National Stationery Show Recap
Each year, Stationery Academy hosts a shared booth at the National Stationery Show for alumni who want to get into wholesale. The show graciously allows us to share a booth (normally not an option for exhibitors) in support of helping first time exhibitors break into wholesale. Plus, we are able to be on an aisle with the bigger booths and companies. We are able to prepare them for this journey and ready them for the next step in their business with ease! Joining is in the booth this year were myself (Something Detailed), returning alumni Southern Fried Design Barn, and first time exhibitors, Fraser and Parsley and Stephanie Creekmur. Some of you may have followed us on Instagram and seen our updates throughout the week. Stephanie and I arrived on Friday night after a 5 hour delay and a few glasses of wine in the Nashville airport, to a soggy New York City. Our bags and everything in them were soaked. This is why your product always goes in your carry on bag! We checked into our hotel and layer all of our clothes out to dry and settled in since it was already after midnight. (Please pardon our Instagram images below!) The next morning, we grabbed breakfast and headed for the Javits Center to go ahead and check on the arrival of our crate. Everything arrived in perfect condition and we headed to Home Depot for a few more supplies. Josie joined us for lunch and we headed back to set up the booth.
Amy arrived right on time to help is finish putting up the walls, assembling furniture and laying down the floor. Nervous excitement had started to set in and we ended up eating at the hotel restaurant that night to chat game plans and roll play our sales pitches to retailers. The next morning, we all shared a cab and arrived early to put the finishing touches on the booth and get ready.
The first day was a success with a lot of traffic. Most retailers walk the show floor the first day and only place re-orders, go home and figure out what holes they need to fill in their shops and come back the next day to place orders. It is important for us to keep morale up and encourage positive attitudes because it can get stressful.
On Sunday night, we had a Stationery Academy social hour at the Ace Hotel, a cool boutique hotel with a lot of vintage style. It gave us a chance to catch up, meet new faces and allow members of different graduating classes to meet each other for the first time. We always have a ton of fun and try out different restaurants throughout the week! (Some dinner images below.)
Many of our Stationery Academy alumni friends told us we should have received a special delivery to our hotel room, and we had no idea! So when we returned to the room, we called the front desk who delivered the most inspiring and thoughtful gifts to each of us. A huge thank you goes out to those who sent us your love and to Kari Hodgens for being the mastermind behind it all. It was definitely a highlight of the week and one of the most thoughtful things anyone had ever done for any of us. This is what Stationery Academy is about. We have hundreds of cheerleaders across the country to lift each other up and give support and advice when needed.
At the end of the week, everyone had sales, multiple sales! It is really a treat because most first year attendees can really expect nothing.
We were super lucky that our skid arrived from storage within an hour of the show closing and Amy and Stephanie were able to help me pack it all up and get out of there in time to do a little shopping while they headed home.
It's always so much fun to do this every year. If you have never walked the show floor, you should, w hether you planning on "going wholesale" or not. It's a great way to meet other stationers, see what is happening in the industry and find new suppliers on the Supply Side. It's free for you to attend. If you do want to go wholesale one day, I highly recommended walking the show floor and get started on your collection now. It's hard to design an entirely new product line and also prep for the logistics and materials needed for the show. You can also attend Stationery Academy and be a part of our shared booth one of these days! ;)
We're already planning for next year! Hope to see your smiling faces there!