NSS Recap 2015

I’m finally back from the National Stationery Show and getting caught in the studio up after being gone for almost 10 days.  It was a whirlwind, fun-filled, work-filled, STATIONERY-filled trip.  Both super fun, and super tiring at the same time. I’m so glad to finally be home and making headway in the studio.
We got in on Thursday night to attend my cousin’s wedding in Brooklyn, and then spent all day Friday and Saturday setting up the booth:
Every year at the Stationery Show (this is my 3rd year) I always look forward to seeing all my stationery friends. These are friends I know through the stationery industry, mostly online, through Facebook, Instagram, the TSBC community, or through friends of other stationery friends.   This industry is amazingly talented, social, friendly, open, supportive and welcoming.  Stationery People are the BEST. We trade biz stories, traumas, triumphs and heartaches.  Most of these (mostly ladies) don’t know me at all outside of the stationery world, but still know the business side of me better than almost anyone else. I always love reconnecting with these amazing folks even if it is just once a year. It feels magical and special. A shout out to some of my lovely stationery friends (in no particular order) are Grey Moggie, Penelope’s Press, Ink Meets Paper, Blackbird Letterpress, Power and Light Press, Paper Lovely, Parrot Design Studio, Thimble Press, The Paper Cub, Noteworthy Paper and Press (and I could keep going.)
  Steel Petal Press National Stationery Show 2015
Aside from the social aspect, the main reason to head to the Stationery Show is to showcase and sell my work to shops all over the country.  Every year has been a different experience for me and this year was no different. I felt like I got a ton more traffic this year, but not as many orders as years past. It was a little disappointing considering how much time and money goes into exhibiting.  However I was super happy with the orders I got, and I am always thrilled to add new and awesome retails to our list of stockists.  (check out or growing list HERE) From experience so much of the show is about the connections you make, and follow up after the show.  Some of my biggest accounts and best orders came after the show, so I know it’s hard to quantify purely based on performance at the show.
I was most excited about debuting my selection of SHOT GLASSES. Maybe I’m friends with too many bar tenders, but I know at least a dozen people I want to give these to! People have been ordering them too 🙂
I had a surprise best seller this year.  Almost every order I wrote at the show (and all the follow up orders) has included the YODA encouragement card:
I am not entirely sure if I will go back next year.  (But  that doesn’t mean I’m done for good!) At this point I have many ways of finding new shops to carry my work.  I have started working with two sales reps, I get consistent orders through etsy wholesale AND I have shop owners reaching out to me independently on a regular basis.  With this in mind, it is hard to justify the cost to attend, especially when I have other exciting new projects on the horizon! (it’s still not official but I am planning on opening a retail shop in the next 6 months or so. I’m still in the process of negotiating the lease, so nothing is official yet and I don’t want to jinx it!) With the new shop on deck, I’m really not sure what my time or financial situation will be looking like next year.
When/if I ever do go back to the show I really want to focus on refining my brand and my image.  Although I thought my booth this year looked pretty, I didn’t feel like it was the best reflection of me or my work.  I wonder if that could have contributed to my slower sales. Last year I loved my pink walls, this year I wasn’t feeling them as much.  My work is a little edgier and a little more humorous and fun, and I’m not sure if that came through in my booth or in my pre-show mailer and marketing material.  In the upcoming months I really want to work on getting a stronger handle on Steel Petal Press, what we do, why we do it, and the image that best portrays who we are and what we stand for.

One Response to “NSS Recap 2015”

  1. Melissa says:

    The booth looks great and I love the new additions to your shop! 🙂

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