The paper industry inhabits but a tiny spot within the relatively larger gift arena — but our little corner of the world is far smaller than you think. Your neighbor might be doing the same exact thing as you — and you may share even more than that in common! That’s what Kelly Bristol, Show Manager of National Stationery Show, learned last week when she received two applications for exhibit space on the same day.

“Both company owners are named Allie, and both live in NYC,” she recalled. “And both wanted the same size space, and both are just starting out pursuing their dreams in this industry. Well, I talked with each of them, and happened to mention to both that another Allie had applied for the Show and also lived in NYC.”

The two first-time exhibitors, Allie Robbins of Mailennial and Allie Sibio of Cards By Allie, found each other on social media and got in touch. Soon they realized that although one lives on an avenue, the other on a street, not only were they across the street from each other, but their windows face each other!

Allie Robbins recalls, “We put it together because the ‘other Allie’ saw that I had put ‘E. 72nd St.’ on my Christmas card and I told her, ‘Well I’m actually on 69th Street,’ and she said, ‘No way! I am on 69th and 1st,’ and the rest is history. We were in shock! We have been talking since about prep and ideas. I feel like I gained a new best friend in the paper business, and all because Kelly mentioned her to me. Amazing!”

Now the two will also be right across the aisle from each other at the Show, with Cards by Allie in Booth 5617 and Mailennial in Booth 5624.

Here’s a little peek at Mailennial’s offerings, with the card that brought everything into focus first up! And a look at Cards By Allie’s range … Allie Sibio emailed me yesterday that the two met for drinks the other night to get better acquainted, so it looks like a friendship as well as two businesses are blooming!

“This spirit is what I love most about this industry — it’s about community, our community of stationers and paper lovers — but also about supporting and celebrating each other,” Kelly told me. “This story captures the essence of the industry and how personal and fun it is.“

You can see their work — that’s more from Mailennial below — as well as a whole lot more artistry at NSS February 3-6. Apply to exhibit here, and register here!

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