Tuesday, May 19, 2009

National Stationery Show

Carolyn and I just returned from the National Stationery Show. For you readers who are not a retailer or manufacturer of paper, the Stationery Show, or NSS, is held every May in New York City. It's where most paper and gift retailers go to do much of their buying and sourcing for the year. If you've ever been to a trade show, you probably have dim memories of being cooped up all day in a dark building in a not so nice part of some town. NSS is different. Not because the Jacob Javits Center is glamourous or anything like that, but because stationery and paper is a creative industry, so the creativity demonstrated in product display, booth construction and overall feel of the show is amazing. Seeing all that paper in one place helps you spot trends and develop ideas, not to mention hear directly from retailers and sales reps what they're looking for.

There are so many highlights we want to share, and we are each working on our lists of top trends to share with you over the rest of the week, but the first highlight we want to share relate to hen and barley press. Our initial magnets are shown above because they and our newest magnets were a huge hit at the show. Sam Flax stores bought them, and they were a definite draw in the booth. Paper accessories like our initial magnets were everywhere--magnets, file folders, clipboards, pencil holders, etc. At the end of the day, bad economy or not, people still need to stay organized and a small purchase like a cute magnet or file folder is both utilitarian and stylish, making it feel like a justifiable indulgence. They also make great gifts.

As we were leaving the show, we had an exciting celebrity sighting--Phoebe Cates was walking the show buying for her boutique on NY's Upper East Side. She is every bit as cute as she was when she was on the cover of 17 magazine, and stylish and classy without screaming "celebrity". After that and 2 days of networking and sales, we left the Javits Center feeling quite satisfied!

Stay tuned for more trends and info about the show.

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