Mid- to late April is one of my favorite times of year: This is when National Stationery Show mailers begin to drift into my mailbox. I received my first on Monday, from Sugar Paper, and it’s a doozy!

This special missive digresses from the usual mailer presentation: this is a business letter, but, true to the Sugar brand, it’s letterpressed and gold-foiled, printed on a gorgeous toothy, textured paper stock, and tucked into a black-and-white-plaid-lined envelope.

Here’s what it says:

 The first time I walked into the National Stationery Show I knew I was home.

Like you, I love paper. I see the beauty in the tangible quality of it … the weight of each sheet, the feel of a fine piece of stationery in my hands. I save beautiful business cards from fancy hotels and I take matchbooks from any restaurant that offers them. The letters I have from my grandmother capture her handwriting and mark specific chapters in my life. These items preserve memories that could easily be forgotten. A text goes away, an email gets deleted, but paper can be saved. What we make matters.

We make things that people hold on to. Think of the thousands of cards that have been written and sent from the shelves of your stores. Love letters, letters of condolence, birthday cards to long lost friends … these letters are meaningful and important and special and we are the people behind those cards. We are the people who make them and sell them, but more importantly, we are the people who value them. We are the men and women who are keeping the tradition of the handwritten note alive. What we do is special. 

 For many of us, the Stationery Show is a big part of that. It’s where our businesses started. Where we showed our first collection, where we made our first sale, where we unpacked our dreams for the world to see. It is a place where inspiration surrounds us and fills us up, where our industry comes to life. Where we strive for bigger, brighter, better, because we believe in what we make. And it matters. Now more than ever. As we watch the show move downstairs to our new smaller home, we need to be there to prove that it matters. To support one another so that those cards and letters and matchbooks can bring a little magic to the world one interaction at a time for centuries to come. To remember why we came to NSS in the first place and why it’s important that we stay. The makers and the artists. The business owners and the entrepreneurs. The ones who build and strengthen this industry each and every day. Let’s not let it slip away.

 Always,

 Chelsea Shukov

Sugar Paper, Co-Founder

Tucked inside the envelope is also a gold-edged, letterpressed bookmark. I couldn’t agree more with Chelsea’s eloquent words, written from the heart of someone who not only built her business within its aisles, but someone who wholeheartedly believes in its magic.

You will find Chelsea and her Sugar crew in Booth# 1622 — and me looking for magic around every corner! I hope you’ll be there looking too.

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