Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

All of us here would like to wish you and your families a very Happy New Year.

- The National Stationery Show Bloggers

Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's a Wrap!

So there I was last night, December 23rd, standing at my ironing board* wrapping the gifts I will be giving to my family and friends on Christmas Day. You can only imagine my frustration as gift after gift poked through the cheap wrapping.

Q. Why the %$#@ do I have this cheap, thin, gift wrap? (Don’t I know better?)
A. The design was cute, it came in a coordinating pack of 3, and was inexpensive – and purchased last year at one of the more design-forward “big box” stores. And yes, I do know better.

Luckily for me, I have a nice inventory of much thicker, higher quality gift wrap. Some of what I found in my stash was from Turnowsky. Oh, such a difference. The thickness of this high quality paper was truly a wonder to me last night, in comparison to what I’d tried to use. And the design, you must know, is just gorgeous – layered, with foiling, rich colors - sumptuous! The feel of folding this paper is just so much more enjoyable. Seriously. With the thin paper, it’s like a fight – this stuff folds in on itself, and of course there’s that ripping thing. With thick gift wrap like this, wrapping does become a joy. Instead of feeling like Mr. Scrooge – “bah humbug!” - I feel the spirit of the season, and know I can proudly present my gifts to each recipient.

To top off any present, ribbon or other decoration is a must. I am not a stick-on ribbon kind of gal. I have skeins of double-faced satin ribbon from Berwick Offray, in practically every color. I also have some absolutely gorgeous velvet ribbon from Midori, and one of the gifts I am giving my mother got this special treatment! (I may try to take it back so I can re-use it next year!!) And wire-ribbon is also a must. If I decide to get really crafty, I will tie on a pinecone, or sticks of cinnamon – or something else clever like that.

In order to keep things straight, there’s the gift tag. Often, I do not have tags specifically coordinated with the wrap. Instead, I try to find tags that are in the same color family as the wrap. I have some wonderful gift tags from Pikme. Designer/Owner Kirsten Reynolds is truly prolific. From this line, I have tags of Christmas (pine) trees, holiday florals, mermaids, flamingos – and so much more. One of my niece’s presents has the mermaid tag on it. I also recently bought some cute letterpress gift tags from Delphine – they feature a polar bear and the paper is shimmery! (I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – I love a little glitz., shimmer & sparkle!)

Finally, there’s the * above to be addressed. Do any of you wrap like me – on the ironing board? I am nearly 5’ 11” and I find that the ironing board is the perfect height for me – ergonomically. Instead of sitting (and likely slouching) amidst all the wrap, ribbons and tags, I like to stand so that I am able to move about. (To retrieve each gift, back and forth to the kitchen for just a little more bubbly…)

I should have taken a few photos of all of this, but instead, visit each company’s website to get a taste of their wonderful offerings.

Happy Holidays to you!!! Enjoy the season, and remember – if you have been thinking of exhibiting in the National Stationery Show, give me a call 914-421-3228. And if you are in retail and would like to attend, please remember to register for your badge on our website!

Until next time –


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Humor IS the best medicine!

Please don’t tell my husband, but I have a secret passion. I love greeting cards.

Nothing enchants me as much as finding an unexpected greeting card in my mailbox. As much as I delight in the designs—each card a miniature masterpiece of artwork – it is the messages that each card delivers that really wins my heart. No matter how many greeting cards I receive, I never fail to tear up at heartfelt sentiments of connection and support, friendship and encouragement contained in one small piece of card stock.

But of all the cards I’ve collected over the years, it’s the funny ones I love the most. Everyone needs a little humor these days, and greeting cards – filled with wit, “I can’t believe they thought of that” surprise, and clever charm, can pack lots of laughs in a challenging time. Writers often struggle with finding “just the right words” to convey a message; greeting card writers have to deliver huge amounts of humor in just a sentence or two. Two of my favorite birthday cards still have me smiling: “Be Yourself…Everyone Else is Taken…” proclaimed a delightful, vintage-looking Madison Park Greetings design. In another Recycled Paper card design, sent to me by my best friend, two well-dressed matrons are discussing health routines: “To stay young, the doctor said to exercise and eat the right foods…” “What?!” exclaims the other, “I thought he said ‘accessorize and buy nice shoes!” It was worth getting a year older to receive such warm gifts of laughter from people I love.

I’m looking forward to the National Stationery Show—it’s my favorite time to catch up on all the hilarious cards I haven’t received. You’ll recognize me—I’ll be the tall brunette, standing in the Design Design, Mikwright, Avanti, and Noble Works booths, opening greeting cards, and laughing out loud!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Social Media: Are You on the Bandwagon?

