April 20, 2022 •
The New Nearly Normal
If my January and February, filled with treks to Atlanta Market, NY NOW and Shoppe Object, weren’t quite the New Normal, they were the New Nearly Normal. While so much has drastically changed, and while I was far more anxious than usual as my winter ‘22 trips approached, the “normal shows” of years past gave me the confidence to deal with whatever challenges awaited.
In the end, any challenges did not arise from the markets but rather, the state of our world itself. So, getting my badge at Atlanta Market was quick, as was obtaining my proof of vaccination to enter NY NOW. If anything, I left those markets — as well as Shoppe Object, the newest pride of IMC — impressed and grateful to the dedicated teams behind the scenes that made my visits so easy.
That’s not to say everything was anything like that of years past. First, my trips were shorter. I used to do six months of planning in three days at shows — well, now I may have a day and a half, plus the assumption my next planned visit could fall through, so I’d better make the most of now.
Whatever difficulties I had, they were more than mitigated by endless bright moments and discoveries. At my first Atlanta Market stop, Daniel Richards, I was literally welcomed by the sight of Jason Arbuckle of J. Falkner reading the winter issue of this publication!
Unfortunately, the GCA mixer in Atlanta was canceled due to the scourge of Omicron, but Andy Meehan of Madison Park Greetings — whose lovely wares grace our cover — assembled a last minute showroom gathering. So it seemed a small miracle to hobnob with faces from Seedlings, Legacy, 417 Press, Inklings Paperie, Maginating and Fine Moments for an all-too-brief hour.
As I write this, the countdown for *Noted and SF NOW is on as they represent the next gatherings on the stationery schedule. I for one can’t wait — especially since Stationery Trends has just been designated the official publication of *Noted! In the meantime, I have packed as much inspiration that I found on the road and my in-box into this issue as I could. Happy reading, and here’s to hopefully catching up in San Francisco!
Until next issue,