Confections by Shara's Paperie

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National Stationery Show

Posted May 19, 2011

It has been too long since I have posted, but I have a good excuse (well at least what I think is a good excuse).  I was prepping and planning for my annual trip to the National Stationery Show in New York City.  This was my seventh year attending and it was fabulous.  But maybe before I launch into what happened and what I saw when I was there I should explain what it is and what I was doing there.

The National Stationery Show is held every year in New York in May. The official description of the show reads as follows: Now in its 65th year, the National Stationery Show is the world’s most comprehensive collection of stationery and related lifestyle products, and stands alone as the only business event and tradeshow in the United States that focuses specifically on these profitable, powerful product categories. With over 900 exhibiting companies featuring more than 10,000 lines, the NSS brings all sides of the diverse business community together: manufacturers (the exhibitors), buyers, sales reps, designers, licensors, distributors, trade/consumer press and manufacturing suppliers (the exhibitors in The Supply Side division). 

 It is a show only open to the trade, which means that you can only attend as a buyer if you have a valid business selling stationery, invitations and gifts.  There are businesses of all types there, brick and mortars (like me), online stores and even home based studio.  Before you can get entrance into the show you have to prove your credentials, and they are serious about that. 

I was there for two reasons, wearing two hats.  The first reason that I was there was to buy for my store, Shara’s Paperie.  The store carries our line Confections by Shara’s Paperie (you know the one, the sweestest line of personalized gifts, invitations and stationery), but we also carry other vendors.  When I attend the show I look for other fabulous items to add to the store’s inventory.  It is always fascinating to me to see how many vendors are there selling stuff.  Rows and rows of booths selling stuff.  There are some booths that have such gorgeous products and fabulous designs that it is just amazing.  Then there are the booths that are not as gorgeous or as fabulous and I just hope they get what they wanted out of the show.  As I walk the show I buy the products that I think will sell well in my store.  Certainly one of the most challenging parts of owning a store, and one of the most fun.

The second reason that I attend the show is to find manufacturers to help me produce the gift items that are in the Confections line.  We are always looking for other fun gifts to personalize and the trade show is a great way to find these manufacturers.  I found a few things that I am really excited about, but you will have to wait and see on that. 

The Stationery Show is all about design, beauty and the experience of paper.  This year they did something new…they had a fashion show of paper.  I am not sure how to best explain this and they do say that a picture is worth a thousand words.