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Vana Visits : National Stationery Show 2011

July 20, 2011

Happy Wednesday Friends!

Today I bring you a long due post about my first time experience at the National Stationery Show 2011 this past May. I hope you find it useful.

Moi in front of one of my favorite designer’s booth, Jonathan Alder.

When I was planning the trip to NYC, I had a few goals in mind. The main one being to walk the show in 2 days (stop by and visit with some of my favorite companies – see below) as a buyer. I also wanted to get an idea on booth layout, new design trends – meet manufacturers and suppliers in person as well as look for new products to carry on our website that complement our own line of products. The show was what I had hoped for and more. If you’re in the stationery and gift industry, you must make it your goal to visit one day. Not only will you be inspired {big!} but you will have a chance to meet the people behind this amazing industry – and by these people I mean big and small:)

The show lasted 4 days but I could only attend the first 2. I was mostly happy to meet (finally) my online pal and roomie, the adorable Stacy of InkspotWorkshop. Stacy and I met online almost 3.5 years ago when we started our etsy shops and have since grown very fond of each other.

Lovely Stacy and I in front of our hotel. We had so much fun walking around, checking out shops and purchasing small memorabilia for our little men:)

With the lovely Joanna Dreifus from My Mom Shops. Joanna has been a long time supporter of my little shop. It was such pleasure meeting her in person.

One of the many fabulous displays of Lilly Pulitzer’s booth.
View from the Surtex booth of a very talented surface designer, Laurie Wistburn. Watch out for Laurie’s new book “Mastering the new art of Fabric Printing and Design” coming out later this year!!

As you can imagine, there is a lot to see at the NSS. To our benefit, there were 2 other shows happening at the same time – the Surtex (a show for all surface designers to sell and license their work) and the ICFF (International Contemporary Furniture Fair) which we could get in using our NSS pass. We walked most of the NSS in one day – made our lists of shops/companies we wanted to spend more time talking to and visited them the 2nd day. Here are a few thoughts in case you decide to ever walk the show:

  • Make sure you have a list at hand of all the companies you like to visit before you arrive at the show.  The show was so bit that having a game plan of where to go and whom to see before we got too distracted was key.
  • Bring an easy to carry bag (backpack would have been useful) or a binder of sorts to help you organize all the business cards, catalogs, and other hand outs you collect at the show. It will be easier when you arrive at your hotel and go through all the materials and make a plan for the next day. Stacy and I sat day the first evening and sorted through everything and decided which places we wanted to visit the next morning. It helped us stay focused especially when we only had a few hours to do everything.
  • Always ask permission before taking pictures. We were told that on previous years some of the exhibitors didn’t want you to snap pictures of their booth/work without questioning you first. This year, I thought they were way more relaxed. Not only were they happy to be photographed but also easy to talk to. I must add here that I attended as a buyer not a future exhibitor. Perhaps having the right label on my name tag did some good too!
  • If you plan to do a recap on the show, make sure you bring a good camera and take a ton of pictures – close up and from a distance. When you get back to the hotel, organize the photos per your post. I didn’t do a good job this time around. I didn’t bring my camera but was able to snap some pictures with my iPhone. Not the best quality but it worked.
  • Always make sure to follow up with the people/companies you promised you would. A short follow up email a few days after the show has ended, would be sufficient until you can touch base again later.

And now, a few of my favorite booths/companies…

Mr. Boddington’s Studio – You can imagine my excitement to come across this booth – simple, elegant, plain gorgeous and breathtaking…all of that and more.

Rifle Paper Co. – Hands down one of my favorite paper companies right now. Stay tuned for a separate post coming up shortly about their work.

Let {her} Press – You know my love for letterpress. The talented ladies of letterpress this year featured under the name Let {her} Press (how clever!) had one of the nicest, well organized booths. Part of this group were: Paper Stories (my friend Kelly’s company), Lucky Bee Press, Paper Parasol Press, and Robin Beth.

Up Up Creative – Julie from Up Up Creative attended the NSS for the first time this year. Her booth looked so bright and colorful. Loved the pinwheel alphabet print. Don’t you?

Laurel Denise – I was most excited to finally meet my dear friend, Laurel of Laurel Denise. We’ve been collaborating for the past 2 years and it’s been the best experience ever. Laurel showcased her lovely 2012 planner which I can not wait to get my hands to. Stay tuned for the launch later this year. (Image courtesy of Oh So Beautiful Paper)

Fig and Ginger – Located directly across from Laurel Denise’s booth, this company had my jaw dropping, literally. Their booth design was simply the best! Well I may also be a little bias because of my love for silhouettes but none the less… (Image courtesy of Oh So Beautiful Paper)

Well, there you have it folks! Make sure to be on the look out for my friend Stacy’s recap on the NSS coming soon..

For more amazing coverage on the NSS 2011 make sure to check the following blogs:

Oh So Beautiful Paper, Brooklyn Bride

The post Vana Visits : National Stationery Show 2011 appeared first on Le Papier Blog.


I am Vana Chupp, a wife, mother of two sweet boys and the heart and soul behind Le Papier Studio. This blog chronicles my thoughts on running a small business and capturing life's special moments. Read more...