2008 Museum Store Association Retail Conference & Expo

Museum-store buyers looking for distinctive high-quality stained-glass products have a treat awaiting them when they attend the 2008 Museum Store Association (MSA) Retail Conference & Expo. On the first day of the event, which is being held this year from April 12th to 15th at the Tampa Convention Center in Florida, new vendor Truth in Glass launches its Truth in Glass line of premium-quality, high-fidelity fine art reproductions and other painted-glass items for the cultural commerce industry.

The company will be showing samples of its products and offering complimentary refreshments to MSA members not in the show's general exhibition area but in the Skywalk Meeting Room of the Embassy Suites Hotel, just across the skywalk bridge from the Convention Center.

"We know that this is a type of product that buyers have to hold in their hands to see its quality and color richness, " observes Roger Ginnett, President of Dallas-based Ginnett Associates, the authorized manufacturer's representative for the United States and Canada. "Buyers have seen a lot of poor quality stained-glass panels over the last few years as others have tried to revive the product line, and we need them to see firsthand that we are different."

Truth in Glass is the newly created subsidiary of glass industry leader and innovator Meixia Arts and Handicrafts Co., Ltd., of Xiamen, China. The company, which was founded in 1988 by Tennessee-born Bill Job, holds more than 20 patents on machines and processes relating to stained-glass manufacturing. It is also wholly U.S.-owned and socially responsible. It pays its employees a living wage, overtime and vacation time, and provides health insurance. Contributions to the community include giving substantial funding for medical and foster care for orphans and setting up a satellite factory in an improverished mountain village.

Truth in Glass operates under Meixia's Painted Glass Division and draws upon its parent company's two decades of experience in overseas production of quality stained-glass products for the U.S. market. It also carries on Meixia's commitment to premium-quality products, first-rate service, and contributing to the community.

The company works closely with museum-store buyers from start to finish, offering complete, "one-stop" service from conception through production to shipping. It helps them to select works from their collection that are suitable in color and detail for transfer to glass, and can also help them design new stained-glass items to fit the style of their product line.

Buyers email to the company a high-resolution digital image of each artwork they choose for reproduction, and specify whether the image is to be placed in front of a window; the company adjusts the density of the product to suit different lighting levels. Buyers receive a sample for approval before production begins. They also select the type of frame they wish, the final size and shape of the stained-glass piece, and the kind of packaging to be used for shipping. Throughout the process, each customer works with a customer service rep in Xiamen who knows the customer's products and is on the production floor daily with their orders. Additional support is available from Ginnett Associates in the United States.

Ginnett Associates is the exclusive authorized manufacturer's representative of Truth in Glass in the United States and Canada. Roger Ginnett, its president, has over 15 years' experience in marketing, sales and customer service, and has worked for such Fortune 500 companies as Kellogg's and Coca-Cola Enterprises. He knows Meixia well; he worked at their factory in Xiamen, and brings to Truth in Glass a first-hand knowledge of the company's operations in China.

MSA members attending the 2008 Conference & Expo are invited to stop by the Skyway Meeting Room at the Embassy Suites Hotel Tampa Downtown Convention Center between 12 noon and 7 P.M.on April 13th and 14th. There they can see samples of Truth in Glass products, ask questions, and enjoy complimentary refreshments. The room is adjacent to the skyway bridge that connects the hotel to the Convention Center, where the show is being held.

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