I attended the National Stationery Show last month and while I usually walk the trade show on a single day, I ended up going to the Javits Center three times this year. After the first day I was so thrilled to see familiar faces and make connections with new exhibitors that I just needed to keep going back. Not only was my friend Cindy of Cynla exhibiting for the second time (and needed help (wo)manning her booth on Tuesday), but I was also set to finally meet OMHG peeps like Colleen Attara, April Heather, Darice Pauselius, and Melissa of Print Therapy for the first time. There was also a serendipitous run-in with a former Greeting Card Design classmate that I hadn't spoken to since 2010. She had just reached out days earlier to reconnect and then we bumped into each other unexpectedly on the showroom floor!
I've also been seriously considering exhibiting at NSS next year so this time I wanted to ask some of my people peeps about their process. How did they build their booths? What costs did they incur? How could I save money? Which resources proved to be valuable? Did they see any improvements with the management's new set-up? I'm always so humbled when people are happy to see me popping into their booths (or that they remember me at all), but it was even more touching to see how encouraging they've been with my stationery pursuits. "Oh my God, do it!!" they'd squeal when I told them my goals and let me know to reach out if I had any questions about exhibiting. Funny thing is I was all into probably going for it a month ago and now that the applications for 2015 have gone up, I'm all, "Aaaack!! I can't! I can't!" We'll see what my neurotic, self-doubting ass decides to do. Did I mention it's a huge investment that'll cost thousands to make happen?
Anywho, below is a selection of stationery porn and goodies that had my head spinning at this year's National Stationery Show.
1. Emily Ley won a Best New Product Award for her Simplified Planners. | 2. Snarky line drawings from one of rep group Crow and Canary's newest lines, Melissa Rachel Black. | 3. Cards + confetti packets = instant celebration from Knot & Bow. | 4. Dog lovers will adore gift wrap (and cards and calendars and note pads and prints) from the sweet Lydia & Pugs. | 5. Seattle-based Constellation Co. shows off a rustic/outdoorsy-inspired collection. | 6. Cards for all the cool cats and hip(sters) from Hartford Prints. | 7. A sweet Dr. Seuss quote on Ilee Paper Good's letterpress card. | 8. State pride! Screen printed postcards from The Paper Cub. | 9. Parrott Design Studio's The Good Word letterpress series features bold color and beautiful white hand-lettering.
10. Cute die cut flat notes from Paper Lovely are perfect for summer. | 11. Hand-illustrated calendar from the Glendale Girls. | 12. These new wooden recipe boxes from Belle & Union Co. were repurposed from dying Colorado blue pine trees. | 13. Inspirational new print from 9th Letterpress. | 14. Oh how much did I love Yellow Owl Workshop's painted booth? (A lot.) | 15. The Color Block Confession line from Ten Four Paper continues designer Julie's talent for pairing bold colors and messages from that neurotic little voice in your head. | 16. Tiny motivational prints from Puddleduck Paper Co. | 17. Prints inspired by regional flora by Little Low Studio. | 18. I was super happy that new fave and all-around awesome lady Emily McDowell won FIVE Louie Awards at the show (they're like the Academy Awards of the stationery industry).
19. Super cute hand illustrated love card from Etsy Wholesaler Fierce Mally. | 20. Bad-ass penguin card from Beep Boop Bop. | 21. Fellow OMHG member Colleen Attara was making her National Stationery Show debut with mixed media cards, prints, and flowers made from repurposed plastic signs. | 22. And fellow Etsy NY teamie Kerry of KBatty was also debuting and making apologies look good with this happy striped envelope liner. | 23. Queenies Cards are as adorable as their owner and I'm happy to have stumbled upon her booth and connected with her since the show. Such a sweetheart! | 24. My kind of birthday cake from local company Hartland Brooklyn. | 25. More Brooklyn love and fun neon signage from Idlewild Co. | 26. Since the show I've been craving that all my packages be wrapped up with pretty Italian ribbon from Studio Carta. | 27. It was so nice to finally meet Dani of Oh Hello Friend and wish her success on her lovely line (and maybe also commiserate on being so petite).
28. New "Get Together" flat notes from Cynla to get your buddies excited about gatherings for doggy/kitty play dates, brunch, drinks, tea parties, and my fave, chowing on cheeseburgers. | 29. Botanical-inspired calendar from my long-time favorite Linda & Harriett. | 30. And can I just add that Linda & Harriett's Liz kicks ass for going freehand on her white walls for her booth? | 31. Pretty new letterpress tags from Penelope's Press with cute hand illustrations created by the owner's sister. | 32. Debbie of Penelope's Press also had goodie bags and fill-in cards for bridal showers, baby showers, and graduations. | 33. Scout Books showcased a few of their designers and custom notebooks. | 34. These flat notes from Moglea were dip dyed in Kool-Aid. | 35. Bright gift wrap and new notebooks from Fig. 2 Design. | 36. New gift enclosures from Fugu Fugu Press.
37. Snarky cards and hand-lettering from Life Is Funny. | 38. Gaah! Baby narwhals from Isabell's Umbrella. | 39. And cute pins, also from Isabell's Umbrella. | 40. These sweet little notes from E. Frances Paper come 85 in a pack so you can use them for lunch notes, quick hellos, gift enclosures, and so many other ways to spread the love. | 41. Colorful stationery and laser cut jewelry from Paper Trail Shop and Plastique, both owned by Jen Murse. | 42. What a sweet idea: screwed notepads that can be refilled with more sheets from Paper Trail Shop. | 43. Offensive + Delightful's awesome famous figures cards that should totally branch out into paper dolls. Not pictured: Biggie gift wrap. | 44. The annual Paper Party (held again at the Hudson Terrace) was a fun time to mingle with exhibitors, retailers and other paper geeks. | 45. This year's NSS left me swirling and excited and with an overflowing stationery drawer. So many goodies were collected from walking the show and the bulky Paper Party swag bag.