Hello there and happy Friday! This week went fast didn't it? Sheeew! Last week Molly and Emily and I took the show on the road to the National Stationery Show in New York City. (Does anyone else hear those "Old El Paso" salsa commercials in their head when they say "New York City" out loud?.....just me? aging myself here?)
This was our 9th year at the show, and as ever it was full of fun, old friends, new friends, long days, some even longer evenings (ahem, waiting for our crate at the Javits) catching up, catching on, and some of the prettiest paper products in the world (not just ours either!).
We attended the annual LOUIE Awards (which are like the Oscars in the greeting card industry...or so they say...) where we were up for 2 awards this year. We didn't win this time, but nearly everyone at our super fun table brought home some major well-deserved glass!! Congratulations to Bold Face Type, Amy Smyth, Rifle Paper Company and Old Tom Foolery!!! You guys are rock stars and we are glad to know you. We would still hang out with you if you didn't win, but this helps.
We may not have won a LOUIE award but Marmalade won this:
Part of my job while we are at these shows is to do the buying for our store Marmalade. So I have to wear a couple hats and be a buyer and a seller.
This award (No, I didn't get to keep the cool engraved brass top hat...) was from Old Tom Foolery, whose hilarious cards we carry at the shop. This past year at inventory time, we discovered that their cards were the most frequently shoplifted in our store. We know this, because the shoplifters leave us the envelopes. Because that is helpful. When I told Lauren and Joel from OTF about it, they swelled with pride and decided to give us a prize. With that we recieved the honor of being the OTF "Store of the Year". Thanks guys!!
The show is in New York City. (..."get a rope.".....nobody?) I love New York and really love that I get to spend several weeks a year there for work. Though I don't think I could live there all the time, the city has some real magic to it that keeps calling me back. Over the years I have grown to love certain streets and neighborhoods, have favorite restaurants and morning walks. I got to do a tiny bit of that this trip between heavy rain and long days at the show.
Mostly these shows are a whirlwind of business and chatter, networking, selling, buying, eating and drinking, and eating. I always leave inspired and energized though. Full of new ideas and partnerships and refreshed by getting to see folks who have grown to be dear friends. It really is a very friendly industry (as you might hope)...I can only imagine how different the experience is at say, an auto show or technology expo. Not for me I dare say.
Over the years (Molly and I have been doing these for almost 10 years now) we have gotten some things down. We have decided that it's just not worth the savings to stay in a $99/night hotel room in Manhattan (and have the stories to prove it). We know to always always bring an extra pair of shoes in your bag. We know where to catch cabs and where we will never get one. We know that eating well is well deserved and always try to have one special dinner. We know where to save: we bring our lunch to the show so we don't waste money on bad food, and where to spend: treating our tootsies to a pedicure once in a while goes a long way.
We still have lots to learn and learn new things every year. We are constantly redesigning our booth and trying to do things better and make things easier for our customers. We learn from those around us and try again next year. It's a journey like everything else. So as we head into our 10th season, our big brass top hat is off to you NSS!!