Because it will now be co-located with NY NOW, National Stationery Show will be upon us before we know it! One of many exhibitors returning to that favorite show floor will be Seattle’s Euni + Co. I first got acquainted with the range when its Founder + Designer Clara Kim participated in the #NSS2018 Legion Paper #PutAStampOnIt promotion, and I quickly fell in love with this clean and heartfelt range that “seeks to bring simplicity + meaning into empty spaces.”
Clara launched Euni + Co. after leaving a career in counseling and teaching. She feels blessed to spend most of her days doing what she loves most: learning, creating and putting together pretty things. As her IG feed attests, she’s a lover of details, dainty things, neutral tones, and of course, hints of calligraphy. However, there is no comparison to seeing both the maker and her work in person at #NSS2019! I was thrilled to interview Clara about her work, her experiences there as a newbie exhibitor in #fresh last May, and what she looks forward in a few short months.
Q. Please share what inspires your work.
A. We’re inspired by all the good people in our lives — the messages they share and the love they pour out translate into the little words on our paper goods. Love, faith, relationship, empathy — these are all feelings and emotions that go into our cards. In terms of design, I love white space and really believe that less is more sometimes — we want to show that there is room in the world for small words, small designs, and small voices.
Q. What was behind your decision to exhibit at #NSS2018?
A. After I decided to pursue Euni + Co. full time, it only made sense to go somewhere big to make our debut into the retail world — hence, the National Stationery Show. We had never walked it before, didn’t really know too much about it, but after finding out about NSS, we read about everything there was to read about it on the Internet. I wanted to see what fellow stationers were creating, follow up on trends, and also wanted to form relationships with people in the industry. With technology, it’s become really easy to make connections, but nothing beats meeting face-to-face.
Q. What was behind your decision to return to #NSS2019?
A. We got a lot of great feedback at #NSS2018, and really wanted a chance to follow up and implement a lot of that feedback into our booth and our products. I’ve heard from several colleagues in the field that “it only gets better” — and with the merge with NY NOW, we hope to showcase our brand to a wider audience. While we haven’t formed a ton of relationships with colleagues in the industry, I’m excited to return to see familiar faces that we got to see this year, and hope to build meaningful connections with all our creative friends as we dive into year two.
Q. Thinking back to your first show, what were the most valuable connections you made?
A. I’m not so good at putting myself out there — I can “fake it” to an extent on social media but there’s a certain extent to which I can do it in person, so making connections was a big challenge. We did connect with some amazing stationery friends — Our Heiday, Tiny Bones Press, Public School Paper Co. — and also got the pleasure of meeting so many talented shopkeepers. When I was walking around town, I got to see McNally Jackson Books and fell in love — so it was huge when we got an order from our MJ friends. I had also been a big fan of The Paper + Craft Pantry via Instagram, so when I got to meet Pei and chat with her about our designs, that was a big moment for us! We love being in her shop.
Q. What are your favorite memories, on and off the show floor, from #NSS2018?
A. One of my highlights was meeting Soyoung Song, the founder of Goodnewsdrawing, a stationery brand in Seoul, Korea. I had followed her on Instagram ever since she started her art and her work is really famous in Korea, so I loved being able to chat with her and hear about the stationery world back home.
The whole process of setting up our booth was an experience itself, and to tackle the gigantic boards with my husband is something I’ll probably never forget!Q. Can you give us a sneak peek of what you are introducing at #NSS2019?
A. We’re bringing along about 25 new cards with us, and introducing new notebooks and notepads. We’re rethinking our envelope colors to keep them more “on brand,” so keep an eye out for a new palette!Q. What are some of the Euni + Co. bestsellers that you have introduced at NSS, or became top sellers thanks to sales garnered there?
A. A really big number of our birthday cards got a lot of love, and we also got a lot of orders for our flat notecards. Our hey girl hey notepad is a really steady best seller, and we’ve gotten more and more agenda pad orders since NSS!
Q. Is there anything else you’d like to share with TPC readers about #NSS19, or your thoughts on the show generally?
A. We’re really excited for our second year and hope to form a lot of new connections with our fellow stationery friends. If you’re thinking about attending or have any questions, feel free to send them our way! We’ll be in booth 6210!Get info on exhibiting at #NSS2019 here, and register to attend here.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, “Euni” is a shortened version of “Eunhee,” which is Clara’s Korean name, given to her by her grandparents. It means to shine with grace — and I can’t think of a better way to describe this growing brand!