Every May when I board a plane for NYC to attend the National Stationery Show, I get “first day of school” jitters. I’m anxious to see what new products I discover, nervous that the trip will be worth the time and expense (plus time away from work), and downright excited for the show – and great restaurants!
This year I went with a slightly different focus in mind – instead of invitations, I was on the hunt for greeting cards – and lots of them. After the “The Switch” last April, our greeting card sales have skyrocketed. It’s wonderful news, but now the pressure is on. We love when customers tell us we are their go-to place for cards – we just can’t let them down now!
This year’s show did not disappoint in the greeting card department – we found several new lines and had great response to sneak peeks we posted on Instagram (@barquegifts). Here are a few discoveries that will make their way to our shelves over the next few months:
Don’t you just love these Social Preparedness Kits from Egg Press? The little fiberglass tray can be used as a catch-all once the stationery is gone. Brilliant!
And this adorable onesie from Lionheart Prints? Awe… (Also available in pink – coming soon).
NSS is such a great place for inspiration too! I probably stared at this booth display wall from Smock for at least 10 minutes.
And finally, I ordered personalized stationery albums from Haute Papier. Man oh man, the stock is high quality and really sharp – and colorful envelope and liner options really send it over the top!
My personal award for the Most Startling Card goes to this one from Ghost Academy… Yes, it pushes the envelope a bit (I shy away from the F word – my grandma shops with me!), but I just couldn’t stop laughing at it. So of course it’s on order.
This trip was especially fun because my friend Christie from Stationery Academy joined me to walk the show. I told her it wouldn’t be a trip to NYC without good food, and she was more than happy to be on board with that. For lunch on Saturday, we got our NYC pizza fix at John’s Pizzeria in Times Square, near our hotel.
Reservations for dinner at Saxon + Parole will definitely be happening again. The food was delicious and the atmosphere/decor was very creative and fun. (Our favorite dish of the night was a pot of chicken liver mousse, red currant, and pepper jelly served with toast – highly recommend it.)
On Sunday after walking the show, Christie and I attended a lovely Stationery Academy Alumni Soiree at Kari Joy’s Apartment near Central Park – isn’t her balcony space charming?
That was such a fun night – laughing and chatting with stationery friends – now that’s a special group of ladies right there!
On Monday, Jennifer joined Christie and I for dinner at Gato – Bobby Flay’s restaurant. It was amazing all around – fantastic food, a comfortable atmosphere and definitely a highlight of the entire trip. (If you’re going, I recommend the roasted Octopus and Avocado Fava Bean Salad!)
Great cards, hanging with my paper peeps and amazing food? Yep, I think this year’s trip to NSS was a success!