Friday, May 20, 2011

NSS recap - my first show!

it came. it went. it's over, and i'm here with my feet up. it was my first stationery show, and this is my story...

as you probably already know, the lead-up to the show for me was pretty rough. my dad passed away march 25, after an intense but short illness, and i did all my show prep after his funeral. and i mean ALL. all paper goods, all booth designs, all purchases for booth styling, everything. which pretty much guaranteed a stressful show setup. any time something went wrong, i lost it a little bit... my husband wasn't too thrilled with that! but in the end, it all came together.

the main plan for the booth was to make it comfy and homey. my work relates back to real life, and i wanted the booth to be personal as well, instead of feeling like a store display. we made walls out of masonite with a wood frame, got bookshelves and a table/chairs from ikea, curtains, and i made a custom pendant lamp with fabric i designed and had printed with fabric on demand.

 dave putting together the bookshelves.

 bookshelf up, and the wire hung for the lampshade.

the masonite walls weren't the best -- the masonite warped a bit, and we had quite a bit of trouble putting them up (a big shout-out to my friend where for helping with the walls on friday). next year we're going to do something different, but with all the window dressing, it worked out.

the final booth, all put together. the logos and booth numbers were vinyl decals. the shelves held my notecards and my invitation binders, and the walls had 3 frames each with my new invitation sets in them.

 we lost a little bit of wall space in the end, so we had to eliminate the frames from the walls that held my prints. i put two of them on my desk instead, with all of my promo materials and the recipe card giveaway.

 bike for two set.

 winter woods set.

 graffiti union set.

 destination wedding set.

 rainy day wedding set.

 closeup of my pendant lamp. couldn't have made it without the help of my friends danielle and aileen -- it took a whole afternoon!

moving onto the show itself... it went really well! the notecards were surprisingly popular -- and i only say surprisingly because they are a new venture for me and i didn't know how they would fare. but it seemed as though buyers and visitors alike truly related to the cards, which is exactly what i hoped for.

 i got seriously lucky with my aisle -- as a first timer, i didn't know who would be with me, and having a good row is helpful. well, was i a happy girl. in our little section, we had fugu fugu press, banquet atelier and workshop, and just eleanor. not only did we get along really well, but we also truly enjoyed each other's work. what a great feeling to be appreciated and helped by your fellow stationers, rather than to dislike, disapprove, or feel in competition with them.

there were so many great exhibitors nearby as well. mr. boddington's studio, a forever favorite of mine, were just down our aisle...
 loved their booth!

 get a load of this bike! made out of foamcore i think. insane!

claudia of fig. 2 design studio also premiered at this show, around the corner from me. her booth was yummy.

rachael of pistachio press did a great job with her booth, helped a great deal by her husband jake.

paisley tree press, right across the aisle from pistachio, had the best wine tags. i want one. (i almost stole one, no joke).

amber at flywheel press had a fun chalkboard-themed booth, also manned by her husband rich. amber also organized the recipe card promo with legion paper, which i will blog about this weekend.

lisa of sapling press has awesome notecards, and was the genius behind last year's sensation, the stationery/stationary totes. awe-some!

katie of kelp designs had her always-eco-friendly display, with the most awesome wood signs. loved the twitter/recycle/tradeshow bootcamp icons (katie headed up the tradeshow bootcamp, a HUGE help for us first-timers).

 and then it was all over! tear down was amazingly fast, but loading up the car sucked because of all the rain. still, it was a great show, and i'm already planning my changes for next year. thank you to my husband for all the support and for building the booth; my mom for watching our daughter so much while i was working trying to finish everything, and for helping in the booth; my mother-in-law for coming in to hang out with anna while i was being all professional; and to loren and carrie for keeping me company and manning the booth with me on sunday (extra-special thanks to loren for also helping in the design of the booth itself).

and of course, a huge thanks to all my fellow stationers, my lovely booth visitors, my buyers, and the press. you made it a great show for me, and i hope that i can see you all again next year.