The results are in, and the winners of the fourth annual Stationery Trends Trendy Stationer of the Year and Trendy Online Stationer of the Year have been determined. These awards recognize retailers for their commitment to and excellence in the stationery industry, and retailers were self-nominated, peer-nominated or manufacturer-nominated.
Trendy Stationer of the Year honors went to Kate Strzok of Broadway Paper in Milwaukee, Wis., while runners-up honors went to Jori Jackman of Seaside Papery in Coronado, Calif., and Heidi Campbell of The Stationery Loft in Lakeland, Fla.
“This recognition means we are right on track!” Strzok said. “Over the 25 years that we have been in business, we are extremely delighted to have grown into who we have become and are looking forward to continue to expand as a company. This award means that our hard work and passionate dedication is one that not only we can be proud of, but that the industry appreciates.”
Strzok added that Broadway Paper is a supportive element in the larger community of the stationery industry amongst many talented and incredible stationers, which lead to their true honor to be named Trendy Stationer of the Year.
“I’m still a shock, and we couldn’t be happier,” said runner-up Campbell of The Stationery Loft. “It is so very flattering to be recognized by your own industry, by people who know what kind of work goes into our business. This is the second year we have received this award and it just encourages us to work even harder and try new things so we remain on the cutting edge. This award is not only a validation of all of our hard work but our devotion to our customers.”
At Seaside Papery, they offer a diverse assortment of hand-selected merchandise that covers the stationery spectrum from classics like hand-engraved letter sets to the latest letterpress and foil greeting cards to small local artists who may not be as well known, all merchandised in a creative way with found objects and new accessories.
“We specialize in custom services by offering a variety of en-suite stationery vendors at different price points, printing processes and styles partnered with our in-house design,” Jackman said. “There is something to be said about the tactile experience unique to a brick and mortar store, and we are happy to be recognized by our peers in such a diverse and ever-changing industry.”
The award for Trendy Online Stationer of the Year went to Allison De Meulder of Invitation Consultants, while runner-up honors went to Susan Ringer of My Pretty Office and Rick and Helle Brink of Weddingstar.com.
De Meulder said Invitation Consultants is always working to innovate – whether in terms of their designs or products or new ways to work with their customers.
“Invitation Consultants is always striving to set trends in the industry and to be recognized for doing so is an enormous honor,” De Meulder said. “We are all so very excited to have been selected this year, especially after having been a runner-up in the past.”
Since winning, they’ve opened up their Design Studio for local customers to come in and meet with a consultant one-on-one.
“We love being an online stationer, since we’re able to work with customers around the world, but having a local studio has been a fabulous new experience,” De Meulder added.
Runner-up Ringer said My Pretty Office is not a “transactional” online retailer, but rather that they view each and every order as a potential customer relationship for life.
“Our retail operation is run as an online specialty boutique,” Ringer said. “Customers enjoy beautiful stationery products with a focus on current design trends, coordinating sets, etc. and we work very hard to provide an exceptional customer experience, which I think is a huge differentiator for My Pretty Office.”
Ringer added that this recognition allows them to share a fresh perspective in stationery and related items as they relate to an office environment with a wider audience.
“The idea of showcasing one’s personal style in the workplace is a niche we are thrilled to fill,” she said. “Recognition as a Trendy Online Stationer Runner Up is an exceptional platform for us to continue to achieve and maintain credibility as an important niche retailer in the stationery and office supplies industry.”
Highly esteemed stationery professionals judged the entrants and included: Abby Heugel, Stationery Trends Interactive; Eva Jorgensen, Sycamore Street Press; Patricia Mumau, Primele Studio Inc., Robyn Wehab, Meant to be Sent; and Sue Corral, Page Stationery.
The Trendy Stationer and Trendy Online Stationer of the Year are sponsored and managed by Stationery Trends, the resource for greeting cards, gifts and all things stationery.
For more information on the Trendy Stationer of the Year or Trendy Online Stationer of the Year, visit www.stationerytrendsmag.com; call 616-887-9008, ext. 121; or email [email protected] Get updates and information about the awards by liking us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/StationeryTrends.
— By Abby Heugel, interactive editor