May 21-24, 2017 Javits Center, NYC
Stationery, Distinctive gifts & creative pursuits

Stationery Stories - What is Yours?


“Gift for Life, the gift, home and stationery industries’ sole national charity, launched at the National Stationery Show in 1992. That first meeting brought together a cross-section of industry big wigs. We had all of the leading publishers, market centers, sales reps, manufacturers and retailers. For many of them it was the first time being in a room together, and certainly the first time working together towards a common goal.”


Peter Schauben, founder, Gift for Life and partner, Appleman Schauben

I started exhibiting at the National Stationery Show in 1977, and that’s what got me into this business. I was there selling Ritz Pins, ceramic jewelry that my sister saw being sold on the streets in San Francisco.  That’s what got me into the market and the National Stationery Show connected me to a lot of people in the industry.  Today, I am CEO of Appleman Schauben, an Atlanta-based sales agency representing more than 80 vendors in 20,000 square feet of permanent showroom space.

Back in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, our industry was losing many wonderful people to AIDS. I remember I was watching the Academy Awards and I saw everyone wearing red ribbons.  There was no cohesive fundraising  or social effort in our industry to show that we cared.  I knew that almost all of our industry’s leaders attended the National Stationery Show.  So, I wrote a letter to 60 of the top people I knew and asked them to join me in finding a way to help.  I reached out to Patti Stracher and asked for a meeting room at the Show.

Gift for Life, the gift, home and stationery industries’ sole national charity, launched at the National Stationery Show in 1992. That first meeting brought together a cross-section of industry big wigs. We had all of the leading publishers, market centers, sales reps, manufacturers and retailers.  For many of them it was the first  time being in a room together, and certainly the first time working together towards a common goal.

Today, Gift for Life is approaching its 25th Anniversary.  We have raised more than $5 million for AIDS research, education, treatment and care.  The National Stationery Show continues to support the cause by partnering with us to participate in AIDS Walk NY, a huge fundraising event that takes place on the opening day of the Show.  To date, the Gift for Life/NSS team has raised more than $80,000.

Please help us raise funds for the fight against HIV/AIDS by walking – in the actual 10K course through NYC, or in a virtual walk through the Javits aisles – on Sunday, May 15.   To join the team, or donate, click here.

Want more Stationery Stories? Read them here.