CRA News Blog
“We are honored to recognize Shanon Materio as the Retailer of the Year. She exemplifies in so many ways the creativity and passion that motivates great retailers,” said Rick McAllister, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation. “Good retailers make money, but great retailers also make a positive impact on their customers and their communities. Shanon and the team at McMow Art Glass have earned a place among Florida’s great retailers.”
With $200 and a dream, Materio and her husband, Phil, founded McMow Art glass in 1976. Over the years, the family-owned-and-operated business has grown from a 700-square-foot garage to occupy 10,000 square feet of studio, retail, and manufacturing space on Dixie Highway. Fueled by a passion for what they do, Materio and her team have earned respect in their community and throughout the art glass world.
Both Materio and her husband have served on numerous boards, including the Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency, the West Palm Beach South End Neighborhood Association, and West Palm Beach Arts in Public Places. McMow Art Glass and its employees support a wide variety of charitable organizations, with ongoing commitments to Adopt-a-Family for each holiday, and to the Quantum House for families whose children are receiving treatment in Palm Beach County for serious medical conditions.
The Florida Retailer of the Year Award, presented by FRF since 1999, honors retailers who blend sound business practices with commitments to their communities, customers and employees. The award is open to both members and non-members of the non-profit trade association. A selection panel made up of small business owners and other retail experts ranks nominees based on their scores in several categories measuring community service and business acumen.
From fusing or melting glass to mosaics and bead making, all 16 McMow Art Glass employees are dedicated to passing these art forms on to future generations. The diversity of McMow’s customers has helped the business grow, and people of all ages and from all walks of life take classes at the shop. Others come for group tours, and McMow hosts customer field trips to galleries and museums to promote the glass arts and further clients’ education. Customers shop for products and supplies, or buy finished pieces. Employees and students are allowed to sell their creations at the studio.
“We don’t see dollar signs when a person walks through the door,” said Materio. “We see a person who is going to ask questions and need help with something. Our customers have really responded to this level of care and attention.”
While classes help drive retail sales, the company is well-known for creating custom art glass for places of worship, as well as individuals. Among the clientele was the late Italian designer Gianni Versace, with whom Materio worked closely to create art glass installations for his famous South Beach mansion.
Materio was nominated by her daughter, Taylor, who works at McMow along with her brother, P.J. Through social media and various unique marketing strategies, Materio credits Taylor with introducing McMow and the glass arts to a new generation and “taking us to the next level.”