowned for their knowledge and dedication to the artists they served. Products were made or broken at Zora’s. She cared little about the memes of a stodgy old art material establishment and made lots of time to help and nurture newcomers with different ideas about serving a changing industry. In the 1990’s Zora and her husband Ed moved the store to Santa Monica. They struggled in the new spot and soon after sold out to Standard Brands Paint who renamed it to fit into their newly created Art Store chain. Most of the original employees drifted away and Zora went on to help create the Namta Essential Resource Guide (ERG) with Spokane Art’s Claudia Myers. In 1995 she was inducted into Namta’s Hall of Fame for her giant influence on the modern American art supply scene. Zora, you will be missed!

Former Search Press sales and marketing lead Susan Kocsis is earning her entrepreneurial chops with a new tailgate party storage box called the Prepster. She has entered WalMart “Get on the Shelf” competition and she would love your vote. Check out her website first or view her video here, then vote at her website:

Michaels launches “Craft Masters” Reality Show, a web-based craft competition that kicks off just in time for National Craft Month. Not exactly Project Runway, but there are some funny moments all the same:


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