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Report from the National Stationery Show

Reported by Eileen Hull

On May 16, I had the pleasure of walking the National Stationery Show. This was the 66th annual show and took place in the JavitsCenter in NYC. The show is held in conjunction with Surtex (Surface and Textile) and a large furniture show. One ticket ($150) gets you into all three events (with the proper business credentials). If you like paper, you could walk around forever. Vendors are set up with their latest and greatest new products hoping for retailers to come and place orders.

Unfortunately, I only had seven hours at the show so had to practically run through to see it all and fit in a couple of meetings. But here is a quick snapshot of what I saw.
The colors throughout the show seemed brighter than last year, perhaps reflecting optimism for better sales in the year to come. It looked like there was business being done and orders being taken.
I started on one side and was happy to find some familiar faces from the crafting industry. Canvas Corp was there with their Home Décor line, along with some of their signature kraft papers, canvas tags and embellishments. Mark Richards was a few booths down and then who should I see but Tim Holtz with his new line of finished goods. He graciously allowed me to video him talking about  District Market. Unfortunately, I lost my Bloggie camera somewhere between New York and New Orleans -so sad….
I moved on to see Ken Oliver from UniBind who also described some of the new products including talking books, cards and a really cool canvas covered photo book.
As I walked the show, I met some very interesting personalities. One of my favorites was Stephen Brown from Glitterville. That guy has some really cool projects in the works and I think we will be seeing lots from him. Don’t you love this booth? Stephen and Chico sure packed a lot of glitter in there. While I was talking with them in the booth, one of their good friends dropped by- Victoria MacKenzie- Childs. Four days later I was in New Orleans and saw her cool dinnerware displayed in a Saks Fifth Avenue window!
Crane always does a great display and this was no exception. Cool windows with paper sculptures lined their booth.
One of my personal favorite booths was the AneMoNe booth- it was beautiful. They produce handmade flower bouquets for weddings and special events. An accompanying line of cards completes the display. Paper flowers of all kinds, sizes and shapes could be seen every time you turned around.

Letterpress was stronger than ever. I saw more booths with designs that took letterpress from traditional to trendy with new fonts, icons and styles.
Text was huge. Compendium Inc. had a really cool booth using text all over their walls. Letters were everywhere; monogrammed items are still going strong. Books and journals also were very popular. I love this video about Smash Books from EK Success.
State Fair and circus images were sprinkled throughout the floor in all kinds of products as well as vintage ’50’s photo cards with snappy comments. Pennants and banners festooned the tops of many booths.

Mean cards also seemed to be a theme. A booth called Gigi was centered around a doll (which kind of reminded me of Chuckie) doing and saying all kinds of outrageous things, many of them not very nice.

Paper confections are still in. M.Middleton won Best of Show for their cake slice notepad. Cute! Lots of cupcakes and paper eye candy.

Eco products were out in force. I happen to own one of these Eco Cups by Decor Crafts, Inc.

Several booths offered laser cut services – one caught my eye in particular called Papyrus Cutters. The detail on them was unbelievable. Another company called Laser Cut It  had a cool display of stacking cut out boxes.

Birds, bicycles and typewriters were common themes and there was one vendor who was selling them right off the floor. I was even able to buy a ribbon for a little blue ABC typewriter I purchased years ago- never could find a source to buy ribbon that would work with it. Only in NYC!



I really enjoyed walking the show and was inspired by all of the creative displays, booths and products. There is definitely crossover between the craft and gift industries, as evidenced by the craft manufacturers who set up in this venue showcasing added ways their product may be used. Can’t wait till next year!

Do you like paper and stationery supplies? Have you ever attended this show? What do you think the latest trends are in the craft industry now? Do you respond to trends or try to create your own?

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Eileen Hull is a designer, author of two books, and licensed artist with Sizzix. She specializes in three dimensional design and her favorite craft material is matboard. She is currently serving as Vice-Chair of the CHA Designer Section. Visit her website to see her latest!

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6 Responses to Report from the National Stationery Show

  1. Avatar
    {VICKI} June 3, 2011 at 10:41 am #

    Yes, I love offie supplies and pretty stationery.
    No, I have not attended a show

  2. Avatar
    Chris Wooten June 3, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

    No never been to a show..but love pretty papers and stationery.

    mcwooten1999@carolina.rr.com

  3. Avatar
    Superfan June 3, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    It’s all about paper… white, black and every color in between. I am happy to see that stationery suppliers are expanding their lines with new paper styles and designs that we can source for crafting. I love the laser cuts!

  4. Avatar
    Jeannie June 3, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

    No, I haven’t been to a show. Would they let me in if I showed up and paid the $150?

  5. Avatar
    Eileen Hull June 4, 2011 at 12:25 am #

    Jeannie, this is a wholesale show meant for store owners who will be purchasing product from the vendors, so unless you own a store, I’m not sure… You can go on the NSS website for more specific guidelines: http://www.nationalstationeryshow.com/BuyersAttendees/tabid/57/Default.aspx

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    Lysa June 4, 2011 at 6:00 am #

    I so gotta start a smash book! and those gigi cards are just Dare Wright’s book of Edith the Lonely Doll gone WRONG. Thanks for the peek into the stationery world.