News

April 22, 2018
NSS Paper Clips

We’re just one month away from the 2018 National Stationery Show®! If you haven’t finalized your travel arrangements yet, please go to the NSS site for discounted hotel deals as well as for information on parking, navigating NYC and other helpful info to make your Show experience an easy and happy one.

Speaking of happy, this issue of Paper Clips is full of “sunshine and rainbows” – from a feature on an NSS buyer who successfully turned her passion into her career, to NSS exhibitors planning for a great Show, to our trend alert about products for one of the happiest times in life!

Read on to grab a happy moment in your day today! I look forward to seeing you soon.

Love of Character

Love of Character is a paper-goods and party-supply shop located in Wichita, KS, where customers can grab a card and gift for a friend, pick up supplies to throw a party, and even hold a party at the store’s event space. “We try to find fun yet useful items for everyone in your life,” says Love of Character’s owner, Mary Elizabeth Billings. “The front half of the shop is our retail space, and the back half is for small events (business in the front, party in the back!). We aim to add character to parties, gifts and life!” Billings shares these additional fun facts about her unique shop:

1. My original business plan was written in an Oprah magazine after visiting the Rifle Paper Co. headquarters [in Winter Park, FL] a few years ago. My aunt lives a couple of hours away, and we decided to make a day trip to visit one of our favorite brands. In the shop, Rifle is and has been one of my top sellers.

2. I’ve always loved planning parties, and when I was little, American Girl magazine was my main source of inspiration. (Twinkies turned into girls in sleeping bags was a good one!) Love that I can now help people plan fun parties of their own! Plus, I have access to some of the best supplies in the industry.

3. Our back storage area has pink floors and stairs. I wanted something bright and cheery, and my mom suggested it!

4. At my first trip to NSS, my aunt and I stumbled upon the colorful lined envelopes of Lark+Raven’s fun cards, and we fell in love. The artist, Ali, and I have been good friends ever since. We carry her products and invitation line in the shop, and I always love brainstorming ideas together.

5. The shop is in an old Art Deco building that is more than 100 years old and back in the day was a drug store. I have the corner space, and it is a perfect spot full of character; plus, it’s only a few blocks away from my house. When I walked in and saw the custom wallpaper that had been put up by a prior tenant, I knew it was the perfect place to open.

What does your company do to prepare for the National Stationery Show?

“First, we open a bottle of wine! Next, we start planning backwards, putting hard due dates and deadlines on a calendar: for our arrival at the show, pallet pickup from our warehouse, catalog print deadline, new-product photo shoot dates, new-product printing/manufacturing dates, etc. While fresh new product is key to a successful show, designing is only 5-10% of what goes into our prep. I tend to have an idea of what product I want to release, but bouncing ideas, typefaces and designs off of my team/family is my favorite part of getting ready for the NSS. There is a lot of laughing!”

Alex Gagné Glover, Founder/Creative Director, Chez Gagné, a Los Angeles, CA-based company that sells hilarious yet luxe cards, drinkware, candles, bottle tags, paper clips and more.


“First and foremost, PAPAYA! sets up our trade-show booth here in our warehouse and makes sure it is fresh and inviting. We hand-pick our product assortment for the show and layer it into the booth with the help of our talented designers, concentrating on our show-specific merchandising theme. We do an email blast to our entire wholesale customer base inviting them to the show and sharing with them our show-only special. We personally invite targeted key accounts to stop by our booth. We also engage with our sales representatives throughout the country to notify their customers that PAPAYA! will be attending the NSS. Additionally, we like to make sure that we have plenty of PAPAYA!-branded market shoppers available to hand out to customers and prospects.”

– Christopher Wilkey, Director of Sales, PAPAYA!, a Medford, OR-based company whose stationery and gift products feature original artwork by Anahata and a small team of in-house designers.


“In preparing for the NSS, s.e. hagarman’s main priority is attention to detail. Our booth is a direct reflection of our brand, and we take special pride in showcasing our ‘swanky yet simplistic’ stationery, greeting cards and growing gift line. Our talented staff is busy with daily production as well as stocking our shelves with our meticulously hand-embellished designs for future orders. Every year presents us with the exciting opportunity to introduce our most current creations that embody our signature vintage-yet-modern edge that we have come to be recognized by.”

– Stacey Hagarman, Owner/Designer, s.e.hagarman, a Hanover, PA-based company that offers hand-drawn and embellished cards, stationery, enclosures, bags, framed art and imprintables.

Hey Baby!

There’s plenty of baby talk these days – from Kardashian pregnancies to the upcoming birth of Princess Kate’s third child. With nearly 4 million babies born in the U.S. each year, there’s also plenty of opportunities to sell baby-related merchandise, such as these cute items from NSS exhibitors.

Hop On Board the NSS Retail Tour

On Saturday, May 19 (the day before the NSS opens), join Kat Krassner and Keb Kennedy, co-founders/co-editors of PRESENT Magazine, on a fun, informative tour of five of New York City’s best gift and stationery shops! Included on the tour are: Bowne & Co. Stationers, CW Pencil Enterprise, Goods for the Study-McNally Jackson Store, Greenwich Letterpress and Paper Presentation. Participants will be transported to each store via private shuttle bus and have the opportunity to visit each store to meet the owner, browse and shop. The tour begins promptly at 1pm and will last approximately four hours. Availability is limited, so add the NSS Retail tour to your online registration today!

NSS Goes “Broadway Bound”

The NSS will have its first “Broadway Bound” event at the upcoming Show. A limited number of discounted tickets are available to the popular Broadway hit, “BEAUTIFUL: The Carole King Musical,” for Sunday, May 20, 7 p.m. Tickets can be ordered through the NSS by signing into the registration system here.

#PutAStampOnIt at NSS

Legion Paper is inviting all NSS attendees to #PutAStampOnIt at this year’s Show. Attendees can assemble their stamp collection by visiting participating exhibitors as they walk the Show and can pick up a commemorative box designed by Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Co. All of the specialty papers used for the stamps and box are culled from the 3,000+ papers that Legion distributes, and both will feature details such as foiling, die-cutting, debossing, letterpress, scratch-off elements and more. To view a list of participating companies click here.
LOUIE Awards Party Tickets Available

Tickets to the Greeting Card Association’s LOUIEs bash – at which the winners of the prestigious LOUIE Awards will be announced – are still available. This year’s party, taking place on Sunday, May 20, at 7 pmduring the NSS, will feature a more casual setting at Spin New York – with ping pong tables, street performers, a DJ and more. For full details and to purchase tickets, click here.

NSS and Gift for Life Team Up Again for AIDS Walk New York

For the seventh year in a row, the NSS and Gift for Life – the gift, stationery and home industries’ leading charitable organization – are once again joining forces to sponsor a team to walk at AIDS Walk New York on Sunday, May 20. AIDS Walk New York raises funds to benefit the GMHC to help fight AIDS and find a cure, and over the past six years the GFL/NSS team has raised more than $144,000. This year’s goal is to raise $30,000 which includes a continuing generous matching grant of $5,000 from DIFFA, the Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids. To join the team and/or donate, click here.




75 Applewood Drive, Suite A
P.O. Box 128
Sparta, MI 49345
616.887.9008
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