Wednesday, July 29, 2009


We are often asked how our company got it's start. It is actually a pretty cool story! After 34 years of work in the Art Materials Industry, my dad (Jack) unexpectedly found himself out of work. At the time the family was living in Massachusetts. Most of us 6 kids had flown the nest. Only my brother Darren and my sister Kelly were still living at home. Darren was just graduating from college with a degree in accounting.
My dad made Darren an offer he could not refuse as a new college graduate. Come to work for him and my mother to start a business importing art materials. The real hook was my dad would pay Darren Free room and board, $50 a month and he would have a car to drive! What an offer! If you ask Darren today, I am sure he would tell you there are days he wonders "What was I thinking!!!"
With that they decided to move the family back to a place they lived years ago...beautiful Appleton Wisconsin where cost of living was reasonable and people are hard working. My mom and dad bought the house you see above and started Jack Richeson & Co., Inc Artist Materials. Product was shipped from vendors to the "Warehouse" above - orders taken on the house phone and picked and packed from the attic. This is where they stayed until the business grew enough my mom insisted it was time for the first fledgling "REAL" office and warehouse.
The company start was modest and everyone worked hard. No one could imagine how it would grow to eventually employ 12 family members as well as our other wonderful employees! This was only the beginning!