It’s been over a month now since National Stationery Show closed its inaugural February doors, and the news that it will return in August is still sinking in! As we prep for the next edition (just around the figurative corner) I wanted to take a look back to review some show stoppers — and some familiar (and favorite) industry faces.

First up, we have Boss Dotty — and Theresa’s Mayor of Babetown Sticker Card. The A2 card is paired with a kraft envelope and detachable silkscreened felt banner sticker (in assorted and rather vibrant colors).

Bonnie Marcus Collection returned to the Show, albeit in a new spot! Here is Bonnie with her best-seller, a calendar from Brown Trout, who was also exhibiting.

A bright spot in the Emerging Designers section was Âme Courrier, and Mabel found it to be “exhilarating and educational,” she told me. “I definitely learned a lot both behind the scenes about what goes into a trade show and also communicating to buyers face to face.”

Fittingly, her best seller is Helping Me Grow.

A great find for me inside the show was Dry Wit Goods. Her top seller? A card reading, “A good friend is one you can talk on the phone with. Even while you pee.”

“I was pleasantly surprised this was the best seller, because it isn’t generally the top card,” Jennifer told me. “But it is always a fan favorite, so I am glad it got the love it deserves. This was my first NSS and I’m still numb from the excitement and hard work that went into it and is continuing with post-show production and follow-up. It was quite an experience!”

It was hard to not swoon for the beachy keen brushstrokes populating the Evergreen Summer booth. “This was my first NSS and I had such a great experience,” Meg told me. “It felt amazing to meet buyers and write orders, but what really made the experience complete for me was getting to know the other exhibitors in my row. None of my family or friends are in the stationery business, so meeting other people who do what I do and sharing stories was a big highlight from my time at the show. I was really amazed by how supportive and welcoming everyone was!”

Meg had two top sellers. The Tammy Card (in pink) sold the most individual units, but the Dave Card (beach day) was sold to the most retailers.

Girl of All Work always shows a distinctive perspective on office supplies — so it’s not really too surprising that Dyna included her adorable daughter Penny in the shot. Dyna tells me Penny comes to her studio every day and has taken over her office. I remember those days well! Penny’s holding their best selling page flag Cats! Cats! Cats!

One of the most glamorous spots at NSS was the Girl w/Knife booth, where the top seller was the Thick & Thin card. It’s shown first with Elicia’s cat/office manager Princess Vespa photo bombing, then taking over the whole picture!

“Everyone went wild over this card!” Elicia told me. “It got so much attention that I started to wonder if it was the placement, so I kept moving it around on the shelves. Nope! People went right over to it and had a laugh. It was the best feeling in the world to step back and observe people enjoying my cards.”

Susan Hazel Rich of Hazelmade marked her fifth anniversary with her NSS debut! “I couldn’t have prepared for how wonderful it felt to connect with the lovely paper community,” she told me. “Meeting so many new + familiar shop owners, designers, and friends in person was a true highlight of our trip to NYC. Looking forward to joining the show again.”

Susan had two top sellers. Her 2020 Art Print Floral Calendar comes with four 12” x 18” individual sheets to mark each season. After each season has passed, each can be trimmed down into an 11” x 14” print.

Meanwhile, Susan’s Bold Florals Flour Sack Tea Towel of 100% cotton is one of three new designs new for 2019. ” I have been creating these towels since 2014,” she said. “Each starts with layers of carefully hand drawn illustration (which) are screen printed on the towels. From design, to sewing, through to printing and packaging, these towels are Midwest made through and through.”

Helen Edna was another great find in Emerging Designers. These deeply detailed letterpressed designs are really little works of art! Here Lauren holds her show bestseller at a Madewell pop-up event at South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa.

The birthday card highlights a California poppy she found in her parents’ Santa Barbara background. “I enjoyed the show and the best part about it was meeting other makers.” she told me.

Getting used to the new timeline was challenging, Alice of ilootpaperie told me. “But in the end it was worth the hard work we put in, as it is turning out to be one of our best trade shows so far. Our debuts were very well received and we couldn’t be more thrilled. It is something special to pull off what you imagined in your head for the booth design (and you definitely have to truck through and problem solve through unexpected obstacles during set up). And it is absolutely always one of our favorite things to be able to catch up with our paper community face to face, in real life, with old friends and new.”

Since this maker is a sister act, I’ve got shots from them both. Here their rescue dog Sparky poses with Alice and their Kindness Matters Sprout pin and Happy Mail washi tape.

And Doris models the You Can’t Handle the Ruth greeting card, Chest Bump Chestnuts Congratulations card, and Thanks for Being a Gem Friendship card.

I love Iron Curtain Press‘ work, and it is always a treat to see Rosanna. “Our best selling product at the show was, yet again, our mint notebook,” she told me. “This notebook comes with 80 lined, graph, dot grid or blank sheets and five cheerful cover colors. We are passionate about the quality of our notebooks and are so happy our customers agree!”

Next up we have JooJoo Paper. “NSS is always a favorite show and I’m so happy that we were a part of it again this year,” Afsaneh told me..”We got to meet up with many existing customers, and we also met many new ones.”

Afsaneh is holding one of her top sellers, a dreamy underwater birthday vista!

KB Paperie was yet another letterpressed gem, and she had two top sellers. First up is the Mom Fire Card, which won a LOUIE for Mother’s Day last spring, and then we have the Moving Truck card, new at the show.

This You Are God’s Masterpiece card from Krystal Whitten Studio popped into my in-box just when I needed this reminder! It’s not too surprising that it was in almost every single order Krystal wrote at NSS.

“It could work for birthdays, graduation, celebration of achievement, and so on,” she told me. “My favorite parts of NSS were meeting other card designers and comparing notes with them, as well as meeting new accounts and creating relationships with them.”

And last up, we have Me You Paper and this adorable Friendship card. “This was actually one of the last cards I designed right before the Stationery Show,” Annika told me. “I had to create it so quickly but I knew I wanted it to be included our show offerings. It is my favorite too.”

Thank you to all these makers for sharing their work during this recap! And of course National Stationery Show will return to its new home at NY NOW August 11-14. Don’t miss out — RSVP here!

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