The new co-location with NY NOW means that National Stationery Show will be upon us much sooner in 2019 — from February 3 to 6, to be exact. #NSS2019 exhibitors will have a lot of familiar faces gracing its aisles, including that of San Francisco house of design (not to mention gargantuan good vibes) Good Juju Ink. A visit to this booth is always a show highlight for me, so I was thrilled when CEO Juliana Kissick (center below), Co-Founder and Head of Operations Ryan Kissick (left) and Co-Founder and Head of Marketing Marina Lieban (right) agreed to be interviewed about their past NSSs, and what they’re looking forward to in this next edition, their fifth time there.Good Juju Ink debuted with a 8×10 inline booth in the #Fresh section, then moved into corner booths. “We love the traffic we get from having a corner booth!” Juliana told me. Looking back to their debut, getting orders at our first show wasn’t their only goal — in fact, it wasn’t even their main goal, Ryan told me. “Our main goals were to learn more about the industry, generate leads, and meet as many different people as humanly possible, from designers to buyers to press to manufacturers. Basically, we wanted to feel more plugged into the industry while gathering important resources for our future, whether that was mentors, friends, or printers. We saw our first NSS as an investment that might take a few years to pay off. And now that we’re going into year five, I can tell you with confidence that it definitely paid off! Over the years, we met dozens of incredible buyers, designers, gurus, sales reps, and friends. I hate to mention anyone by name since we’ve interacted with so many wonderful people. That said, we’d be remiss if we didn’t give special shout outs to Sadie Piller from Paper Source, Fox & Fallow, iLootPaperie, Warren Tales, E Frances Paper, Our Heiday, Julie Ann Art, Sarah Schwartz [!], Katie Hunt [of Trade Show Bootcamp], and Czar Press to name a few.”
I asked the trio about their favorite memories — and I got an annotated list! Ryan’s favorite memory #1 is, “Winning our first LOUIE Award in 2018. I can honestly say that having our name called as the winner — and seeing Juliana’s heartfelt reaction — was once in a lifetime. I actually recorded her reaction on video, and I watch the video at least once a month!”Of course up there too is their first wholesale order at our very first NSS, Marina said. “After putting so much work into getting ready for our very first show, we were terrified that we might not make any orders. You just never know, right? When Ravid Butz from PhotoLounge decided to place an order, we were thrilled! And we totally did a dance after he left our booth!” It warms my heart to see that Good Juju Ink’s participation in the Legion Paper scavenger hunt promotions got kudos too. Their stamp from this past year remains one of my favorites. “There’s nothing better than when someone comes to collect their paper from our booth and starts oohing and aahing about the beautiful paper/foil/letterpress. It puts a smile on our face!” Ryan told me.And that goes for this next one too — I’ll let Juliana take it from here: “I feel SUPER lucky to be a part of an incredible group of women that created Writes for Women, a non-profit focused on causes related to women’s empowerment. At the show, we had our major kickoff/fundraising event where I got to give our introductory mission statement speech. Supporting this wonderful cause with such fierce, focused, ‘can-do’ women (as my high school principal would say) was truly a highlight!”
That’s Juliana treating us to her speech, with me on the left and fellow WFW founder (and NSS Show Manager) Kelly Bristol on the right! Photograph courtesy of Talfoto.
For Good Juju Ink, exhibiting at NSS is woven into their story, so there are a lot of reasons they return each year. “Without a doubt it’s the relationships we make at the show,” Marina explained. “We wouldn’t be where we are today without the people we’ve met at NSS, which span the entire ecosystem of the industry. From a personal and professional standpoint, we love the people that we meet at the Javits Center. And it doesn’t hurt that we meet lots of buyers, too.”Last year’s introduction of Good Juju Ink’s Egypt desktop collection helped elevate it into a company bestseller, Juliana told me. “It was a HUGE hit at NSS2018. The collection pays homage to the majesty of Egypt’s visual culture while also highlighting a particularly feminist angle of this civilization’s lineage. As you can imagine, the power of the imagery coupled with the beautiful narrative led to an incredible response from buyers and press alike. We had some people stay in our booth for nearly an hour, just talking about the Egypt collection!”
I loved how the trio first provided a sneak peek of the collection in their letterpressed pre-show mailer (the first image below). Seeing it articulated so lovely in their booth a few weeks later was a treat. Ryan offered a few words of advice for those considering #NSS2019. “For those of you thinking about whether you should give NSS a try, I can’t recommend it highly enough. Is it a lot of work to prepare? Yes. Will you make a ton of sales at your first show? Maybe, but maybe not. Will you push yourself beyond what you thought possible and meet people who can help take your business to the next level? For sure. We’ve been there, and we know how scary it can be to take that leap of faith. But the people at NSS are SOOO FREAKING WONDERFUL, and people are genuinely excited to help. It’s the best industry in the world, and NSS brings these wonderful people together. If that’s not Good Juju, I’m not sure what is? Ok that was super cheesy, but I promise we’re not that cheesy in real life … so come say hi to us at NSS2019!”You heard it here first folks … get info on exhibiting here, and see how to join me in seeing the lovely sights of NSS here!
… and finally, if you are a new or returning exhibitor interested in being profiled here, please give me a shout!