"You know about Star Beacon, don't you?"

It was like getting handed an invite to the Cool Moms Club. I looked at the other mom I had met through a book club. Our 4-year-old daughters were running around the rose bushes at Whetstone Park.

"No…?" I said.

She looked around to see if anyone else was listening.

"Best place to get art supplies," she leaned in and said. "We're talking gallon-sized jugs of paint."

"What colors?" I gasped, thinking about the thimble-sized bottles of gold, silver and purple we were already draining on a weekly basis.

"Any color you want," she said with a satisfied grin, sitting back on the park bench. "I'll get you the address."

See, tips like that are the fun part of parenting. The little hints we share that make life easier. Star Beacon Product, as I was soon to find out, is this wholesale supplier of art and craft supplies, tucked away in a nondescript building in the industrial part of Grandview. It's been there since 1936, owned by the same family (the Schirtzingers).

They don't advertise, they just rely on word-of-mouth, they told me, to sell their gallon-sized jugs of tempera paint, pound-size bags of fuzzy balls, markers, pencils, glitter, and all manner of doo-dads that teachers and parents alike use in our never-ending quest to stimulate synapse closure in small people's noggins.

So consider this your cool tip of the day: Star Beacon Products, 1104-1110 Grandview Blvd. (on the north side of the road, pull into the parking lot on the east side of the building), Columbus. Phone: 614-294-4657. And check them out in our new Product Pix feature when the August issue starts hitting libraries, schools, daycare facilities, pediatricians' offices, Giant Eagle and more than 800 other locations.

-- Jane Hawes, Editor of the new Columbus Parent