Location, Location, Location (NSS part 1)

This will be part one of a two-part recap of the National Stationery Show. First, in reference to the post title, a little history.

Last year was our first year exhibiting at the show, and our location, in a word, sucked. A great learning experience, but I made sure that this year our location, in two words, didn't suck. In fact, it was great. We were in the middle of about seven aisles of new, fresh, young exhibitors (and a few established ones) near the entrance to the show and a main cross aisle, and had lots of foot traffic and visibility.

For those not familiar either with trade shows in general or this one in particular, the show itself is in the Javits Center in NYC and is made up of about 30 aisles each with up to 50 exhibitors. It is, in several words, humongously massively overwhelmingly large. Our booth was a 8' x 10' space in which we displayed all of our cards, invites, coasters, and custom collection for about 10,000 or so buyers from stores across the country. Plus visiting press (the magazine kind), artists, suppliers, the 1500 exhibitors themselves, and a spattering of tag-alongs just there for the ride (read, parents and friends of exhibitors). Exhibitors range from greeting card producers (not just letterpressers, but digital printers, silkscreeners, American Greetings, and more) to candle makers, scrabbooking products, picture frame makers, bag ladies, really anything that might be sold in a stationery or gift shop.

Enough explaining, on to pictures.

So our booth went through several iterations. Here is the before shot:

While I liked it in theory, in practice the long table down the middle divided the booth in a way that made it difficult to navigate and see all the cards. The result:

That's Marisa Escolar, a friend since art camp and the designer of the fabulous Marisa line of cards [aside: we're taking suggestions for a better name for her line of cards than Marisa].
We introduced ten new cards in her line! You'd think that studying for PhD exams would sap all energy and creative juices, but evidently it only sparked more ideas than we had time to finalize before the show. The sunflowers, three new fish cards, and two new word cards were happily included in this eye-catching display:

[tangentially - I want to officially express my utter disappointment that Legion Paper has decided to drop from their Sorbet line of paper the Kiwi coverstock and the Lemon color entirely. Since we print exclusively on the vibrant Sorbet paper for Marisa's cards, I'm so sad that the yellow will no longer be an option - after I finish with the 2000 Lemon envelopes, plus about 3000 sheets of Kiwi and Lemon coverstock that I emptied from their inventory, that is.]

Back on topic - eye-catching displays. The World Notes and Coasters were BY FAR the biggest hits of the show. With wide appeal to stationery stores and lifestyle/home decoration stores alike, we were so pleased with all of the positive response to the designs. In fact, the World Notes were even selected to be part of the Best New Product display in the entrance lobby of the Show. Here was our display for that (minus the id label, which at photographing hadn't yet been placed):

We were limited to an 11" x 17" board to display the product, and Daphne's fan worked wonders alongside (or above-side?) little snippets from the other color palattes. The whole board was a scaled-down version of the big display in the booth:

This was oh-so-strategically placed by the entrance to the booth (behind Marisa in the photo above) and I cannot tell you how many people stopped by and were touching the cards. The purple one in particular, at just the right height, was caressed by at least two hundred different people.

Fanning the cards seemed to be our thing. Perhaps, though, it was most appropriate for the Suitables cards, being very reminiscent of a fan of playing cards:

We even managed to fan out the extra "You're Invited" cards.

As you can see, they shared the table with our little give-aways, mini Taza chocolates, lovingly hand-wrapped [thank you Erin, Rachel and Marisa] in our own "Letterpress printed by Albertine Press" thai tissue paper wrappers in Albertine green. We had a grand old time watching all the little old ladies, who were not in the least interested in our product, not-so-subtly "sneaking" four or five pieces of chocolates into rolling carts or handbags as they walked by. As if we weren't watching them do this! So funny. A big hit though - we will definitely make this a tradition.

The last new additions to our greeting card lines were these four holiday cards, that Jacob christened Close Ups.

I'd found the sketches in a pile of Pretty in Pink original drawings that I'd completely forgotten about. It's a more complicated layered design than is typical of our cards, but I think you can expect to see more like them in the future.

I think that this post is bordering on Tolstoy in length so I'll sign off for now and come back later with pictures of the new custom album and baby designs, plus shout outs to the wonderful people we met at the show.

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