Micador | Our Story - A Family Owned Business | Micador

In 1952, tea bags were first introduced to Britain.


In 1952, the world’s first jet airliner, the De Havilland Comet 1, flew from London to Johannesburg. 


In 1952, the first Victa lawnmower was invented, setting the sound back drop for Aussie weekends ever since.


In 1952, a Polish immigrant went door to door, selling the beautiful European greeting cards that he had brought to Australia. People loved the cards and the man began importing European art materials. Demand grew, the man saw his future and on the strength of a handshake, he borrowed $500 from a bank.


The man was Michael A Dortimer and from these humble beginnings, Micador was born.


He focused primarily on importing and distributing overseas brands, but in the 60s, Michael went to Japan, a place that could make quality products cheaper than Europe.  


He introduced to Australia a small range of children’s art materials: scissors, oil pastels, crayons, markers. Their low price and high quality meant that they were a hit in the schools and so began the roots of the Micador brand. A brand still seen as the quality leader in the education market more than 60 years later.


Micador Group became a constant in the art, craft and education markets. A proud company, distinguished by its longevity and its family values. A company known for quality products and great service.


After many years of success, however, the 1990s brought dark times to Micador. The market in Australia and the world was rapidly changing, driven by the entrance of international powerhouses and brands and Micador failed to keep up. What had always been a safe and profitable business was suddenly making losses. Customer support had remained strong, but the financial position had not. Micador was in danger of falling by the wayside like so many distribution businesses.


In 1999, it was time for some major changes. Ben, the grandson of Michael, took over the business to try and save it.


It was a challenging time for the team and for the family.


It was a time for tough decisions. 


The most important decision made was a strategic one. Up until that time, the business was predominantly a distributor of overseas brands, with a small group of Micador branded products.


The company had also just purchased Roymac, the market leader in brushes for artists.


It was decided that the future of the business was to create products and to build brands.


Micador and Roymac would be the focus, complemented by a small group of overseas brands where the values of the business and products were a fit with the “house” brands.

The strategy worked.


Today, Micador Group is in the top handful of companies in the industry.  

A company that is closely watched by its bigger competitors.  


A company that challenges the norm and leads the way.


So, over a journey of 60+ years and three generations, Micador Group has developed from Michael’s humble beginnings as a distribution business, to what it is today; 

a place where products are dreamed, designed and brought to life.