April 5, 2023 • Sarah Schwartz
Faces & Places: Winter 2023 show recap

Yes, She Can — and Yes, She Did

What a long, strange year it’s been, and it’s only April! I kicked off my Winter market season rather inauspiciously January 13 — by getting tangled in the Great Plane Delay of 2023 as I attempted to travel to Atlanta. I should have known then that the entire season would be full of surprises!

Really, I ended up only a few hours delayed, and I hit the ground almost comically running. As always, my jaunt through Atlanta Market set my year off on a most informed note. Then a few weeks later, on February 3, I flew to Manhattan for Louie judging and not one but two markets. 

Of course, that morning was a record-breaking, balmy seven degrees, and the city’s famed skyline even looked frozen to me as I drove into the city from Newark. As I settled in at Javits Center to review greeting cards, several arriving judges shared anecdotes of literally almost being blown over by the wind. However, there were cards to be scored, so a little wind wasn’t going to stop any of us! 

I do think we were collectively relieved that the weather warmed up to the forties and fifties as NY NOW and Shoppe Object opened that Sunday. There was so much to experience at each. NY NOW’s Bulletin Pavilion provided a gorgeous glimpse of that market’s future, while Shoppe Object’s greatly enlarged digs at Pier 23 were full of marvels wherever you looked. In fact, that’s where I spotted and captured the colorful Cotton Clara needlepoint you see above.

As always, the market months of January and February left me completely and utterly visually overstimulated — but also completely and utterly enriched to have discovered so much fantastic design in person for myself, to say nothing of connecting with industry friends old and new. So as we set off on my Winter Market Recap, fortunately there’s no need for you to buckle your seat belt — I’ve already navigated this 2,300-mile bumpy ride!

Faces & Places

On the heels of the 2020 winter markets, in-person gathering stopped — and the photos I took that winter in Atlanta and New York sustained me for some time. I decided if that happens again, I want some of my favorite faces to look at, too.

So, here’s a sampling of some of my favorite selfies and snaps at the winter markets.  I love that, in many cases, we took the selfie in front of a maker’s work — so I got to capture that for posterity, as well!

Hopefully it’s plain to see why my favorite part of any market, anywhere is connecting and reconnecting with community friends. Click a photo to expand.

Additionally, tour the galleries below for some stand-out finds from this winter’s show floors — no press pass required.

Sensational Hot ‘Lanta Finds

The Atlanta Market was full of vibrant discoveries on every last inch of its 7.1 million square foot AmericasMart campus. This was thanks in large part to a renewed emphasis on sustainable and responsibly sourced materials and carefully considered attention to every last detail. These finds were combined with authentic, heartful messaging, making fabulous design the rule, not the exception.

The Big Apple Stationery Soiree

NY NOW never disappoints this paper nerd, featuring a tasty, heady blend of indie stationery brands, one after another, to swoon over, all under one roof. This season’s gift and stationery section included a sold-out *Noted at NY NOW pop-up. Clearly, I found enough color and design inspiration in a single market to fill several issues of Stationery Trends!

Cutting-Edge, on Manhattan’s Edge

Shoppe Object filled its enlarged digs on Pier 23 with ultra-modern sights and plenty to delight. With its artist of the season, Darrell Dean, setting an earthy, artisanal tone, the event often looked and felt more like an art exhibition than a trade show. Again and again, exhibitors put the design future in clear focus.

Leuchtturm1917 notebooks in action

Shoppe Object’s Artist of the season, Darrell Dean

All photos courtesy of Sarah Schwartz except where noted

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