Friday, August 21, 2009


This past week, I was “out and about” (code for attending or working some other trade show) and I could not help but notice what must be a trend – robots! There were robot products and images all over the place. Where is this coming from? I saw little robot key chains, images of robots on t-shirts, paper products, tote bags - and more. All the products were meant for adults, but the robots had a certain look to them – they were kind of cute, not scary. And most of the robots I saw had square heads, not the round-ish head like that of the robot on the classic TV show “Lost in Space.”

Today, we received an exhibit space application for the NSS from a company with something like robot paper dolls (3-D). This product is meant for kids, of course. Look for it at the National Stationery Show in May 2010 – the company who makes them will be getting a booth.

Has anyone else spied this trend out in the market? Where have these robots come from? I thought the craze for robots that rose from the movie enterprise that brought us cute little R2D2 had run its course (for now). Has “The Robot” dance made a comeback and no one told me? Are we being invaded? Is this some social commentary on how technology has affected the population at large? (Just kidding).

I feel a bit like a robot today, (Friday), after having been away from my desk for a solid week! I'll be back to my usual self on Monday, and I can promise you, I'm way too "animated" to ever be called robotic!

Have a great weekend and a good week ahead!

Until next time -


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Getting Back to Nature

I love the Adirondacks. Located in upstate New York, the Adirondacks National Park is the largest national park in the lower forty-eight states. I have gone there with my family every year since I was born, some years more then once.

This year I was on the lookout. Of course I knew that there were greeting cards in the ADK (as it is referred to by those who go there), but I never really realized just how many different types there were. As I looked over the cards in probably two dozen different gift stores, I realized that there was one broad category of cards that predominates there – nature themed cards were everywhere.

One company who I had the pleasure of speaking to at the 2009 NSS was “Haymaker Press”. A Vermont based company; they specialize in nature photography from the Adirondack and Vermont region. Their cards really evoke the sense of peace and beauty of the area. Just looking at a picture of a still lake surrounded by green, rolling mountains has the ability to calm me.

But it is not just nature photography that predominates. Take this beautiful boxed Christmas card set of snow on birch trees from “Peter Pauper Press”:

Nature has a way of calming the soul. I believe that everyone needs a little bit of nature in there life in order to thrive (I need a lot). Help someone you know thrive, you never know who needs a peaceful mountain lake in their life!

- Aaron

Thursday, August 6, 2009

When the message really matters, it’s paper!

Over the past few weeks, several items arrived in my mailbox, and they have reminded me once again about the power that paper has to inspire, touch and brighten our lives.

First, I was delighted to receive a lovely wedding invitation, showcasing a beautiful, floral-inspired design from imprintables pioneer Colors by Design. Several days later came a handwritten note of thanks from a friend. Then our mailbox overflowed with cards helping to celebrate my husband’s birthday. All of these items from the social stationery industry could seem insignificant in the rush of our daily lives, but for my husband and me, they delivered messages of connection, caring and celebration that made us feel cherished.

Like everyone, I receive hundreds of emails per week—a never-ending flood of information, requests, spam, unwanted sales pitches, and every once in awhile, an occasional laugh. But except for business purposes, I have never kept an email, let alone saved one in my keepsake box for treasured memories. And I know that the greeting cards, invitations and personal notes I send other people are tucked away in their keepsake boxes as well.

There’s no doubt we are living in challenging times right now. Many people feel disconnected, unappreciated, and under siege. A card, a personalized note, an invitation—these are small actions make a huge and positive difference in someone’s life. I know that the power of paper continues to make a wonderful difference in mine. I’ll surely do my part to keep this enduring tradition going.