So here I am, plugging away at my job as Marketing Manager for the National Stationery Show, when the following Twitter message stops me in my tracks as I attempt to Tweet:

Twitter is over capacity.
Too many tweets! Please wait a moment and try again.

But I have something to post that our 524 followers need to hear now!

We are addicted to social media, this much is true. Approximately 25 million U.S. adults are utilizing Twitter with more than 2 million tweets sent daily. Likewise for Facebook, which touts more than 350 million active users and 55 million status updates daily.

What does this mean to us? Lots of opportunity to communicate with those who matter most to us, and with those who want to hear from us.

So why am I pushing this social media craze in our NSS blog? We’ve jumped on the bandwagon as a means of communicating with our customers year-round, in a way that works for you. Gone are the days of having time to read long, detailed emails or casually peruse websites for information. We need information quickly and we need it concise. For all things 2010 National Stationery Show – from the latest Show news and event information, to newly-signed exhibitors and special features – check us out at:

If you have news that you want us to share with our fans and followers, send it to me at

Happy Tweeting,

Stats courtesy of Pew Internet.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Visit to the West Coast

Last week, I took a trip out to Santa Monica, CA to spend Thanksgiving with a good friend, who also has her birthday around that holiday. It was a great trip.

If you’ve been reading my blogs, you know that no matter where I am, I usually find myself visiting a stationery store or two! This trip was no different.

On my first full day in town, my friend and I went to the J. Paul Getty Museum, and I was thrilled to spend the day there. Of course a visit to a museum also includes a nip into the gift shop. Inside of course, were a great number of products from companies that exhibit in the National Stationery Show. There was a great display of journals by Paperblanks, lots of beautiful product from Mudlark (they are doing something really right – I see Mudlark everywhere these days!), lots of calendars, and of course a great display of holiday cards, including boxed cards from Galison and Great Arrow Graphics.

This sign was posted in the Getty’s store, just above all the holiday cards for sale.
Way to go, Getty! The greeting card industry salutes you, and your great message encouraging holiday card sending!

My friend lives very near to Fred Segal Santa Monica. Despite having visited her many times, I had never been in the store (in Santa Monica, it’s two buildings on opposite sides of Broadway). This time, we went in both stores (hurray!) I love the sign on the building’s exterior.

I never knew that Fred Segal has a bunch of boutique shops inside (different stores, different buyers). We went into several, including the cool ZeroMinusPlus store.

Inside there was puzzles, jewelry, wallets from Alicia Klein, cool gadgets, and of course, lots of cards – and from so many different companies, I took notes. Here are just some: Amy Smyth Made It, Constance Kay, Frantic Meerkat, La Familia Green, Quotable Cards, Random Thoughts, and Shannon Martin. I knew all of these companies from having exhibited in the NSS – it almost felt like I was on the Show floor at Javits.

Here’s a quick pic I snapped of one of the displays:

Note to ZeroMinusPlus buyer, Darrylynn: it’s not too early to plan your visit to the NSS this May! Many of these companies, and hundreds more, will be at the Show waiting to see you. We’d love to see you back.

On my last full day in CA, my friend and I went to Pasadena. I had never been there, either. I’m embarrassed to tell you this, but I will anyway – I was “totally psyched” to see the painted pink line up Colorado Boulevard – part of the New Year’s Day Rose Bowl Parade trail. I’ve watched that parade every New Year’s Day for as long as I can remember.

We visited the Huntington Library (finally saw Gainsborough's "The Blue Boy"). Plenty of great products in that store, too, including a number of items from Pomegranate (books, calendars), and cards from Caspari. If you've never been to the Huntington Library - I recommend it - their gardens are varied, and tremendous!

Another great thing about Pasadena: Leigh Jackson of Bella Adorna! When I told Leigh I was coming to her home town, she suggested we meet. It was great to have a “no agenda” get together over a little glass of vino. (Hey! I said I was on vacation!)

Here I am with Leigh. She did tell me she’s got some new designs coming that will be ready for the May 2010 NSS.

After visiting with Leigh, I made tracks for the stationery store Carmody & Company on Union Street. I had read lots of great reviews about this store’s customer service online, and couldn’t wait to get inside and chat with the store’s owner, Terry Clougherty.

Terry shared with me her own tips and tricks for keeping loyal customers coming through her store’s door (sorry – can’t tell you!). She sells a lot of invitations – some through albums – she carries William Arthur, Crane & Co., and Chatsworth, to name a few; and she has a great number of imprintables for customer to buy and finish at home. Terry also has a graphic designer on-staff so that invitations can be custom made for her clients. Quite the business!

When I visited, a set of holiday cards was being assembled for one her clients.

And finally, here I am with Terry, (below).

Hope you enjoyed the recounting of my trip out to the “left coast!” Keep the holiday spirit going this season!

Until next time - Kelly