The countdown for National Stationery Show is officially on, and one of many new features this year is The Boulevard. This aisle will unite NSS with SURTEX and will house the social media lounge, workshops and even calligraphy demonstrations. There you will also find Theatre on the Boulevard, featuring free seminars and speakers.

One very special event Sunday, May 20 from 3-3:30, ties into a big theme for the Show: gratitude. After having a trying winter myself, I’ve come to understand that this concept is so much more than just a cliche to be found on Pinterest pin. It’s an attitude adjustment and a mindset that benefits not just you, but everyone in your life. Any element you’re inclined to complain about has a bright side as well, and though it is an ongoing exercise not without challenges, changing your perspective can change the situation for the better.

Of course writing a good old-fashioned thank-you note is one of the easiest ways to concretely do this. To that end, guest speaker John “Izzy” Israel — aka Mr. Thank You — will tell his story on the show’s opening day, Sunday, May 20, from 3-3:30.  His mission? To elevate the level of gratitude on the planet by 1% by inspiring 74 million thank-you cards. Be a part of it by writing five thank you cards a day, every day for 365 days. John began doing it himself in October 2016, and it transformed his life, family, community and business; his amazing story has also garnered a fair share of media attention on ABC news, Fox News, PopSugar.com, MarthaStewart.com, and Good Morning America. Izzy will be sharing transformational stories from the movement and its potential impact on the stationery industry. 

Don’t miss this special programming, and following this session John will be sign copies of his new book (the cover of which is shown above) in the social media lounge. In homage to this lofty undertaking, I’m showcasing a few peeks at gratitude to be found on the show floor.

These stickers are the ideal pairing for any thank you — and can be coordinated or contrasted to your stamp and envelope as you see fit! beve, Booth 1651.

I love this cool copper foil on navy and mint from E. Frances Paper, Booth 1938.  

The message is short and sweet on this missive from Fresh Out of Ink, Booth 1742.

Your mom will appreciate this design from Lovebird Paper, Booth 1741.

Add color to your gratitude with this design from Wild Ink Press, Booth 1633.

I love this bright contrasty offering from Pinwheel Print Shop, Booth 1736.

Rifle Paper Co. always does it right! Join the crowd in Booth 1422.

Lots of pretty illustrations will be in bloom from Seedlings in #Fresh, Booth 1577.

Inject your communications with a little celebrity worship at Tay Ham, Booth 1433. 

Ashkahn (shown above; Booth 1537) and Egg Press (shown below; Booth 1933) and are two of five sponsors of the Appreciation Station, also to be found on the Boulevard. Select a (free) card, pen your thanks and the recipient’s address, drop it in the box, and NSS takes care of the rest! Other sponsors include 1973, Hello!Lucky and Sakura.Finally we have this beauty from Papaya in Booth 1615. Oh, and if you can’t restrict your gratitude to a card, be sure to share it on NSS and SURTEX’ Gratitude Wall! Doodle your thanks or illustrate your appreciation for the people, moments or things in your life for which you’re grateful for posterity.

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